Gig Faces: Designer Eleanor Tiefenbrun on her unlikely path to freelancing

Eleanor Tiefenbrun never thought she would become a self-employed graphic designer.

When she moved to California, Mo., with her husband, Matt, who runs a poultry farm, her daily commute was so time-consuming and exhausting that she found freelancing as a way out.

“It’s not something that I thought I would be into,” she said. “I really hate to talk about money and deal with invoicing.”

Raised in St. Louis, Tiefenbrun studied interdisciplinary design at Stephens College in Columbia, where she discovered her interest in graphic design. After working at various companies as a graphic designer, she launched her own design business, Ellie T. Studio, in 2010. Although running a business wasn’t part of her initial career plan, she said it has been one of the best choices that she has ever made.

Now a mother of a four-month-old, Tiefenbrun said freelancing gave her freedom and flexibility to enjoy both family and career.

“It’s all worth it in the end,” she said.

Correction: Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. 

This story was updated to correct an inaccuracy about Tiefenbrun’s daily commute. Previously, the story inaccurately stated she commuted to Columbia.


Gig Faces profiles individuals who work jobs in the gig economy.


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