the Creative Empire podcast » Building Creative Businesses into Empires

This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina chat with Ashley Crouch, the founder of Appleseed Communications, a PR firm that specializes in rising female entrepreneurs. Ashley is a visibility strategist and a founder of a no-photoshop fashion magazine, Verily. Ashely dives into telling her story and how you need to tell your story differently than others and how that can leverage visibility. The trio discuss how to know when you have expertise and how to hone those skills. In the end she discuss return on investment of using visibility in your business.

Email Header | Episode 144 | Ashley Crouch

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Main Takeaways:

  • How to tell your story in a different way from others + leveraging visibility [0:05:15]
  • What is a visibility strategist [0:08:27]
  • How to know when you have expertise + honing your skills [0:12:41]
  • What working with Ashley can look like [0:17:31]
  • Why you should learn how to do visibility yourself [0:24:55]
  • What return on investment (ROI) is on visibility [0:27:25]
  • How successes are happening for her [0:34:49]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Ashley Crouch is the founder of Appleseed Communications, a PR firm that specializes in rising female entrepreneurs. Clients include best-selling authors, CEOs of multimillion dollar companies, TEDx speakers, social innovators, and more. Appleseed has gotten clients featured on hundreds of outlets, including New York Post, Entrepreneur, FOX Business, MSNBC, CNBC, Huffington Post Live, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, TIME, SUCCESS, Business Insider, and more.

Ashley has secured partnerships with the United Nations, SELF Magazine, Maria Shriver, and beyond. Her online Publicity Accelerator, Master the Media, offers high-value publicity training for promising women entrepreneurs. In 2011, Ashley was on the founding team for the “first no

Photoshop fashion magazine for women, “Verily”, which currently sees 1 million views per month. Ashley has written for outlets such as the New York Times/Women in the World, Business Insider, Fast Company, TIME, Huffington Post, Refinery29, and more. She is an

international speaker on media literacy, publicity strategy, and entrepreneurship, speaking to audiences at Princeton University, University of Texas at Austin, AltSummit, and Lady Project National Summit. Ashley and her businesses have been featured in TODAY.com, Huffington Post, The Sydney Telegraph, International Business Times, and Darling Magazine.

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Joining Reina and Christina today are Jennie Brown and Sophie Davies, from Prim’d Marketing. The duo are chatting about brand narratives and why your business should have one. The duo dive right in, chatting about their business and how they work together. Together, the group discusses defining and re-defining your brand messaging and how others can help you. Jennie and Sophie share the four ways that a business can find a unique value proposition: customer niche, brand packaging, your style or personality, and price.

Email Header | Episode 143 | Jennie Brown & Sophie Davies

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Main Takeaways:

  • What their signature product, the Brand Plan, is [0:02:46]
  • How to find your unique value proposition [0:04:51] 1)Customer Niche 2)Brand Package 3)Style/Personality 4)Price
  • Why to define your brand values [0:08:11]
  • What are transitional points to re-brand or redefining brand messaging [0:13:36]
  • Why you need to be really intentional about curating content [0:16:45]
  • How to figure out your methodology + asking customers for feedback [0:22:42]
  • Why processes + pricing can go hand-in-hand [0:27:49]
  • How to give your clients a great experience [0:32:21]
  • What working with a partner can look like [0:39:05]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Sophie Davies is the co-founder and resident social media and content strategist at Prim’d Marketing.  Sophie has worked with an international portfolio of clients in the fashion industry, ranging from Lacoste and Calvin Klein to independent designers, as well as consulting with brands in the lifestyle, wedding, parenting and publishing industries on their social media marketing. You can connect with her on Linkedin, Instagram or Twitter.

Jenni Brown has a skillful eye for writing and design and a love helping clients discover who they are and how they’re different through words and visuals. At Prim’d Marketing, she’s the resident branding and web strategist — she guides clients through identifying the best pieces of their experience, personality, and style to form a cohesive and authentic brand. She’s an end-to-end story teller; she has sharp skills in design coupled with an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. She has 7+ years of marketing experience with clients ranging from Fortune 500 such as Pepsi and Taco Bell to small businesses and personal brands. Since moving to the Bay Area from Los Angeles, she’s worked with startups as well as in the publishing and lifestyle industries. When she isn’t creating beautiful marketing and brand strategies through The Brand Plan for Prim’d clients, she writes and designs for Prim’d. Connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

Prim’d Marketing helps businesses and personal brands look and sound like the best versions of themselves through a brand positioning and content marketing program called  ‘The Brand Plan’. The foundation and guiding light to any subsequent branding, website and content marketing.

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  • Amanda Olson - This episode is gold, you guys! I’m only 2/3 through, but have taken so many notes already. Jennie and Sophie bring so much clarity to this topic.ReplyCancel

    • creativeempire - Thank you Amanda!! If you have a sec, can you copy/paste this into iTunes as a review? It would make our jelly beans jump!! -ChristinaReplyCancel

This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina chat with Mike Kelly of Member Vault. Mike dives into explaining what MemberVault is and what seems to be stopping people from creating new courses. The trio talk about the “curse of the expert” and how so many things could make valuable courses. Also discussed is how courses can become a revenue stream and how MemberVault can help you with engagement in your course.

Email Header | Episode 142 | Mike Kelly

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Main Takeaways:

  • What some common hurtles are for entrepreneurs to create a course [0:06:29]
  • How the “curse of the expert” can hinder you [0:10:57]
  • What the different angle is about MemberVault [0:14:53]
  • How MemberVault is offering freebies to our listeners [0:26:07]
  • How to use free mini courses to upsell [0:30:54]
  • What may be simple for you, may be difficult for others [0:34:41]
  • Why you should niche down to sell courses [0:36:04]
  • How to use Member Vault as a tool [0:41:59]

Show Notes:

Bio:

Mike Kelly is the Co-Founder and developer of MemberVault, a content platform who’s focus in on maximizing engagement for all of your content. He’s currently living the full time RV lifestyle with his wife (other co-founder), 15 month old son, and hound dog. Currently parked near Seattle, Washington.

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Joining Reina and Christina is Megan Elizabeth, the Founder of Art By Megan. Meghan is a  NYC abstract painter and illustrator. Megan dives right in to talking about balancing projects as an artist, but also the struggles time management and productivity. She chats about how the Rising Tide Society and the idea behind “community over competition” really resonates with her. The trio discuss what success can look like and how the definition can change over time for each entrepreneur. They also get real about burnout and how it can affect all of us.

Email Header | Episode 141 | Megan Elizabeth

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Main Takeaways:

  • How to balance multiple projects at one time [0:02:28]
  • How time management looks like for her [0:04:16]
  • What productivity can look like [0:10:03]
  • What the idea is behind “community over competition [0:15:29]
  • How the success definition can change for you [0:21:18]
  • What changes in business can look like [0:27:23]
  • What her business struggles are a few years in [0:29:59]
  • Why you should set goals or you can really get burnt out [0:32:46]
  • How a random trip can refresh you [0:36:54]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Founder of Art By Megan- NYC abstract painter and illustrator. Megan lives and works in Brooklyn, NY with her little family. Megan is a Community Team member at Honeybook and NYC Rising Tide Society leader, in addition to her roles as a painter, illustrator and super-mom. Megan loves adventure, travel, painting and joyfully celebrating the journey as a creative entrepreneur.

Artist’s statement:

My paintings are each a memory.  So often, I visit a place and immediately look around and think, “I will paint this moment”.  Whether it is a beach scene, beautiful flowers in a tote bag on the subway, or a simple moment walking in nature, I collect memories and turn them into my paintings. Inspiration for all of my artwork comes from waterscapes, sunsets, bright colors in nature, and the silhouettes created by extreme light or darkness. I absolutely love working as a painter and am constantly exploring new ideas in my work.

*New work will be available at www.artbymegan.com on Sunday, October 15 at 8am EST!  For a sneak peek email, VIP discount access and/or to schedule a studio visit in NYC, sign up for Megan’s newsletter on her site.

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina chat with Sarah Morgan of XO Sarah. Sarah is a digital strategist who has built a career around helping bloggers and other small business owners kick ass online. The trio start with Sarah about how she got into the e-book market and what the evolution of Pinterest has looked like. Sarah then shares the 4 things for quick visibility on Pinterest: good content, having a business profile, joining group boards and using a Pinterest scheduler. After discussing Pinterest in depth, Sarah also discussing blogging and how to batch your content to use as material on all platforms.

Email Header | Episode 140 | Sarah Morgan

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Main Takeaways:

  • How she jumped into the e-book market [0:02:41]
  • What the Pinterest evolution has looked like for her [0:04:42]
  • What some quick wins for Pinterest visibility [0:07:25]
  • How to maintain your Pinterest + tips [0:19:09]
  • Why you should experiment on your Pinterest [0:23:13]
  • How promoted pins are doing [0:24:20]
  • How to help people see you + your content [0:29:35]
  • Why you should use links to point people to your content [0:32:01]
  • How to find inspiration + batch blogging content [0:34:53]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Sarah Morgan is an Emmy Award-winning digital strategist who’s been blogging and building websites since age 13. Over 20 years later, she’s built a career around helping bloggers and other small business owners kick ass online. In 2012 she escaped a corporate web design job to run away with the circus (literally!) and strike out on her own. Through her online courses, blog, and books, Sarah strives to help her students and readers build an online presence that fuels their passion for what they do without overwhelm getting in the way. She shares all of her blog and social media-boosting secrets at XOSarah.com and on social media @xosarahmorgan.

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Today, Brittany Branson of By Brittany Branson is joining Reina and Christina today for an Empire Mentoring session. At the beginning we dive deep into where Brittany sees herself in her business and where her pressure is coming from. Brittany also chats about how selling her products takes away from her time to create. The trip discuss how to niche down in your market and how to commit to a single mission. In the end, they discuss how to use a process that you create, to brand yourself and make yourself stand out in your market.

Email Header | Episode 139 | Brittany Branson

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Main Takeaways:

  • How education is a big part of helping your consumer base learn about your products [0:01:39]
  • What transitioning into a coach can look like [0:06:10]
  • Where the pressure comes from for her, in her market [0:10:42]
  • How selling feels like it takes away from the creative mindset [0:12:30]
  • How hard it is to niche down, but still feel open to new passions [0:17:11]
  • What committing to a single mission can look like [0:19:09]
  • How important pre-validation can be [0:25:45]
  • How to articulate your signature process as a maker [0:26:27]
  • Why you should name your process + take ownership of it [0:31:08]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

After spending a few years working in arts legislation at the local and federal levels, Brittany couldn’t help but follow that small whisper to leave it behind and become an artist herself! As the painter and creative mind behind By Brittany Branson | Wedding Paper, Art, and Live Painting, she loves celebrating life and love stories through her whimsical brush strokes and ethereal color schemes. With a heart to encourage wedding professionals to utilize art as a unique foundation for styling and design, Brittany is also incredibly passionate about helping left and right brained humans alike work their creative muscles to diversify their God given talents and serve others in more beautiful ways! She’s a sundress-loving Jersey Girl now hailing from Maryland’s gorgeous Eastern Shore. When not at her easel, Brittany’s devouring Starbucks very berry hibiscus refreshers (no berries, no water), oogling over fresh flowers, loving on her airline pilot hubby Tim, and smothering their rescue pup Bolt with kisses.

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Lindsay Lucas is the founder of Lean On Me Consulting and she’s at leanonmeconsultants.com, who will be chatting about how she got into venue consulting and why her services are so important for anybody out there considering becoming a venue owner. The trio dive into how Lindsay transitioned from a wedding planner to a vendor consultant and what that has looked like. She also shares tips on what to do before jumping into the wedding venue market and how her services can really help during that transition phase. She also help give advice for wedding vendors on how to stand out to venues and help create relationships.

Email Header | Episode 138 | Lindsay Lucas

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Main Takeaways:

  • How she transitioned from a wedding planner to vendor consulting [0:01:46]
  • Who is getting into the wedding venue market [0:07:00]
  • What you should do, before jumping into the venue market [0:09:37]
  • Why hiring a venue consultant can help you create a venue [0:11:21]
  • What the biggest hurtles are during venue creation [0:13:51]
  • Why to think about your “why” [0:23:38]
  • What venue owners get from her if they hire her as a consultant [0:29:05]
  • How to stand out to venues as a wedding vendor [0:36:07]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Lindsay Lucas is a business consultant for wedding venues and the CEO behind Lean On Me Events, a six-figure wedding planning and design firm based in Houston, Texas. As a business consultant for venues, she’s most passionate about giving venue owners a strong foundation to build a business that will give them the life they’ve only dreamt of. She coaches her clients on how to not only create a successful and streamlined business but how to create one that is also sustainable in an ever-growing field. In the past year alone she’s helped her clients bring in over $1 million in revenue, increased their pricing by over 60% and gave one client the ability to stay home with her 3 children all while running a successful wedding venue from the comfort of her home. Lindsay is now striving to take her business nationally and help others outside of Texas. When she isn’t supporting businesses and building others up she can be found playing outside with her son, trying new restaurants with her husband or drinking way too much sweet tea. Lindsay loves her church, crossfit, laughing with her girlfriends, and reading anything by Jen Hatmaker.

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Joining Reina and Christina today is Jeff Goins, an author and a full-time blogger, speaker, and entrepreneur. Jeff is here talking about his new book and the way artists need to shift their mindset. He chats all about artists throughout history have flourished, but artists now seem to think that all artists starve. Jeff also talks about some myths that he disproves in his book about artists such as: not practicing in public, that big breaks are something that can just happen, and the idea of recreation. The trio then chat about the differences he sees in men and women in the creative industry. Closing they chat about where Jeff sees himself going and some advice he would have given himself.

Email Header | Episode 137 | Jeff Goins

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Main Takeaways:

  • What his backstory is behind the book, Real Artists Don’t Starve [0:01:25]
  • Why he thinks artist are choose to be poor [0:12:59]
  • What some of the myths are that he disproves in his book [0:18:18]
  • How to market as an artist [0:20:35]
  • What a “big break” looks like [0:26:42]
  • Why you should not believe “big leap” stories [0:33:24]
  • What the differences in mindset from men and women in the creative industry [0:36:30]
  • How to deal with criticism + reflecting on the negative reviews [0:42:43]
  • What his advice to himself is [0:49:54]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Jeff Goins is the author of four books, including the national best seller, The Art of Work. He is also a full-time blogger, speaker, and entrepreneur. Originally from Chicago, Goins graduated from Illinois College and spent the next year on the road with a band. After that, he moved to Nashville to chase a girl and spent the next seven years working at a nonprofit. He now writes and speaks for a living and runs an online business helping writers and creative entrepreneurs chase their dreams. Jeff’s award-winning blog, GoinsWriter.com, has been visited by over four million people from around the world. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Psychology Today. He and his wife, Ashley, live just outside of Nashville, TN with their son and dog.

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  • Truston Ailende - It would have been nice if you had posted a link to download this podcast.ReplyCancel

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Today Reina and Christina are joined with Ashleigh Blatt of The Power Squad Project. Ashleigh is a money maker for celebrities and high net worth entrepreneurs; her tag line even is, “I make celebrities rich”. The trio dive into how Ashleigh got started on this path and she shares how to really put yourself, and your business, out there. She talks about how even celebrities have insecurities about their online presence. They discuss diversifying revenue streams and how to continue momentum in your business.

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Main Takeaways:

  • How social media + online marketing can grow your business [0:01:06]
  • Why putting yourself out there, with value, is important [0:06:02]
  • How celebrities even insecure about their social media [0:10:39]
  • Why diversifying your revenue streams is a good thing [0:14:08]
  • Why people are buying custom experiences to feel special [0:22:58]
  • How to continue momentum in your business [0:30:11]
  • Where is enough for a business, with gratitude [0:36:24]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Money maker for celebrities and high net worth entrepreneurs Ashleigh Blatt came out of her behind-the-scenes role to the forefront as the Chief Curator & Master Motivator within The Power Squad Project, an email community for women entrepreneurs who want to connect with like-minded women entrepreneurs interested building a giant business that gives them freedom, a challenge and an impact on the world.

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Joining Reina and Christina today is Kurt Elster, of Ether cycle and the Unofficial Shopify Podcast. He is a Senior E-commerce Consultant who helps Shopify store owners uncover hidden profits in their websites. The trip start this episode by chatting about how to niche down in your business as well as how e-commerce can fit into most businesses. Kurt talks about how to help make your e-commerce store more efficient by getting rid of the “fluff” as well as creating a job for each page. In addition he shares some tips for conversion optimization on your e-commerce store.

Email Header | Episode 135 | Kurt Elster

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Main Takeaways:

  • How to niche down in your business [0:03:25]
  • What fixed pricing can look like [0:05:49]
  • How e-commerce can fit into a freelancers business [0:09:25]
  • How to make e-commerce more efficient [0:14:14]
  • What a great “about page” should look like [0:15:59]
  • Why people buy from people, not brands [0:20:39]
  • How copyrighting is probably the single greatest conversion rate optimization tactic [0:23:21]
  • How to migrate to Shopify [0:26:03]
  • What some success stories look like [0:28:16]
  • Why you need to pick a medium and share your story [0:34:02]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

One of the most highly regarded independent consultants in his industry, Kurt Elster is a Senior Ecommerce Consultant who helps Shopify store owners uncover hidden profits in their websites. Kurt is the founder of ecommerce agency Ethercycle, host of the popular Ecommerce Hacks Weekly video series, author of Ecommerce Bootcamp, and host of The Unofficial Shopify Podcast. These resources have helped thousands of Shopify store owners create impact, freedom, & wealth. You can learn more and subscribe to Kurt’s free newsletter at http://kurtelster.com/

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Today, Amy Cherry of Amy Nicole Photography is joining Reina and Christina today for an Empire Mentoring session. Amy is chatting all about what it’s like to move a business from one place to another and the struggles with uprooting your work. The trio jump right into discussing Amy’s big move and how she is finding her clientele. They discuss how to find your unique value proposition to stand out, plus how to determine your ideal client.

Email Header | Episode 134 | Amy Cherry

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Main Takeaways:

  • How to let clients know where you are, especially when you move [0:03:18]
  • What moving can look like as a business owner [0:05:13]
  • How to price yourself as a photographer [0:09:45]
  • Why finding your unique value proposition (UVP) into your business [0:15:53]
  • How to find what makes you different from everyone else [0:22:45]
  • Why talking with your ideal client can help you [0:25:54]
  • How being an introvert + building deep connections can actually help your business [0:27:56]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Amy Cherry has been photographing stories of life and love for 10 years and has been the girl behind Amy Nicole Photography for 5 years. Family & the simple moments of life endlessly inspire her and she’s thankful to call Charlottesville home with her husband, Jeremy, after spending some time in Nashville together. Her work has been featured in National Geographic Traveler, The Washington Post, Nashville Lifestyles and many wedding publications like Southern Weddings, BRIDES.com and Snippet & Ink.

 

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Joining Reina and Christina is Katie Williamsen. Katie is the web strategist and designer at Katie Williamsen Web and Social Media, LLC. Katie is talking all about websites and giving you helpful tips to make your website more functional. At the beginning, the trio discuss how each persons background can help influence our businesses. From there, they jump into web design and Katie share lots of useful advice. She shares how navigation of your website is one of the most important pieces to your web design as well as optimizing your blog posts to be scannable and having appealing visuals.

Email Header | Episode 133 | Katie Williamsen
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Main Takeaways:

  • How our backgrounds can influence our own business [0:01:15]
  • How user experience can help, or hinder, your ideal client [0:05:44]
  • What some of the biggest website mistakes are [0:07:12]
  • How to optimize your blog for visitors [0:10:06]
  • What SEO  + Google Analytics actually are [0:16:08]
  • Why calls to action (CTA’s) are a good idea [0:22:54]
  • What the top two things to do for your website [0:26:35]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Katie is the web strategist and designer at Katie Williamsen Web and Social Media, LLC. She’s passionate about helping fellow Boss Ladies create pretty + functional websites that work for them and sharing her knowledge with others. When Katie isn’t strategizing with clients or blogging, she’s spending time with her husband, Chad, and their pup Hobbes. She love to travel, create craft cocktails, throw parties and receive snail mail.

 

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This jam session episode features Reina and Christina chatting, and getting honest, about self-care as a business owner. Today we’re going to be talking a little bit about self-care but also other things and how to be a more whole person. The duo discuss everything from hobbies and how they can help you creatively in a business, to their top tools they use to stay productive, such as apps like Sworkit and Asana Rebel.

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Main Takeaways:

  • Setting boundaries such as business hours [0:01:47]
  • How your hobbies can help you feel scheduled [0:03:32]
  • Working in different places to be more productive [0:06:50]
  • What Reina’s “One Body” idea [0:07:50]
  • Top list of helpful things to be more productive [0:09:06]
  • Why hobbies can help you be creative [0:18:57]
  • How to start a hobby [0:28:15]

Show Notes:

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Joining Reina and Christina today is Meghan Maydel. Meghan is a Sales Funnel and Marketing Strategist (plus, CMO-for-Hire) for service-based creative biz owners who want a to FINALLY get consistent with their client + cash flow, taking their biz to the next level while they’re at it. The trio jump right into talking about marketing trends and how they can help your business. Meghan gives marketing tips throughout the episode such as keeping your marketing consistency and giving new things time to work. They also discuss how outsourcing can help you get back to what you love in your business.

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Main Takeaways:

  • What is positioning strategy + tips [0:04:11]
  • What some trends that she thinks will be staying around [0:09:00]
  • How to integrate Anchor into a marketing strategy [0:13:41]
  • How Anchor can disrupt podcasting [0:18:03]
  • How to use your favorite way to create content + consistency [0:28:21]
  • Where your content should be going, according to your ideal client [0:29:19]
  • Why outsourcing can be helpful [0:20:24]
  • What changes she has coming up in her business [0:32:17]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Meghan is a Sales Funnel + Marketing Strategist (& CMO-for-Hire) for service-based creative biz owners who want a to FINALLY get consistent with their client + cash flow, taking their biz to the next level while they’re at it. She comes from a design and advertising background having worked for one of Ad Age’s “top 10 agencies to watch in the U.S.” where she worked on campaigns for Volvo, Trident, Converse, and more. She also has worked extensively in the in-house design field, helping companies discover their brand story and how to infuse it into everything they do. She broke out on her own in 2014 and launched what is currently Meghan Maydel in early 2015. When she isn’t waist deep in her biz, you can find her hosting her podcast—Bosses & Booze—planning her next Halloween display, and/or chillin with her hubby and 2 fur babies.

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Joining Reina and Christina today is Elizabeth Quintal of Cheeky Days. Elizabeth chats about the idea and philosophy behind her business as well as implementing a philanthropic vision from day one of your business. The trio discuss collaborations and promoting yourself, plus Elizabeth shares how to get out there as a maker.

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Main Takeaways:

  • What the Cheeky Days Box is all about [0:01:12]
  • How to incorporate a philanthropic mission from day one [0:03:11]
  • Why finding others to collaborate with can help your business [0:06:13]
  • What changing from a nonprofit money mindset to entrepreneur mindset [0:09:20]
  • What pricing in your business can look like [0:12:50]
  • How to promote as a maker [0:20:40]
  • What her process is to reach out to unsubscribes + follow-up forms [0:23:13]
  • What some unique challenges are as a service-based business [0:24:55]
  • How to overcome customer objections [0:27:51]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Elizabeth Quintal is the founder of Outside The Box by Cheeky Days, a subscription box for families inspiring connection, creativity and community. Elizabeth worked in non-profit for ten years serving homeless children and families in Houston. Outside The Box draws from Elizabeth’s experience working for local nonprofits and the realization that a lifestyle of love, kindness and connection can bring about change and build community. Her passion is to raise awareness about the importance of community and the impact each of us can make.

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Joining Reina and Christina for this Empire Mentoring session is Brianne Dosier, a photographer, branding strategist, and face behind Brightly & Co. With Brianne, Reina and Christina help her to figure out what her transition into coaching will look like. They discuss the why and how of the transition, as well as the confidence behind the new title. They discuss how easy it is to unintentionally block yourself and how to get past that, to move forward. Also discussed is fear and pre-validation and how both can help you make business decisions.

Email Header | Episode 129 | Brianne Dosier

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Main Takeaways:

  • How to shift your vision of your business + transitioning [0:04:05]
  • Why giving yourself permission + having a plan, go hand-in-hand [0:08:17]
  • How to stop blocking yourself  [0:10:47]
  • How fear can help and hinder you [0:12:53]
  • Where are you clients coming from and focusing on that [0:20:55]
  • What her pre-validation process has looked like [0:24:07]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Brianne has been a photographer and branding strategist for over 10 years. She just didn’t always know it. These were the projects she did on the side, just for fun, and sometimes she even got paid. After years of pursuing her career in music and working as an administrator for a “real” job Brianne took a leap of faith and started her own company, Brightly & Co. Branding Strategy, Design & Photography + lots of teaching and encouragement, in August of 2015. After experiencing the heart wrenching transition of a dream dying, Brianne knows what it takes to turn a new leaf and pursue that deep passion you may not have known was there. That’s why her heart is in supporting and helping other creatives learn, grow and pursue their passions. When she’s not cultivating brands for driven entrepreneurs, she’s usually teaching/speaking at workshops, having tea chats with friends and watching hilarious comedies (or Disney movies) with her fluffball Kitty and hunky boyfriend.

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina chat with Adrienne Dorison, a consultant and operations expert who helps businesses earn more to be able to give more. The trio start off by talking about what bottlenecks are in a business and Adrienne shares what the three are: 1) leads 2) sales 3) scaleability. From there she discusses how to help you with those by using metrics in your business. She then discusses visibility and knowing where you are in your business, to help you with your business.

Email Header | Episode 128 | Adrienne Dorison

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Main Takeaways:

  • What the “bottlenecks” are and how to unblock them [0:02:07]
  • Where and how to find qualified leads + where you are spending time on leads [0:05:04]
  • How to use ROI + how to use the metrics of it [0:08:13]
  • How to talk about your business [0:13:16]
  • Why you should stop comparing yourself to others [0:20:51]
  • How to change + break your habits [0:25:34]
  • Why you should be pro-active to be visible [0:32:48]
  • Where to start tracking metrics in your business + tracking goals [0:34:15]
  • Why knowing yourself and knowing what season of business you are in is important [0:39:10]
  • How personal responsibility can influence your business [0:41:39]

Show Notes:


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Bio:

Adrienne is a Business Consultant + Founder of Good Businesses Do Good™ who believes your purpose is to profit, she helps entrepreneurs double their businesses in half the time by getting them more focused, more strategic and more profitable so they can give back to the world in meaningful ways.

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina chat with Justin and Mary Marantz of justinandmaryweddings.com. Justin and Mary Marantz are an international wedding photography duo who travel the globe shooting weddings, teaching, and inspiring other small business owners, as well as the founders and editors in chief of twin wedding blogs, The Black Tie Bride and The Well Groomed Groom. Today they are chatting with Reina and Christina all about running a business with your significant other. They talk about making the leap into their business after both having great job offers and what being a couple can look like working together. Mary shares the largest road blocks she hears from people when mentoring business owners, which are permission and perfectionism. They both talk about how you can build confidence in your business.

Email Header | Episode 127 | Justin + Mary Marantz

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Main Takeaways:

  • How Justin and Mary took the leap of faith into starting a business together [0:01:54]
  • What the pressure looked like for them to make their business succeed [0:04:45]
  • What the two biggest road blocks are for success [0:09:16]
  • How to have conversations about starting your own business with people you care about [0:12:05]
  • What being a husband-and-wife-duo in business has looked like for them + tips [0:17:08]
  • What the biggest objections they see in mentoring [0:28:54]
  • Why you should do what you are good at [0:31:29]
  • What two things are that can help you build confidence in your business [0:34:50]
  • Why should you connect with people [0:40:10]
  • How to tell a powerful story + not comparing to each other [0:42:39]

Show Notes:


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Bio:

Justin & Mary Marantz are an international wedding photography duo who travel the globe shooting weddings, teaching, & inspiring other small business owners, as well as the founders & editors in chief of twin wedding blogs The Black Tie Bride and The Well Groomed Groom. In the past few years, they have put on their workshops worldwide including London, Australia, Germany & The Netherlands, took their What’s Next Tour” across the country on their own tour bus, authored their two books- The Guide & The Lighting Guide, presented at international conferences including WPPI and The Dutch Wedding Congress, and were featured in Inside Weddings, Style Me Pretty & Martha Stewart. Their iconic style of photography is recognized the world over and most recently earned them a place as a “LEGEND OF LIGHT” for Profoto along with their year long video series “Walk Through a Wedding w/ Justin & Mary” walking through each step of the wedding day. But on their best days, you can find them at home by the water with their very fluffy golden retrievers, Cooper & Atticus and drinking way more Starbucks than any normal person should. Mary is currently working on writing her first book.

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Joining Reina and Christina today is Catherine Orer, a Business and PR Strategist for artists and creative entrepreneurs of theartistentrepreneur.com. Catherine is chatting about how branding your business as an artist, will be able to help you in the art market.  She also discusses how a regular journaling practice can help an artist, or any creative entrepreneur, gain clarity for sharing with your audience. The trio chat about pricing and Catherine shares about how incorporating a discount into your pricing strategy can be beneficial.

Email Header 126 | Catherine Orer | Creative Empire Podcast

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Main Takeaways:

  • How the art market has changed [0:03:49]
  • What the steps are to position yourself after branding for an artist [0:06:50]
  • How millennials and custom artwork is affecting the art market [0:10:11]
  • How artists can tell their story a little bit more effectively [0:14:57]
  • Where to start at the beginning of your art career [0:21:50]
  • Why Etsy should not be your main webpage [0:24:09]
  • How to price yourself and artwork [0:30:53]
  • How to incorporate discounts into your pricing strategy [0:37:08]
  • How creating scarcity can help or hinder your business [0:42:04]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Catherine Orer is a Business and PR Strategist for artists and creative entrepreneurs. Her extensive marketing and communications experience in the corporate sector and in the contemporary art market inspired her to found The Artist Entrepreneur, where she empowers artists to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that actually work. Catherine also teaches at iCMTL, the first business incubator dedicated to cultural and creative entrepreneurs in North America, and sits on the board of the Sylvie and Simon Blais Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting new practices in contemporary art. She has been invited to share her voice about art and business as a contributor to many publications, some of which are The Huffington Post, Colored Pencil Magazine, and ArtSquare.

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  • Irene Duma - Thank you for this episode – great stuff. Exactly what i needed to hear right now. And yes, I love how frank and direct Catherine is. Definitely the opposite of opaque !ReplyCancel

Joining Reina and Christina for this Empire Mentoring session is Chelsey Nelson, a photographer and blogger based out of Louisville, Kentucky. Chesey’s biggest struggle right now is booking clients and deciding which pathway she was to take her photography business. The trio think through what an ideal client would look like for Chelsey and discuss how to clearly set goals for obtaining clients.

Header | Episode125 Chelsey Nelson | Creative Empire Podcast

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Main Takeaways:

  • How to add people into your client pipeline [0:03:18]
  • How hard it is to articulate yourself as one of the many [0:04:50]
  • What is a unique value proposition and how to figure it out [0:06:13]
  • How flying into the blue ocean will make things a bit easier [0:12:41]
  • What an ideal client can look like + thinking through the process [0:19:01]
  • How to focus in your business + set and achieve goals [0:21:48]
  • What her first steps are towards booking an ideal client [0:28:32]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Hi, y’all!  I’m Chelsey.  I’m a believer, grateful wife, wedding and portrait photographer.  I live in Louisville, Kentucky where my husband teaches and attends at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  We’re in the thick of Seminary life and loving it. After years of telling myself I wasn’t creative, I changed the story I kept telling myself and dove into entrepreneurship.  Maybe willingly listening to entrepreneur success story cd’s in high school should have been my first clue!  My aim is to show the world as much of God’s beauty as I can, while helping them feel loved and valued.  Right now, it’s through photography and blogging.

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This jam session episode features Reina and Christina chatting about how to break the mold in your business. The duo have at least eight actionable strategies that you’re going to be able to take away in this episode and can use to start switching up the status quo and do your business differently than the rest of your industry.

Email Header | Episode 124 | Jam Session

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Main Takeaways:

  • How high need, low competition ideas can do great things [0:01:54]
  • Why we should be questioning the “standard way” to do things [0:06:40]
  • How payment plans can be a client experience [0:08:48]
  • Why client gifts are getting overwhelming [0:14:00]
  • Why stepping into another niches conference is a good idea + investing  [0:20:08]
  • How questioning the status quo can help us develop [0:23:03]
  • What collaborations can do with your clientele [0:30:46]
  • How leveraging your past can differentiate your business [0:34:39]


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Show Notes:

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina chat with Katie Doherty of La Rousse Shoppe. Katie  is a whimsical redheaded photographer and entrepreneur, who has built a six figure e-commerce company from the ground up in just two years. Katie is sharing all about the transition of being a full time photographer to being a shop owner and photographer. She gives tips on intentional affiliate programs, such as HARO and Refersion. The trio talk about what automation can do for your business and how to hand off things to others.

Email Header| Episode 123 | Katie Doherty

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Main Takeaways:

  • How she transitioned from photographer to shop owner + Photographer [0:02:05]
  • What investing in a product for your business looks like [0:15:03]
  • What pre-validation looks like for her [0:18:04]
  • What lessons can learned from transitioning from a service based to a product + service based business [0:23:59]
  • How to start a successful shop [0:28:07]
  • How to use Facebook Groups + Instagram for your shop + having influencers [0:28:19]
  • What intentional affiliate programs can help [0:32:08]
  • What automation can do for your business [0:38:00]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Katie Doherty is a whimsical redheaded photographer and entrepreneur, who has built a six figure e-commerce company from the ground up in just two years. La Rousse Shoppe sells boutique packaging products, such as glass photo boxes and usb drives, to professional photographers. It all started with Katie’s love of creating beautiful things, fueled by a desire for freedom and the ability to work from anywhere. Her favorite aspects of running La Rousse Shoppe are designing products, branding & packaging, and seeing all of the wonderful ways photographers are sharing their styled print boxes on social media. Katie and her business partner Phil are working on further automating the business by building their team and outsourcing daily tasks like shipping and fulfilling orders. The goal is to build systems and automation so that Katie and Phil can focus on expanding their product line, and of course enjoying a life of travel and leisure.

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This episode features Reina and Christina chatting about relationships in real life, meaning relationships at home or with people outside of your business. This episode gets down into the nitty-gritty of relationships as an entrepreneur. Both ladies talk about their personal relationships and ways that they could do better. Both talk about being more intentional and give tips to do just that. If you ever feel like your journey at home is messy, but don’t want to talk about it, they are for you!

Email Header| Episode 122 - Jam Session | Creative Empire Podcast
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Main Takeaways:

  • How to figure out your daily, weekly, and monthly “Circles” + who to invest in [0:02:42]
  • What connecting with others with changing lifestyles is like [0:05:10]
  • How to start formalizing reaching out to friends [0:11:15]
  • Why in person conferences will never fail [0:13:30]
  • What personal, committed relationships while working from how can look like [0:19:13]
  • Why committing to relationships can be helpful [0:27:41]
  • What huge life events can look like for entrepreneurs [0:29:31]

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Show Notes:

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  • Erin - This is probably my favourite episode you girls have ever done! So real and on topic with what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I just had some girlfriends over to my place last night, but because we only see each other every couple of months, we always fall into this trap of discussing the same things, kids, in-laws, husbands, recent trips. When they left, I felt empty. This podcast was the conversation I wanted to have with them. I’m going to go search out all your jam sessions now. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • creativeempire - Thank you so much Erin! We’ll be sure to give you a shoutout for this if you’re up for it. Tell us your business name if you want 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed this– we debated talking about this for a long time, but ultimately, it’s something we both struggle with to some extent (as you heard) and I’ve been seeing so many people dealing with the same thing. One thing is for sure Erin- you are not alone!ReplyCancel

      • Erin - Yeah, I just loved the honest, personal nature of the show.

        A shoutout would be cool. I actually closed my business this year to explore some other projects and business ideas. But my blog Dear Edna is still active, if you want to mention that. 🙂ReplyCancel

This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina interview Joanna Waterfall, the Founder of Yellow Co. Yellow Co. is an organization that exists to empower creative women to become agents of good. With a degree in graphic design and digital media and a background in branding, Joanna believes that creativity, purpose and business should go hand in hand. In this episode Joanna shares about her entrepreneurial journey and how she began the Yellow Conference. The trio talk about social good in a business and Joanna shares how you can implement it in your business. Lastly, she shares more about the Yellow Conference and what she expect for the future of Yellow Co.

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Main Takeaways:

  • How she left a 9 to 5 job and got into freelance graphic design [0:01:25]
  • How to find the next step that you can’t seem to find [0:08:49]
  • How the Yellow Conference came to be [0:10:58]
  • What the mission of the Yellow Conference is and how that influences the message [0:19:05]
  • How to have a philanthropic cause with your business [0:20:34]
  • How to incorporate social good into your business model [0:26:10]
  • How to make the most out of a Yellow Conference experience [0:29:07]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Joanna Waterfall is the Founder of Yellow Co., an organization that exists to empower creative women to become agents of good. With a degree in graphic design and digital media and a background in branding, Joanna believes that creativity, purpose and business should go hand in hand. She has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, LA Lady Magazine, Boss Ladies Magazine, Belong Magazine and others. She is motivated by the belief that women can change the world through stepping into what makes them come alive.

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina interview Shanna Skidmore. Shanna is a business strategist and financial coach. Nicknamed the “dream-releaser” by her clients, she helps entrepreneurs make money doing what they love by building profitable and sustainable businesses. Shanna shares all about taking sabbatical and time off for your business to do better. She gives advice for people to have confidence in their business by,  giving yourself a budget, making a plan, and understanding the outcomes you’re looking for will really help you decide what’s the best content you can get and start there. Shanna shares lots of tips to help you plan and be intentional in your business.

Creative Empire Podcast | Email Header Template | Episode 120 with Shanna Skidmore

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Main Takeaways:

  • What caused her to jump off of social media and what it has been like [0:01:39]
  • How sabbaticals can help your business [0:04:23]
  • How to plan out your finances to help you schedule time off – “Money Date” [0:10:56]
  • How to be a good entrepreneur [0:15:34]
  • What the difference between a hobbyist and an entrepreneur is [0:19:09]
  • What a “10 year overnight success” looks like [0:25:55]
  • How multiple streams of income can help your business [0:27:05]
  • How speaking can become a diversified stream of revenue [0:30:55]
  • What you can do to have confidence in your business [0:35:33]

Show Notes:

Click here to download the transcript

 

Bio:

Shanna Skidmore is a business strategist and financial coach. Nicknamed the “dream-releaser” by her clients, she helps entrepreneurs make money doing what they love by building profitable & sustainable businesses. For the past 10 years she has been immersed in the world of small business development and finance. By studying patterns of success, she now coaches and consults with creative entrepreneurs on business principles she found to be key indicators of success. Her background in finance, psychology and art, have allowed her to marry the world of business and creativity. Her greatest joy is watching others transform their stories and build businesses & lives they love!

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina interview Lauren Hooker of Elle & Company. Lauren is a graphic designer, online business strategist, and creative entrepreneur who helps creatives transform their passion into a successful, profitable business. In this episode she shares a lot about her business and the struggles that can occur. She dives deep into burnout and how to combat it. She share tips on how to encourage new business owners, by being realistic and prioritizing in your business.

Creative Empire Podcast | Email Header Template | Episode 119 with Lauren Hooker

Creative Empire Podcast | Newsletter CTA | Episode 119 with Lauren Hooker

Main Takeaways:

  • What her business looked like when she started and the struggles behind it [0:01:39]
  • How creating a blog has helped grow her business [0:03:35]
  • What creating content looks like for her [0:04:45]
  • What made her share about burnout and how to take care of yourself [0:08:34]
  • What she shares to encourage new business owners [0:13:05]
  • How seasons change in your business [0:16:09]
  • How creativity can come during burnout phases [0:17:16]
  • What making excuses in your business can look like and how to shift from that mindset [0:21:33]
  • How the educational course field is becoming saturated and what is next for passive income [0:25:23]
  • Who the influencers have been behind Elle and Company [0:30:35]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Lauren Hooker is a graphic designer, online business strategist, and creative entrepreneur who helps creatives transform their passion into a successful, profitable business. Lauren graduated with a BFA in Visual Communication Design from Virginia Tech and immediately got a job working in the corporate world. After leaving her 9-5 to start her own business, she now has two passions: design and helping other creative entrepreneurs.

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina interview Lauren Carnes, photographer behind Lauren Carnes Photography. Lauren is known for photography, plus her brand building and she talks about what that transition has looked like for her. The three discuss how sometimes personal and professional content is used in their businesses. Lauren shares tips on how to mesh both together for content by determining what is that brand voice for you, what imagery do you want and just being open to what your followers and what the people in your target audience are looking for and finding where they are. In addition, she shares her 3 tips for the perfect yes pitch.

Creative Empire Podcast | Episode 118 | Lauren Carnes

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Main Takeaways:

  • What her non-linear journey has looked like as a professional and moving into photography [0:01:32]
  • How someone can transition from one focus to another, smoothly [0:08:45]
  • What influence her Instagram has had on her business [0:11:10]
  • How to set boundaries for our social media presence + defining your brand voice [0:13:13]
  • What social media presence give and takes can look like for a relationship [0:14:30]
  • How “personal” and “on brand” can mesh together for content [0:17:02]
  • What creating a “perfect yes” can look like [00:26:16]
  • What the next wave of communications market is [0:35:49]
  • How open she is to continuing and moving seasons as they come [0:39:09]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

With a background in marketing, public relations and social media management, Lauren has always been a lover of telling great stories. For 6 years she worked alongside international brands including Nike, Airstream, the John Maxwell Company and Chick-fil-A in defining unique elements of their stories and serving as their brand voice through digital, print and in-person engagements. In May of 2014, Lauren launched Lauren Carnes Photography and began incorporating visual storytelling through branding, food and wedding photography, while also coaching and consulting creatives on photography and effective brand building to fit their unique voice. Lauren partners with creatives and food-focused businesses to align communications strategy and create a cohesive brand through copywriting and visual communications. With a passion for fostering community, Lauren leads the Rising Tide Society TuesdaysTogether group in Augusta, GA. When she’s not photographing or drafting engaging copy, she can be found spending time with her husband, Chip, and their fur-baby, Sophie. Lauren loves to cook, host people for dinner (or brunch!), and explore new cities.

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Joining Reina and Christina today is Allie Casazza, a writer, the face behind alliecasazza.com, the creator of Your Uncluttered Home – an online decluttering course, and The Purposeful Home podcast. Allie is talking about how her business has developed and what delegation can do for a business owner. She also tells us about a few mindset shifts for decluttering, such as realizing that you need to declutter and making time to do it. The three also talk about how hard it can be to start something and Allie shares common excuses she hears behind why people are not starting the minimalism process: 1) blaming significant others 2) waiting for the perfect time to start. If you are wanting to change your habits, begin practicing minimalism, or even just declutter, this episode is for you!

 

Creative Empire Podcast | Episode 117 | Alliie Casazza

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Main Takeaways:

  • What the magic of delegation can do in a business [0:01:50]
  • How her business has developed and who it is for [0:03:43]
  • What a decluttering practice looks like from her perspective [0:05:00]
  • What is looks like as a mom running an online business out of a camper [0:07:42]
  • What some mindset shifts look like for decluttering [00:13:12]
  • What some common excuses for procrastinating the decluttering process [0:15:37]
  • What creating her course looked like and how her business started [0:21:47]
  • What the impact on her relationship both with her husband and as a family [0:29:50]

Show Notes:


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Bio:

Allie Casazza is wife to the boy she sat next to in seventh grade algebra class, and mom to their four kids. She’s a writer and the creator of Your Uncluttered Home – an online decluttering course that earned her national attention for her philosophy of simple motherhood. Allie has been featured on Good Morning America, The TODAY Show, The Jenny McCarthy Show, ABC News, and other popular media. You can find her blogging at AllieCasazza.com.

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina interview Tara Larson of Rad and Happy who is a designer and hand letterer. Tara is chatting all about how being a mom has influenced what she does as a creative entrepreneur. She talks about some challenges she has faced such as finding her voice, work balance, and the ebb-and-flow of a business. The trio discuss what finding your voice can look like and how that can influence collaborations, plus Tara give some collaboration tips.

Creative Empire Podcast | Episode 116 | Tara Larson of Rad and Happy

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Main Takeaways:

  • What challenges has looked like in her creative business [0:02:08]
  • How being a mom influences her entrepreneurial journey [0:03:57]
  • How to flex your creative process like a muscle + Setting priorities [0:06:43]
  • How to get our of a creative process rut by trying new creative things [0:14:33]
  • What finding your voice can look like on Instagram [0:19:06]
  • What it is like in a market that is really taking-off [0:24:53]
  • How hand lettering workshops have [0:26:42]
  • How collaborations are what she is working on + Tips for collaborations [0:29:29]
  • How to learn from your failures [0:34:10]

Show Notes:

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Bio:

Hi! I am Tara also known as, Rad and Happy. I am a designer and hand letterer who is a big fan of anything lemon, design that makes your heart swoon, and being a mom to my study husband and cute kids. My goal as an artist is to extract happiness from common things and share a bit of that happy with the rad people I am lucky enough to cross paths with.

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  • Robin Hutcheson - This was the first podcast I have ever listened too. I saw Tara talking about it on her Instagram story and since I love Tara so much I had to check it out. It was great. Started from the beginning on my way home from work today. I can’t wait to listen to them all!!!ReplyCancel

    • creativeempire - Wow Robin! Thank you so much. It take a lot of work to produce each episode, and this made our day! We’ll try to read it on air, so listen for it soon 🙂ReplyCancel

  • August: My Favorite Things! - Andrea Genevieve - […] from all types of businesses. This month I binged on about 7 episodes, I could not get enough! This episode on Creative Process with Tara Larson from Rad and Happy = Amazing! Add it to your  list. Organizational […]ReplyCancel

This episode features Reina and Christina chatting about Reina’s month long trip to Japan. Reina is talking about how the trip was something she was nervous about, but made time to do it. They chat about how mommy-mode effects a trip and what mom guilt can look like as an entrepreneur. Reina talks deeply about the differences of societal norms in Japan, from client experiences to packaging on everything. This episode gives you some advice on travelling if you are a parent with young children or even an entrepreneur hesitant to commit to a long travel time frame.

Creative Empire Podcast | Episode 115 | Jam Session about Reina

 

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Main Takeaways:

  • How to decide to take a trip for an extended amount of time + making it happen [0:01:15]
  • What mommy-mode looks like on vacation [0:06:12]
  • What travelling struggles and hurdles that she had to overcome [0:18:11]
  • What her business will change from self-reflection while gone for a while [0:21:14]
  • How the society norms differ in Japan including efficiency and client-experience [0:24:33]
  • How we should give ourselves permission to travel and commitment [0:34:29]

 

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Show Notes:

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina interview Natalie Gingrich. Natalie Gingrich is a quintessential, Type A leader who thoroughly enjoys helping her entrepreneurial peers move their businesses into action with her love of project management. In this episode Natalie shares about what a project manager looks like and how to create a solid framework for your business. The trio then discuss how to prioritize in your business and how to park certain ideas to implement later. Lastly, Natalie dives into discussing and gives tips to hiring your first team member, such as writing down all the things that you aren’t excited about doing in your business, and how to look for the perfect fit for your business.

Email Header Template | Episode 114 | Natalie Gingrich

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Main Takeaways:

  • How to define product management and components [0:02:27]
  • How to move from a corporate job to a creative entrepreneur [0:03:50]
  • How to create a project management system and starting a framework [0:06:13]
  • How to implement strategic priorities [0:12:50]
  • How to validate your ideas [0:19:11]
  • How to hire your first team member [0:25:33]

Show Notes:

Click for the Transcript

Bio:

Natalie Gingrich is a quintessential, Type A leader who thoroughly enjoys helping her entrepreneurial peers move their businesses into action with her love of project management. After 15 years in a Fortune 150 company, she uses her tremendous drive, education, and professional experience to serve those in a space known for creative and visionary thinkers. She combines her passion for people, with simplified processes and practical, project management to create authentic movement in business. As a mother of two- and a native of Texas- her heart is big and eager to serve. You can gain a glimpse of how she manages her (and her team’s) tasks at www.NatalieGingrich.com/productiveweek. We manage your people and processes so you can get back to managing your vision!

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina interview Kristen Ley who is the founder, owner and creative director of Thimblepress. Kristen discusses how she develops and creates names for products by sharing her go-to ways of brainstorming, such as having others help you by playing games that she lines out in the episode. The three then chat extensively about resting, giving yourself permission to take breaks in your business, and why it can be beneficial. Lastly, Kristin shares how she answers questions about how her products are made.

Email Header Template | Episode 113 | Kristen Ley of Thimble Press

 

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Main Takeaways:

  • How to create and develop products, brainstorm, and get inspiration [0:01:33 ]
  • How to brainstorm product names [0:04:00]
  • How to give yourself permission rest [0:12:36]
  • How to embrace the rest [0:17:18]
  • How to work with larger companies [0:20:54]
  • How to answer really uncomfortable business questions [0:25:20]
  • How to move on from being copied [0:29:05]

Show Notes:

 

Click here to download the transcript

Bio:

Kristen Ley is the founder, owner and creative director of Thimblepress. Thimblepress creates fun and functional products that Help elevate your space and celebrate life’s moments. Thimblepress products are sold online, but also available at retailers like Anthropologie, Paper Source, Urban Outfitters, and most recently at Target with an exclusive collection of products. Kristen loves color and celebrating even the smallest of life’s moments. You may have even celebrated with their signature Push-Pop Confetti®, or even journaled & tracked your days in their colorful Day Dreamer planner. Thimblepress operates out of 7000 square feet in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. When Kristen isn’t dreaming up her next creation, she spends time with her two goldendoodle babies, Willow and Henry.

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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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Ashlee’s Bio:

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.

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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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Ali’s Bio:

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.

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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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to develop your company’s core values

Show Notes:

Jillian’s Bio:

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.

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Kelly’s Bio:

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.

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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?”

Show Notes:

Emily’s Bio:

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.

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Reina and Christina’s guest this episode is Rhiannon Bosse, founder of Rhiannon Bosse 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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • Why working hard for what you get is a good thing

Show Notes:

Rhiannon’s Bio:

Rhiannon is passionate about striving to make those around her always feel loved. She is the businesswoman behind the Rhiannon Bosse brand which has two distinct facets; a wedding planning and design firm, and a lifestyle blog both started in 2009. When she’s not designing florals in her studio, she’s found at home in West Michigan spending time with her family. Rhiannon stands for innovation, integrity, and most of all, extending love and grace to all.

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Vanessa’s Bio:

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.

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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.

Ashlyn Carter CEP Episode Photo

Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to cultivate more vulnerability in life

Show Notes: 

Ashlyn’s Bio:

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.

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Please enjoy this ‘best of’ episode featuring Laura Joseph of Paper & Honey. The CEP gals are taking the month of June off after a year of podcasting 2x weekly. It’s worth listening to again!

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.

Laura Joseph Headshot | Creative Empire Podcast

 

Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to be fearless in what you want as a creative

Show Notes:

Laura’s Bio:

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.

Laura Joseph | My Creative Empire Podcast

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Please enjoy this ‘best of’ episode featuring Katie Selvidge, founder of Cottage Hill. The CEP gals are taking a month off after a year of podcasting 2 times weekly. It’s worth listening to again!

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.

Katie Selvidge Headshot | Creative Empire Podcast

Show Highlights:

  • 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!)

Show Notes:

Katie’s Bio:

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.

Katie Selvidge | Creative Empire Podcast

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This episode features Reina and Christina chatting about milestones in business. They both reveal moments that have been milestones in their individual businesses. Also shared in this episode is  advice for what people need to do when they are feeling overwhelmed or triggered.

Show Highlights:

  • What milestones Reina has experienced in her business
  • What milestones Christina has experienced in her business
  • How investing in courses + retreats can be milestones
  • What people need to do when something is overwhelming them
  • What people need to do when they feel triggered

Show Notes:

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Reina and Christina’s guest this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is Mariah Coz, the founder of Femtrepreneur, a 7-figure online education business and global movement. Mariah candidly shares why she set up her company the way she did, how depression and anxiety have impacted her as an entrepreneur, and why she started selling what people were asking for. She encourages listeners to share their imperfect behind-the-scenes and not be afraid of controversy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • How Mariah built her empire
  • Why it’s her mission to create more women entrepreneurs
  • Why you need to sell what people are asking for
  • Why Mariah’s not afraid of controversy
  • Why there’s no excuse for having excuses
  • What sacrifices Mariah made to become successful
  • What passive income really is
  • How to enjoy each milestone instead of just checking it off your list
  • Why Mariah set up her business the way she did
  • How depression + anxiety have impacted Mariah as an entrepreneur
  • Why you should share your imperfect life
  • How there are no secrets to success, just hard work

Show Notes:

Mariah’s Bio:

Mariah Coz the founder of Femtrepreneur, a 7-figure online education business and global movement. As a serial entrepreneur, Mariah started building businesses at age 18. She toured in her punk band, sold vintage clothes online, renovated retro campers, and more before deciding to create and sell online courses. She quickly turned her first course about “how to live in a vintage camper” into a successful business, and started teaching her unique process through her company Femtrepreneur. Within 2 years, Femtrepreneur became a multi-million dollar business with a huge mission: Change 10 million lives through online courses.

Today, Mariah works with her virtual team of badasses to give people all over the world the tools and resources to become financially independent through entrepreneurship.

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This episode features Reina and Christina chatting about selling. They start the episode by briefly outlining their own personal philosophies on selling. Then they dive right in and talk about what good selling looks like, how to sell by just talking to people + trying to help them, and how to manifest generosity in your business. They also chat about how to pick a lead magnet, how to guide leads through your selling process, and how to follow up with leads. Lastly Reina and Christina finish up the episode by talking about how money mindset affects selling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • What Christina’s philosophy on selling is
  • What Reina’s philosophy on selling is
  • What good selling looks like
  • How to sell by just talking to people and trying to help them
  • How to manifest generosity in your business
  • How to pick your lead magnet, even if you don’t have clients yet
  • What to do if you’re feeling stuck and not getting clients
  • How to sell without having a website
  • How to follow up with leads
  • How money mindset affects selling

Show Notes:

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This Creative Empire podcast episode Reina and Christina interview Molly Suber Thorpe, graphic designer, calligrapher, teacher, and author. This episode is all about what it takes to have a thriving calligraphy business. The trio discuss everything from how to price your services to how to find calligraphy jobs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • What Molly’s new book is about
  • What advice Molly would say to someone starting out who is scared to charge higher prices
  • How to come up with your own freelancing rates
  • What someone who feels they are too late to the game should do
  • What the difference between freelancers and small business owners is
  • How to find calligraphy jobs
  • What freelancing has allowed Molly to do
  • What being featured by huge publications feels like
  • When you need to stop doing “market research” and just start making your own stuff instead

Show Notes:

Molly’s Bio:

Molly Suber Thorpe is a graphic designer, calligrapher, teacher, and author. She is credited as a driving force behind the modern calligraphy movement and achieved renown for her book, Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013). Since its release, Modern Calligraphy has sold over 30,000 copies, been translated into Chinese and Spanish, and was named an “Amazon Favorite Craft Book” of 2013.

Her work has been featured in The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Weddings, Los Angeles Times, Country Living,  and Style Me Pretty Weddings. Her client list includes Google Cultural Institute, Martha Stewart Weddings, Michael Kors, Fendi, J. Jill, and Victorio & Lucchino. Molly graduated from UCLA’s Design Communication Arts program in 2009 with a concentration in typography and layout design. Prior to that, Molly studied art history, comparative literature, and creative writing at The American University of Paris. After spending nearly a decade in Los Angeles, Molly currently lives in Athens, Greece with her partner, a fashion photographer, and their incorrigible Bengal cat.

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This episode features Reina and Christina chatting about how to create accountability in your business. They briefly  discuss why accountability is important and then dive right into 9 ways to incorporate accountability into your business. They finish up the episode by outlining the difference between a lack of accountability versus just making excuses and why it’s important to speak your goals out loud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • Why accountability is important
  • What 9 ways to incorporate accountability into your business are
  • What the difference between lacking accountability + just making excuses is
  • Why it’s important to say your goals out loud

Show Notes:

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This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast with Carly Romeo of Carly Romeo & Co is all about how to be a disruptor in your industry! Carly shares how she founded her unusual niche and gives advice for people looking to find what makes them happy AND pays the bills. The trio discuss how to have a mindset that doesn’t compromise even when it’s hard and/or scary, how to say the unpopular thing, and why we need to be courageous enough to say the things we believe in. Also included in this episode is how to really niche down to your target audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • How Carly found her unusual niche
  • What happened when Carly published her feminist manifesto
  • How to figure out what makes you happy AND pays the bills
  • How to have the mindset that isn’t willing to compromise on your values even when it’s hard + scary
  • Why she cofounded Catalyst
  • How to hit publish (or say the unpopular thing)
  • How to really niche down on your target audience
  • Why we need to be courageous enough to say the things we believe in

Show Notes:

Carly’s Bio:

Carly Romeo is a photographer, feminist, and serial project-starter. Since graduating from the University of Virginia in 2008, she has been a nanny, record store clerk, barista, Planned Parenthood intern and staff member, fake Princeton student, and member of Gloria Steinem’s staff. She’s a pure extrovert and though she loves the problem-solving nature of running a small business, she misses having coworkers. Her current projects include running a program called Feminist Camp, being a co-founder of and hype woman for Catalyst Wedding Company, and owning and operating a feminist wedding photography business called Carly Romeo & Co.

Carly’s Social Handles:

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Personal finance coach, speaker, and the founder of Finances Demystified & The Social Money Tour Dominique Broadway is Reina and Christina’s guest on The Creative Empire podcast this episode. The heart of this episode is about how to treat your business like a business. Dominique shares how often you should look at your financials, easy tools to start budgeting with, and how to work on a retainer business model so you make more consistent income. Also discussed this episode is advice for business owners who want to take the leap from their 9-5 to full-time entrepreneur, what debt is okay to take one, and how to have money conversations with your children.

Show Highlights:

  • Why we struggle with money
  • How to have money conversations with children
  • Why a lot of creative businesses fail
  • What advice Dominique has for business owners who want to go from their 9-5 to full-time entrepreneur
  • What budgeting tools Dominique recommends
  • How often you should look at your business financials
  • What Dominique’s stance on taking on debt for your business is
  • How to know if something is a good investment
  • How to start working on a retainer so you have consistent income each month + how retainers work
  • How to take your business seriously

Show Notes:

Dominique’s Bio:

Dominique Broadway is an award winning Personal Finance Coach, Speaker, Finance Expert and the Founder of Finances Demystified & The Social Money Tour. Dominique has received various accolades such as the Top 30 Under 30 in Washington DC, the DC Future Business Leader of America Businessperson of the Year and the Top Financial Advisor for Millennials in the US. Dominique’s demystified financial advice, has been highlighted on Yahoo!, Huffington Post, Forbes, USA Today, Black Enterprise, Marketwatch.com, Ebony Magazine, Levo League, Refinery29 and other media outlets. She has a strong passion for working with young professionals, entrepreneurs and people of all ages to bring their Dreams2Reality.

Dominique’s Social Handles:

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  • Josey at Sixpence Events - I really really enjoyed this episode! I think it is just great that Dominique has taken a really valuable service and made it accessible to us wee entrepreneurs!

    Thanks for the Mint tip – looking into right now!ReplyCancel

    • Caitlyn - Thanks for the comment! Yes, Dominique has! We are so glad our episode was able to help you. 🙂ReplyCancel

Joining Reina and Christina for this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is photographer, social media strategist, and founder of LISH Creative Alisha Johns. Alisha shares how to find your own visual style, why you need to curate your portfolio, and how to stand out from the crowd. The trio also talk extensively about how to become an influencer, how to make a memorable and favorable pitch, and what you actually need before you start contacting companies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • How Alisha got to where she is now, owning her own agency + working with big brands
  • Why you need to curate your portfolio
  • How to find your own visual style
  • How many followers Alisha had when she started getting contacted for influencer services
  • What you need in order to start contacting companies to be an influencer
  • Why Instagram stories are on the way up right now
  • What makes a good pitch + some fun ways to make them more visual
  • How to stand out from the crowd
  • Why having a physical space that’s your own to create in is important
  • What advice Alisha has for someone who is starting out + wants to be an influencer/work with big brands

Show Notes:

Alisha’s Bio:

Alisha Johns is the the color-loving photographer and social media strategist behind LISH creative – a content agency and consulting firm for lifestyle and hospitality brands. After graduating with a degree in Marketing from Virginia Tech, she turned to Instagram to build a creative portfolio for the advertising industry. 3 agency jobs, 3 features in Mashable, and one vibrant community later, Alisha left her 9-5 to work for LISH creative full time. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Alisha now lives in Los Angeles and has done work for major brands including Dunkin Donuts, Method Home, GE and Lenscrafters.

Alisha’s Social Handles:

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Reina and Christina’s guest this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast is Becki Crosby, a professional stylist turned self-confidence promoter and creator of Whippy Cake. Becki shares that being a business owner isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and what people can actually expect to go through. Also discussed in this episode is the need to go all in in your business, why you need to trust yourself and what you’re good at, and why personal development is important + what kinds to partake in. The trio even discuss copycats, why you shouldn’t hyperfocus on them, and how to find your special message to the world.

Show Highlights:

  • What Becki’s winding path to entrepreneurship looked like
  • Why Becki chose to shut down her headband business rather than sell it
  • Why you need to go all in with your business, no matter if you don’t have many hours to work on it
  • What the difference is between successful business owners + people who are just dabbling
  • How being a business owner isn’t all sunshine and rainbows
  • Why people are more important than money and what role intuition plays in Becki’s business
  • What “makeup for your mindset” is and why you need to be doing it
  • Why you need to trust yourself and what you’re good at
  • Why you shouldn’t hyperfocus on copycats
  • How to figure out what’s special about you, what your message to the world is
  • Why personal development is important + what kinds to partake in

Show Notes:

Becki’s Bio:

Who is Whippy Cake? That would be me, Becki, a professional stylist turned self-confidence promoter. I love a beauty tutorial as much as the next girl, but I also believe in a world where people put more value on who you are on the inside than what you look like on the outside.

If pixie tutorials and confidence lessons aren’t enough to kick start your journey to mega achievement, I’ve still got you covered.  After developing my own business for 7+ years and working on dream projects that still have me pinching myself, I’ve turned my attention to you, the up-and-coming #GirlBoss who just might need a little pep talk from someone who has been there, tried that.  Never one to shy away from a crowd, I have also taken my love for teaching on the road, speaking to audiences big and small, from LA to NYC.

Becki’s Social Handles:

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • 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)
  • How to figure out what to focus on
  • How people can find their unique angle

Show Notes:

Rachel’s Bio:

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.

Rachel’s Social Handles:

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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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Lisa’s Bio:

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.

Lisa’s Social Handles:

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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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • What self-care looks like for Janet
  • Why she started a fashion blog as well

Show Notes:

Janet’s Bio:

 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!

Janet’s Social Handles:

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • What things to do to get to know your tribe
  • Why community is essential in business ownership

Show Notes:

Jaclyn’s Bio:

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!

Jaclyn’s Social Handles:

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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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Mary Beth’s Bio:

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.

Mary Beth’s Social Handles:

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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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • What courses Jessica has created
  • How to plan launches ahead of time

Show Notes:

Jessica’s Bio:

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.

Jessica’s Social Handles:

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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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Ali’s Bio:

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.

Ali’s Social Handles:

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  • Georgann - Loved the Ali Edwards interview! Such great questions and responses… thank you!!ReplyCancel

    • Sierra McClain - So glad you enjoyed it-thank YOU for listening!ReplyCancel

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to develop your company’s core values

Show Notes:

Jillian’s Bio:

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.

Jillian’s Social Handles:

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Shea’s Bio:

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.

Shea’s Social Handles:

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • What a few Paper Camp success stories are
  • What is next for wholesale

Show Notes:

Katie’s Bio:

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.

Katie’s Social Handles:

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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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Alli’s Bio:

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.

Alli’s Social Handles:

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Reina and Christina’s guest this episode is Rhiannon Bosse, founder of Rhiannon Bosse 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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • Why working hard for what you get is a good thing

Show Notes:

Rhiannon’s Bio:

Rhiannon is passionate about striving to make those around her always feel loved. She is the businesswoman behind the Rhiannon Bosse brand which has two distinct facets; a wedding planning and design firm, and a lifestyle blog both started in 2009. When she’s not designing florals in her studio, she’s found at home in West Michigan spending time with her family. Rhiannon stands for innovation, integrity, and most of all, extending love and grace to all.

Rhiannon’s Social Handles:

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  • Tracy Park - so glad I am past this stage in life where I am trying to find myself and kiddos in tow. Kudos to you.
    My season now is working my own biz, happy home happy life. retirement is in the very close future.ReplyCancel

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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Ashlee’s Bio:

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.

Ashlee’s Social Handles:

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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!

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Bushra’s Bio:

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.

Bushra’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to get your portfolio in front of companies

Show Notes:

Bonnie’s Bio:

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.

Bonnie’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to build brand loyalty off of Etsy
  • How to build your brand as a whole

Show Notes:

Cathy’s Bio:

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.

Cathy’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Rachel’s Bio:

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

Rachel’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Holly’s Bio:

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.

Holly’s Social Handles:

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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!

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Lauren’s Bio:

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!

Lauren’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to be a disruptor

Show Notes:

Jena’s Bio:

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.

Jena’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Nikki’s Bio:

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!

Nikki’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to use your personality in business
  • How to use the Social Glue Method of marketing
  • How to find value in masterminds

Show Notes:

Maura’s Bio:

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!

Maura’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Davey’s Bio:

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.

Davey’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Kelly’s Bio:

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.

Kelly’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Jamie’s Bio:

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.

Jamie’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to know what step to take next

Show Notes:

Shay’s Bio:

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.

Shay’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How Maya turned her services into commodities

Show Notes:

Maya’s Bio:

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.

Maya’s Social Handles:

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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!

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to deal with haters

Show Notes:

Luisa’s Bio:

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.

Luisa’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Eliana’s Bio:

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.

Eliana’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Vanessa’s Bio:

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.

Vanessa’s Social Handles:

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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!

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to figure out topics for your videos

Show Notes:

April’s Bio:

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.

April’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Dannie’s Bio:

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.

Dannie’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Kristen’s Bio:

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.

Kristen’s Social Handles:

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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!

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How passive income isn’t really that passive
  • How to prevalidate an idea and know what to teach
  • What the steps are to create a course

Show Notes:

Jessica’s Bio:

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.

Jessica’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Ashley’s Bio:

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.

Ashley’s Social Handles:

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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!

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • What “white space” is and why we need it
  • What books + videos Natalie recommends

Show Notes:

Natalie’s Bio:

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.

Natalie’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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?”

Show Notes:

Emily’s Bio:

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.

Emily’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Lara’s Bio:

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!

Lara’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How to acknowledge + celebrate your wins

Show Notes:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Katelyn’s Bio:

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!!

Katelyn’s Social Handles:

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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!

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Show Highlights:

  • 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
  • How stories sell your products

Show Notes:

Ashley’s Bio:

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.

Ashley’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Bethany’s Bio:

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.

Bethany’s Social Handles:

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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!

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Brooke’s Bio:

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.

Brooke’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Tara’s Bio:

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.

Tara’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Amber’s Bio:

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.

Amber’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Autumn’s Bio:

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.

Autumn’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Valerie’s Bio:

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.

Valerie’s Social Handles:

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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!

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Show Highlights:

  • 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’s Bio:

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.

Jasmin’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Cassie’s Bio:

 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.

Cassie’s Social Handles:

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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.

Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Shelby’s Bio:

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.

Shelby’s Social Handles:

 

 

 

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

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  • Wanda Lopez - I love this topic. As an introvert I see myself seating in my car and re-thinking if I should go in or not, too. Or just pacing in my house back and forth thinking whether I should go or not. I’ve gotten better. I say to myself, “You’ve got this go in and have a good time”. It helps.
    Thanks for this podcast, loved it!ReplyCancel

    • Sierra McClain - I’m an introvert too and totally have done the same thing! So glad you loved this podcast!ReplyCancel

  • Evelyn - Loved this podcast!

    I just have a question about the resource that Christina mentioned at 11:48. I typed in creativeempire.co/getstarted into my brower, but the page wasn’t found. Is there anyway the checklist Christina mentioned can be shared?ReplyCancel

    • Sierra McClain - Hi, Evelyn! Yep, go up to the top right of the screen and click on “free workbook.” Sorry about the confusion!ReplyCancel

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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Ashley’s Bio:

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.

Ashley’s Social Handles:

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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.

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Show Highlights:

  • 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

Show Notes:

Julie’s Bio:

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.

Julie’s Social Handles:

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