Twenty years do fly by when you’re having fun. Were there growing pains and set-backs? You bet! Plenty! If anyone had asked me many years ago when I graduated Pratt what career path I would take, the one I have chosen would have been last on the list.

At a certain point, I realized that in order to succeed on my own terms, I had to leave corporate life behind. At that time, I had two young children and both my husband and I were commuting to Manhattan. One day, after my bus broke down (again!), I realized I was going to miss another school concert. It was an “aha” moment for me.

I began freelancing locally as a designer for Orange and Rockland, as well as some other freelance work. And, in 1998, I officially started my own firm. I moved into the Ryan Mansion, the former weekend home of Thomas Fortune Ryan, the youngest man on the stock exchange. My office was the smallest room in the attic—a room that was once the servant’s quarters.

As a sole-proprietor, I was doing it all: designing, billing, marketing, and networking. The result: I couldn’t see the forest for the trees, and the trees were starting to fall around me!

I took my first big leap of faith and hired a part time administrator, followed by hiring my first designer. The effect was astounding, I could finally focus on my core strengths. I incorporated as Byne Graphics in 1998, but by the early 2000’s we had become so much more than a graphic design firm. In 2006, we changed our name to The Byne Group to reflect our expanded list of services. As the firm grew and continues to grow, we are fortunate to still call the Mansion home, but we now utilize a much larger space in order to hold our growing team.

The firm philosophy and mantra has always been about respect and trust. For our clients, and for each other. I wanted to build a team where we care for one another and where everyone’s family, not just mine, comes first. We foster a culture that creates collaborative relationships with clients and embraces the power of a team atmosphere. Together, as a team, we have built a second family and through the years, I have experienced staff’s engagements, weddings and multiple births, including 4 grandchildren of my own.

This mantra has served us well and we are proud of the work we do and our continued focus on the future. While brand identity is key to everything we do, we appreciate the insights provided by digital marketing and the emerging trends that continue to shape our strategy, communication plans, and overall breadth of services.

As I reflect back and take stock in what has been accomplished in the past 20 years, I am truly humbled by the talented team and esteemed clients that surround me. Every day I get to go to work and collaborate with some of the top clients in the Hudson Valley and New Jersey, some of who have been along for the ride since the very beginning!

And yes, I am still having fun!

Let me leave you with my favorite quote and hope it inspires you the way it inspired me many moons ago!

“Be courageous. It’s one of the only places left un-crowded.”
—Anita Roddick

Thank you and looking forward to the next 20 years!
Ann Byne