This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina interview Rachel Gadiel, Australian Digital Stylist + Writer + Speaker + host of Femme Boss. This episode is all about getting really clear on your brand message and focusing on doing one thing really well. Rachel shares the 3 principles that go into your brand and how to create a mission statement. Lastly, the trio discuss how to find what differentiates you from the rest of your field and include examples of how wedding photographers can find their unique angle.
Why consistency is important in branding
What 3 principles are incorporated into branding
Why you need to be clear in all of your messaging
How to create a mission statement (+why you need one)
Rachel Gadiel is an Australian Digital Stylist, Writer + Speaker currently based in San Francisco. Through her blog, coaching and e-courses, she teaches bloggers + creative entrepreneurs how to intentionally create an online space they truly love. She fuses together 10 years working as a Digital Marketing Strategist with over 5 years blogging and creating a multitude of online spaces. Rachel received her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and has a Bachelor of Arts/Business. She is on a mission to inspire authentic living, infused with health + happiness.
Reina and Christina talk to Lisa Funk of Handlettered Design during this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast. Lisa is great at creating connections and encouraging people on Instagram, so they ask her to share how she has created a company that is so encouraging. Also discussed in this episode is what business owners should focus on instead of just numbers, how to get more comfortable with selling, and what advice Lisa would give to new business owners.
How Lisa became an “accidental” business owner and how it’s impacted how she does business
What mindful lettering is and how it’s helped Lisa through hard times
What advice Lisa has for new handlettering business owners
What helped Lisa pivot in her business and how she gained clarity on what she really wanted to offer
What former students of Lisa’s have gone on to do
What business owners should focus on instead of numbers
What Lisa’s main goal for her Instagram account is
How Lisa got more comfortable with selling
What tips Lisa has for building a business that is encouraging
Lisa Funk is a hand lettering artist and creative founder of Hand Lettered Design. During one of the most challenging times in her life, lettering saved her – as a creative and meaningful outlet and she loves sharing that with others. What started as selling prints at holiday pop-up shops turned into several custom jobs and lots of different experiences including creating designs for Hobby Lobby, selling in local stores and teaching at major conferences. She and her partner Addi teach chalk art and hand lettering workshops and have now taught more than 700 students at their in-person classes and more than 1600 students online. She is passionate about helping women live intentional lives, focusing on what matters most. Lisa is a wife and mom to three littles, life-long Californian now living in Gilbert, Arizona where she loves living by family and being a part of an amazing creative community. She loves visiting art museums, traveling anywhere she can (especially the beach), dark chocolate, delicious food and real conversations about real life.
This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast with Janet Hoang of Janet Gwen Designs is all about learning as you grow! Reina, Christina, and Janet discuss what it was like for Janet to start a business so young and how it has changed from then until now. Janet shares how to not just sell products, but a culture and how to actively engage with people and build a brand outside of the Internet. Lastly they talk about switching from Etsy to her own website and why email lists are so important.
What the impetus for starting her own business was + what her business looked like when she started
How Janet realized her phone cases could be a business + how she made it bigger than that
How Janet strayed from the path expected from her + decided for herself what she wanted to be
What advice Janet has for young people who think they’re not qualified to run a business
What ways Janet’s business has given back to her life and what her business looks like today
How Janet got from not even having a studio to having an entire home to work from
How to not just sell products, but a culture
How to actively facilitate engagements + create that experience/build that brand outside of the internet
How to come up with content for social media
What switching from Etsy to her own website has done for her business + what compelled her to switch
How to help facilitate that brand recognition if you are on Etsy + looking to move off of it
Why email lists are so important
What Janet would say to anyone on the fence about owning a business
Hello! I’m Janet; I’m the founder and creative director of Janet Gwen Designs. It’s a creative studio known for our gold and marble cases and hand painted phone cases. (YES! HAND PAINTED!) JGD mission is to encourage and highlight unfiltered creativity by challenging the social standards of art. We strive to make a statement by using bold colors and textures on traditional and non traditional surfaces. We create one-of-a kind pieces of art for those customers who appreciate the little details it takes to pull it all together. We make your hustle beautiful, one art infused piece at the time. We want to start conversations, create real life connections, and inspire you in your wildest dreams. We are here to cheer you on every step because we know you got this! You can read all about my story and how JGD got started here!
Mindset and marketing mentor, speaker and co-hostess of the All Up In Your Lady Business podcast Jaclyn Mellone is Reina and Christina’s guest on The Creative Empire podcast this episode. The heart of this episode is about tackling mindset issues. Jaclyn shares ways mindset issues manifest themselves in our lives and how to deal with them instead. Also included in this episode is why it’s important sometimes to rebrand, what things to do to get to know your tribe, why community is essential to owning a business, and lots of great advice for other business owners.
Why Jaclyn rebranded + what some of her reservations were for making this change
How to incorporate your children into your business, if that’s what you want to do
How Jaclyn intersected mindset + marketing
How Jaclyn knew it was time to become a personal brand
What imposter syndrome is and how it manifests itself
How to self-develop or reflect in a way that really is empowering or powerful to build yourself up
Jaclyn Mellone is a mindset and marketing mentor, speaker and co-hostess of the All Up In Your Lady Business podcast. She helps passionate, creative entrepreneurs channel their zone of genius, tackle their inner mean girls, and build Know, Love and Trust with themselves and their tribe.
When she’s not helping entrepreneurs create their own version of success, from the inside out, you can find Jaclyn spending time with her husband Chris, their 2 adorable children, Eleanor and Marshall or being lounged on by their fur-child, Louie… most likely in a sea of naked Barbies and dismantled Lego sets. Jaclyn loves to connect on Instagram (@knowloveandtrust), her Facebook group (The Know Love and Trust Tribe) … usually with her favorite Black Toasted Almond cuppa joe from Dunkin’ Donuts in hand!
Joining Reina and Christina for this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is author, financial planner, and podcaster Mary Beth Storjohann. Diving deep into the topic of financial planning, Mary Beth shares advice + actionable tips for business owners during this episode. This isn’t your typical financial planning conversation- the trio focus on a more heart-centered approach.
How Mary Beth educates her clients
How being smart with money means different things + how to figure out what it means to you
What advice Mary Beth has for people who are trying to figure out what their goals are for different parts of their lives
What some things are that someone could do maybe today financially to start to see results
What Mary Beth recommends in terms of how people save for taxes
How to deal with money mindset issues head on
How to feel more okay with handing over your books over to a bookkeeper
What the difference between fee only versus commission based financial planners + why to work with one over the other
What steps a person could take before needing to work with a financial planner
What topics Mary Beth’s book and podcast touch on
How to deal with your personal marriage (or partner) finances
What business money mindset is concerning to Mary Beth + what to do instead
Why having a part-time job might be a good thing for your business
Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP® and Founder of Workable Wealth is an author, financial planner and accountability partner working to help clients in their 20s-40s across the country make smart, educated choices with their money. Her recent accolades include the “Top 40 Under 40” by Investment News, “10 young Advisors to Watch” by Financial Advisor Magazine, and “10 of the Best Personal Finance Experts on Twitter.” She frequently appears on NBC as a financial expert and her expertise has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Forbes and more.
Reina and Christina’s guest this episode is Jessica Stansberry, owner of Hey Jessica. They discuss how to change your focus and tell your audience about it, what makes a post go viral and how to recreate it, how to create + pitch a course without having much content, and how to get people to opt-in to your email list. Also discussed in this episode are money mindset and how to create the Hey Jessica style email signature.
How Jessica found her path + followed it
What she finds her clients need the most
How she told her audience her focus was shifting and what has/hasn’t worked for her
How to create the Hey Jessica style email signature
What makes a post go viral and how to recreate it
How to create + pitch a course without having much content
How to get people to opt-in to your email list
How to transition to having a better money mindset
Jessica Stansberry is THE Jessica behind Hey Jessica, an online content machine dedicated to helping online entrepreneurs figure out the sometimes scary (aka, systems and technology) involved with running their business. Jessica spent the first 5 years of her entrepreneurial journey as a web designer before morphing into an infopreneur and selling courses as her main source of income. When she isn’t writing blog posts, creating new courses or jamming out in her free Facebook group, Biz Tech Collective, you can likely find Jessica chasing chickens or little boys (her own, it’d be weird for her to chase other little boys) on her family farm in the mountains of North Carolina.
Reina and Christina interview Ali Edwards, creator of memory keeping products and classes, this Creative Empire podcast episode. Ali talks about always connecting everything she puts out back to her reason why, how she is very intentional in everything she does, and why she prefers slow growth. During this conversation, the trio discuss thinking ahead in launch strategy and share tips on how to authentically share your story with your audience.
What One Little Word is and what Ali’s word for this year is
How Ali uses her website to get her customers to focus on certain projects
How to create & use a launch strategy
How to intentionally create products/classes that matter to you
Why Ali encourages everyone to connect with their reason why
How Ali’s business has evolved
What tips Ali has for people wanting to authentically share their story with their audience
Ali Edwards’ passion resides in that very special place where the stories and images of life intersect. Designer, blogger, workshop instructor, and author of four books about memory keeping, Ali is well known for authentically capturing everyday life with photos and words and creating memory keeping projects from those moments that pass by in an instant. Guided by simple principles such as not making things more complicated than they need to be, focusing on the things that matter most and embracing imperfection, Ali Edwards is proud to be a work in progress. She believes without a doubt that there’s no right or wrong way to do all this, that the real stories are worth telling, and there’s a whole lot of celebrating to do even in the midst of the challenging pieces of life. Since 2004, Ali Edwards blog, workshops and memory keeping projects have inspired tens of thousands of people to share their own stories and enrich their own lives through the process. Ali lives in Eugene, Oregon with her two children and their cat George Washington.
Reina and Christina talk to Jillian Smith of OneTouch Events, LLC during this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast. Jillian is a boss at getting organized and staying on task. She shares her top tips and favorite tools for getting organized and how to develop systems that work for you. Also included in this episode are how to find opportunities that are different than what you’re currently getting and how to develop your company’s core values.
How Jillian organizes her business now and what it looked like when she first started
What Jillian’s favorite organizational tools are
How to develop systems that work for you
How Jillian incorporated international travel into her business
How to find opportunities that are different than the ones you currently have
How Jillian strategizes with her clients + how she organizes that strategy
Jillian Smith is the Owner and Principal Wedding & Event Planner of OneTouch Events, LLC. Based in Atlanta, GA, her team specializes in giving every occasion from social events to multi-day business conferences a touch of “WOW”. Jillian is one of Jezebel Magazine’s 2016 Emerging Elite and an expert panelist of The Wedding Business Academy. You can find her business, planning, and leadership tips featured on The Planner’s Lounge, WeddingLovely, Heather Crabtree, and Happy Black Woman.
This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast with Shea Hopely of Shea Hopely Flowers is all about styled shoots! Reina, Christina, and Shea discuss how to be intentional about which ones to participate in, the etiquette behind asking another creative to collaborate, how to keep the shoots fun, and why to keep them small. Shea also shares what she looks for in an ideal client and what to do when the client’s design style is completely different than yours but you really need the money.
How florists can travel and work on location
What Shea looks for in an ideal client
How Shea decides to do a styled shoot with someone + what she looks for in a project before saying yes
How to keep the amount of people on-site at a styled shoot small
What the process of planning a styled shoot with other vendors looks like
What “enough” looks like for Shea
What to do if a client’s design style is completely different then yours, but you need the money
What Shea’s best tips/tricks are to asking another creative to collaborate on a styled shoot
What everyone should know about making styled shoots fun
How styled shoots have helped Shea develop ongoing relationships
What Shea hopes to see in the floral design area in the future
Shea Hopely is one of Northeast Florida’s most sought-after floral artisans. Her designs are characterized by a creative use of texture, greenery and color. Shea designs her events with careful consideration to the entire aesthetic – from luxurious linens to specialty rentals, each Shea Hopely event is a custom celebration tailored to her client’s vision. With over twenty years of experience in the industry, Shea brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to her clients’ events. Shea began her career in the visual merchandising department of a large retail store in Jacksonville, Florida. There, she was able to cultivate her eye for design and created custom displays that implemented fashion trends and styles. Later, she went on to work for several highly acclaimed area floral designers until she began her own company in 2009. Since then, Shea’s designs have been featured in multiple publications, including the Celebration Society, Every Last Detail, and Southern Weddings. She is a regular contributor to area editorial shoots and has spoken and taught classes at a variety of workshops and retreats. Shea lives in Jacksonville with her husband and two children, and has a love of country music and roller coasters. When she’s not up to her elbows in garden roses, peonies, and greenery, you might find her sipping coffee (she’s a recent convert!) and enjoying a piece of her MeeMee’s pecan pie.
Business strategist, mentor to creative entrepreneurs, and founder of Tradeshow Bootcamp Katie Hunt is Reina and Christina’s guest on The Creative Empire podcast this episode. They dive right in to some things to consider when trying to decide whether or not to go wholesale and that advantages/disadvantages to going to a big tradeshow such as the National Stationery Show. Other things they talk about include: what to consider when deciding whether or not to buy educational opportunities for your business, why focus is key in growing your business, and what characteristics people have that make them more likely to be successful.
What some things are to consider when thinking of going wholesale
When (in the timeline of your business) to go to a big trade show like the National Stationery Show
What the pros + cons are of going to a big trade show like the National Stationery Show
What Paper Camp is
What to consider when deciding whether or not to buy educational opportunities for your business
Why focus is key in growing your business
What characteristics people have that make them more likely to be successful
Katie Hunt is the founder of Tradeshow Bootcamp, a business strategist, and mentor to creative entrepreneurs. She is a firm believer in professional development, surrounding yourself with community and pushing ‘go’ even when you might not feel 100% ready. Katie has taught classes for CreativeLive, The Savvy Experience, Seanwes Conference, Be Sage Conference, Unique Camp, and Makers Nation. She frequently speaks about strategies for creating a product line, selling wholesale, business planning and the importance of community for entrepreneurs.
Katie earned a dual MBA in marketing and finance from Loyola Marymount University and has spent the last 16 years coaching large corporations and entrepreneurs on marketing and business development strategies. Her strengths lie in connecting people and bringing ideas to life – brainstorming, making a plan and executing. Katie has a passion for creating, a mind for business and a strong desire to help others succeed.
Joining Reina and Christina for this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is Alli Elmunzer, professional lifestyle + commercial photographer and founder of the Turquoise & Palm Stock Gallery. Alli offers great tips on how to use stock photography in your business, including why stock photos are better than DIY’ing it, how to be authentic while using them, and other ways to use them besides social media. She also shares candidly about how she decided to price her membership site and how she increased its value.
What the value is of signing up for a stock photo subscription vs trying to DIY
How to feel authentic while using stock photos
How to deal with people who steal your images
How branding helped her business + at what point Alli developed the Turquoise and Palm brand
Why it’s important to be open to change
What ways you can use stock photos in your business besides in your Instagram feed
How Alli decided to price her stock photography site
How she increased the value in her stock photography site
Alli is a professional lifestyle and commercial photographer at her studio Turquoise & Palm in Charleston, SC. Prior to opening her photography business, Alli attended law school in Boston and is a licensed attorney in both Massachusetts and Michigan. Feeling creatively uninspired in the practice of law, she took the leap into entrepreneurship in 2009. Her photography accomplishments include features on blogs and in magazines including Grace Ormonde, Style Me Pretty, Joss and Main, and Belong Magazine, as well as book features in the Knot Outdoor Weddings and DesignHER. Most recently she launched her stock photography site, the Turquoise & Palm Stock Gallery, which is comprised of both lifestyle and styled stock photography curated especially for small business owners, creative entrepreneurs, and bloggers. Additionally, Alli is an online educator and speaker and is passionate about helping other creatives cultivate a more beautiful online presence through photography.
Reina and Christina’s guest this episode is Rhiannon Bosse, founder of Hey Gorgeous Events and the Trouvaille Workshop. The trio have an honest conversation that addresses a few issues in our creative community today, such as copying others’ work, defining success in others’ terms, and our business running our life instead of the other way around. Listen to this episode and learn how to find your own voice, define your own version of success, and set boundaries.
What some of the hallmarks are of doing business the right way
How to find your own style/voice
Why we need to give ourselves permission to change
How, as an entrepreneur, to prepare for becoming a parent
How to build a business that supports the life you want to live
What mistakes Rhiannon has made around setting boundaries
How Rhiannon loves on her clients
How being a mom + her relationship with her own mother help her serve her clients
How community is a good thing, but needs to be moderated in our lives
Rhiannon is passionate about striving to make those around her always feel loved. She is the woman behind the Hey Gorgeous Events brand where she and her team focus on making milestones remarkable. She is also the creator of the Trouvaille Workshop, a one of a kind retreat experience for creative and multifaceted wedding planners. When she’s not designing florals in her studio, she’s found at home in Michigan pursuing joy with her husband, their sweet son, Lachlan and adorable pup. Rhiannon stands for innovative, integrity, and most of all, loving well.
Reina and Christina interview Ashlee Proffitt, owner of a boutique branding studio, this Creative Empire podcast episode. Ashlee always knew she wanted to be a work-at-home parent, so she designed her life around that goal. The trio chat about transitioning to a more intentional work-at-home life, why you don’t need to have everything figured out, and what success really means.
How Ashlee knew she wanted to be a work-at-home parent so she chose a career that would allow her to do so
What life looked like when Ashlee started versus what it looks like now
How Ashlee transitioned into a more intentional work-at-home life
How to manage the monetary expectation vs time expectation vs our identity
What success means to Ashlee
Why you don’t have to figure everything out perfectly right now
Hi friend! I’m Ashlee, a believer, wife, mama. I am the owner of a boutique branding studio where I have the pleasure of creating intentional, strong and genuine brands for fellow creative entrepreneurs through design and consulting services. I fell madly in love with the art of design while studying at James Madison University where I received a degree in Fine Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design. I am perpetually obsessed with thoughtful typography and to this day I am head over heels for all things paper and ink. In addition to a strange obsession to typography and great pens, I get strangely excited over anything in a beautiful shade of white. I wake up before dawn on most days. I hate a mess and accept coffee as a form of payment.
Reina and Christina talk to Bushra Azhar of The Persuasion Revolution during this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast. Bushra outlines each of her Eight Persuasion Switches and shares how to use them. This episode is jam-packed with information on how to sell to your audience. Listen below!
What the Eight Persuasion Switches are and examples of them
How to use the Eight Persuasion Switches in sales copy + social media
How to dive deeper into the art + science of persuasion
Bushra Azhar believes that human beings are irrational and trying to persuade someone through a rational argument is like trying to stop a 5 year old from ODing on M&Ms by recounting the evils of high fructose corn syrup. She is a Persuasion Strategist and Founder of The Persuasion Revolution, where tiny businesses make big bucks, using Psychology of Persuasion. She started The Persuasion Revolution in July 2014 and managed to go from an absolute nobody with zero connections and subzero sales to $1M+ in sales, an email list of 23,000 and a buyer list of 4,000 in less than two years.
This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast with Bonnie Christine of Going Home to Roost is all about surface pattern design! Reina, Christina, and Bonnie discuss everything from how to learn Illustrator to how to get your portfolio in front of people who want to license artwork to how to design your life around financial freedom. There are lots of great tips + resources in this episode for people wanting to learn surface pattern design.
What surface pattern design is
Why you should slow down + make a bunch of patterns before trying to land a licensing gig
Where Bonnie draws inspiration from
How to find an alternative path to financial freedom
How to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator
How to learn what you need to learn to be a surface pattern designer
Sophisticated and delicate, Bonnie Christine’s designs transcend time and brighten up the past. Bonnie weaves a small part of her life into each pattern she creates, making the design process and end results meaningful and unique. She lives nestled back in the forests of North Carolina where she finds endless inspiration from the mountains around her. Stay connected with her through her blog, Going Home to Roost and attend one of her classes on surface pattern design on either CreativeLive or Skillshare.
Branding expert, founder of Love Inspired, and creator of Shopsite School Cathy Olson is Reina and Christina’s guest on The Creative Empire podcast this episode. Cathy shares the pivotal experience that changed her life and made her want to start teaching and speaking. First they discuss branding- who to hire, how to make your website user friendly, and what the most essential part of your brand is. Then Cathy talks about how being on Etsy can be a branding “kiss of death” and how she recommends people get off Etsy. Finally, she shares a ton of knowledge about how to build brand loyalty to get customers to follow you off of Etsy.
How to determine who to hire for branding your business
Why having a website you can use + grow into is important
How Cathy is able to translate what her clients want + what she uses to fuel her process
Why transitioning off of Etsy is important, branding wise
Cathy Olson has been beautifying brands and designing experiences of digital delight for over 17 years, working with multi-million dollar brands like Costco, Best Buy and Disney. Now the founder of Love Inspired, an international branding and web design studio with a boutique approach, she helps creatives package their expertise in a way that excites eyes, hugs hearts, and cues cha-chings. She is also the creator of Shopsite School, an online classroom and essential resource to help product-based businesses get off of Etsy and create a successful shop on their own. She has a passion for putting the fun in functional, the purpose in pretty, and the meaning in details. When she’s not innovating for clients, she shares her multifaceted expertise teaching online or on the stage. Her heart’s mission: To help talented creatives feel seen online, so they’ll feel proud to share their ideas and passions with others, and inspired to stretch their creativity.
Joining Reina and Christina for this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is Rachel Rouhana, graphic designer, photographer, and founder of The Styled Stock Library. Rachel reveals everything about her membership site to Reina + Christina, including what made her do one instead of a different business model. She shares what she started with, how she keeps coming up with fresh content, and how she balances retaining customers with selling new subscriptions.
How Rachel got her start in stock photography + how she grew her membership site
How Rachel knew she needed help + grew her team
What made Rachel decide to do a membership site instead of other stock photography business models
How to balance selling membership spots with retaining existing customers
How to keep creating new + fresh content
How much content to have before launching
What stops people from downloading all the content + canceling
Why listening to your customers is essential to running a business
Rachel Rouhana is a graphic designer and photographer who helps women entrepreneurs create visually stunning brands to attract their ideal clients. She founded the Styled Stock Library to make it easy + affordable for boss ladies to create gorgeous graphics that get clicks, likes, shares, and ultimately lead to more sales. Obsessed with gold, glitter, and all things pink, you can often find her sipping a latte and scrolling through Instagram for inspiration. Meet Rachel and learn how to add instant glam to your brand at www.hautechocolate.ca
Reina and Christina’s guest this episode is Holly Patton Olsen, Lead Planner & Designer of Perfectly Posh Events. Holly shares her knowledge about presenting yourself as a professional through appearance, body language, and business practices. She also gives great insight into how her client meetings are structured and how to deal with clients who are presenting some red flags.
What makes Holly’s wedding planning business unique + what some of the benefits are to having a team of planners
How to present yourself as a professional when you do in-person meetings
How showing up as a professional helps change your mindset
What body language has to do with your first impression
What advice Holly has for someone who is new + nervous
How Holly structures her client meetings
Why you need a client questionnaire
How to figure out what clients will be a good fit for you
How to fire a client professionally
How to appear more professional especially when you get to work from home
Holly Patton is the Lead Planner & Designer of Perfectly Posh Events and is the go-to-gal in Seattle for stylish and city chic weddings. She adores all things pretty and feminine, is obsessed with anything Kate Spade, is inspired by creating designs that represent her couples, and loves any excuse to celebrate with bubbly! Recently, Holly and her team were awarded “Best Wedding Planner” by Seattle Bride Magazine’s Best of Awards for 2015 and 2014, along with being named in the Top 50 Event Planners in the United States by The Daily Meal and receiving the Couple’s Choice award from Wedding Wire for the past four years in a row! Holly earned a BA in Business from Seattle Pacific University and spent over six years working for various companies in the event and wedding industry. She has been working exclusively with weddings for the past six years and absolutely loves it. She loves starting the morning off with a dry almond cappuccino and ending the day with a glass of red wine from one of the local Washington wineries. A lifelong Seahawks fan, she love football season and spending Sundays cheering on her home team! She adore shoes and can frequently be seen running around events in a pair of amazing heels that color-coordinate with the event theme. Her free time is spent volunteering for Get Hitched Give Hope and the Mona Foundation.
Joining Reina and Christina for this Empire Mentoring session is Lauren Grove, blogger at Every Last Detail. First they chat about how Lauren got started + took the leap to blogging full-time. Then they discuss how much work it takes to run a blog, how to get more content, and how to get eyes on your blog from social media. From there they discuss Lauren’s V List, which is a special list of wedding vendors vetted by Lauren, and how to strategically pitch to editors like Lauren. There’s something for everyone in this episode, whether you’re looking to run a successful blog or you’re a wedding vendor looking to learn how to pitch!
How Lauren got started blogging + took the leap to blogging full-time
How much work it takes to run a blog
How to get new content for your business + blog
How to get people to your website from social media
How to balance two different audiences for your blog
How to stay true to your audience, even if it means rejecting a payday
How to handle a vendor list on your blog
What kind of websites convert for wedding vendors
What editors are looking for + how to get content published
How to be strategic when pitching + how to make it easier on the editors
I started out in the wedding industry as most do- as a bride. While I was planning, I was not only constantly searching for inspiration, but also for information. Needless to say, I never quite found that information, which is one of the reasons why I decided to start blogging- to help other brides. As the years passed, I gained more and more experience designing and planning weddings- all the while, continue to blog via Every Last Detail. As ELD grew, so did my passion to educate and inspire brides. Working in the industry (and also being a bride who was “absolutely clueless”) has played a huge role in helping me shape and focus my business and goals. I now not only have a goal of educating brides, but I have also developed a passion for helping wedding professionals grow their businesses. I am able to fulfill both of these passions with Every Last Detail, and I thank readers, brides, and wedding professionals for allowing me to do so!
Professor, author, trend forecastor, and co-founder of The Creative Roundtable Jena Nesbitt is Reina and Christina’s guest on The Creative Empire podcast this episode. First the trio talk about Jena’s winding path to entrepreneurship and how the skills she learned along the way were valuable. Then they dive right into talking about pricing and the Unique Value Proposition. Jena’s unique journey + perspective really lend themselves to these topics. Lastly, they talk about disruptors and how to be one.
How entrepreneurship isn’t a straight line
How to strategically price your goods or services
Why it’s necessary to track your numbers
What the Unique Value Proposition is and how to figure out your own
Jena Nesbitt is an avid learner & teacher, constantly striving to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of other creatives. In 2016 she accepted an adjunct professor position with the Art Institute of Portland, teaching courses in Creative Entrepreneurship and Fashion Forecasting. She is the author of the Creative Business Canvas, a visual business model tool built specifically for artists, designers, and creative businesses. Jena works as a trend forecasting consultant with national companies, utilizing her background in visual merchandising, textile design, and product development to inspire future apparel & lifestyle products. In late 2014 Jena co-founded The Creative Roundtable, offering support & guidance to creative entrepreneurs through facilitated weekly discussions and monthly meet-ups. Jena is an active member of the Portland design, tech, and startup communities; you’ll often find her at networking at local events, hosting meet-ups, or teaching & mentoring at conferences.
This episode features Reina and Christina chatting about how to start a business. They see people over-complicating it and would like to discuss how to go through the process in simpler terms. First Christina tells how to legally set up a business. Then they talk about the other things that go into building a business, like visibility, gaining clients, and mindset.
How to legally setup a business from scratch
What the difference between an LLC and a trademark
What to do before you start a company
What belongs in a business plan
How to gain visibility quickly
How to test your business idea before you even have an LLC + why it’s important
Why you should pick one thing first to become an expert in
Why confidence is an important part of owning a business
Reina and Christina’s guest this episode is Nikki Elledge Brown, The Communication Stylist, creator of A Course About Copy, and host of Naptime Empires. Nikki is here to chat about learning how to share your story authentically. She shares where to start if you haven’t shared much online yet, how to strut your stuff without feeling self-centered, how to let your personality shine through in everything you do, and much much more.
How to strut your stuff without feeling self-centered
What 2 things to consider before you share something that has TMI potential
Where to start if you haven’t shared much online yet
What the difference is between sharing authentically + sharing as a marketing ploy
Why Nikki considers being triggered by others’ success a potentially good thing
How we can make our personalities shine through in our copy across all platforms
What Nikki needs to remind herself of who she really is + pull herself out of dark spots
How using templates to write from are great starting places
How there’s no one right way to write copy + her number one advice for sales copy
Nikki’s known online as The Communication Stylist®, helping entrepreneurs communicate with clarity and confidence through her flagship program, A Course About Copy®. She’s a proud military spouse, mom, former park ranger and college professor sharing stories, tips, and inspiration on life, business, and all things communication over at nikkielledgebrown.com.
#also: If you’re looking for refreshingly honest conversations on the realities of parenthood + entrepreneurship, you will LOVE Nikki’s new podcast, Naptime Empires™. Check it out on iTunes and join the conversation at naptimeempires.com!
Joining Reina and Christina for this Empire Mentoring session is Maura Chamness, product stylist and brand photographer. Maura’s biggest struggle right now is how to convert inquiries into clients. Reina + Christina talk about her website + process of booking a client before giving her several key pieces of advice.
How your service needs to match your ideal client’s needs
How you can go to people who need your service instead of waiting for them to come to you
How to pitch your services in a way that makes your potential clients receptive to them
How to sell value not cost
How to figure out what to focus on and why it’s important to focus for a length of time
Maura is a product stylist and brand photographer who helps inspired and creative entrepreneurs enhance their online presence with photos that complement the brand they’ve worked hard to build. Through her unique process, she guides them in honing their style to create custom stock and product photography that brings their work to life online. Maura currently lives in Houston, TX with her sassy Schnauzer, Gracie. When she’s not in the studio or trying to tame the prop closet, you can usually find her working on a house project, going to yoga, or celebrating Taco Tuesdays – usually with extra guac and pun-ny Instagram memes!
Brand/content strategist and photographer Davey Jones joins Reina and Christina to chat about how to survive big changes + evolve your career. Davey has gone through several transitions in his life, from teacher to photographer to co-creating The Rising Tide Society to now being a brand + content strategist. They discuss how to know what to pursue, how to prepare for the big leap, how to build expertise when you’re just starting, and even how no matter where you are in life, you can always be building skills that will help you in your transitions.
What transitions Davey has gone through in his career
How entrepreneurs’ backgrounds are usually pretty eclectic
What people should do before they transition
How to build expertise in your industry if you’re just getting started
How to connect with your audience + have your message resonate with them
What to listen to when you’re surrounded by a lot of noise
What other things will help you transition
How you can always be building skills that will help you in your transitions
How to know whether something is a good idea to pursue
Davey Jones is a brand and content strategist and one half of the Davey & Krista duo. After several years in education and coaching, photographing over 100 weddings, and launching one of the largest communities for creatives in the world, Davey decided to make helping creatives run better businesses his full time gig. Davey and his wife Krista specialize in helping people create purposeful brands and businesses they love through coaching and mentoring, branding and website design, copywriting and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Consulting. Since building their first business they have found purposeful and fulfilling work—and a life that includes palm trees, blue skies, time with our pups, and—of course—wine and pizza.
Joining Reina and Christina for this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is Kelly Newsome Georges, a former-lawyer-turned-birth and postpartum teacher. Kelly shares her winding path to finding her authentic purpose in life and what activities people can do to help them find theirs. She reveals that moving closer to authenticity can help us move closer to living a life we love (and gain us ideal clients in the process!) It can be kind of scary being authentic, so Kelly also shares how to not be so resistant to fear + why you can’t get rid of all fear.
How the journey to finding her purpose followed a non-linear path
What 3 activities are that help you grow closer to finding your purpose
How women business owners can help facilitate the transition from woman to mother
How to deal with people who are unkind to you
Why building up to success slowly is better than overnight success
How authenticity can help us live a life we love (and gain us ideal clients too!)
How to not resist fear so much and why you can’t get rid of all fear
There’s fear that keeps you alive. And there’s fear that keeps you from living. Wisdom is knowing the difference. ~David Swenson
Kelly Newsome Georges is a former-lawyer-turned-birth and postpartum teacher, helping new moms transition confidently, consciously, and more comfortably into motherhood. She is the creator of The New Parent Partner™: 100+ Tools for Birth, Postpartum, and Newborn Care, Designed to Make Early Motherhood Easier, and in early 2017, she will launch Ritual Care, an online wellness sanctuary and virtual classroom with courses and coaching on birth, newborn care, and new mama care throughout the first year of baby’s life. Kelly has a certification in Positive Psychology from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, a bachelor of science degree in Psychology and Human Development, and multiple certifications and trainings for birth and postpartum doula care, prenatal and postnatal yoga, kids yoga, pediatric sleep, and breastfeeding and bottle-feeding support. Her favorite mama-related role, though, is her own: she is a mother to a spectacular little girl, Sage, and stepmom to 3 brilliant bonus kids. She lives in Washington, DC and Paris, France.
Reina and Christina’s guest this episode is founder + owner of the gift company Marigold & Grey, Jamie Kutchman. Jamie is here to chat about how she transitioned from her corporate job of 11 years to starting her own business. She advises listeners to not transition the way she did. Instead, Jamie gives practical tips + advice on how to do it, such as the importance of pre-validating your idea, finding your ideal client, how to get started even if you don’t have much space or money, and how to differentiate yourself when you’re in a crowded market.
Why you should start + grow your new business while you’re still at your corporate job
Why pre-validation is important
How to differentiate yourself when you’re in a crowded market
How to figure out what your ideal client’s pain points are + deliver a product they need
How to get started as a product-based business, even if you don’t have much space or money
How Jamie scaled her business
What to say to yourself when you have anxiety about a transition
Jamie Kutchman Wynne is the founder & owner of the artisan gift company called Marigold & Grey. She first recognized the need for boutique gift service while preparing for her own 2012 wedding when welcome gifts because a major source of stress. Not long after, she left behind an 11-year corporate career in medical/surgical sales to start the business, actually quitting spontaneously on a conference call one day. (She admits it’s probably not the best strategy for transitioning into entrepreneurship, but that’s basically how it happened!) Nonetheless, she is ecstatic to have finally found her true calling. For the first time in life, she doesn’t have to be corporate OR creative. She is fully both and exactly where she belongs! She lives in the Washington, DC area with her golf-smitten husband Jeff, three stepkids and two rescue pups, Lewis & Clarkie! While she enjoys DC life, she’s a true Virginia girl at heart. When not designing gifts, mentoring other creative entrepreneurs or prop styling for other small businesses, she enjoys good bourbon and barbecue, football season, entertaining, and has been known to dust off her passport every chance she gets. She’s honored to lead the Bethesda, Maryland Tuesdays Together group, part of the Rising Tide Society.
This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast, Reina and Christina are joined by stylist and product photographer Shay Cochrane. Shay is well-known in business circles for her product photography and she imparts some of her own wisdom about how to find your unmistakable style. She shares how she first developed her style and how she tunes out all the noise to just create what only she can create. With a refreshing candor, Shay shares her views on copycats and failure and how to know what to try next.
How to stand out from others in your field + tune the noise out
How to boost your creativity
How to not let copycats get you down
How to find your breakthrough thing that differentiates you from others
How to have an easier time bouncing back from failure
After eight years as a wedding and portrait photographer Shay felt her passion and creativity beginning to wane. After a light bulb moment in Homegoods (of all places!) she made the almost overnight decision to jump head first into the unknown world of styling and product photography. She deleted eight years of wedding photography off of her website, landed her first commercial client and has never looked back. In her own words, “I have finally found that organic, creative, authenticity that always seemed to be missing in those early years as a photographer. I have found the work that my heart truly loves.” By God’s grace Shay is married to her best friend of 10 years, has two curly haired girls and lives in sunny Tampa, FL.
Content creation queen, branding strategist, coach, and speaker Maya Elious joins Reina and Christina to chat about how to create content that not only connects to your audience, but also converts them into customers. Maya believes that you should create content from your heart and that everything you do should have a purpose behind it. The trio talk about everything from how to start creating content and what kind of content you should share to how to find your unique selling proposition and how to onboard clients.
How to figure out what type of content to share
Why you need to be clear about what you really want on your website
How to make it really easy for people to buy things from you + why it’s important to do that
What the three things are that are missing in your business to make you feel like you are broke and burned out
How to onboard clients as a service based business
Why you need to be really confident when you’re naming your price to a potential client + how to fix your money mindset
How to find your unique selling proposition
What to do if you’re struggling with consistently booking clients
Maya Elious is a branding strategist, coach and speaker that teaches creative business owners how to create magnetic content and irresistible products that will get them noticed and paid online. She is the content curator behind MayaElious.com where she shares hundreds of blog posts and resources for solopreneurs looking for clarity and strategy to build a profitable brand. When she’s not helping her clients build a digital empire, she can be found binge watching Homeland on Hulu.
Joining Reina and Christina for this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is Luisa Hammett. Luisa is a successful blogger and shares a lot of insight on how to turn your blog into a business. The trio cover everything from how to earn money blogging to when to start charging + how to approach brands. If you’ve been thinking of starting a blog or you already have a blog + want to take it to the next level, this episode is for you!
How to make money blogging
What some reasons are that non-bloggers might want to have a blog + how it can help their business
Why consistency is important + how to be more consistent
How to come up with time to take pictures
What life looks like as a really well-known blogger
How to decide whether or not to collaborate with a brand
When to start charging + how to approach brands
How to grow your blog readership + social media following
Born in Colombia, raised in the South, currently living in the beautiful city of Atlanta. I recently graduated with my Masters in Clinical Nutrition from Georgia State University and completed a dietetic internship at Southern Regional Emory Healthcare. I am currently preparing for the final step, which is taking the registered dietetics licensure exam to become a registered dietitian (RD). Peaches to Pearls has been one of the best experience of my life because it gives me a platform to share my two biggest passions, food and fashion. Whether its a new healthy recipe or an affordable, chic outfit, Peaches to Pearls is for any woman trying to live a prettier life.
Reina and Christina’s guest this episode is event and wedding planner Eliana Baucicault. There are a lot of great tips and advice for the newer wedding professional in this episode. Eliana shares a lot on finding your ideal client and why it’s important for newbies to do so. She also shares what her entire customer experience is like, to give others an idea of how to treat their ideal client from the time they inquire to the time they book. Eliana even addresses what to do if you’re not getting enough inquiries or if the people inquiring aren’t your ideal client.
What Eliana’s secret is to booking so many weddings all over the country
How to create a wedding planning empire
Why figuring out your ideal client is important + how to identify them
What the process of booking a client is, from start to finish
What to do when you’re not getting inquiries
What to do with non-ideal client inquiries
How professionals new to the wedding industry can get other wedding vendors to notice them
With 9 years in event production under her belt, Eliana creates unforgettable celebrations while bringing a fresh perspective to the industry. Eliana’s background in project management ensures that events goes seamlessly while her eye for design creates memorable events that guests aren’t soon to forget. Eliana takes the visions of her clients and magnificently amplifies them into extraordinarily unique experiences. She prides herself on connecting with her clients on a personal level and maintaining relationships long after their special event. Eliana’s achievements have been spotted in publications such as The Knot, Munaluchi, Southern Bride, Inside Weddings, Essence Magazine and a host of others. She resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband, her teenage son, and 4 adorable Yorkshire Terriers.
This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast, Reina and Christina are joined by destination wedding photographer and intentional brand strategist Vanessa Velez. She gives practical tips and advice this episode for photographers and non-photographers alike on branding and visual strategy. Vanessa curates a beautiful online presence through her website and social media and shares how she does so.
How Vanessa’s background in marketing has helped make her a successful destination wedding photographer
What changes she’s seen in the photography industry in the past ten years
How Instagram has helped her business + how she’s grown her Instagram following
How knowing the client you want is helpful + how to figure them out
What photographers who are struggling to book anybody should do
What happens when you have a really strong visual branding strategy
What 3 practical tips she has for people to take their client experience up a level
What Vanessa’s secret is to curating such a visual presence
What non-photographers can do to improve their Instagram feed + captions
Vanessa Velez is a Destination Wedding Photographer and Intentional Brand Strategist who has a deep passion for the creative business and weddings. She has been documenting events for the past decade and it is a romantic at heart. As a Destination photographer she has traveled to places like Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, New York and Paris. When she is not shooting weddings she is helping creative businesses create brands with intention, that can connect with their audience with authentic and true voices. She is also an advocate for community over competition as the Fort Lauderdale leader of Tuesdays Together. When she is not working you can find her cozy in bed with her daughter eating vanilla ice cream with an excess of whip cream and almonds.
Video queen April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle joins Reina and Christina to chat about how to start using video in your business and why it’s important. April really believes that video breaks down barriers + allows people to connect with you in a whole new way. She gives tons of great tips on making videos, from ways to come up with topics to what equipment + software you need. If you’re feeling scared or uncomfortable, April has great advice and encouragement to try. We hope this episode inspires you to start making videos for your business today!
Why videos are important + what you actually need to get started making them
What to consider if you feel scared to even start making videos
What the value is of sharing content that is uniquely you
What you can do if you feel uncomfortable on camera
What to use to edit your videos
What situations warrant investing in professional filming/editing
How sharing content in general is good for your business
What you should do if you want to be on CreativeLive someday
What some very practical ways are to do a live video this week, even if you’re a complete newbie
April Bowles-Olin graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in human development and a minor in psychology. Then, she obtained her master’s degree in social work from NYU. While studying at NYU, she worked with homeless adults who were diagnosed with HIV and AIDS and in a combination middle and high school providing counseling services to the students. After graduation, she worked with high-risk adolescents in the Bronx and Brooklyn providing individual, family, and group counseling. April realized that something was missing and she felt emotionally drained, so she looked for other job opportunities. Soon after she started blogging, she left her career in social work and started Blacksburg Belle. The rest is history. April has spoken at the Etsy Success conference, and has been featured on my many websites and blogs including Etsy, Design*Sponge, and BlogcastFM. She has worked with thousands of creatives via one-on-one consulting, group coaching and online courses.
When she’s not helping creative entrepreneurs build successful businesses around the lives they crave, you can find her snapping pictures of her three adopted lab mixes, discovering nifty spy tricks while watching Burn Notice with her husband, and reading every young adult novel she comes across without shame.
Joining Reina and Christina for this Empire Mentoring Session is Dannie Fountain, a strategist, author, and educator. Dannie has several businesses and side hustles that she is wanting to unite and be more cohesive. Reina and Christina work with Dannie to get really clear on her core offering and how her other projects relate to it. They even discuss how to showcase her expertise on her website! Lastly they give her homework to check out the website of other creative entrepreneurs with multiple businesses and to get really clear on her five main thesis points when she pitches to clients.
How there’s always something that unites all of your hustles
How the more LLCs you have, the more diversified your portfolio is
What questions you have to ask to get clear on your purpose
How building a brand that’s more about you + that houses your various hustles might be the right move
How being really clear on what your main offerings are going to be is great for your business
What prompted Dannie to write Side Hustle Gal
How to structure your website to house all your side projects
What other creative entrepreneurs do to showcase all their various businesses on their website
How your main 5 thesis points you have when pitching yourself convey your message to potential clients
I’m Dannie, I’m the founder of LE Consulting! I got my start in the marketing world in late 2008/early 2009 when I took on my first freelance client. I then did marketing for a State Senator campaign in my home state of Michigan, and between that first client and working with the Senator’s team, I knew marketing was for me. I’ve since gone to college and earned a BA in Media and Marketing and Management and an MS in Human Resource Management to supplement that early “on the job” training. I got my “official” start on LE Consulting in 2012 and the rest is somewhat history! On a more personal note, I’m in love with traveling the world – I’ve been to 15 countries (4 continents) and half the US so far and I’ve got a few more trips coming up in the next 18 months (Thailand, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Turks & Caicos, the Dominican Republic, and Arizona, to start). I’m a certified scuba diver and have a student pilot certification, so I introduce myself to clients by first explaining that I can look at their marketing challenges from literally every angle. I currently live in the Chicagoland area but I’m a born and bred Michigander and still head home to Lexington, MI for holidays.
Reina and Christina’s guest this episode is publicist and co-owner of Something New for I Do, Kristen Ley Green. She is here today to talk to them about how to get featured as a guest expert. Kristen outlines what PR is, how it can help creatives with their business, and the right and wrong ways to pitch a story to outlets. They also talk briefly about trends in the wedding industry and how the rise of the internet helps people connect directly to their customers.
What PR is and how it can help people in their businesses
How to create your own PR opportunities when you can’t afford to hire a professional
What some common pitch mistakes are
How to come up with a good topic and turn it into a story
How her PR experience shapes how she approaches offline events
What some trends in the wedding industry are right now
How it can be easier to set yourself apart from the rest of the industry now that you can have a direct connection with the customer
How there’s more diversity being represented on the internet now
Kristen Ley Green is a recently married wedding publicist and co-founder of the Atlanta-based wedding PR/marketing company, Something New for I Do. She helps new and established wedding businesses grow and establish credibility by getting their wedding planning insight featured and styled shoots and real weddings placed in popular wedding magazines and blogs. Kristen is also a regular contributor to Huffington Post Weddings, Once Wed, The Celebration Society and Perfect Wedding Guide.
Today Reina + Christina sit down and chat with Jessica Peddicord of Simply Jessica Marie about being an artist + brush letterer and how she is going to launch her first online course! Jessica outlines all the steps that she is going through to make this goal a reality, from idea to launch. Sprinkled in throughout the episode are other tidbits such as how to learn how to handletter and how to balance your time. Jessica provides encouragement that everyone has a skill that they could teach and there is value to teaching it, if you so choose!
How to get started with calligraphy
How to balance workload with teaching
What the value is of starting to teach a skill soon after you grasp it
Hey, y’all! My name is Jessica Marie Peddicord, and I am the creative behind Simply Jessica Marie. I’m a custom watercolor artist, a wedding stationer, and a brush calligrapher specializing in feminine, colorful, creative designs for a lovely life! I live the wonderful Southern city of Knoxville, TN with my dapper husband where we love trying new restaurants and craft cocktail bars, going to UT football games, and hosting friends at our downtown apartment. I adore filling my days with creativity and pretty things, and want to work with you to design something unique and meaningful for your life! I created SJM to bring love and inspiration into people’s daily lives. Whether it be through the watercolor paintings of brides with their grooms or bridesmaids, the custom heirloom invitations I design for weddings, or the everyday stationery, art prints and lifestyle products in my shop, I want my pieces to be cherished for years to come and drive others to live meaningful, love-centered, creative lives.
Heart encourager Ashley Beaudin is on the podcast today, sharing with Reina + Christina behind-the-scenes of her intentional movement, The Imperfect Boss. She shares how to pitch to people in a way that makes them want to join, as well as specific things she did to help her movement create momentum and catch on like wildfire. Lastly, Ashley encourages listeners to go out and encourage others.
Why Ashley came up with the Imperfect Boss campaign
How much of an impact the campaign made
How Ashley mobilized influencers for that campaign
What advice she would give for people wanting to be known as leaders in their field
How shy participants can reach out to others who are participating + have meaningful connections
What the most common themes of the Imperfect Boss campaign were
What not to say/do when someone is being vulnerable + sharing their heart
How to become a movement maker
How someone who is discouraged can feel encouraged
Ashley is a heart encourager, speaker and copywriter for creative women. Ashley is gifted at empowering people to own their message and purpose with confidence and design a life that makes them jump out of bed in the morning. She brings with her a sensitive and strong voice that will both push and encourage you to do what you’re called to do – no shame, no fear, just heart, action and a strong dose of community. She is passionate about teaching people how to cultivate a healthy identity and inner life, so that they can fulfill their calling and feel alive in it. When she’s not helping women absolutely kill it, she’s probably writing some good words, being with people or dreaming up big ideas. No matter what, you’ll leave spending time with her, feeling believed in and empowered to do the things that you’re called to for good.
As one of the cofounders of The Rising Tide Society, Natalie Franke Hayes sees a lot of the same mistakes being made by creative business owners that are just starting out or growing their business. She outlines these mistakes to Reina + Christina and also goes over how to overcome them. Lastly, she ends this episode with a motivational speech that is a must-listen!
What the Rising Tide Society is and how it got started
What the most common mistakes she sees creative entrepreneurs making + how to overcome them
How creatives can feel like they’re part of a community, even if there’s not a Rising Tide chapter in their area
Natalie Franke Hayes is an International Wedding Photographer, Educator, Speaker, and Founder of the Rising Tide Society. She is also a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Visual Studies and a concentration in Visual Neuroscience and the Psychology of Seeing. She loves discovering ways for small business owners to attract their ideal clientele through modern marketing strategies and works to empower entrepreneurs to thrive.
Joining Reina and Christina this episode is Emily Ley, creator of the Simplified Planner and the book Grace, Not Perfection. Emily reveals how she has embraced grace, not perfection in her own life and what it has done for her personally. She shares how to find your own version of “enough” and live with imperfect grace as well. Emily also has great insights on working from home and taking care of kids, building a debt free business, and how to answer when people ask what you do for a living.
How grace gives you permission to just be yourself
How to manage being a mom + working at home
How to build a business without debt
Why community is important + where to find creative business owner friends
How to figure out an answer to the question “What do you do for a living?”
Like all women, Emily Ley has a lot on her plate. She is a devoted wife and present mother to three small children, she is the creator of the top-selling Simplified Planner®, founder of a hugely successful brand of simple day planners, baby books and home-office accessories sold worldwide, Gerber and Shipt spokesperson, and now an author. And despite her beautiful products and seemingly Pinterest-perfect life, Emily isn’t afraid to admit that her life is crazy and messy. And that’s OKAY. After a health scare resulting from the stress and overwhelm she was trying to manage nearly landed her in the hospital, Emily decided enough was enough. It was time to simplify all areas of her life so that she could focus on the people and things that matter most. Now she is leading the revolution to help all women do the same.
Out of the dozens of helpful tips and convicting lessons, what Emily hope readers gain from Grace, Not Perfection is quite simple. “Whether my reader is single or married, a mom or child-free, in a career she loves of at home full-time, feeling pretty together or feeling like a total mess, I want her to have the same takeaway,” Emily says. “I want her to shut this book and say, ‘This is good enough. I am good enough, just like I am right now, with what I have and as who God made me to be. I don’t have to be anything more.’” Emily lives in Tampa with her husband and three children. For more information, please visit www.EmilyLey.com.
Reina and Christina interview Lara Casey of Southern Weddings and Cultivate What Matters this episode. Lara shares why she created PowerSheets and shares her core belief that it’s not about making more happen, it’s about making what matters happen. She encourages listeners to create for no other reason than you love to create and not feel pressured to turn it into a business. She speaks about how to be authentic in your business and why you should walk by example. Lara answers the question of how to balance being intentional + making an impact with the financial realities of running a business. The trio have a conversation about how they give back with their business and how you can do so no matter how small or large your business is. Lastly they talk about how loyal and invested her employees are in the company and how to foster that in a team.
How you should use your creative gifts, but not feel pressured to turn it into a business
How what we choose to focus our attention on either gives us more life or takes it away
How to become more vulnerable and why it matters for your business
How to give back with your business
How to foster an environment where people are incredibly loyal + take ownership of their duties
Hi, y’all! I’m Lara. I’m a mom to three (one through the gift of adoption), a grateful wife, and a believer in the “impossible.” I’m the creator of the PowerSheets, a grace-filled goal setting planner, and Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Southern Weddings — a magazine that I created from the ground up. I am passionate about faith, loving my family well, pushing my limits, and helping people get unstuck and unrushed. I founded the Making Things Happen movement and recently released my first book, Make It Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live On Purpose, to help women live on purpose and make what matters happen. I love the women I work alongside each day, hot boiled peanuts, my garden, exploring local farms, and living in Chapel Hill, NC!
This episode on the Creative Empire Podcast, Reina + Christina want to shed light on an important topic they see creatives struggling with, which is how to share what you do and survive the opinions. They both have been there and want to help make this holiday season more peaceful for you! They talk about it being the creative business owner’s responsibility not only to educate people on what it is they do, but also to be okay with them not understanding. Reina advises people to get really clear on their money situation so they can be confident in their plan and articulate it. They encourage listeners to figure out who really matters, who is part of their inner circle, and only listen to their opinions. When it gets hard, especially around the holidays, find ways to be alone and de-stress, like journaling and the Grateful Heart exercise. Lastly, they talk about voicing your wins and actually celebrating them.
How to be ok with people not “getting” what you do
How to limit whose opinions matter to you
How to approach friends + family with the news of launching your business
How to tell people what you do in relatable terms
Why having outlets are so important + a few ideas of how to decompress
Photographer Katelyn James joins Reina + Christina to talk about making micro changes for macro results. First Katelyn talks about what people normally do when things aren’t going well and what they should do instead. They talk about money mindset a little bit and she gives the audience permission to succeed if your heart is in the right place. She also encourages people to align their passion with their purpose, especially if they are just starting out.
Why you don’t need to take drastic measures when you’re not experiencing much business + what to do instead
How to form a tribe
How it’s okay to succeed and make money when you serve people well and give freely
Why you need to figure out how your passion plays a role in your purpose in life
How to learn your roles in the business when you work with your significant other
Katelyn is a wedding photographer who also happens to love speaking, teaching and blogging educational content for other photographers and creatives! Together with her high school sweetheart she photographs 15-20 weddings a year all over Virginia, the East Coast and beyond! Her work has been featured in magazines such as The Knot, Southern Weddings, Virginia Bride, Eco Weddings, Destination I Do, and Virginia Living. Katelyn has also had the opportunity to speak at various conferences and events such a WPPI, Creative Live, United, Pursuit, Reset Conference, Creative at Heart, Making Things Happen, Rising Tide Summit and intimate retreats. While her heart is in photography, Katelyn also loves her sweet little Bich-Poo Bokeh and her husband Michael, has a deep passion for decorating and loves the Lord with all of her heart!!
Joining Reina and Christina for this Empire Mentoring session is Ashley Takacs, jewelry designer behind A. Tak Crafts. Like most creatives, Ashley is multi-passionate and wasn’t sure what to pursue next. We focused on streamlining her process at her current jewelry business so that no matter what she decides to pursue, she will be ready to tackle it head on!
What questions you need to ask yourself to figure out what to focus on
How anything you pursue in business provides valuable experience for future endeavors
How to streamline a product-based business, including batch ordering + less styles
Ashley Takacs (“A. Tak”) is the creative behind A. Tak Crafts. She’s a theatre nerd, Longhorn, Houstonian, wife, and crafter of handmade pendant and tassel necklaces. Ashley is inspired the creative community she has found and is open to see where her path may lead. You can often find her acting as a sounding board and providing encouragement for her friends. Her favorite pastime, besides hanging with her husband, is helping fellow creatives through conversation or even just a big hug. Ashley is a lover of leopard print, chocolate, dance parties, and all things gold. She lives for genuine connection and meeting new creatives.
Joining Reina + Christina this episode is Bethany Tran of The Root Collective, an ethical fashion company focused on creating jobs and changing lives in Guatemala. Bethany educates the hosts + listeners on what life in slums is really like and why she started The Root Collective. She offers helpful ways for product-based business to start being more ethical and sustainable in their own businesses, then expands that advice to include service-based businesses. The trio have an honest conversation about empathy fatigue and knowing your limitations. Lastly, Bethany advises people to vote with their dollars to drive change and shares some resources that will help you find ethical, fair trade companies to buy from.
How to start doing good with your business, whether it’s service or product-based
What empathy fatigue is + how to accept your limitations
How to scale a product-based business
How to find other companies to buy from that are doing good with their businesses
Bethany fell in love with the slum community of La Limonada in Guatemala in 2009 and it changed the course of her life forever. She began to realize how little most Americans understand about poverty and the social constructs that keep people where they are in countries like Guatemala. After the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh several years later, she saw the dichotomy of how jobs can create lives, but also destroy them. She wanted to be a part of providing a solution for jobs that create a culture of kindness. She is passionate about justice, ethical fashion, and might be overly obsessed with her dogs. Coffee is her love language and a little known secret is that she makes her own kombucha. Her overactive sense of humor gets her in trouble sometimes, but she feels that life is already too tough to take it seriously all the time.
This episode features Reina and Christina discussing ways to give back with your business. They start by discussing more traditional ways of giving back and how to start a dialogue with your clients about a portion of your profits going to a good cause. Then they brainstorm more creative ways to give back. There are many ways to give back with your business and our hosts would love to encourage you to do so! They’d love to know other ways to give back, so if you think of any, let us know!
How to make giving a part of your company culture
How to give back in creative ways
How to give time or support in a way that’s sustainable to you
What the benefits of giving are to you
How to check to make sure what you give to a nonprofit is being used well
What profit margins are and how to utilize them in ways meaningful to you
Brooke Saxon-Spencer of Belong Magazine joins the Creative Empire Podcast to talk about how to be an introvert in the creative community of extroverts. She covers how to conference as an introvert and why you need an introvert ally (and what that is!). She discuses how to reach out and build relationships with other creatives. Brooke covers the benefits of online communities such as Facebook Groups and Instagram, but also the fall backs of dwelling too much on these. She highlights the importance of celebrating the little wins in your business, even if you’re not making money yet.
How to be an introvert in the creative community of extroverts
Why you need an introvert ally (and what that is!)
How to reach out and connect with people
What are the benefits of communities like Facebook Groups
Why you shouldn’t read into people’s Instagram lives
This is Brooke. Introvert, Starbucks addict, M&M fiend, wife to her college sweetheart, mother of three, work-from-homer, midwestern girl at heart living in SoCal, super multi-tasker and pursuer of Christ. She founded Belong Magazine out of her desire for community, a desire to encourage women to use their voices and be confident in their value, a hope for women to use the screen in front of them to connect beyond that screen—to discover “their place” and find “their people”. As a print and digital publication, she wants Belong to serve as a map directing women to one another while celebrating the art and community of blogging, entrepreneurship and social media.
Tara Gentile joins Reina and Christina on the Creative Empire podcast this episode. They begin the episode by talking about where Tara started her entrepreneurial journey and how she’s gotten to where she is now. Then they dive right in to talking about the customer journey and how to nurture your customer along the way. Next they discuss Tara’s living room strategy, which is actually how to figure out your next product and who to launch it to. They round out the episode by talking about how your business is a system that doesn’t need you if it’s functioning properly and you should be able to teach the system to others.
What the customer journey is and where it actually ends
What the three categories of things are to look at to map out your customer journey
How to figure out your next offer and who to offer it to
What the living room strategy is and how to use it in your business
How you can package up what you do + teach others to do it
Tara Gentile is the founder of Quiet Power Strategy®, a company specializing in hands-on business training for idea-driven entrepreneurs. She’s passionate about helping people with smart ideas make more money, reach new audiences, and live life with ease. Tara is the author of The Art of Earning, Quiet Power Strategy, and The Observation Engine. She’s the host of Profit. Power. Pursuit. a podcast that goes behind-the-scenes of the real grit, administration, and logistics of running a successful business. Tara’s work has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, and the Huffington Post. She’s a regular instructor on CreativeLive and speaks on entrepreneurship, money, and marketing all over the world.
Amber Housley joins the ladies of the Creative Empire Podcast to discuss her journey and how it lead to following many passions. From stationary and wedding planning, to organizing retreats and creating products, Amber has done it all! Amber discusses her transition from working full time in a team to going out on her own in the creative world full time. She offers how she deals with life’s chaotic times and moments, despite the pressure of Instagram to make it all look put together. Amber explains the ROI and the kind of personal/business development you can expect from a conference, and why they may be worth going, even if you’re not a full time creative yet. Amber goes on to talk about the benefits of stepping outside your community (or bubble) to learn from other industries and professions.
How to transition from your 9-5 to full time creative entrepreneur
How to deal when your life feels very un-Instagram-able
How to conquer email marketing when you’re just starting out
What kind of personal/business development you can expect from a conference
Why you should step outside your community to learn
How to look beyond competitors and why it’s important
Amber Housley is a Creative Business and Sweet Life Cultivator. A multi-passionate serial entrepreneur, she founded her first business in 2007 and is now the designer behind The Joyful Garden Planner and founder of Inspired Retreat, an annual business gathering of creative women entrepreneurs. Her new course, Blooming Business Kits, will launch in Fall of 2016 and is made for mama entrepreneurs who want to run creative businesses efficiently, with joy, and without the expense of sacrificing family time. In addition to her business activities, she is Marketing Director at Southern Weddings magazine and Lara Casey Media, and is enthusiastic about sharing the message of meaningful marriages and intentional living. Her past wedding and design work has been featured in notable media as Southern Weddings, Southern Living, Bridal Guide, Style Me Pretty and Martha Stewart. Speaking from the stage at Inspired Retreat, Making Things Happen, Stationery Academy, Savvy Experience and Altitude Summit conferences, she has covered everything from building your creative business dream to marketing strategies. Amber has a big heart for helping women build thriving creative businesses and joy-filled lives. She combines her love of business, creating, gardening, faith and family into one ‘sweet life’ with her husband and two little ones outside Nashville, Tennessee.
This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast, hosts Reina Pomeroy and Christina Scalera are joined by Autumn Witt Boyd, an intellectual property lawyer who specializes in working with creative entrepreneurs. First they talk about where clients find Autumn and how they can approach her to get the most out of working with her. Autumn explains that investing in sound legal advice is an investment creative business owners need to make for their business to run the way it should. They discuss the biggest legal hangups that she sees questions on and what kind of worrisome situations people who haven’t worked with a lawyer yet find themselves in. They even discuss how to DIY a contract (hint: pick up one of her DIY templates over on her website!) Lastly, Autumn explains how to start an LLC and get it off the ground.
How hiring a lawyer is like an insurance policy for your business
How contracts protect both the service provider and the client
What kind of jams people without legal expertise find themselves in + her solutions
Whether or not you need a lawyer from your area + how law licensing works
What steps to take to start an LLC and get it off the ground
Why hire someone smaller like Autumn or Christina who specifically work with creatives
Autumn Witt Boyd is a lawyer who helps creative entrepreneurs achieve explosive growth. Autumn helps businesses protect themselves with rock solid contracts they can actually understand. She also works with creatives who want to make more money from their copyrights and trademarks, and solve problems like copycats or difficult clients when they come up. You can find tons of free legal resources and more information about working together on her website.
During this Jam Session Reina interview Christina all about trademarks for creative businesses. Christina describes the different kind of creatives who may or may not need to register their trademark and how to identify if you’re one of them. She does on to describe what you can and can’t trademark, and how to register for your blog and digital downloads. She covers what different classes are, and why you need to know your trademark class. She clarifies the difference between trademarks and copyrights, and closes with why you should hire an attorney to register a trademark (and how to choose the right one!). She offers a timeline for the filing process, what to expect and how much to budget.
Why you may need to register your trademark (and why you may not!)
What you can trademark (and what you can’t)
How you can register your blog and digital downloads
What’s the difference between trademarks and copyrights
What your trademark class is, and why it’s important to know
How long the filing process is and what to expect
How much you should budget for a trademark
Why you need to hire an attorney to register a trademark
This episode, Reina + Christina sit down with Valerie McKeehan to talk about the difference between creating as a hobby vs as a business. Valerie speaks to how her business relies on her ability to stay inspired creatively and what she does when she has too many and too few ideas. It’s challenging to keep innovating and moving her brand beyond the trends, but her motto is to give herself grace to do her own thing.
How to get inspired again if you’re a creative entrepreneur + lose your motivation to create
How hiring help is often needed to keep moving forward
How to get started when creating physical products
How important branding is whether operating on Etsy or your own website
How we need to celebrate the successes we have instead of just moving onto what’s next
Lily & Val’s original gifts, cards, and home decor items mirror life’s simple pleasures so you always have a reason to smile. Each item is hand lettered and illustrated by Valerie McKeehan, who infuses her flourishes, flowers, typography and quaint illustrations with the same sense of whimsy and elegance that inspires her at home. In fact, that’s how Lily & Val was born. In 2012, newly wedded and drawing from a love of visual storytelling honed through her career in advertising, Valerie transformed an old picture frame into a “McKeehan’s Café” chalkboard for the kitchen. She fell in love with chalkboard art instantly. What’s more, friends, family, and customers from the Etsy shop that followed soon became just as enchanted by Lily & Val’s artwork, too. A lot has changed since those early days, but like all good things, a lot has stayed the same. As Lily & Val grew, she discovered ways to preserve a beloved art form that is considered fleeting and temporary. After illustrating each piece by hand, Valerie photographs the freshly drawn chalkboard to make a digital print. This method enables us to send you a gorgeous piece of chalkboard art, perfect in its imperfections, without worry of dust or erasing. We pride ourselves in unique, modern handcrafted goods with a nod to the nostalgia of a classic medium like chalkboard. Since opening, Lily & Val has worked with nationally-recognized brands and has been featured in publications like The Knot Magazine, HGTV.com, MarthaStewartWeddings.com, and Good Housekeeping Magazine. But want to know a secret? It’s still the spontaneity of life’s playful, everyday pleasures that inspires us. The smallest things are the most important things: a few words transforming a room into a cozy space, an illustration that makes you smile. We revel in mixing simple nostalgia with a modern style of pretty-whimsy to create gifts that are lovingly made, from our hands and hearts to yours.
On this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast, the ladies are joined by Jasmin Black Ortega who is known for her visual storytelling. Jasmin starts with why your brand needs a story and how to find it. Then she explains how consistent branding plays like a movie with a beginning, a middle and an end. Jasmin goes on to explain how to interpret natural flow of thought to your visuals. Finally she talks about how you don’t need to focus on one passion, but can follow your skills and interests where ever they take you, as long as they tell a story!
Why your brand needs a story and how to find it
Why you don’t have to focus on one passion
How to create consistent visuals for your brand
How to interpret natural flow of thought to your visuals
Jasmin Black is what you call a visual storyteller. This lover of laughs, mother of a fur kitty and wife is an expert at taking your vision and bringing it to life through intentional style while conveying your your story seamlessly. Jasmin’s love for storytelling is seen through her fine art skills as a calligrapher where she beautifully scripts a couple’s love story in a well written invitation to friends and loved ones, as a consultant for creative female driven brands that are looking to communicate their brand story in a way which captures their ideal client’s attention and also as a stylist and creative director working with clients to style their photo shoots for online and editorial publication. After years of traveling abroad and throughout the United States Jasmin and her husband have moved to America in Hickory, NC outside of her hometown of Charlotte where she left her high-level job as a nationally certified American Sign Language Interpreter for become a female entrepreneur and establishing her own company Estudio RoJo. Aside from dance breaks, gummy bears, delicious food and documentaries Jasmin is addicted to helping others listen to their inner creative voice. She is driven to inspire, educate and speak to others about how they challenge themselves from a more positive perspective and seek creativity from within and the fact that she speak four languages fluently allows her to relate and connect to people in a broader way. You can easily find Jasmin listening to music, occupied in her volunteer work or sketching at any time.
Featured on this episode of the Creative Empire podcast is Cassie Cherneski, a wedding planner and founder of Cultivate Retreat. First Cassie discusses how she does things a little differently and how that impacts her clientele. She talks about rebranding and her inspirations behind the project. Cassie offers a lot of advice in this episode for new wedding industry business owners, including to try to work for someone first before jumping in the business with both feet and how to price your services. She finishes the episode advising them to not be so concerned with appearances on social media. Instead, become an expert in your industry and build relationships with people.
Why less inquiries can be a good thing
How and why to do styled shoots
What the 4 core values of the Cultivate Retreat are and who it’s for
How to ask for feedback and why it’s important
How to get out of a contract if it’s the right move to make
Why social media isn’t the best indicator of how well someone’s business is doing
Cassie Cherneski has been planning and designing stylish events with her company Flaire Weddings since 2005. A 2004 Graduate of Liberty University, Cassie spent seven years teaching English and Drama in a public high school, where she helped inner city students learn to read critically, write persuasively, and perform passionately. Cassie added a boutique rental company, Jax Chair Boutique to her portfolio of companies in 2010, and left teaching to plan and design full time with Flaire Weddings in 2011. Cassie is also the founder and hostess of Cultivate Retreat, an annual gathering of creative wedding professionals that has sought to encourage, inspire and educate wedding professionals through stunning locations, thoughtful design, and a curated experience since 2012.
When not planning events, arranging beautiful blooms, or designing retreats, you can find Cassie with her husband and two children in their 1919 home in Jacksonville, Florida, working on her currently unfinished YA novel, planning for the future zombie apocalypse, or dreaming about her next trip to France.
Shelby Stechbauer of Shelby Rae Photographs joins the Creative Empire Podcast to talk about how she successfully moved her business across the country. Many creatives may find it difficult for their business when they find themselves moving to a new city or state. Shelby discusses how she overcame this and built her local and online presence. She talks about how to create your ideal clientele and meaningful relationships with people. Shelby also explains how to cater to different types of clients so that they receive the best experience possible.
How to successfully move your business across the country
How to build your local and online presence
How to cater to different types of clients
How to create your ideal clientele
How to create meaningful relationships with people
My name is Shelby Steckbauer and I am a portrait & wedding photographer based out of Atlanta & Wisconsin! I am a natural light photographer that thanks the Lord each and every day for allowing me to capture moments in people’s lives. I found that my love was not just taking photos… but it was PEOPLE. This job has brought me to meet the most amazing clients & friends that I will cherish my whole life. My passion lies in the moments that I can connect with my clients, whether it be chatting about fashion with my fashion bloggers or planning wedding details with my brides… These are the moments I cherish. I have a little furry office assistant named Miss Lola that loves to welcome each client in to my office/studio with kisses and hugs.
This episode on the Creative Empire Podcast features Reina + Christina jamming on how to network, especially if you’re an introvert. Reina shares the tips and tricks she has shared with introvert clients and friends that have helped them the most. Christina, a natural introvert, shares what it is like for her to go to events and asks Reina how to go up to people she looks up to or “influencers.” They both discuss what networking and being more visible and making connections has done for their businesses. Finally Christina asks Reina what one step an introvert can take today to connect to another person if they don’t know where to start.
What can help ease nerves about networking
How making networking a game makes it more fun
How to shift your thinking when you’re really nervous to go up to someone you really admire
How having a goal for networking can help you determine what kind of event to go to
How honoring the commitment you made to go to an eventcan help break the cycle of excuses for not going
How to turn your attention from how you’re feeling to maybe another person is feeling the same way
What people get from networking
What networking and connecting to other people have done for Reina + Christina’s businesses
What the “Social Glue Method” is
What one action that an introvert who doesn’t know where to start networking can take
This episode is with Ashely Lurcott of the Modern Caligraphy Summit where she celebrates product failures and teaches listeners how to learn from them. Ashley is the queen of pre-validating and selling products even before they have launched, but doesn’t mean she doesn’t have launch failures. Ashley encourages creatives to handle refection and learn from these failures since there are more great ideas where that came from! Ashley also goes on to talk about why you should view people as future partners, not competitors.
How to pre-validate + test a product before launch
How to handle rejection and learn from failure
Why you should fearlessly collaborate
How to deal with product launch failures (and learn from them!)
Why you should view people as future partners (not competitors)
How to pre-sell your product before it even launches
I create awesome digital courses and help people launch their businesses and products online. As a generalist, I’m involved in everything from product creation, marketing, branding, and launch strategy, to the nitty-gritty tech details like video production, email automation, and web design.
This Empire Mentoring Session is with Julie Painter of Dallas Girl Friday. She is coming to Reina + Christina with the question of how to be seen as an expert. First Reina asks Julie what she wants to be known for. Then the ladies talk about pre-validating and beta testing an ecourse. Christina tells Julie the real secrets to being seen as an expert + asks Julie to name 3 things she could do between now and when her course launches. Both ladies encourage Julie to commit to this business.
How to pre-validate and beta test a product
What the real secrets are to becoming seen as an expert
How everyone doesn’t feel good enough sometimes, but we all have something that someone needs
I’m Julie and I’m here to help. You’re overworked and overwhelmed. Being a business owner myself, I totally get the deadlines, time management, and the wanting and needing to grow your business. Let me help take you to the next level. I started Dallas Girl Friday with sound organizational skills and a passion for systems. I’m a lover of creatives, iced coffee, Target, and the color teal. I obsessively love spreadsheets, to-do lists, and project management.
I’m a Dallas resident and I also opened and operate Events by Jules, a boutique wedding planning firm.
On this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast Laura Joseph of Paper & Honey discusses creating meaningful client relationships. She firstly talks about transitioning from her 9-5 to take her side hustle full time. She elaborates on how she took this leap of faith, creates what she loves, and continues to be fearless in what she wants as a creative. Laura explains how to find your ideal client and then truly connect with them. She talks about how she moves with what clients want and need from her, without compromising her integrity or vision.
How to transition from your 9-5 to taking your side hustle full time
How to move with what clients want and need from you (without compromising)
How to take the leap of faith and create what you love
How to find your ideal clients and truly connect with them
Laura lives in Brighton, Michigan where she spends her days with a calligraphy pen in one hand and a mug of French roast coffee in the other. Some of her favorite things are getting to know someone over a glass of wine (or craft beer — she doesn’t discriminate!), the smell of opening her windows for the first time after a long winter, or finding a good documentary on Netflix. Paper & Honey began as a cubicle-confined dream back in 2012, coming to life in early 2014. She believes in having a kind and human-centered heart, living with intention and purpose, working hard to make the incredible happen, and finding inspiration in the strangest of places.
This week on the Creative Empire podcast Reina + Christina are jamming about being a part of a team and playing a supporting role in business. They discuss it being a financially and business savvy decision to learn from someone else’s mistakes before going into business for yourself. Next the ladies introduce their team and share what their roles on their teams are. Reina + Christina discuss figuring out your strengths and how the role you’re meant to fill might not have a specific title. Lastly, they discuss how you can find entrepreneurs to work for in Facebook groups.
How the title of the roles don’t necessarily fit the actual needs of entrepreneurs
How if you’re struggling, it’s ok to not be in business for yourself immediately
How, as part of a team, you get to learn from someone else’s mistakes
How being a part of a team is not as lonely as being a solopreneur
This episode Reina + Christina are talking to inspirational speaker, Jessica Rasdall. Jessica offers a how-to on finding your story and using it in your business. She describes how she tells her story to inspire and motivate others, and how you can do this even if you’re a bad writer. It starts with processing emotions instead of toughing it out, and then harnessing those emotions to tell others. Jessica shares her secret to making a connection with listeners and then turning them into trusting clients.
How to find your story and use it in your business
Why you should process your emotions instead of toughing it out
How to tell your story to inspire others
How to tell your story as a bad writer
How to make a connection with listeners to turn them into trusting clients
When Jessica Rasdall was a freshman in college, she made a life-altering decision that resulted the death of her best friend. In an effort to raise awareness, cope with her guilt and keep her friend’s memory alive, she began sharing her story. Jessica spoke to over 15,000 young adults across the country before she was later sentenced to four years in prison. Upon being released from prison, she returned home to pick up the pieces and continued to share her message. Today, Jessica is a Motivational Speaker and Transformational Coach to female business owners. She helps her clients unearth their signature story, tap into their inner strength and evoke radical change. She believes that what most people consider to be their “liabilities” are actually their greatest asset. Jessica has shared her story of turning her “mess into a message” for nearly ten years and has been featured on major media outlets such as ABC’s 20/20, Katie Couric, Seventeen Magazine, The Guardian, MTV’s Series Premiere of One Bad Choice and many more. Today, Jessica helps others take control of their lives, starting from the inside out. Through public speaking, group coaching and one-on-one intensives, Jessica Rasdall is helping others live passion-driven lives, focused on embracing their stories and uncovering their purpose.
Passionate + purpose driven photographer duo Graham and Ashley Scobey are Reina and Christina’s guests this episode. They talk about how their business was leading them to burn out and how they came up with the three things that make up their purpose: people, moments, and relationships. Every single decision the Scobeys make for their business, they filter through that purpose. They talk about their motto being “you are never stuck” and how it empowers them to lean into fear and be okay with what their purpose is. Both of them advocate for the abundance mindset because it allows for more and more possibilities. Next, the Scobeys discuss the way to find your why is to figure out what your own dream really is and how it’s so much deeper than what you do for a living. Lastly, they talk about how it’s possible for them to work together as a couple.
How they found their purpose + why and rebuilt their business around that
How outsourcing + getting specific in their brand helped them transition to a business that supports their life instead of their life revolving around their business
How living in the abundance mindset helps them get unstuck + actually creates more opportunities
What it takes for them as a married couple to work together
Graham + Ashley held hands for the first time when they were twelve. He had a blonde bowl cut and she was wearing argyle knee-highs. Eighteen years later, they still like holding hands, but they’ve left the bad hair and tall socks behind. They are the husband and wife team behind Scobey Photography. They’ve been recognized as Rising Stars of Wedding Photography by Rangefinder magazine, and their work has received awards such as Junebug’s Best of the Best, PDN Top Knots, and Showit’s Image of the Year. More importantly, though, they are in constant search of ridiculous places to have dance parties and tickle fights with their two kids. Because, for them, life is all about how much fun you can have with the people you love.
On this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast Reina & Christina are talking to Courtney Slazinik of Click it Up a Notch. Courtney talks about her transition from having a blog to having a business and how to make that a smooth one. One of the key points Courtney discussed was how she grew her email list and then turned them into advocated for her brand. A great deal of that had to do with being protective of this list, and intentional with what she sends to them. Finally Courtney talks about how she talks to two different audiences and caters to her over 32,000 email subscribers.
How to go from having a blog to having a business
What the key is to doubling your email list
How to turn email subscribers into advocates for your brand
Courtney Slazinik is the force behind Click it Up a Notch, a Huffington Post Top 5 Blog for Momtographers. Each week she teachers tens of thousands of photographers how to capture life’s simple moments, and also instructs aspiring entrepreneurs how she built her Facebook community of over 60 thousand fans.
Equine photographer Kirstie Jones is Reina + Christina’s guest this episode. They start the episode by discussing how she even created her niche of equine photography and how she found her style as a photographer. She owns her passion for pricing + business and talks a little about how she has to create her own demand. Kirstie discusses putting money into advertising and how she gets return on her investment because she knows her customer. Kirstie’s confidence shines throughout this episode and Reina asks her what she would tell a new business owner who maybe wasn’t as confident. She ends the episode with the advice for new entrepreneurs to craft their why and their story and believe in every inch of it, because that will help them with sales better than anything else.
How doing what she loved helped Kirstie find her niche and noticing common threads in what she loved developed her style
How having a pulse on the market helps you calculate your business decisions
How Kirstie takes cues on pricing from other industries
How you get a great return on your investment if you understand where your clients are and if your messaging is correct
How Kirstie first started getting published in blogs + magazines and what she would do differently now
How believing in what you’re selling wholeheartedly leads to confidence + an easier time selling
Why crafting your why + your story + believing in every inch of it is important to entrepreneurs
Kirstie Jones is an equine portrait photographer located in Dallas, Texas. Since opening Kirstie Marie Photography in 2013, her work has been featured across dozens of equine publications, as well as on coveted photography blogs around the world. Using both film and digital cameras, Kirstie’s work is often described as authentic, emotional, and timeless. Kirstie earned a BBA in Finance from the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, where she also rode as a scholarship athlete for the TCU Equestrian Team.
This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is with Lisa Jacobs of the Marketing Creativity Blog where the girls discuss creating good and reasonable goals for your online business. Lisa explains how many online creatives are caught up in the vanity numbers on social media, and are focused only on gaining traffic and email subscribers. She goes on to explain that good online business goals and strategy go beyond these. Lisa talks about how creatives need to evolve by spreading their message and giving it away for free, which will ultimately lead to growth and profit. Some of the tips she offers, specifically to makers, is why your site needs excellent copywriting and professional photography. This. alongside her other tips, is how to convert sit visitors to online customers.
How Lisa achieved Etsy success and now shares her knowledge with others
What is the formula for success for your online business (beyond traffic and email subscribers)
How to create good goals for your online business
How to self-manage in a career without a boss
What you need to do to evolve (hint: it has to do with spreading your message)
How to convert site-visitors to online customers
Why you need good copywriting in your online business
How to cater your Instagram to what potential customers want to see
Lisa Jacobs is a marketing consultant for creative entrepreneurs. Her expertise comes from her own success in turning $100 of supplies into thousands of sales and a top-earning Etsy storefront. She freely shares her insights and strategy with like-minded entrepreneurial spirits on the blog, Marketing Creativity, and is the proud creator of The Luminaries Club: your creative business headquarters.
This Empire Mentoring session is with Melissa Cales, of Brand Sweet Co and The White Desk Sessions. She is coming to Reina and Christina with the question of how to scale her business while experiencing rapid growth. The three ladies discuss outsourcing, systems, and developing passive income products.
How to hire before you’re ready to avoid scrambling later
What you can automate to make life easier
How to make a minimum viable passive income product
How to collect ideas from your ideal client for passive income products
Melissa is a brand experience designer for creative entrepreneurs, combining drool-worthy visual design with kick-butt brand and marketing strategy. After her first failed attempt at a film photography business ten years ago, she made it her mission to learn everything she could about marketing, branding and business which lead to a successful corporate career as a Marketing Director and a successful senior portrait photography business. As Melissa went from struggling to thriving, her passion shifted to inspiring the same journey in other creative entrepreneurs. Today she combines her experience, skills and knowledge to help creative entrepreneurs build and grow their brands.
This week on the Creative Empire Podcast Reina + Christina are jamming about their favorite business and life books. They discuss a dozen books that have made a real impact or impression on their personal and/or business lives. If you’re looking for a good weekend read or for some serious inspiration then listen on!
Brand designer + strategist Irene Hardy is Reina + Christina’s guest this episode. They start out by discussing the inspiration behind her brand and how she uses it to inspire others. Then she breaks down the steps to building a brand that sells. Her philosophy is that marketing is just communicating a story, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. For those that are on their own or can’t afford branding, Irene offers a few tips to DIY their brand. Next they discuss why a welcome guide is essential for a business. Lastly, she advises sitting down with a piece of paper and mapping out where you want to be, who you want to serve and how you’re going to give them a crazy amount of value.
Irene Hardy is a graphic designer, brand stylist and the owner of Magnoliahouse Creative. She specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses build graceful and exuberant brands that attract their dream clients. When she’s not working, she’s the new girl in town in Columbia, SC with her husband and poorly-behaved bichon Max. You might catch her with a cold glass of rose on the back porch, cheering for the Texas Longhorns or cooking something delicious from scratch.
For this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast Reina + Christina are talking with Laura Foote. Laura discusses her journey to creating her creative empire which has spanned over the last eight years. She talks about her windy, non-Cinderella story of creative entrepreneurship and how she has grown and changed with it. Laura highlights how people can learn from what they’re doing right now, even if it’s not where they want to be. She talks about how she has found balance between life and business, and found a sense of community and friendships despite moving across the country.
How to embrace the windy, non-Cinderella story that can be creative entrepreneurship
How you can learn from what you’re doing right now (even if it’s not where you want to be)
How to find community and friendships as a creative entrepreneur
How to balance different priorities in life and business
How to find balance when you’re just starting out
How to grow and change with your industry
Laura Foote is a Kansas girl turned Floridian who specializes in branding and wedding portraiture. She has been featured by brands like Lauren Conrad, Emily Ley, and Glitter Guide. Laura holds a Master’s degree in College Education and recently made the jump from advisor/instructor to full-time photographer, speaker and mentor! The intersection of learning/teaching/mentoring other creatives is the core of her heart and she considers herself a storyteller who focuses on the real, raw, beautiful life moments that are intimate and worth remembering. Any day that ends with good food, red wine, and conversations that go 10,000 feet deep are the best in her book!
Reina + Christina are joined this episode by Ashlyn Carter, who discusses in depth the 5 things your business about page needs. She outlines a little about the possibilities that story telling holds, what copywriting actually is, and why/when/where they should hire a copywriter. Next Ashlyn discusses the role that vulnerability can play in a business and the baby steps a newbie can start taking to implement vulnerability in their lives. Lastly she shares the advice she would give her former self who hadn’t taken the leap yet.
How there’s power and investment when a consumer’s world view aligns with a brand’s story
What the 5 parts to a great business about page are
What a good copywriter should do + where to find them
How to be vulnerable and still be seen as a professional
Ashlyn is a calligrapher and copywriter for creatives, helping simplify storytelling for creative women. She came alongside clients like Delta Air Lines, Chick-fil-A, Orkin, and Woodruff Arts Center to tell their stories at a full-service PR firm — and then worked as publicist branding for celebrity chef Ford Fry. Now? She strings words copywriting websites for creativepreneurs, and slings ink as a calligrapher. When not writing about herself in third person, she’s usually trying to scratch the ink off her fingernails or grabbing margs and tacos with her husband.
On this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast the ladies are chatting with Heather Crabtree about how to run a successful and engaged Facebook Group. Heather talks about how she maintains an involved community of thousands of entrepreneurs, but also how to instill guidelines and rules so that it doesn’t become spammy. She also dives into how her father’s death affected her not only personally and emotionally, but also her business. Heather explains how finding a coach and trusting her instinct helped her overcome this personal tragedy and made her stronger. Heather talks with Reina + Christina about how she spots potential in people and in turn how she’s hired and grown her team over just a few years.
How to run a successful and engaged Facebook Group
How to launch (even when you’re not ready)
How personal tragedies can affect your business (and how to deal with that healthily)
Why you should just go for it!
How to find and hire the best team for you and your business
Heather is a Business Strategist for Creative Entrepreneurs and owner of Heather Crabtree LLC. Prior to this business, Heather began in the legal field and also owned an event planning company for 11 years, which she and her business partner sold in 2014. Now she teaches creative business owners how to create and grow a business with their smarts and their heart. She also runs a private Facebook group, Savvy Business Owners, for over 7500 women, has a group coaching program, Savvy Business Circle, and will be launching her online shop for creative entrepreneurs with digital downloads soon. Business aside, Heather is also a proud mom to her littles, London and Lane, and wife of 11 years to her husband, Cole. She believes that life should not be taken for granted and that we should cherish each morsel of every day. She loves to encourage, motivate and share her knowledge with others, but also believes that we can learn something from every person we meet.
Featured on this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is Farideh Ceaser, launch strategist and musician. She started studying business at a young age and realized as a creative that we have to keep taking risks and honor our excitement. They discuss what it’s like to be business-minded and creative and how that can make being authentically real online a challenge. Next they talk about passive income, how to develop products, and how Farideh became a launch strategist. Farideh takes Reina and Christina through launch strategy and what an actual launch is like. She ends the episode with the advice for new entrepreneurs to “just try everything, see what sticks, then niche down from there.”
How Farideh became a launch strategist
How she balances being creative and business-minded and why it’s important to be authentically real online
What her strategies for passive income are
How to validate ideas to see if there’s a market for them
How you don’t have to be an expert to launch
How launching is like being a burlesque dancer
How automating your social media makes it easy to promote your products/services
How Facebook Pixel works
How new entrepreneurs should just try a lot of things before niche-ing down
Farideh Ceaser is a musician and launch strategist. After 15 years on the road touring as a musician, Farideh switched gears and now helps entrepreneurs launch their big ideas and online courses. She regularly delivers her wisdom in the form of a ukelele and a song on www.farideh.com.
This episode, on the Creative Empire Podcast, Reina + Christina talk to Lauren Bowling all about how to make the money you deserve, and then manage it smartly. Lauren discusses how she transitioned from her full-time hedge fund job to blogging full-time. In fact, Lauren doesn’t even work full time, she works about 25 hours per week and has already pulled in $8,000 this month! Wondering how to make a full-time income working part-time? Then this is the episode for you! Lauren elaborates further on how to make real money with affiliate links and passive income products.
How to turn your side hustle into your full-time job
How to repurpose blog content
Why you don’t need to hire a professional to manage your money
How to make a full-time income working part-time
How to make real money with affiliate links + passive income products
Lauren Bowling is the blogger behind L Bee and the Money Tree. After getting her degree in theater and racking up thousands of dollars in credit card debt in college, she moved to New York City with $300 in her pocket. While there she landed a sweet job on Wall Street which sparked her interest in personal finance and helped her kick her bad money habits for good. Three years, three cities, one home purchase, and nearly 2,000 blog posts later, Bowling is a pro at mastering tricky millennial finances. In addition to blogging on L Bee and the Money Tree (LBMT), Bowling is the host of the award-winning internet talk show, Awkward Money Chat, and her writing has appeared on notable outlets such as Business Insider, Forbes.com, Learnvest, Yahoo! Finance, and The Huffington Post. As a source, Lauren’s expertise has been featured inside the pages of Redbook, Woman’s Day, and others. She spends her free time renovating her first home, enjoying good wine while avoiding the kitchen, and “killing it” at karaoke. She’s even been known to act in a musical or two. By day Bowling runs her own content marketing firm, Beehive Content, and she happily resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Today is a special episode for the Creative Empire Podcast. We want to honor our friend, colleague, encourager, and all around amazing person Emily Potts with this episode. Emily never hesitated to help someone else out and she always had kind words of support. In this episode we discuss how to encourage and genuinely connect with others, as Emily Potts did so well. Reina and Christina finish this episode reflecting on how they want to be remembered, and how that can influence your life and business daily.
Emily Potts and her legacy
What encourages the ladies the most
How to encourage peers and be genuine in encouraging influencers
How to recognize peoples’ lives outside of social media
How Emily is remembered and posing the question “How do you want to be remembered?”
I created my site just for mompreneurs because I’m one of them myself. I know exactly what it’s like to work super-hard at running a business while raising a family. I decided that my lifestyle needed to change. I needed to run a profitable business, but I needed to do it in a way that allowed me the time and energy to focus on my family. The years I have with my son at home are short, and they’re getting shorter with every passing day. I didn’t want to squander another single one. My biggest goal in building my site is to make you rich. But not just in the money sense of the word. While I definitely do want to help you grow the most profitable business possible, I also want you to be rich in life. I want you to have time to enjoy your family, do things for yourself, and maybe even get some sleep. (Except for those of you with newborns – I’ll just have to pray you make it through the first few months!)
In this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast, Maghon Taylor joins the girls to talk about how to spread happiness using your business. She begins by explaining how she crafted a mission statement for her creative business, and why she felt a need for it. She goes on to talk about how to translate an individual business owner’s personality to social media. Maghon discusses how to gain confidence and pursue your passion as a creative. This lead to debating the positives and not-so-great parts of being an entrepreneur and how to manage the struggle of going from having co-workers to being on your own.
How to craft a mission statement for your creative biz (+ why you need one!)
How to spread happiness using your business
How to translate your personality to social media
How to gain confidence and pursue your passion
How to manage the struggle of having co-workers to working alone
What are some of the positives and not-so-great parts of being a creative entrepreneur
I’m Maghon Taylor and I am the She behind All She Wrote Notes. I am a sweet Carolina girl on a mission to spread happiness through my handwriting. I have delighted in pretty handwriting all my life — with a name like Maghon, you can’t help it! My sweet southern mama says she spelled it that way because it looked prettier to write. I’m serious. So, I think I was destined to be a calligrapher. All She Wrote Notes is a calligraphy studio that specializes in celebrating every day! We believe calligraphy and beautiful handlettering shouldn’t be saved like china for special occasions. Life can be full of so many little celebrations and we love to party! We specialize in adding my whimsical handwritten calligraphy to stationery, paper goods, gifts and party supplies. I also love teaching calligraphy and sharing my skills and knowledge through my traveling calligraphy workshop program called Calligraphy Y’all.
This episode features Katell Schmitz of Reverie Lane Designs. She talks about why being different is a good thing when it comes to design and how to embrace it creatively. Katell discusses how she got to a place where she is comfortable being unique, then she goes into why finding your voice is a must for any new designer. Lastly, she outlines the design process.
What the creative process for the Creative Empire branding was like
Why Katell is different and how it enhances her design process
How being unapologetically herself has opened doors
Why it’s important to find your own voice before designing for anybody else
How Katell become a branding expert
How to know which branding designer to pick for a project
Katell Schmitz is the owner + creative director of Reverie Lane Designs. Born in France, she studied Applied Modern Languages, Marketing and Cultural Project Management. She has always been captivated by creativity and finding any way possible to animate her imagination.
After college she moved to America, married her soulmate and now has two beautiful little humans. She worked as a freelance designer for a handful of years before starting her entrepreneurial journey. She believes branding and graphic design as a whole should be personal and tailor made. You know your business uniquely and should be the one telling the world about it. There is a little bit of a dream in this reality for everybody, and Katell feels honored to have her creativity at the service of your dreams. That is the very force propelling Reverie Lane Designs.
This week on the Creative Empire Podcast Reina and Christina are chatting with the Rising Tide Society’s co-founder, Krista Jones. Krista outlines what the Rising Tide Society is, and how you as a creative entrepreneur can be involved and benefit from it. Krista talks about how to master being a leader to a large group of entrepreneurs and what you should know about the Tuesdays Together movement. She also discusses how to divide roles among co-founders when starting a new business so that it creates a healthy, happy environment.
What the Rising Tide Society is
How to master being a leader for a large group of entrepreneurs
How to divide roles among co-founders
Why you need to know about the Tuesdays Together movement
Krista is a fine art film photographer and Graphic Designer for Creative Entrepreneurs. She is also a co-founder of the Rising Tide Society. She specializes in crafting unique brands that extend far beyond distinct typography and varying color palettes. Krista’s unique understanding of visual marketing, web design, branding, and search engine optimization has enabled her to create dynamic identities that prosper both online and in the marketplace
Reina and Christina talk to Kaitlin Holland of The School of Styling during this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast. Kaitlin shares how a disappointing conference experience led to the creation of The School of Styling. They discuss why she isn’t afraid of competition. Kaitlin speaks to why pretty matters and how she tries to incorporate beauty into every detail of her business. Then she shares the advice she gives to her 1-on-1 coaching clients. Lastly, Kaitlin reveals what her creative empire looks like right now and what the future holds for The School of Styling.
What the deciding factor was in hitting publish on The School of Styling
How the “blue ocean strategy” was a game-changer for her business
How creating moments of beauty contribute to the client experience
What advice Kaitlin would share to new entrepreneurs, especially those in over-saturated markets
Kaitlin Holland is a believer in Jesus, stylist, and creative business mentor who lives in North Carolina with her husband and two pups, Sophie and Scout. Long conversations with friends new and old fill her soul and she is on a mission to extravagantly love and serve those who are put in her path. Kaitlin created The School of Styling to provide creative women, no matter their field or profession, with the education and inspiration they need to create beautiful work, events, and spaces. She is a cultivator of community, and the heartbeat of the workshop is found in the relationships built amongst attendees, speakers, and staff. With a background in art, she derives much of the inspiration for the workshop structure from a technical art setting. Including demonstrations, hands on learning, and critique sessions with a like-minded group of women.
This episode is with Carrie Grace of The Kindness Box, a monthly subscription box service that aims to spread love and kindness. In fact, that’s Carrie Grace’s life mantra, and how she decides what to post on Instagram. Carrie Grace outlines in this episode how to be organic and genuine on Instagram and how this was the key to her large following and Insta-success. Despite this, Carrie Grace discusses the advantages of having a small following on Instagram, and how you can have just as great an impact with 75 followers as with 75,000 followers. She goes on to talk with Reina and Christina about how it’s vital to figure out: Why is Instagram important to me? What do I want to use it for? If the answer is connecting with people then Carrie Grace continues with how to spread online, and how to do it in the real world.
How to be organic and genuine on Instagram
What the advantages are of having a small following
Why it’s vital to figure out: why is Instagram important to me?
Carrie Grace lives in Durham, NC where she runs The Kindness Box, a monthly subscription full of joy delivered straight to your doorstep. She also helps women grow their social media accounts to be more profitable. She believes that kindness will never go out of style and the world could always use more of it. She loves the color pink, cotton candy, and is a huge Taylor Swift fan. You can find her passing balloons out to strangers, sending out weekly pep talks, and finding reasons to celebrate life.
During this jam session with Reina and Christina the girls are talking all about pricing. They discuss how to start pricing your services strategically and how to build your portfolio, leading up to a business launch. Reina and Christina talk about gaining the confidence to raise your prices and discuss how a luxury service is defined. Christina explains vertical and horizontal collaboration, and how to use it. Finally the girls close with a free Survive and Thrive Budget Workbook (details on how to get this below).
How to start pricing your services (strategically!)
How to build your portfolio and lead up to a business launch
How to gain the confidence to raise your prices
What is a luxury service
What is vertical vs. horizontal collaboration (and how to use it)
On this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast Reina and Christina are talking to Kat Schmoyer of Dear Sweetheart Events and the Creative at Heart Conference. Kat explains her journey from her full-time job to creating her own business and journey. Kat explains how rewarding (but difficult!) this transition can be, but also how full-time entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. She goes over what the typical stages of this transition are and how to overcome them. Because Kat founded the Creative at Heart Conferences, she discusses conferences with Reina and Christina and how they are planned and executed.
Embracing the transition from part-time to full-time entrepreneur
What are the typical stages of this transition
What is the deal with conferences for creatives (especially the Creative at Heart Conference)
I’m Kat – wife, planner, florist, pink lover & mama to a crazy brittany spaniel! My high school sweetheart Matt and I live in a tiny 2500 population town in an old, historic home … and we love every bit of it! We’re both a bit obsessed with the Christmas season, love watching sitcoms like Seinfeld & Friends, and cheer for the Redskins on Sundays. I began this dream of mine a little over 2 years ago, and have been blessed to work with some truly incredible couples! Wedding planning combines my love for organization, strategy & color-coding; floral design allows me to dig even deeper with you into the heart of your design aesthetic, so we cultivate a wedding day that is both logistically sound & aesthetically unforgettable. Diet Dr. Pepper is my drug of choice, popcorn is my favorite snack, and there must always be a candle burning during my work day! I love chatting with brides over iced chai lattes, can spend too many hours browsing through Target and rarely leave the house without my Simplified Planner & pink Kate Spade bag.
This Empire Mentoring Session is with Ashley Cox of Ashley Cox Photography and Sprout HR. She is coming to Reina and Christina about how to market herself and her business better, without coming off as sleazy. Reina and Christina talk about how and where to give away content, and how that translates into more paid work. Additionally the girls are chatting about how your website should read to help viewers understand your business (and you!), and how to define what you do, concisely!
How to market and sell to people without coming off as sleazy
How to get more sales (*hint* it’s about giving away content!)
How your website should read to help viewers understand your business (and you!)
How to define what you do, concisely
Ashley Cox is the owner of sproutHR, where she helps creative entrepreneurs learn all about how to hire, train, and grow a thriving team. Whether you feel like you’re in way over your head hiring your first team member, or you’re looking for someone to help you create a strategic long-term plan, she partners with you as your personal HR expert! She’ll help you feel more confident in your abilities, while saving you the time and frustration of trying to figure it all out on your own.
This episode interview Katie Selvidge of Cottage Hill Magazine about living and making decisions intentionally, and learning from fear. Katie is all about being intentional with time, money and resources, listen in on how she achieves this. Besides intention, Katie’s other main highlight this episode is about the role fear plays in business and how to overcome and even learn from fear. Linked with understanding fear is how courage plays its role in creative entrepreneurship. Katie goes on to talk about how much of fear is linked with shaming, and how it’s not the failure that we fear, but rather what others will think. Katie relates this to mom-shaming as well. Finally Katie ends with how you should honor your truth and how, despite living in the middle-of-nowhere, you can network and be present.
How to be intentional about our time, money and resources
What role fear plays in your business and life
How courage plays its role in creative entrepreneurship
How to overcome shaming (specifically mom-shaming)
How to network and be successful (despite living in the middle-of-nowhere)
Why you should honor your truth (and why it’s the key to your success!)
Katie O. Selvidge is an editor in chief, writer, thought leader and consultant for creative entrepreneurs. As a former ballerina and choreographer, Katie coaches creative professionals in a unique way utilizing her self-developed curriculum ‘Assured + Well’ to cultivate creative authenticity and sustainability. After Katie launched Cottage Hill in November 2014 as the only lifestyle and wedding publication, its inaugural magazine – The Homecoming Issue was immediately welcomed by thousands of readers in 43 US states and 4 countries before landing in all Barnes & Noble newsstands. Following publications, The Captivated Issue and The Pioneer Issue both sold out online before hitting newsstands, reaching all 50 US states and 7 countries. The Grace Issue debuts November 2016. Cottage Hill is named after Katie’s hometown and celebrates lives worthy of an elegant and meaningful legacy through original inspiration, real stories and fine art photography by artists around the globe. Simply put, Cottage Hill is the art of wholehearted living. Katie resides in Oklahoma with her husband and their daughter.
This episode we’re talking with Megan Martin about building buzz around a launch. Megan stresses the importance of starting early and remaining consistent in branding before, during and after a launch. She also talks about how she builds buzz, and how she finds brand ambassadors from the creative community. Before a successful launch can occur, it is important to choose and then utilize the right project managment tool for you and your team, that’s why Megan and the girls are discussing tools like Trello and Basecamp. Finally Megan talks about what she DIYed and what she wish she had handed off to a professional (ie website design). Learn how to avoid launch failures, or at the very least, what to learn from them with Megan Martin!
How to build buzz around a launch
How to find brand ambassadors/cheerleaders
How to choose and utilize the right project management tool for you and your team
How to avoid launch failures (or what to learn from them!)
Hey y’all! Yes, I say y’all, love preppy stripes and swoon over Southern accents & all the fixin’s! I am a Jacksonville, Florida girl born and raised and will always call this home, for this is where my heart truly is. It is where my sweet parents chose to adopt me at just three days old, giving me amazing opportunities and guidance I may have never had. It is where I made best friendships that will undoubtedly last till the end of time… and probably longer than that! It is where I met my soul mate and husband, and made my trip down the aisle to tell him, “I Do,” in a downtown New Year’s affair. And it is here that I welcomed our two babies (girls!) and began the journey of learning and loving mommyhood. Like Tim says, “A heart don’t forget somethin’ like that!” Somewhere in all that history I grew a deep passion and love for pretty details, good design and making it happen. I can’t remember how many times I would redecorate and style my room as a little girl or how many on trend magazines I would flip through while mom was shopping. She taught me, and still reminds me, that everyday is an occasion to give a gift, to always kill ‘em with kindness and most importantly to follow my heart and my dreams. All that dreaming has led me to the here and now, designing powerful brands, prop styling, crafting meaningful social media feeds and cheering on creative entrepreneurs.
What are the Six Pillars of a Creative Business? And why are they important? In this episode with Jennifer Faught, we discuss the highlights of the Creative Founders community’s focus on pricing, money planning, and using visioning to succeed in personal and business goals. Jennifer goes on to show the possibilities of going wholesale (for product-based creative entrepreneurs) and how to stand out in the wholesale market. Lastly Jennifer discusses why she changed her business’ name (from the Stationery Academy), and why it may be the best choice for your business.
How changing your company name can have a positive effect
What the six pillars of a creative business are and why they’re important
How to manage a membership site successfully
How to tackle pricing and money planning
How visioning is key to your personal and biz success
Jennifer Faught, the founder of the Society, got her start in marketing for the healthcare and tech worlds, and then started her own wedding invitation design business in 2008. She kept working her day job for three years as she grew her business, and finally in 2011, her side hustle became her full-time thing. In 2012, she arrived at the Stationery Academy conference with her guard up, thinking she needed to impress her competition. Instead of competitors, she met twenty other inspiring, welcoming, incredibly smart businesswomen who answered any questions without making her feel stupid or naïve. That conference changed her entire business experience, so when she was offered the chance to purchase the business, she took the leap. she planned her first conference in 2014, and the rest is history.
This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast Reina and Christina talk with Nicole Yang of Design by Delight and Southern Weddings all about branding. Nicole opens with why consistency in branding is key and how brands can change (and that’s okay!). What is important is knowing how you want your audience to feel. Building a successful brand is about a consistent and clear expereince, Nicole goes on to explain, even if the entrepreneur’s mood changes every day. Nicole highlights the important difference between branding and having a logo, and how without good branding, any business can fail.
Why branding is vital for any successful business
Why consistency in branding is key
How you brand can change and that’s okay
How to build a successful brand (*hint* it’s about the experience)
What is the difference between branding and having a logo
Nicole, owner of Nicole Yang Delight by Design and the Art Director of Southern Weddings could survive off of hush puppies and BBQ alone. She has an affinity for the color orange, all things pug-related and paper. Her favorite parts of the day include unwrapping pretties that have arrived from the printer, planning weekend brunch and searching for her future puppy. Nicole is an avid list-maker, color-swatch-collector, and office-supply-lover. She believes in family dinners, bear hugs and candy stashes.
Everyone’s busy…but are you productive? Tonya discusses how she organizes her life and business to maximize her productivity and minimize simply being busy. She talks about how she breaks down tasks and creates mini-goals instead of a never-ending list of to-dos in her Live Well Planner. Her message is to stop the glorification of busy and to focus on what really matters. She explains how every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else: whether it is a business project instead of date night, or a conference instead of the kid’s recital. Listen in on how to replace lots of busy with the better: productivity.
Busy vs. Productivity
Stopping the glorification of busy
Tonya’s Live Well Planner
Creating mini-goals instead of never-ending lists of to-dos
I started my first business in 2009 working out of my dining room juggling two small kids. By 2011, I had grown the business to the point where my husband could quit his corporate job and come work with me. By combining my entrepreneurial spirit with his MBA and marketing experience, we were able to grow a small niche business quickly into something that could support our family. Our company continued to flourish, but something was missing. In the summer of 2014 we closed up shop to follow our true passion of starting inkWELL Press. We launched in November of 2014 and have been able to grow our business at a rapid pace thanks to our commitment to quality, focused marketing efforts and our fiercely loyal fans. We have enjoyed every minute of this journey together. Owning a business is a lot of hard work, but the rewards are definitely worth it. I’m very excited to pass along all that we have learned to help other creatives achieve their dreams.
How do you give away your resources and tools to entrepreneurs and still make money? Emylee and Abagail are the co-founders of the Think Creative Collective, a unique membership website for creative entrepreneurs, full of resources and courses built for biz growth. In this week’s episode they discuss, they discuss how their partnership came about (*hint* Facebook Groups are for more than just cute wedding photos) and how they developed and grew the Think Creative Collective into what it is today. Emylee and Abagail also break down how they create passive income products and manage their email marketing (and why it’s so important!).
How the Think Creative Collective came to be
How to turn your knowledge into passive income products
Why email marketing is so important (and how to manage it)
Why giving away tools and resources can result in big returns
Abagail:Abagail’s passion shines when she is helping small business owners pursue their dreams by designing them brands they love, websites that work and social media strategies that are on point with helping them grow. Abagail brings 5+ years of business and design experience to accelerate companies of all shapes and sizes. After graduating from Kansas State University with a degree in Fine Art in Graphic Design and a minor in Business Administration, she worked in a variety of industries including advertising, non-profit education and corporate before launching her own creative business full-time. Abagail calls Kansas City home, with a heart for the midwest and a home full of her incredible creative husband, Jared and two sweet rescue Beagles. When she is not hiding behind her keyboard you can catch her sporting giant sunglasses and bright red lipstick! Emylee:With degrees in Fine Arts Photography and Psychology Emylee brings dual expertise to the table. Trained in dark room, editing softwares and digital photography she brings the lessons of century old photography techniques and pairs them with the newest technologies to provide top notch results for your brand. Once Emylee started teaching the psychology behind being in business and how to use psychological techniques to build better business she found her happy place. She loves seeing your a-ha light bulb moments when a new technique or strategy can be used to better your business. Calling both Kansas City and Tulsa home – Emylee, her husband Bryan and rescue pups currently reside in Tulsa. She has a heart for endless cups of coffee, home cooked meals, spiky succulents and musty book stores.
How do you balance your role as a crafter vs. CEO roles as a biz owner? Most small biz owners try to ‘do it all’: designing websites, social media, graphic design, IT, and bookkeeping– all while completing their client work. This just isn’t sustainable! And isn’t good for the health of the biz as it grows. Reina and Christina break down how to outsource the roles that are meant for someone else, and how that on-boarding process looks when it is carried out successfully. The two hosts finish up this episode talking about self-care and how it’s vital to the health of your biz, employees, and life.
What should the mix of roles of craft vs. role of CEO be as a biz owner
How to outsource tasks and utilize those new people in your biz
Abby talks about how the ‘Gentle No’ allows her to respectfully decline the wrong potential clients and focus on the right ones. Abby discusses how finding a niche is important, even if it’s difficult to say no to amazing projects that simply don’t fit the brand. Abby describes how her own struggle with this resulted in a strong brand image, clearly targeting the clients she wants to work with, resulting in her business sky rocketing. Abby Grace is an international wedding and anniversary photographer who loves what she does.
Why you shouldn’t be afraid to say no (and why it’s good for business)
How finding and then declaring a niche can help your business sky rocket
How to stay true to your brand and niche, even when you’re tempted away
How to respectfully reject the wrong potential client (and focus on the ones that matter!)
Abby Grace is an international Anniversary + Wedding photographer based in Washington DC. She has a serious crush on all things old-school chic and classic. Abby Grace gets to travel all over the world to shoot weddings, and has been doing so for over six years. When she’s not photographing weddings and anniversaries, she’s teaching across the country at different conferences and workshops. Abby Grace Photography’s mission is to run a business that enables a life that they want to live and to enrich and extend the life of any given marriage through photography. How beautiful is that?
In this episode Christina interviews co-host Reina Pomeroy to discuss her journey to life and business coaching and how she got there. Reina talks about steps she took to invest in herself, even when she had no money to do so, and how it paid off in spades. Investing in herself sometimes included conferences, technology and resources, but since day one she’s had a coach to help guide and push her. Reina lays out why you should consider hiring a coach, and how to hire the right one for you. Investing in yourself as a small business owner can be tough, but Reina encourages you to stop making excuses, and make your creative entrepreneur dreams happen! As the podcast continues Reina and Christina discuss how even small and/or new business owners can make very real, big social impacts.
Why you should consider hiring a coach
Why you should stop making excuses and how you can make your creative entrepreneur dreams happen
How to hire the right coach for you and invest in yourself
How to make a big social impact, even if you’re a small biz owner
How Reina transitioned from a social worker and wedding planner to a life +biz coach
I’m the Life + Biz Success Coach behind Reina + Co. I help creative entrepreneurs who have a million amazing ideas in their heads and get overwhelmed because they’re always spinning their wheels. I help them pinpoint what’s most important so they can become the go to expert in their industry. I coach entrepreneurs who not only want to have a business that thrives but a life that is really rich and purposeful. I have run my business on the belief that having strong personal and business values are what help to create and sustain a healthy business. Here’s to success, whatever that means for you!
In this episode Reina is interviewing co-host Christina on how to run your business when your personal life is falling apart. Christina is a lawyer for creative entrepreneurs and provides free legal information and resources for creatives to access. In this interview Christina opens up about a recent loss and how she kept her business alive and running (even if in a different sense) while dealing with this tragic time. Christina discusses how connecting with others led to a road of recovery, not only for her mental health, but to get fully back into her business. Afterall, life happens when you’re building a business.
How to keep running your business when your personal life is falling apart
What to do in the face of tragedy as a creative entrepreneur
How connecting can lead to fulfillment (yeah social glue!)
Why reaching out to others if you need help can make all the difference
If you’ve ever complained that you love what you do but HATE the business side of things, you’re in the right spot. Christina’s mission as a lawyer for creative entrepreneurs is to help them fulfill their life’s work by creating beautiful businesses from the inside out. She provides the creative world with accessible, affordable legal solutions. Whether you need a last-minute contract template that covers your butt, a painless trademark registration or want to learn more to empower yourself to run your business well, legally speaking, Christina has you covered. She’ll be touching on all the legal essentials you need to know as a blogger, photographer or other creative entrepreneur.
Steph Crowder, Director of Member Success at Fizzle joins the ladies of My Creative Empire podcast to talk about men versus women in entrepreneurship. Steph talks about why there seems to be more male entrepreneurs than female, and why they tend to self-promote and self-proclaim as experts sooner than women do. Steph leads an inspiring discussion about how women can be more confident about their knowledge and accept that imperfections don’t negate successes. She encourages female entrepreneurs to jump in and start working towards their dreams instead of worrying that they’re not qualified enough, or creating excuses of why it won’t work. She also addresses the importance of asking others for help, and recognising that it makes you a stronger entrepreneur (not a weaker one!).
Why you should self-promote (and not see it as bragging!)
How to ask for help (and recognizing it makes you a better entrepreneur!)
Why women should be more confident about their expertise
How to deal with imperfections as a creative entrepreneur
Steph Crowder is the Director of Member Success at Fizzle, the best place for training and community for creatives, freelancers and entrepreneurs. With a background in sales and training, Steph joined Fizzle after launching her own career coaching business for young women. When not helping entrepreneurs build their thing, she’s likely on a dance floor, drinking wine or just spending time with her husband and dog in Chicago.
This week’s podcast interviews Bonnie Bakhtiari, creative director and owner of b is for bonnie design and the founder of the illume retreat. In this episode Bonnie talks about the future of Instagram for creatives, a platform we’re all come to love, hate, and every emotion in between. Bonnie discusses how to start and grow the right kind of audience on Instagram, and how to set reasonable goals for the platform. Bonnie describes how giving resources and knowledge on Instagram is a great way to attract and maintain a loyal audience on Instagram, and how ultimately this giving-mentality ends up in real business returns.
How to start and grow your Instagram presence
How to grow the right kind of audience on Instagram
How giving resources away on Instagram results in real business returns
How to set reasonable goals for the Instagram platform
Bonnie Bakhtiari, is the creative director of b is for bonnie design, a boutique branding studio for creatives in addition to being the founder of the Illume Retreat, an intimately restful retreat experience for purpose-filled businesses. When she’s not helping clients strategize their most heartfelt brand yet, or educating fellow creatives through speaking or online courses, you can find her with a soy latte in hand, probably swooning over something in a shiny hue of gold! Her heart is centered around the desire to encourage and inspire through design, and nothing gives her greater joy than working with talented entrepreneurs to create brands that are an authentic reflection of who they are. She believes in living life with joy, fierce love and abundant grace as she chases what matters most.
This week’s podcast interviews Callie Murray, the Founder and CEO of The Big Fake Wedding. The Big Fake Wedding came to be after the unique idea to throw a Not-Wedding event sparked the possibility of profit and business potential. Thinking outside of the box, Callie now has a booming business which is scheduled to throw 30 events across the country this year alone. In this podcast Callie discusses with Reina and Christina how thinking outside the box turned into a business, and how to turn an idea into a thriving enterprise. Callie highlights how she started, but also the harder part of how she took calculated leaps to expand and grow her business, despite moving across the country (due to her husband’s Navy career). Part of this expansion included hiring a team, so Callie talks about how she hires and what she looks for in new employees, which is ultimately the key to her business’s success. Before she even made the leap to commit to The Big Fake Wedding she had to establish how feasible the business idea was and ultimately quit her job. Callie discusses how she went about these big steps in a smart way, sharing tips and practices that helped her through the transition of becoming a full time creative entrepreneur.
How to turn a unique idea into a booming business
How to hire employees that you believe in and that believe in your business
How to make the transition to full time creative entrepreneur
How to manage creative entrepreneurship and motherhood
Callie Murray started The Big Fake Wedding (then called The NotWedding) in 2008 and has been blessed by steady growth of the company in the midst of cross-country moves with her Navy husband and the births of her three little girls. Callie currently manages the staff and handles the big-picture elements of the company: where we’re going next, who’s taking us there, and what we are going to do when we get there. She is the Founder and CEO of The Big Fake Wedding as well as the proprietor of The Green House, a co-working office space in downtown Norcross.