If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at B3 Glass, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city.
Elysian (the name of this week’s featured business) not only sounds similar to the name of its owner (Lissa) but it’s also the Greek word meaning- relating to or having the characteristics of Heaven or paradise. For those in the Christian/Biblical faith, Heaven is the destination many believers live in anticipation for, as they will abide for eternity in the presence of God Himself. In the meantime, many of His followers choose to live in the grace and blessings God willingly bestows on His people and use His blessings to bring joy to others. This is the case for the previously mentioned, Lissa Overlie. Through her business, Elysian Design House, Lissa utilizes her talents to help individuals and enterprises conceptualize their brand’s identity! From business cards to direct mail campaigns, signage to unique promotional products, if you can put a name on it, Lissa can help design and print it!
Thank you for joining us today, Lissa! We have much to talk about when it comes to all the wonderful things you’re doing with Elysian; however, I (Anthony Crosby) know you’re so much more than just a local business owner! You’re a wife to your high school sweetheart, you’re a mother to a couple of beautiful young adults, and you’re a fantastic singer to boot! Please share with us a little bit about your journey as I know many of our readers could benefit from getting to know you a bit! “I started doing graphic design in the mid-’90s when I was in high school. It was in my journalism/yearbook class, and I just took to it; it was really fun. I did it as a hobby in a little town of eight hundred people called Chester, Montana (thirty miles from the Canadian border). A couple of the local businesses wanted me to do some design work them, and I did a couple of ads for the newspaper. It was something I enjoyed doing, but I ended up putting it on the back burner for a while. I joined the military, got married, had a family and raised kids. I still would get on Photoshop and tinker around, but it was just a hobby for so long. When I was around thirty, I went back to college because I wanted to start pursuing it officially, but I thought I needed a piece of paper to do so, even though I had years and years of experience. However, I ended up taking some awesome classes and even got to travel Europe a little bit!”
After I graduated, we moved to Fallon, Nevada, and I got a job out at the Navy base doing some government contract work for almost a year. My skilled grew fast out there because I had to be under strict deadlines; it taught me a lot. The contract ended and unfortunately, it didn’t get renewed. After that went away, I was hired by a small print-marketing business in Fallon. It was primarily local work, but one of the co-owners came in and expanded it out to a nationwide deal. So, on top of being a graphic designer, I was also a creative director and national account manager. I got to understand what it meant to be in marketing; it was the deep end of the pool, quick! I was there for about four years before we (Lissa’s family) started looking at moving out here (Elko) for my husband’s job. It was actually a blessing for me to leave that position in Fallon because I was working all the time, and my family was paying the price for that. We moved out here, and immediately I went to work for one of the local print places, which was awesome; I was very thankful for that opportunity and support. However, I was there for a little bit and just realized I wasn’t happy working for someone else; I felt the pull to go out on my own, and my husband had been telling me to go out and do it for years! I started doing some freelance work for the place I had left in Fallon, while I started building out my side of the business. In October of 2017, I made Elysian Design House official!”
What a fantastic journey you’ve been on, Lissa! Thank you for sharing! Elysian may be only a little more than a year old, but you’ve been doing design work for quite a while! From where does your continued passion for your work and art derive? “I am passionate about using my God-given gifts; He created me with certain abilities, and I love that I get to use them to help people. My passion is people; I love people, and I love being able to help people. I get to sit, talk with, and develop a relationship with people and that’s such a blessing to me. To be able to come up with a product and a vision that gets them (Lissa’s clients) excited about their business or what they do, that’s what gets me up. More times than not, we end up becoming friends!”
Lissa, what have been your observations working with Elko and a lot of its up and coming businesses and individuals over the past year? “I’ve noticed the excitement about what Elko is doing! Elko has been very “level” when it comes to its cultural and diverse influences, but I think we’re now seeing that push. People are being inspired because the excitement is contagious. I love and am honored that I get to be a part of that, and there’s plenty of work to go around for other designers! I believe in healthy competition and seeing other artists succeed; there’s so much good stuff here for everyone!
Thank you for sharing with us today, Lissa! Is there anything else you want the AAT readers to keep in mind about you and your business before we let you go? “My tagline for Elysian is “Challenge the Ordinary.” You can be ordinary, which is fine, but why settle for ordinary when you can be extraordinary! I’m always pushing that status quo a little bit! We have options and things to help give people that little edge. However, it’s all about people and all about relationships. I do love art, but it’s secondary to my passion for people, my faith, God, and my family. I get to be used by God to bless people; that’s what it’s important to me.”
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See you around, Elko!