We are continuing our Woman Crush Wednesday series to put a twist on the original hashtag meaning. The series features women leaders, mentors, inspirations, and business owners in the Raleigh community. If you know a woman innovating in your life or you are one, send us an email at marketing@hq.community.


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Don’t know what that means? Our WCW this week could easily tell you. Magdalyn Duffie is an engineer, self taught graphic designer, creative, and overall bad***. MD Creative is her “one stop shop for graphic design, amazing digital content, unconventional marketing campaigns, inspiring art installations, and creative consulting.” You can check more of her work and services out on her website: ohthisolething.com 


Q: Tell me a little about yourself

I went to Virginia Tech and studied engineering. I am a self taught designer, but my background definitely influences my style. I’ve been doing design and creative work for about 9 years. For my past jobs, I worked for Apple Inc, myself, weddings – essentially a little bit of everything to bring a whole potpourri of skills to the table. I was really fortunate to work part time for Apple when first launching my design business. I learned a lot of good practices of how to treat customers in general. Apple has a strong belief system in their way of treating their clients and setting reasonable expectations.

During college and post college I did design work for weddings. Post college I worked for engineer firms, but also did design work for them. I really enjoyed the role of taking technical information and displaying it graphically in a way that everyone could easily understand. My creative work and graphics are still used by the firm.

I really love any excuse to go out and be with friends, listen to live music, and explore Raleigh with what it has to offer.


Q: Tell me about your career/what you do

Currently, I do new branding and website development for small companies and big companies. The US Army is actually a client of mine, so I get a little bit of everything my way. Each project is different and fully customized for the client. Getting your name out is always hard at first, but being linked in at HQ has been the best thing ever to gain clients and get my name out there. Inevitably, the need arises for companies to need graphic design work and HQ has done a great job of promoting my skills.


Q: How has your business grown?


At first, I had a small office in downtown Charleston back when I was doing more wedding work. I really missed working with other people and saw the shared spaces here in Raleigh, which I really liked.

It was hard at first in Charleston since it was more of the “old boys club” type of vibe. If you weren’t in that realm, then they didn’t have much interest in you. You have to put yourself out there and put the work in if you actually want something to come from it.

I had such a frustrating experience in Charleston with the “old boys club” and I got the opportunity to start coming to Raleigh more. I found that Raleigh didn’t have this same culture. I saw that everyone wanted others to succeed and fostered such a great community, which prompted me to move to Raleigh.


Q: What are some things that the Raleigh community could do to better serve female/minority owned businesses?


I’m a bad person to ask that since I see so much here that I don’t see elsewhere. I’d say just Raleigh continuing their efforts and events. Try to keep the support up from the community. I found that Raleigh has so many things here for women that just don’t exist in other places.

Also, I’m surrounded by so many powerhouse broads at HQ, and the member companies are all great. I’m just grateful to be a part of it.


Q: How do we strike the balance with “leveling the playing field” for women in business without overcompensating by hiring women or funding female businesses instead of men solely based upon gender?


It all just boils down to giving women a fair shot and the same opportunity you would give anyone else. It’s easy to assume that just because you are a women, you got the job, but it comes down to skills. To me, the concept is so foreign that a woman can’t do a job that a man could. I have been the only girl in the room, classes, and workplaces where it’s assumed I’m there to bring coffee. The only way to get through it is to power through. Just show them; there’s always going to be haters.