Women in Leadership: Tanya Duffy

Tanya Duffy quit her agency job and took the plunge to work as a freelancer in 2013. Today she runs The Details Design studio from her hometown while managing a team of creatives and raising two daughters. She shares her journey and experience with us. 


The Details Design participated in the RGD's inaugural Great Canadian Studio Crawl. Watch The Details Design's studio tour and listen to Tanya's insights on doing business in the Maritimes.



Photo of Tanya DuffyTanya is the Creative Director and Principal of The Details Design, a creative agency based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. A graduate of Emily Carr's Communication Design program and the NB College of Craft and Design, Tanya specializes in creative strategy, branding and graphic design. Leading a growing team of creatives, Tanya’s work is focused on helping her clients achieve their strategic goals, through thoughtful design. Her work has been recognized by Applied Arts Design Awards, the Grafika Design Awards and several industry publications.

How did you start your firm?
In 2013 I left an agency job in Montreal and relocated to my hometown in New Brunswick. I began freelancing on my own, but quickly realized that I missed working in a collaborative team environment. Shortly after, I rented a studio space with other freelancers and launched The Details. Within a few months I was busy enough to hire another designer and eventually we grew into a full agency with an amazing team on board. We’ve been very lucky to work with organizations who are focused on improving New Brunswick and making it an even better place to be. 
Women are still outnumbered by men in senior positions. What does it mean to you to be a woman in a senior leadership role in the design industry?
My role as a woman in the design industry has been a huge part of both my professional and personal identity. It's taken me a long time to realize where I’ve unintentionally held myself back and undervalued my skills over the years. I’m actively working on eliminating those behaviours and embracing what it means to be in a leadership position with a unique perspective. Alongside building a powerful team of creatives, I’m also raising two daughters who will not think it's out of the ordinary to be a leader in their future careers. 
Can you share any advice for women interested in starting their own firm?
One of the best things you can do is keep a collaborative mindset. Instead of viewing my peers as competition, I’ve found a valuable support system in the industry and with other female business leaders. Now I’m able to share things I’ve learned with others. It's made the journey more enjoyable and I’ve built many important friendships and partnerships as a result.