Award winning graphic designer and owner of Julie Originals, Julie Rustad has been a longtime supporter of Local First Arizona. Rustad was recently named the recipient of the American Advertising Federation of Tucson’s Next Generation Award. The award recognizes outstanding advertising individuals, age 40 and younger, who make a significant impact on the industry through their leadership, career achievements, community contributions and inspiration to others. The Tucson AdFed has also awarded Rustad many ADDY® Awards for her Desert Dwellers Flash Cards and packaging, as well as for her logo designs for Bird’s Nest Baking Company’s Sonoran Blend Granola. “I help businesses with their branding through design,” says Rustad. “By combining this knowledge with my fine art I also create educational products for children like the Desert Dwellers Flash Cards.” Rustad has found Local First Arizona to be an amazing resource and support network for her business. To her, the connection between supporting local businesses and growing jobs in her industry is clear. Comments Rustad, "By supporting Local First Arizona, businesses in the advertising industry can really improve our local economic health. When there is a new local business they hire local people to help with marketing, design, website and printing. This leads to more work which keeps money in our town."
She has also found the Local First AZ directory to be a valuable resource in connecting her with other local businesses. “The more money spent locally the more it helps our local economy,” says Rustad. “I love having meetings at local coffee shops like Tucson Coffee Roasters. I try to have much of my clients and my own marketing materials printed locally with Arizona Lithographers. Building great relationships with local businesses can produce amazing results.”
The Desert Dwellers flash cards are carried at many local retailers including the Heard Museum Shop, Audubon Nature Shop, Arizona Experience Store, Bookmans Sports Exchange, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort Gift Shop, Mildred & Dildred, Mostly Books, Petroglyphs, Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tucson Museum of Art, the Tucson Visitor Center and many more. Rustad met many of the local retailers through Local First AZ networking events where she is a regular attendee. “Tucson is a place where you can really make connections. People are friendly here. If you produce quality work and are easy to work with, the word spreads pretty quickly,” she says.
Rustad is thrilled to see the cards in so many outlets. “Creating the Desert Dwellers Flash Cards to teach children about our local wildlife and hearing my son talk about them to others is one of the achievements I am most proud of,” says Rustad. Through the cards, Rustad’s son learned both the alphabet and the value of running a local businesses. “He is proud of them too,” says Rustad, “and is learning entrepreneurship at a young age through watching me.”
Rustad will be given the 2015 Next Generation Award at the Tucson Advertising Hall of Fame Awards event on September 10. For additional information on this year’s inductees and tickets, please visit their event page here.