Hirshorn Zuckerman Design Group, or HZDG, has done marketing, branding and graphic design for the Redskins, Volkswagen and the Republican National Convention. In 1987, however, it was just Karen Zuckerman doing freelance graphic design work out of her basement in Rockville.
“When I think back over the last 25 years, I categorize [my story] by many defining moments, a lot of determination and a few lucky breaks,” Zuckerman said.
HZDG now has more than 100 employees with offices in New York, but it is still based in Rockville. Zuckerman’s business and design experience also led her to start Dormify, which sells dorm decor.
Business leaders and government officials celebrated women entrepreneurs like Zuckerman at a reception Dec. 6 marking the two-year anniversary of the Rockville Women’s Business Center. The center provides resources and training for those in the business community, focusing on women who are small business owners or interested in starting their own businesses.
At the anniversary event, Zuckerman encouraged entrepreneurs to pursue their business ideas.
“When you see something successful, never say, ‘I had that idea,’” she said.
Zuckerman is “still married to the boy who brought me to Rockville,” and has three children, ages 15, 18 and 21.
“I really think you can have it all, if you have a lot of energy and passion,” she said. “I was at every Halloween parade, and I was even class mom. I will admit that I didn’t cook every dinner and wash every load of laundry, but I made it.”
Lori Gillen, managing director of the center, said Zuckerman’s story is a reminder for entrepreneurs to think bigger.
“We just need to stay true to our passion and embrace our ambition,” she said.
Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett were among those who presented certificates to the center in honor of its anniversary.
“This is a dynamic group,” Van Hollen said. “... What makes our local economy grow is small businesses.”
Visit the center online at rockvillewbc.org.