Building Brands Through Beautiful Design
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Building Brands Through Beautiful Design

Welcome to Hatton’s W.O.W. (Women of the Week) feature.
Each week we’ll feature a female owned company.

Meet Courtney Manitius

East + Sunset, Inc.

Branding + Design

Who is your greatest inspiration/role model?

At the time of writing this, I’ll have to go with my husband. At the start of 2020 my husband was running a successful photo booth business, until one day he wasn’t. Due to the COVID-19 closures and event cancelations, what was once a thriving business in the event industry was suddenly completely dark. With no return in sight for in person events, he quickly had to figure out a new game plan. Over the next few months he worked tirelessly to learn a new skill (sales) and quickly become a top performer in the course he was taking. His determination and focus lead him to a new job opportunity that has completely changed our life for the better. He inspires me daily to never give up, to set our goals high and to not stop until we achieve them.

What are 3 words to describe yourself?

Determined, Passionate & Dedicated

Why did you start your business?

Back in 2013, I hit a turning point in my life. A “quarter-life” crisis if you will. I was living in Baltimore, single, and working as an in-house designer from 9 – 5 at a company where I didn’t feel challenged creatively. I wanted change. I had always dreamed about living in California, and this felt like the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl. I put in my two weeks at my corporate job, packed up my Hyundai and headed west – with no full-time job lined up.

Fortunately, when I put in my two-week notice to my corporate job they offered me a position to stay on as a freelance designer and ultimately became East + Sunset’s first client, although it technically wasn’t E + S at the time.

Over the next two years of working in restaurants and picking up additional catering shifts on the side to make enough income to sustain a lifestyle in LA, I slowly but surely grew my client base. In July of 2016, East + Sunset was officially formed.

Flash forward to 2021, and the little business that barely kept me afloat has now become a full-time job. Over the last few years I’ve worked with some amazing people on incredibly awesome projects and am so grateful that I get to do what I love every single day.

What is your biggest dream for your life?

To be honest, I feel like I’m living my dream. For the first time I feel as though I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m sure I’ll have new dreams down the road but right now, as my husband and I patiently await the arrival of our little girl, I’m soaking up living in the moment and being grateful for the life that we currently have and the new journey we’re about to embark on.

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