#BossBabeChats: Art by Megan

This week on #BossBabeChats I am so excited to introduce you to Art By Megan. I met Megan back in 2015 while I was working on a styled shoot (check it out here!) and she offered to loan some of her beautiful paintings! From then on, she has been a constant cheerleader and true leader of the Community over Competition movement. I am just so grateful to have this lady in my life and it has been so exciting watching her business grow, tremendously! 

image via  website

image via website

Why did you start your business: 

I was listening to Gary Vee the other day and he said the difference between a hobby and a passion is that a hobby is a "nice to have" and a passion is "can't live without".  This quote pretty much sums up my experience as I tried to just have my painting as a "side hustle" or hobby or whatever else it can be called.  I was teaching full-time and had just a had a little girl and all I could think about was painting in any free minute I had.  I had to give myself the chance to go full time and take the plunge and I am so thankful that I did.  

Is where your business is now, originally where you thought it would be? 

I am doing SO Much more than I imagined doing when I first started.  I have changed a lot of my early ideas about what this "should be" and I am instead more open to going with the flow and being adaptable as my business grows now.  It's a much healthier attitude and it works much better for my clients, too! 

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An artist, the first female president of the United States, a teacher and a... EVERYTHING.  I used to make my little brother play school with me on weekends and it was INTENSE.  Otherwise, I loved so many things that I often (read: still) had a hard time choosing what I loved.  

image via  instagram

image via instagram

Is there anything you wish you would have done sooner in your business?

STARTED.  I struggled with self-doubt and insecurity a lot as a younger person and I regret that I didn't risk more and take more chances to start this business sooner.  However, I am really grateful for the time I took the road less traveled and had amazing experiences as a high school Spanish and Art teacher in DC and Baltimore, MD.  

What tactic was the most helpful to growing your Instagram following?

Instagram has changed a lot over time but the one thing I would say works the best for me and has always worked is to take online relationships offline as much as possible.  Meet people IRL (in real life) and make sure that your online voice is consistent with your online "persona".  If you can be genuine and kind as much as possible, that helps SO MUCH, too :) 

What is your favorite quote?

"Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" - Aristotle. I love the idea of always being kind, no matter what.  

image via  instagram  

image via instagram 

If you had a $1000 gift card to any store what would it be...

1. Target
2. West Elm
3. J.Crew Factory

4. Artist and Craftsman
*in no certain order :) 

What's your favorite emoji? 
I researched this for you and I have the following on my "recent emoji" list on my iPhone.
double pink hearts, muscle bicep, taco, sunshine, waving hand, a sheep, a taxi, sunset, thumbs down, 100, and fire emoji. My favorite one is the crying laughing one.  I actually cry laugh, so I can really relate to that one.  

 

image via  instagram  

image via instagram 

Is there a business book (or any book!) that you have read that changed your outlook on things?

I am a huge bookworm and I am really inspired by reading, so this question is MY FAVE. 

I loved reading the books "Creative Habit" by Twyla Tharp, "Creative Block" by Danielle Krysa, and "Chasing Slow" by Erin Loechner for business advice and overall life success planning and mapping. As far as general great books (fiction) that I have just read, I recommend "All the Light You Cannot See", "The Nightingale", "Sweet Bitter" and "The Vacationers".

Another way I love getting inspiration is through podcasts and my favorites are "Art for your Ear by the Jealous Curator" and "How I Built This". 

Also, I have a podcast with my studio mate and we are ridiculous and you should totes listen - its called "Little Awkward Studio".  

You can stalk Megan here! Website :: Instagram 

 

#BossBabeChats: Marigold & Grey

This week on #BossBabeChats, I am so excited to have Jamie from Marigold & Grey. When Jamie launched her business more than two years ago, we had an hour long phone conversation chatting about her launch party, the start of my business, and many things in between. She is one of the most caring and supportive ladies I have met. I am so excited to share her story of why she started her business, what it was like adding employees, and insight into growing her Instagram

Why did you start your business?

I saw first-hand the need for boutique gifting services when searching for someone to outsource my wedding welcome gifts to during my own 2012 wedding but such a business didn’t seem to exist. So, I parked the idea in the back of my mind and when I finally got the nerve to leave my corporate job, I knew immediately what I wanted to do next! What began as a wedding welcome gift business has quickly expanded into client gifting, corporate gifting and lifestyle gifting in addition to our wedding business. Beyond this though, I also wanted to take the skill set I had developed in the corporate world and apply it to creative entrepreneurship and experience what it’s like to be business savvy AND creative at the same time!

Is where your business is now, originally where you thought it would be?

Yes and no! I thought by now that we would have firmly established relationships in the industry with repeat customers and growth year over year. But I didn’t know that the custom side of the business would grow to be quite as large as it is for us. In the beginning I envisioned the business as more of an e-commerce shop ONLY and that could not be further from the case! I also never envisioned myself doing speaking engagements and I was wrong about that too! 

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Oh, this changed like the seasons. Teacher. Marriage Counselor. Doctor. Lots of different things over the years.

What was the best business advice you've received?

Say yes and then hustle HARD to figure it out.

What is your advice for other women who are launching a business?

Don’t look around and merely recreate what’s already been done. Instead, carve out a brand new space where you can really be the leader. This might mean approaching an existing product or service in a new, innovative way.

What's the hardest obstacle you've overcome as a business owner?

Managing cash flow!

Is there anything you wish you would have done sooner in your business?

Hiring a bookkeeper. Best thing I’ve ever outsourced! 

What other women in business do you admire & why? 

Oh gosh, there are SO many! But I’d have to say Natalie Franke. She’s strong, focused, and willing to take risks but also wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s proof that heart and emotion DO have a role in business

What tactic was the most helpful to growing your Instagram following?

Establishing your voice and not being afraid to share that with your audience. You may alienate some along the way but the people who are meant to be your followers will remain and their loyalty will only deepen the more you share who you REALLY are and what’s really behind the business.

What was it like to add employees to your business?

It was SO scary worrying about whether or not I could consistently make payroll. But since I was at the point where I absolutely couldn’t take on anymore business without hiring someone, it was time to hire and therefore the business immediately grew. Thankfully payroll took care of itself. 

What is your favorite quote?

Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.

If you had a $1000 gift card to any store what would it be?

Framebridge. I’m WAY behind in my life in this department!

What's your favorite emoji?

Probably the ribbon one, I use it far too much. And while we’re on the topic of emojis, could the gift box emoji be ANY uglier?! Just something I notice. ;)

Is there a business book (or any book!) that you have read that changed your outlook on things? 

Recently read “Built to Sell” and it was eye-opening. It’s not that I necessarily want to sell my business but it opened my eyes to what I need to do to make sure the business can run without me if need be.

You can stalk Jamie here! Website :: Instagram

The Struggle is Real

I feel as though when you launch a business, all you think of is the rainbows and butterflies. No one really lets you in on the ugly side. There have been days when I feel like I have hit a wall and everything I try to do, I simply can’t break it down. It’s sometimes hard to take a step back and realize that all this hard work that you are putting in, will pay off. All the sleepless nights, all the anxiety, worries, dead ends will all miraculously form into something beautiful.  These are little things that I do to stop myself before I ugly cry and hit a breakdown.

Journal

Write your thoughts down! Being able to get everything out on paper or a computer can feel like a rush of relief. You can write down your thoughts, fears and dreams, completely judgment free. Afterwards you can go back and reflect, which will help you to see things more clearly.

Get out and move

I have always said that I think best when I’m out walking. Especially when living in New York City where you walk everywhere, I get a lot of things hashed out. Just taking a break from what you are doing and get out to breathe in some fresh air will help more than you realize. I also love squeezing in a yoga session when possible. Letting yourself focus on you and your breath for an hour can really reset your mind.

Talk it out

In this post I talked about how networking is key to a successful business. These are also the people that will understand when you are struggling and help you through it. They will help you at your lowest and praise you at your highest, truly the best support system.

What things do you do when you feel like you are hitting a wall that has helped you to reset and think more clearly? 

Launching A New Business

When starting my own business and being a girl BOSS, I had a crazy whirlwind of emotions. Some days I was crying because I am so overwhelmed to other days feeling like I am on cloud nine dancing around with champagne. And I came to realize that this is totally normal. This crazy mix of emotions that changes every week to every day is something that everyone who is following their dreams and launching a business is feeling.

There will never be the perfect time to launch your business. You will never have enough money, enough time, enough resources; you just have to do it. You can’t wait for everything to line up flawlessly because it won’t, and this is not something to be stressed about! If you know what you want to do, have done your research, then go for it. If you feel that strongly about your business, you will do everything in your power to make it a success. And that feeling of success is absolutely truly without a doubt the most amazing feeling you will ever experience.  Here are some tips that were crucial for launching my business! 

Networking

After I had my dream in mind of starting my wedding planning business, the first thing I did was network. I still believe that this is the most important aspect of starting a business. Some of these connections end up turning into friendships! These are the friends that will understand your true feelings and struggles because they have been there and gone through it before or they are going through it now. They are going to be an amazing support system for you. The Rising Tide Society that sparked the “community over competition” campaign speaks to my soul. This group of amazing small business owners that have rallied together to help others out makes me speechless. This is what the world needs, more women helping each other out in making their dreams a reality. 

Visualization

You really need to have a clear-cut idea of what your dream client is. This will help you in so many ways from your branding design to marketing and advertising. Do you want to focus on just weddings or events as well? Do you want to do wedding suite but also do brand designs for small businesses? Not to say that this can't change down the road, but in the beginning it's important to have a focus on what your business is going to be about! My ideal client is a couple who is more on the non traditional side, who love life and having a fun and want their wedding to celebrate their love and their friends and family while leaving them all is awe. Words that I use to describe them are whimsical, creative, non traditional and airy. Visualizing your dream client will help to make it happen! 

Invest in yourself!

I truly believe in the saying “you can’t make money, if you don’t spend money”.  There are so many classes and conferences out there that can help you improve your skills, learn different aspects of business, and overall learn new things! Although my business is about planning and design, I recently got a DSLR camera and took a photography class. This is something I enjoy and also will help improve my business aesthetic. I also took the Laura Hopper Calligraphy beginners class and LOVED it! Do some research; even if you have to travel it will be worth your time! I am headed to the Creative At Heart Conference in Charlotte that I am beyond excited for! 

These are just a few tips that I have found extremely helpful, but you have to remember that every business is different and one thing that works for one, won’t for another. But I believe in you and your dreams to make your business a success story!

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