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Meet Ryan Kodzik of Future Holidays in North Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Kodzik.

Ryan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always been a creative soul and have been super passionate about art and music since I could fingerpaint. But, it wasn’t until after high school that I discovered the intersection of technology and creativity as the perfect outlet for my creative juices: graphic design.

Once I figured out my creative and entrepreneurial calling, I quit my 9-5 job and started freelancing as a designer. In fact, I managed to freelance my way through college.

In my early 20s, I transitioned into the agency world, working my way from the bottom as a designer all the way to Creative Director, which gave me a clear view of what actually makes a successful or unsuccessful creative business. That was when I got the itch to become a business owner again and produce the caliber of work that I believe my clients deserve and the environment it takes to create it.

I’ll be honest; there’s nothing like the hustle and thrill of running a business and the freedom of being my own boss really makes all the hard work worthwhile. I genuinely love what I do and the people I work with.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As a creative entrepreneur, the road has been long and littered with professional speed bumps that make you sit back and re-evaluate your choices. But, as Richard Branson says, “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.”

I’ve definitely had my share of failures, but that’s what the journey is all about – figuring out what you can do differently to inspire growth. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those failures forcing me to stop and think.

Luckily, I’m personally driven by the idea of unfettered freedom, rather than the almighty dollar sign when it comes to doing what I do. I’m always pushing myself to continue learning and grow as a creative individual as well as a business owner.

Sure, it has been a rough road, but if I could give my past self a single piece of advice it would be: Stay hungry. Don’t expect others to have your back when things get rough. At the end of the day, the only one you can rely on is you.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Future Holidays – what should we know?
My business, Future Holidays (FutureHolidays.co), is the culmination of my freedom-seeking, creative and entrepreneurial spirit in overdrive.

We specialize in creating stunning websites for small businesses and brands who have outgrown DIY and are looking to take things to the next level. One of our sweet spots is helping e-commerce businesses on the Shopify platform.

As an agency, we firmly believe that the best experiences are where a brand’s story intersects with happy users. That just happens to be on a super functional website with great user experience and amazing design.

The vision behind Future Holidays is to enable both creative and physical freedom for me, my team, and my clients. This not only means that we’re freer and happier than traditional 9-5’ers, but it also means our agency overhead is much lower than our competitors which often translates into lower agency fees for our clients.

This vision of professional freedom is best reflected in my amazing team, which I’m proud to say is 100% remote and continues to inspire me every single day in finding the right balance between brands and users. Since we are able to exercise our creativity freely, the quality of our work is directly impacted and is pretty evident in final projects for our clients.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least about our city?
Being born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, the reboot of scenery and culture in San Diego has been an incredible catalyst for my career and my outlook.

I never realized how important the ocean is to me. It’s calming and almost transformative. Which, as a small business owner, it’s incredibly important to be able to take a breather once in a while to collect your thoughts. Being so close to the ocean does that for me.

For me, San Diego feels less like a big city and more like an awesome collection of unique pocket communities, while it’s still super close to LA, San Francisco, and Baja. Being able to pop down to Mexico to explore and sample the amazing food and wine is literally life-changing. Not to mention San Diego’s burritos, tacos, and tiki bars, ohhhhhhh!

Honestly, there isn’t much to dislike about San Diego. The only real bummer I can come up with is the distance from a lot of good friends and family. Luckily, a plane ticket can solve that!

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Ryan Kodzik

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