We truly believe that creative freelancers are the future in today’s gig economy. But standing out in this arena takes work. It’s time to let your talents shine by giving them the structure and backbone they need to survive.

I’ve spent years observing freelancers in the creative industries. I’m talking about creatives such as graphic designers, writers and photographers. I noticed it isn’t always the “best talent” that dictates success in the freelance game. They taught us in school that you had to have the best and most innovative work in order to be successful. However, what they failed to teach us is that art and design are subjective! 

What I’ve found through years of hustling as a freelancer, is by transitioning into creative problem solver, getting real with my audience and learning the “boring” business basics, among other things, is ultimately what added up to my success. It wasn’t the overwhelming idea of being talented or not, it was the sum of the trial and error that put me in the seat I am in today. Now I’m on a mission to help other creative freelancers find the same success. Why? Because I wholeheartedly believe your talents deserve to shine!

Crystal Oakes, owner of Oakes Creative House

Who am I?

Well, I’m Crystal and much like most of you reading this I’ve had a lifelong knack for creative work. From making alllll the school t-shirts from a young age to eventually landing myself in graphic design school at The University of Oklahoma. I love anything that pairs creative work with problem solving. Like many of you, I was pushed into the idea of working for a firm or corporation because, well, creatives aren’t good business owners right?

However, I was raised by entrepreneurs so something about that idea just never sat right with me! I still held onto the belief that I could take control of my life, my income and be my own boss. That’s why the foundation for this business actually started while I was in college. I freelanced on the side while I spent 8+ years in the corporate world working with business leaders, developing strategies and leading marketing teams. While that lifestyle just wasn’t right for me, I so value the skills and lessons I learned during my years in it. I now know those are all pieces of the puzzle that make up the success I’ve experienced in this world.

When I left my corporate career, I considered myself “just a freelancer” and like many of you, I struggled to find my own identity and place. It took years of combined personal development work, time leveling up my skills and ultimately finding my niche in order to get to know my audience better. I had to have hard conversations with myself and those around me. I had to decide who I was and what I wanted in order to build the business I love so much. Now, I wake up every day excited to make things happen for myself and my clients – after a cup of coffee of course!

So what is Oakes Creative House?

After getting centered with what I truly wanted, I am fully confident with saying I’ve developed a brand that serves others. How do we do that? We empower business owners through the use of community and education. At our core, we are creatives. We are compelled to curate services that just make sense for the season of business that you are in. We follow this up by teaching the importance of branding and marketing to give you the tools to help you identify what you need and get the results you want. We are obsessed with you, because we are you! We believe that small businesses are the backbone of America and that the people who run them are the movers and shakers of the world.

But this ^^, this is me. Can you confidently tell others what you do and why? Are you so centered with the work you do that it’s now a part of your life and your identity? 

If not, don’t stress! It took me years to get to this point. But friend, I don’t want to see it take that long for you. This is why I’m finally bringing to life my personal mission to take the freelance community into my arms and provide the education and support you need to build a life and business you love too!

Types of freelancers we work with

  • Photographers
  • Videographers
  • Graphic Designers
    • Print Design
    • Brochures
    • Catalogs
  • Web Designers
  • Web Developers
  • Content Creators
  • Social Media Managers

Are you interested in working with us? We are always on the hunt for talented professionals to add to our team! If you think this could be a beneficial partnership please submit your application here.

freelancer typing on cell phone

To be honest, I am tired of seeing talented creatives set their passions and skills aside to “adult”. I’m tired of seeing their lives dictated by someone else. I’m tired of seeing the struggle. It’s time to learn the things that no one taught you, it’s time to love what you do again.

I’ve sat on both sides of the table. I’ve been in the seat as someone who understands the struggles you face on a daily basis. I’ve also been on the hiring end of things and still am on a regular basis. We frequently use creative freelancers to support the workload at Oakes Creative House. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to missed deadlines, lack of communication, missing the mark on projects, etc… I want to see the creative freelance industry take a turn for the better. We are the visionaries! We should be the ones business owners turn to on a regular basis to solve problems by thinking outside the box.

More importantly, your success truly means the world to me and my team. We want to be in community with you, not competition.

Right now, we are in the baby stages of developing what our education style and services for freelancers look like. We envision gatherings such as workshops and retreats while at the same time knowing that a work at your own pace model is highly effective and affordable for many.

Currently, we are hosting a Creative Freelancer Bootcamp that is in it’s beta version. Crystal hand-picked 6 creatives to mentor and train over the course of several months. During this beta phase, we are hoping to gather insight into the true struggles that creative freelancers face in their business. We are using that data to decide what comes next!

Creative Freelancer Bootcamp

Learn more about the bootcamp and join the waitlist.

Who is this for?

What's included in the Bootcamp?

How can you stay in touch now?

In the meantime, we are extracting all of Crystal’s knowledge and experience and creating an email newsletter of tips to share with our freelancers. While this is in the development stage, our hope is to give you small things you can implement now in order to achieve some wins in your freelance business.

Transform Your Sales Strategy!

Learn how to perfect your customer journey from first impression to retention. Gain insights from Crystal and the Oakes Creative House team through interactive sessions, expert guidance, and hands-on activities.

When: June 21, 2024, 9am-3pm

Where: Sandler, OKC

Cost: $175

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