"I've always loved creating. In fall of 2015 I was spending some time with my mom painting in her studio and in a moment of spontaneity I stumbled into a love for abstract painting. Fast forward a few months and handful of paintings later, several people began encouraging me to sell my work. In summer of 2016, I decided to open up an online shop. At the time I was working full-time at Anthropologie but I knew that down the road the plan was for me to be a stay at home mom so I opened my shop in hopes of it growing it into something bigger down the road.
The first two years of my college career I wasn't sure what I really wanted to do. My first year of community college I was a business major, second year I transferred to Azusa Pacific and switched to Psychology major. Long story short, during summer break I ended up touring, applying and getting accepted to The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown LA and graduated with my A.A. in Visual Communications. During the last quarter of my program I got a display internship with Anthropologie and that was the beginning of my 7+ year career with the company.
I'm still in the early stages of my business but something that continues to motivate me is the quote "There are people less qualified than you, doing what you want to be doing." Not sure the reference but it really encourages me. Another obstacle that I know many creative entrepreneurs face is the comparison trap. Something that's helped me stay focused and not distracted by what others are doing is advice from Tyler McCall who was a host on a podcast I listened to a while back. He says "Keep your head down and blinders on" it's simple but its crucial to maintaining my focus on what I'm doing, not what others are doing. Ultimately, whenever I have feelings of inadequacy or doubt I am reminded that my worth isn't found in my business, it's in God and that's the most comforting truth I'll ever find.
What about your business serves other people? I love this question because this is something that I'm honing in on right now- serving others with my creativity. The moment I began viewing what I do as a service and not selling products it makes me feel motivated and more connected to what I'm doing.
One of the way my businesses serves my family is that it allows me to be home with Zoe and that is so special to me. I know that in every season things will look a little different but I'm very thankful that I can have this time with her and still pursue my creative goals.
What brings inspiration to your business? Connecting with people that appreciate what I do and see the value in it. I'm learning how important it is to be intentional about building relationships and community in my business. Podcasts are also something that have served me very well in this season of my business. The Goal Digger podcast hosted my Jenna Kutcher has been a game changer for me.
Jessica recommended this podcast to me and I can't give praise enough! I must have been living under a rock before, but if you're living under a rock too and haven't heard of her, boy are you in for a treat! The way Jenna serves her audience with effective content specific to the needs of not just my business but a resource for how to manage a lifestyle that keeps me an effective business owner and a connecting hand in the community around me. It's so good!! - Kaitlin Elliott
What drains you as a business owner? The business side of things, specifically numbers! I'm a right-brain person so the math and numbers thing isn't my favorite. I'd say figuring out my expenses, net income is most draining for me.
What lifts you up? Words of encouragement from others are very uplifting and equally so I love building others up with words of affirmation. Conversations with other creatives are also something that stoke my fire and motivate me. These could be conversations about struggles, ideas, anything- just connecting with other like-minded people is life giving.
What personal goal do you have for yourself that will help you do your business better? I'd say my headline goal right now is to just keep going, to step forward each day and say yes to things that challenge me to step outside of my comfort zone.
What is the next level/step for your business? Recently I relaunched my website featuring a newer product- flat lay backdrops. This idea came after completing a larger backdrop commission and has had a very positive response thus far. I'd say the next step would be continuing to pursue this side of my business in all scales from large studio backdrops to small. Styled shoots are something I'm very interested and in and I have a few in the works. So I'd say next step is to pursue this side of my business and focus on collaborating with other creatives!