When a local athlete posts a graphic on social media at any level, middle school, high school or college, more likely than not it was made by Owensboro native Leslie Green—owner of LLG Designs who has become a go-to choice for athletes making college decisions.
Green grew up in Owensboro playing basketball, before eventually returning home after college and having her daughter Zoe. Much like her mother, Zoe went on to play as well which only strengthened the love of sports Leslie has.
“Sports are a big part of my life,” Green said. “I grew up playing basketball, then I got to teach/watch my daughter Zoe do the same. I am a fan of almost all sports. I still love to play ball and occasionally hit the golf course for fun.”
While Green is an insurance broker during the day and has been with Assured Partners since 2005, her love of art and graphic design carried over from her studies at the University of Southern Indiana.
“It started with graphic design classes at USI, but I have always had a love for art,” Green said. “Recently a friend of mine reminded me that in elementary school, my friends would pay me to draw their names in bubble letters. I guess I have always had a passion for creating.”
With her being so passionate about both career options, she began doing little things here and there as a freelance designer when the opportunity arose.
“I love my career as a broker, and I love designing and creating as well,” Green said. “I am enjoying being dedicated to both careers. When I have my broker hat on, I am focused on just that. And on my free time, I work on my designing skills by participating in workshops,
taking classes, partnering with other designers in the field, and reading….a lot.”
She initially started honing her skills by looking at photos of her daughter before gradually venturing out. It was then that Green realized she had the chance to turn her hobby into a business if she wanted to—thus LLG Designs was created.
“I would look at sports images and I would think of ways I could use them to create something special,” Green said. “I started off just practicing with images of my daughter and kept practicing by slowly opening the window to people I knew, and then it just took off from there. I realized about a year into it, with the markets I was tapping into that I could make a business of it.”
Quickly Green went from getting messages on Facebook and Twitter from parents and athletes, to having zoom calls with college coaches, prep schools and more. Her marketing plan? Simply letting her work do the talking.
“I use my social media and word of mouth to help grow my business,” Green said. “I figure that if I put in the work on my craft that athletes and parents will notice. I know that athletes have
many images/memories they cherish and being able to create a story with those images for them is what drives me.”
Along with the hours of extra practice in her free time, Green also credits local photographers for their help, saying that KP Sports Photography, Tooley Photography, and Owensboro Times have helped her elevate the quality of my designs.
The local ties have only helped her grow, along with her philosophy in making her graphics. Before Green will even start a project, she will go to the athlete’s social media pages, watch highlights and learn what she can about them so she can capture their personality in the design.
This has turned into widely-known success in her small business and endeavors as a freelance designer, something she is beyond proud of. It means even more to Green to be able to make an impact in her hometown, helping young athletes chase their dreams.
“I grew up here, I played sports here,” Green said. “I love our community of athletes in Owensboro and being a small part of their careers is an honor. When athletes reach out to me to create something for them, I take a lot of pride in that. I know the work that goes into getting their name, stats, and highlights out there for an opportunity at the next level and I love being able to help them increase their recognition.”