"Go to the ant.consider her ways, and be wise." -Proverbs 6:6
When graphic designer Barbara Bricker was growing up, she either wanted to be an English teacher or an interior designer. She couldn't have foreseen how her eventual career would combine elements of both these professions, albeit in a roundabout way.
"My dad had a serious heart attack my senior year in high school, and after that I was basically told that college was out of the question," recalls Barbara. "I graduated early when I was 16 and I had to go to work right away, so I got a job at a newspaper office."
What may have seemed like a setback at the time turned into a 30+ year career in the printing and graphic industry. Now instead of filling walls with color and balancing furniture elements, she does the same thing with a blank page; instead of teaching writing, she composes written statements for her clients. Barbara is one of the "old girls of graphics" on Hilton Head, having managed the island's first type shop in the '70's and '80's. But at the turn of the millennium, she decided she needed a new start as well and opened her own graphic design firm.
"I knew that I wanted to help the small businessperson," said Barbara. "I wanted to name the company 'small' something, but I couldn't think of a positive word that went with small. Then I thought of all the times that someone has called me and said, 'Barb, I need a small miracle.'"
So her business came to be called Small Miracles. Now all she needed was a visual theme, and inspiration hit her when she came across a passage in the Bible (Proverbs 30:24-25) that told of creatures "which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise." The first one mentioned was the ant.
"I had been praying about what my logo needed to be," said Barbara, for whom daily Bible readings are a big part of her life. "I came across that scripture and I said, you know what, that's me. I'm just an ant-I work steadily until the job is done and I can handle a heavy workload."
Her logo features two little ants, one of which is toiling away, sweat springing from its brow as it lifts the letter S of "small" into place-this one represents Barbara. The other is looking up to the sky, a glowing halo over its head-this one symbolizes Barbara's mother, who is a big help in the business.
"After Dad died, I knew Mom needed something to do," said Barbara. "She really encouraged me to go out on my own and she helped me open the business. Her ant has a halo because Mom always prays to God and thanks Him for our clients. I think that in a business, it's important not just to work hard, but to be thankful for what you have."
Born: Camp LeJune, NC Grew up: Charleston, SC Family includes: wonderful husband, 3 sons in college and a daughter at Bluffton High School Hobbies: theatre, reading, travel (especially to the mountains) and spending time with family Favorite book/movie: To Kill a Mockingbird Favorite authors: Charles Dickens and William Faulkner Art inspiration: Vincent Van Gogh, for the way he uses color and the sense of drama and sadness in his work Guilty pleasure: chocolate; "You could put chocolate on dirt and I would probably eat it." On miracles: "A lot of people look at miracles as coincidences but I see something larger than that. I think miracles come from God; I see evidence of them everyday in the way He answers our prayers and brings people in and out of our lives."