Bria Fauntleroy has had a long career in design, working as a graphic designer and subsequently expanding her skillset into web design. In 2021, she launched her own graphic design consultancy called Logical Creator to provide design services to small businesses. The idea behind the name was to dispel the myth that people are either left-brained (analytical) or right-brained (creative).
She soon discovered user experience as a new area of design she had yet to tap into. She started looking for ways to expand her skillset, but the price tags for many of the bootcamps she researched were beyond her reach. After reaching out to a member of Springboard’s admissions team, she found out about the Springboard X Blacks in Technology Fellowship, a program that provides a $13,310 scholarship to enroll in the UI/UX Design Career Track at a subsidized rate of $1,000. She started the course in March, and is excited to acquire new design skills so she can grow her business.
As a woman of color, Bria is also passionate about improving diversity in the tech industry.
“Most companies say diversity and inclusion are a priority, but then when you look at their employee roster, it doesn’t look that way,” she said. “It’s so great that Springboard actually has the power to change that. I’ve seen a lot of people of color in my UI/UX Design Career Track.”
My design career started in 2012. I was a junior designer at a graphic design company after that I had some temporary jobs at an agency and a print shop. I started my freelance design business in August 2021 and, while I would like to grow it into something bigger one day, right now I just don't have the time and the resources to do so.
It was a mixture of both–growing my business and expanding my skill set as a designer. I started analyzing what traits would make me more attractive to employers. I love solving problems. I love asking questions. When I'm really interested in something, I will do tons of research. Eventually, I realized these are qualities that make a good UX designer. Now I'm discovering UX and UI design and I love that. I'm always on this continuous loop of learning.
I have always been about standing up for good causes.I wanted to provide a safe space where people can blossom. That was the basis of my business.
I came up with the name "Logical Creator" because of the left brain, right brain theory and I thought that it would be a good way to show people that they can pursue different interests. You don't have to just be a creative person or only work in STEM–you can do both. I wanted to create a brand that stood for expressing all sides of yourself and being able to do it in a safe environment.
Oh my God, it means so much to me. During my journey I noticed there are not many people of color in tech. It's the principle of representation: People want to see themselves in things.
Springboard was the number-one UI/UX boot camp that I wanted to join, but the cost held me back. When I got the scholarship, I was able to go with my first choice after all. My dreams came true. It felt so rewarding.
When I worked at a pharmaceutical company, I was the only black person there. At every company that I've been a part of, except for one, I was the only black female. I think that needs to change–not only for representation purposes, but for the sense of community. It's nice being around like-minded individuals you can relate to.
When I'm looking for art for my home, for example, I try to support local creatives–people of color, disabled people, or those in the LGBTQ community. I've been able to do that so far, but I wish people in marginalized communities would get more of the limelight and not just during Black History Month or Pride Month. Companies don’t truly stand for diversity and inclusion if all they do is display a rainbow-colored version of their logo during Pride Month.
I would like to see more initiatives like the Springboard x Blacks in Technology Fellowship. During Women’s History month, people post on social media about trailblazing women–I wish they did stuff like that year round.
I don't want people to hire me just because I'm a person of color. That's not the message that I want, but I do want to see more women and people of color in leadership positions. If I saw more of myself in leadership, whether that’s being a woman, being black, LGBTQ or disabled, I would be inspired to achieve similar things.
I liked how intensive the program was–700-plus hours of material and you get mentorship, career coaching, and the student community on Slack. Prior to Springboard, I signed up for a Google Career Certificate, but it wasn’t even close to the Springboard program. There's no mentorship or career services. Your assignments are peer-reviewed, so somebody could mark you as having passed and that’s it. They didn't have to give really in-depth feedback. I felt like I was not getting my money's worth.
My advisor, Molly Ohira, is the best person ever. She has given me so much support and so many resources. I’ve had a tumultuous time in this program–not because of the program itself but because of personal issues. She has done a stellar job at getting me back on track. She and I have this ongoing joke that I’m always yelling "Gold medal for Molly!" because she's just a superstar. Honestly, Molly alone makes me feel like I'm getting my money's worth. That's how strongly I feel about Molly. She deserves all the praise, all the raises, everything.
My mentor is Matthew Flanagan [senior UX designer at Canada Life]. He has done a great job giving me constructive feedback. He's not just a yes man. He's always giving me advice on how I can excel not just ih the course but in my design career. He’s very good at articulating how to get things back on track if I’m stuck on an assignment.
I would like to work for a SaaS company or an e-commerce brand–specifically in the health and wellness industry. Health–especially mental health–is very important to me. I would love to work for a company like BetterHelp, which offers on-demand therapy online.
UI/UX design is all about empathizing with the user. One of the most rewarding things about being a designer is seeing your work out there. Not everybody's work is tangible or will be seen by the masses, so one of the greatest pros about being a designer is you get to see real-world reactions to your work. I can't wait to amplify my work even more by empathizing with the user in my career field.
As cliché as it sounds, I would say take the leap. The most successful people in life took a risk at something. If you're not even a little bit of a risk taker, you're not going to grow to your full potential. In my case, as a graphic designer and web designer, I have a ton of transferable skills. Even if you’re a math professor, there are still characteristics of that work that is translatable to a different career.