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I started by designing my own business cards, flyers, and promotions for my art shows that I was having, says Cai Sepulis, creative director, illustrator, designer, and owner of Ballyhoo Media based in Guelph, Ontario. Fresh out of school, she was working on a lot of fine art, so in order to promote herself, she dabbled in illustration and design.I was quite young at the time. I was looking to other, older artists and using them as mentors, she says, but I quickly found that they started needing design work done too, so that's kind of where I started getting my first websites and first postcards, and it really spiralled from there.Ballyhoo produces individualized graphics campaigns for all sorts of clients, from small startups to the City of Guelph. Cai mentions that the mayor of Guelph even requests Cai's designs on personal projects like Christmas cards, making her one of the top graphic artists in her area.Unlike other business owners, Cai wears all the hats at Ballyhoo as the sole designer and owner. It's really great to be doing so many different things, she says, adding that her skill-set is now vast and diverse. Other times, I really would love to just be sitting in the art directing part where I'm just coming up with the ideas and then working with part of a larger team.Her hard work has paid off significantly. Cai has won numerous awards, including a YWCA Women of Distinction Award for arts and culture in 2011.She says the times she gets to do guest speaking are some of the most rewarding experiences. Last year, Cai was asked to speak at TEDxGuelphU, an independently operated TED conference featuring speakers from the Guelph, Ontario area, an experience she says was really rewarding.I think a lot of the time, when you're doing commercial work, you don't really get to express what you're thinking because the end product is sculpted by what the client's thoughts are, she says. So it was a really neat way of being able to tell people my ideas and to share the type of stuff I was thinking about...and showing people my work. Since her TED talk, Cai is trying to implement more speaking into her future projects.Going forward, Cai wants to keep setting the standard for graphic art and design in and around Southern Ontario. I think, in the future, I would like to keep winning awards, she says, and keep establishing myself as a strong, prominent, and creative thinker in the industry. I want to be the go-to for new projects that come out, so people say ÔÇÿWe've got to get Cai working on that!'As for advice for budding entrepreneurs, Cai recommends looking at it on an individual level, because all startups have different mandates and all business owners have different ideas. It's tricky to say because all of them have a different way of looking at it, she says. I think it's important for them to get that visual identity, that visual brand put together from the start.For more info on Cai and Ballyhoo Media, check out and Cai's personal site.