District Boss: Emma Marty of Emma Marty Jewelry

emma marty IS THE STYLISH, FEMALE WARRIOR BOSS of emma marty JEWELRY.

Ahead, she shares her passion for jewelry design, insightful tidbits for you night owls, and a piece of business advice that will set you on the path to success...

What is your business? Tell us a bit about yourself.

I own Emma Marty Jewelry, a handcrafted jewelry company.  In addition to being the business owner I’m also the designer and silversmith.  I started making jewelry in high school and after many years of creating as a hobby I took the plunge into making it a business. 

My aesthetic can be described as chunky and industrial.  I use sterling silver, 14k gold and vibrant semi and precious stones.  My work is inspired by the balance between masculine and feminine energy and the duality of female strength and beauty.    

What led you to where you are today?

In addition to a love for the craft, hard work and late nights, I think that having an open mind and heart to opportunity has led me to where I am today.  I’ve never put a great deal of expectation on my work to gain a certain amount of money, success or recognition.  I put in the work (I mean A LOT of work) and move on with the confidence that the universe will take me to where I need to be.  In following this organic approach, I continue to find more possibility than I could have imagined.

What’s the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur? The best part?

I think the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur is that you aren’t passed a set of directions after registering your business.  You can read everything Google has to offer on being a successful entrepreneur and the practices to create a growing business.  A lot of this can be super helpful, but I’ve found that every business is unique and needs time to experiment, take chances, make, and learn from mistakes. 

Through all the uncertainty, being an entrepreneur is so exciting and I think the evolution is the best part.  When I look back to a year or even a couple months ago I’m always surprised to see all the improvements, new work and new relationships I’ve created. Nothing is constant and it’s so freeing to create art and a business from any wave of inspiration.

How do you stay motivated and continue to grow, personally and professionally?

I truly love silversmithing. If I didn’t have a business I would still be making jewelry as a creative outlet.  However, I feel an unbelievable sense of gratitude and pride when I find my jewelry on someone else and see it become a part of them and their day-to-day life.  This beautiful connection with the customer is the main motivation that drives me to grow my business.

As for my personal life, it’s important for me to take time away from my jeweler’s bench to spend time with friends and family, to cook, read, exercise and travel.  I also take time to make creative and challenging jewelry projects just for fun.  

What’s your nighttime routine? How do you unwind?

I’ve always been a night owl, and am strangely productive late at night.  I still have a full-time job so the final hours of the day are crucial for fabricating jewelry, catching up with emails, working on the website and marketing campaigns.  I typically wrap up my projects around 11 p.m. and read for a few minutes before falling asleep.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to other business owners?

Find your tribe!  I think that entrepreneurship can be very isolating especially if you’re a one woman show.  I’ve found so much comfort and motivation from talking to other lady bosses because it’s nice to share the struggles and successes that very few people can truly understand.  Also, collaborate!  It’s so much fun to creatively work with others. The results lead to amazing new ideas and deeper relationships that I don’t think I could have cultivated otherwise.

What are a few resources for other product based business owners? How do you recommend getting started?

Just go for it and figure it out as you go.  I had no idea how to start a business, I had no experience or formal training.  I never considered myself as an entrepreneur or being business savvy.  All this aside I knew I wanted to start a business, so I found the confidence and just went for it.  Figuring it out may not come easy, but use your resources: Google everything, make phone calls, ask for help, ask for explanations, but don’t get caught up in negativity and thinking that you can’t, it’s simply not true!

Thank you so much for sharing, Emma!! 

Be sure to follow Emma on Instagram and connect with her Facebook!

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District Boss: Mariella Cruzado of Splendor Styling

MARIELLA CRUZADO IS THE STYLISH, FEMALE WARRIOR BOSS BEHIND SPLENDOR STYLING.

Ahead, she shares how her passion for interior design, overcoming doubt, and a piece of business advice that will set you on the path to success...

 
 

What is your business? Tell us a bit about yourself.

Splendor Styling is a boutique design studio that offers interior decoration and styling services. We are passionate about creating beautiful and liveable interiors that allow our clients to enjoy that sophisticated lifestyle they’ve always wanted.

My blog Splendor in Spanglish, was born as a way to share my passion for interiors, as well as my favorite decoration and styling projects. Starting a blog allowed me to meet wonderful creatives, designers and female entrepreneurs, but most importantly to learn more about myself and my personal style. After a short period of time, it inspired the creation of Splendor Styling design studio which is a reflection of one of my biggest dreams: to spend life creating beauty.

I left a career in politics to pursue my passion for interiors and become my own boss. I wouldn’t change that for anything. 

What led you to where you are today?

Without in doubt I find strength and inspiration in other women who motivate me to pursue my dreams, be persistent and fight for what I want. There’s an amazing network of female warriors in DC who support each other and understand the importance of growing together to become stronger.

When you are starting a new project you might feel too far away from your goal, or too small compared to people you admire. The important thing is to be true to yourself, respect your own path and pace, and be satisfied with every single accomplishment.  

What’s the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur? The best part?

Being a business owner means you are entirely responsible for it. It’s a big part of your life especially if you are passionate about what you do. Disconnecting is tremendously hard, but at the same time so necessary to keep your creative juices flowing. The hardest part is to find ways to unwind that don’t involve thinking about your business. I used to read decoration blogs and interior design magazines to relax, now every time I do it, I have to pause several times to make a note for my current projects.

The best part is the satisfaction of completing a project, seeing your vision come true, and being super proud of yourself. My business is all about making people happy, and that’s my biggest reward.

How do you stay motivated and continue to grow, personally and professionally?

I love collaborating with other artists and designers, creating projects just for fun. I’m always open to try new things, experiment in related fields, and see if that opens new doors. Photography styling, for example, is one of the things I love doing in my spare time - especially if it involves art, beautiful pillows or decorative accents!

Besides that, I believe it’s very important to always make time for yourself. I meditate frequently and try to exercise often - even going for a walk by myself will help me relax.

What’s your nighttime routine? How do you unwind?

I really try to stop working at a reasonable hour, before dinner time, so we can cook together with my husband, drink wine and enjoy some quality time. Ideally, I would disconnect from my phone and go to bed with a book and a cup of tea. I really respect my sleep time.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to other business owners?

Respect your talent and your finances. Don’t sell yourself short. You put your time, talent and effort into your projects and you deserve to be compensated for it. Many entrepreneurs are afraid to charge more than their peers or competitors, but every business is different and it’s necessary to know your numbers in order to make a profit and survive.

When your business is your passion, is very easy to overwork - as in my case, I would spend hours looking for the perfect rug or chandelier to complete one of my designs. So I really try to be conscious about the use of my time, and avoid working for free.

What are a few resources for aspiring interior designers? How do you recommend getting started?

There are plenty of ways to learn, you can complete a degree to become an interior designer, take specialized courses here and there or even find key information online, but it’s not until you put all that into practice that you really learn how the industry works.

I am a self-taught interior decorator, which in my mind is a form of art. The more you do it, the more you learn. If decorating is your passion, my advice is to start now. Today. At your own home and with what you have. Don’t waste time over thinking the details, the name of your company, the best way to do things. You will learn by making things happen and building a style of your own. You will make mistakes anyways, you will learn and you will grow, but it’s necessary to be fearless to get started.

Thank you so much for sharing, Mariella! 

FOLLOW SPLENDOR STYLING ONLINE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK

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District Boss: Veronica Epps of Pretty Petals Floral and Event Design

Veronica Epps is the fabulous creative visionary behind Pretty Petals Floral and Event Designs.

Ahead, she shares how her passion for floral and event design began, advice for tackling international weddings, and a compelling anecdote that will inspire you to overcome your biggest hurdle . . . 

 
 

What is your business? Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello! My name is Veronica Epps and I am the owner and lead designer behind Pretty Petals Floral and Event Design; a boutique floral and event design studio based in Northern VA.  I am passionate about creating floral designs that truly celebrate my clients and their unique style. 

What lead you to where you are today?

I found myself growing and thriving in my career in banking, yet somehow felt like something was missing and I was constantly looking for my creative outlet.  After 14 years, I realized that I reached the end of my time in this industry but was struggling with what to do next.  I began working for an event planner part time and there is where I discovered my love for the wedding industry. Trying to figure out what in the wedding industry I wanted to do was easy!  I felt like one day I picked up a pair of sheers and some flowers and I knew this was exactly where I was supposed to be.  

 
 

My super supportive hubby, family and friends pushed me to create Pretty Petals and two years later we officially launched my dream.  This business has led me to places I never knew I could go.  I have been pushed out of my comfort zone and found encouragement in some of the most unexpected places.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing couples, impressive corporate clients, and have traveled in and out of the United States to help my clients create stunning events.  

 What’s the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur? The best part?  

The worst part of being an entrepreneur is the uncertainty of knowing if I made the right choice.  I find myself looking back at my mistakes and reminding myself to stay focused on my end result. 

I have to say that the best part of being an entrepreneur is knowing the direct impact I have on the end result.  Everything that leaves my studio has been touched by me.  It never matters how many hours I work or how little sleep I get, when I look at the venue after every flower is in place and every candle is lit, I walk away feeling like it was worth it.  

 
 

How do you stay motivated and continue to grow, personally and professionally?

The response to my work.  When I deliver an arrangement or drop off the bride's bouquet and get the excitement and the amazement of what they are getting keeps me going!

What’s your nighttime routine? How do you unwind?  

I try to give myself 30 minutes of uninterrupted “me” time.  I use it to journal and reflect on my day, my week or anything else I have going on.  It keeps me centered and grateful for my blessings. 

What’s one piece of advice you would give to other business owners?

Kill your cow!

During small talk with a co-worker one day I was chatting about my dream and running my business.  He looked at me and said “Veronica, kill your cow”.  He proceeded to tell me a story about a couple that lived in a small town in Nicaragua. They owned a cow that provided everything for them.  One day, a huge storm came in and killed their cow.  They were left struggling and trying to figure out what they were going to do about food and money.  The cow provided everything they needed.  A friend gave them a seed to plant.  Years later they had a huge field of grains and crops that was providing more than they could ever ask for.  They would have never seen their blessings had they not lost their cow.  

Moral of the story is, we all have that one thing that holds us back from realizing our potential and our ability to be greater.  We have to remove the obstacle before we can reach greatness.

What’s one piece of logistic advice for anyone tackling an international wedding?

Be prepared for the unexpected.  Often times destination venues don’t have the same resources or it’s harder for them to source everything you want to make your perfect day.  Try to be flexible and allow the space to compromise if needed.  If it’s a must have for you, Do research to make sure you can get it or purchase it before you leave and bring it with you.

Thank you so much for sharing, Veronica! 

FOLLOW PRETTY PETALS ONLINE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK

District Boss: Tina Heileman of MAVN PR

Tina Heileman is your local, go-to PR Consultant and Founder of MAVN PR.

Ahead, she shares her #1 business model, how to develop relationships with key influencers, and a great night routine tip for disconnecting . 

What is your business? Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Tina Heileman, founder of MAVN PR! After almost six years of agency and in-house PR work for consumer facing startups and lifestyle brands, I was sick of working for clients or on projects that I wasn’t passionate about -- and was ready for something new, fresh, and most importantly, something I was passionate about.

So in August 2016, I decided it was time to do my own thing - and MAVN PR was born. Luckily, I have a great network of other #girlbosses who gave me support, and got me started on a few projects which helped MAVN PR take off.

My business model = no bullsh*t. I’m a media relations expert, and I work hard to place the stories my clients need.

I am currently a one-woman show, and specialize in crafting newsworthy narratives. I’m all about championing a personal approach to public relations, and I'm extremely passionate about telling a brand story and actively engaging with consumers in order to build brand awareness. I pull out the most compelling stories from my clients - from uncovering noteworthy trends in their user data to compiling areas of unique thought leadership. Then, I curate the right reporter to work with on the story at hand.

Through existing relationships, strategic targeting, and strong pitching it’s my job to secure the best print, online, and multimedia placements to keep my client’s brand in the forefront of their target audience.

What’s the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur? The best part?

Let’s start with the best part! Being able to represent clients that fit my personal beliefs and passions has been super rewarding, and it’s been exciting getting to shape my little company from the ground up!

The difficult part of being an entrepreneur is that you kind of have to navigate things on your own, which can be really scary! I’ve learned to just go with my gut, and see where that takes me.

How do you stay motivated and continue to grow, personally and professionally?

I stay motivated by surrounding myself with other like-minded friends and colleagues who I can lean on for advice or just a good vent session. I love being able to take little tips and tricks from other women in my industry.

"Professionally, I stay motivated by attending networking events, talks, meet-ups, happy hours and conferences that inspire me and give me a new perspective on things."

Personally, well that’s a work in progress -- but I do try and maintain a healthy work life balance. I’ve learned that it’s totally okay to not respond to an email at 11 p.m. at night. It will still be there in the morning. Me time is really important. Whether it’s 5 minutes of meditation, walking the dog, or going to yoga -- taking time to disconnect and focus on something other than work keeps me sane!

What’s your nighttime routine?

I TRY super hard to shut down my computer early, and not check email after 10 p.m. I like a nice glass of red wine to unwind. And no devices 30 minutes before bed really helps me sleep better!

What’s one piece of advice you would give to other business owners?

"Always go with your gut. If something doesn't feel right, don’t do it!"

What are your recommendations for developing relationships with key influencers in the media?

Pay attention to what they are covering, and be personable! Some of my best relationships with certain reporters and media influencers have come out of a really thoughtful yet casual and friendly pitch!

Thank you so much for sharing, Tina! 

P.S. Tina is currently looking for an intern to join her team! She's starting an intern-to-hire program and am looking for recent grads who are looking to grow their PR career. If interested, send resumes her way! Tina@mavnpr.com!

FOLLOW TINA ONLINE:

MAVN PR / INSTAGRAM / LINKEDIN / TWITTER

 

District Boss: Leah Beilhart of BEHOLD.HER

“You are more than just a face.” - Leah Beilhart

Leah Beilhart is a local photographer that combines photography with female empowerment. Ahead, you will dive into the origins and purpose of her most current passion project BEHOLD.HER, get a glimpse of the beautiful faces of her participants, and get the chance to know Leah on a personal level . . . 

 
Photo by: Drake Alexander

Photo by: Drake Alexander

 

What is your business? Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m the founder of BEHOLD.HER, a happy hour for women that involves storytelling and portraiture. I curate an intimate space for a small group of women to discuss a topic that challenges us to look inward. It’s meant to be a non-judgemental platform where we can gather as strangers, share our opinions, and break down social barriers together. For me personally, I’ve struggled growing up making girlfriends and found myself constantly turning my back on women in fear of getting hurt. It wasn’t until I got older that I recognized how important it was to stop assuming that everyone was the same and to throw myself out there in the “friend dating” world.

I find that women tend to not like each other, but there’s always this underlying yearn to have friendship

What lead you to where you are today?

I’ve danced around in a few states and lived overseas because my father was in the military. I left for a bit of time to keep exploring and imagined myself to be a photojournalist, trucking through mud in a jungle, but I heard my conscious tell me that it wasn’t my purpose and I needed to refocus my energy elsewhere and see how else I could make an impact with my work.  

I have never been a city person, nor would I really consider myself one after being here in D.C. for a year now. My partner, Dave, was the catalyst to the move. His opportunity gave me a door to open and I happily accepted the invitation, knowing that I had nothing to support me when I came to Washington. Being a freelancer in any shape or form is scary, but I pride myself on running around and meeting new people. Communication is a key factor to success. If you don’t listen to those around you or to yourself, you’re bound to fall into a hole eventually. I’d say that listening to my heart, my concerns, and my goals is what led me here today.

 
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Tell us more of your story behind BEHOLD.HER. What inspired you to start this powerful project?

I’ve found myself multiple times looking at someone and rolling my eyes at them, as if their clothing or strut was an indication of their character. I found myself on the other end of the stick not being given a chance because my appearance somehow dictated my personality. I grew tired of my mindset and found myself moved by a small conversation I had with a friend back in Asheville, North Carolina. She told me to not be critical about my own appearance because she doesn’t want that to influence how she may think of herself later. It put things into perspective, that my insecurities, my self-doubts, were spurred by this never ending cycle to be tormented by my own thoughts exclaiming that I wasn’t good enough.

 
 

With that being said, BEHOLD.HER took on organically. What became a small gathering of women to photograph, morphed into an evening of encouragement, self love, and a small discussion on where we all came from. From there, after being outreached by a local business (Kicheko Goods) to conduct my series with her brand, I started to realize that I may have something unique to pursue. That’s when I moved forward with the current concept behind the series. This is quickly growing into a community of ladies who are seeking out an opportunity to speak their minds and make new friends authentically, not a dry, forced, networky way. What’s motivating is reaching out to different parts of D.C. and having everyone join together and not know each other. Relationships are being grown in its most rawest form. As humans, we have the tendency of sharing the most with strangers because we either 1) make the assumption you’ll never see them again and 2) you don’t fear losing their friendship because it was never there to begin with. So these women are going in with their whole heart without worries of losing something they never had. Instead they gain something they never expected would happen.

". . . my insecurities, my self-doubts, were spurred by this never ending cycle to be tormented by my own thoughts exclaiming that I wasn’t good enough."

What’s the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur? The best part?

Uncertainty is my best friend. Whether it’s waking up to empty emails for months or being so busy you don’t know if you took on too much...not knowing what lies ahead is always intimidating as an entrepreneur. I guess that’s the appeal as well, that’s what keeps you on your toes. I wouldn’t say 9-5 jobs can be boring, it could be a really exciting position, but for me I love waking up and being in control of what I’m creating and enjoy the successes that come along with it. It’s more rewarding that way. Routine bores me and makes me feel like I’m not moving forward with anything. Feeling stagnant really stresses me out and I have to tell myself to move with purpose. Purposeful can be not cutting myself down because I broke out on my face or folding my laundry when I really want to leave it in the corner of the room. My partner always tells me, “make note of the small wins,” and it’s guided me to think more positively when the hard days of being an entrepreneur gets the best of me. Feeling stagnant really stresses me out and I have to tell myself to move with purpose

 
 

How do you stay motivated and continue to grow, personally and professionally?

Just like my brand, community is important. I know I wouldn’t have gone as far as I am today without the support of friends and family. Whether that was financial help, a crying shoulder, or just giving me a hi-five, I am driven by the energy that surrounds me. Which is why it’s important to interact with people who are just as driven and ready to keep life moving in an upward motion. If you’re constantly surrounding yourself by negative personalities, expect that to not only influence your business, but your well-being. I’ve found myself in multiple situations in the past where I couldn’t understand why I felt so cruddy. It took me a while, but I finally realized it was the type of people I was allowing myself to be around. It’s still a learning process for me today, but now I’m more aware of what drives my emotions. My business and my personal life continues to improve as I connect with people where our support is reciprocated.

"If you’re constantly surrounding yourself by negative personalities, expect that to not only influence your business, but your      well-being."

What’s one piece of advice you would give to other business owners?

Love and forgive yourself. You know what’s best for you. You know the signs of fatigue. You know when you’re being used. You may not know how to love yourself and you may not know how to forgive yourself, but walk into a community that will show you that you’re worth it. And if you have trouble knowing where those people are, make time to recenter and evaluate why you’re doing what you’re doing and congratulate yourself for getting where you are today.   

Follow Leah Online: 

  Instagram / / Facebook  / / BEHOLD.HER


District Boss: Katie Meek of Meekly Yours

Katie Meek is the owner and creative genius behind Meekly Yours.

Ahead, she shares how her experience in content marketing helped her launch her own creative business, two great resources for expanding your skill set, and reminds entrepreneurs to be authentic . . . 

 
MeeklyYours-01.jpg
Photo by: Mary McCune

Photo by: Mary McCune

 

What is your business? Tell us a bit about yourself.

Meekly Yours is a graphic design, hand lettering, and illustration studio that creates unique, whimsical designs. I strive to include bright colors and positive messages in my designs to help bring the same joy to my customers and clients that I feel when creating each design. 

I am a South Carolina native and have lived my whole life on the on East Coast—minus a short stay in London. I moved to DC for college and have stayed ever since. I am naturally curious and love to learn about the deeper meaning of the world around me. I try to bring that curiosity into my work with clients and in developing my own designs to bring out the best solutions.

What lead you to where you are today?

In college, I majored in graphic design which solidified my of print design. After graduating, I landed in the world of content marketing, print production, and project management. I got great experience working with my teams and clients, but my work didn't provide the creative outlet I needed. I started experimenting with hand lettering phrases and drawing my own graphics. I loved being able to create ideas from scratch and bring them to life. Soon, I started turning my work into physical pieces for sale. I continue exploring new ideas, techniques, and mediums to broaden my skills and stay inspired.

 
Photo by: Jonna Huseman

Photo by: Jonna Huseman

Photo by: Jonna Huseman

Photo by: Jonna Huseman

 

What’s the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur? The best part?

I'll start with the best part. I feel most inspired and productive when I work with clients on commission pieces. Seeing their joy and excitement for their ideas brought to life is priceless. Each client and project is unique, and I really enjoy exploring the challenges and opportunities that each one brings.

On the other hand, it can be a challenge to stay focused and motivated. Although having control over my own schedule is a wonderful freedom, I frequently prioritize tasks that are more enjoyable but are less important to growing my business. Sometimes taking a break from my apartment to work in a coffee shop or co-working space helps me stay focused by surrounding me with other's productivity.

How do you stay motivated and continue to grow, personally and professionally?

Having goals—big and small—help me to stay motivated to work and grow my business. A couple of my ongoing goals are to develop my skills and to make more connections that can lead to great partnerships. I try to attend as many classes, workshops, and industry events to meet like minded people and expand my own abilities. The Rising Tide Society has had a big impact on my business. Seeing the great work that other creatives are producing motivates me to keep working, and the connections I have made through our Facebook group and in my local Tuesdays Together group have been invaluable to learning how to work better and smarter.

What’s your nighttime routine? How do you unwind?

As an avid reader, I wish I could say I spend more of my evenings reading late into the night. However, most nights are pretty low key, and I decompress by watching Netflix with my husband. It's an opportunity cuddle up together and let my brain slow down naturally before heading to bed.

Don't try to be everything to everyone.

what's one piece of advice you'd give to other entrepreneurs?

Don't try to be everything to everyone. Think about what makes sense for your business whether it's a new product, social platform, or business philosophy. Even though something may be “what everyone is doing” doesn't mean that it will work for your business or your clients. Explore options and opportunities, but don't forget what makes your business work.

Thank you so much for sharing, Katie! 

Follow Meekly Yours Online:

 Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

District Boss: Elisabeth Pendergrass of District of Chic

Elisabeth Pendergrass radiates class and confidence.

This D.C. native's love for food, wine, travel, and fashion is expressed on her blog District of Chic.Ahead, you'll be amazed to hear that Elisabeth's fashion blog is a part-time career, top three trends we should expect this summer, and blogging advice for aspiring bloggers.

What is your business? Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well my day job is working as a marketing manager for a software company, but my creative "side hustle" is District of Chic, a fashion blog I started almost 9 years ago. On my blog I like to share my style, as well as my favorite things to doeat, and see in and around DC. My husband and I also love to travel so I often post about our trips.

What lead you to where you are today?

I actually grew up in the DC area and moved back for a job after college. Back then, DC had a stigma of being stuffy and unfashionable and I wanted to show the cool, eclectic side I loved so much about it. I also thought starting a blog would offer me a creative outlet I could pursue outside of my 9-5 job. The blog ended up becoming a part-time career and taught me a lot of skills I've been able to apply to my marketing day job. I've learned a lot of SEO tricks, web design best practices, as well as getting to network with a lot of talented PR professionals, bloggers, and creatives.

What are the top three trends we should expect this summer?

Gingham is definitely king (er, queen) right now, but voluminous shoulders are another trend I'm excited about. For shoe trends, I'm loving slides and mules at the moment - not only are they versatile, they're comfortable and practical, too!

 
 

What’s the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur? The best part?

I think the level of emotional attachment that comes with a business being completely your own is both a blessing and a curse. When you have successes and failures, it's hard not to take it personally when your business is intrinsically linked to your life. I have the luxury of not having to rely on my blog for income (since I have a 9-5 job in marketing), but I've learned that if you want to make money from blogging, it never comes from one individual source. You constantly have to hustle and market yourself to get new projects and work with brands. It's fun and exciting, but it's absolutely critical to be able to self-motivate.

How do you stay motivated and continue to grow, personally and professionally?

Definitely working on projects that really challenge me creatively. I love when a brand presents me with a unique perspective they want to portray. Recently I worked with Donald J. Pliner footwear on their Art of Fun spring campaign. They wanted to emphasize the connection between their new line and works of art - a project that really spoke to me because I'm total art fanatic. I had a lot of fun creating a look inspired by 18th century gentlemen's banyans.

Also networking. It took me a while to appreciate networking, but every time I go to an event that hosts other industry professionals, I get a new boost of energy and inspiration from talking to them about the new projects they're working on or how they've grown their businesses. 

What’s your nighttime routine? Or rather, how do you unwind?

Reading. Since I spend so much of my day in front of the computer (and my phone), turning off screens and taking a break from electronic devices is key. I have a stack of books and magazines I love to root through before bed.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to aspiring bloggers?

Find something that makes you unique. Blogging is such a saturated medium right now, it's more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. The new blogs that get me excited to read more are the ones that are completely different from the rest, so really think about what new perspective you can bring to the world.

Thank you so much for sharing, Elisabeth! 

Follow District of Chic Online:

 Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Bloglovin’ 

District Boss: Morgan & Perkins of Paisley & Jade

PAISLEY & JADE  IS A BOUTIQUE FIRM SPECIALIZING IN GORGEOUS, UNIQUE, VINTAGE AND ECLECTIC FURNITURE AND DECOR RENTALS FOR EVENTS, WEDDINGS, TV AND FILM, PRODUCT SHOOTS, AND TRADE SHOWS. AHEAD, WE INTERVIEWED THE TWO LADY BOSSES, MORGAN AND PERKINS, AND PICKED THEIR BRAINS ON THEIR IDEAL VISUAL SPACE, THE BEST PART OF BEING AND ENTREPRENEUR, AND WINE...

WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS? TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.

Morgan: As a vintage and specialty rental company, P&J provides items for people and businesses to use to tell a visual story.  Whether they are creating a backdrop for their wedding vows, staging a home to sell, creating a larger than life environment for a non-profit gala, or showcasing product at a trade show booth, we provide the pieces to take it to another level!

Perkins: Going off of what Morgan said, we are a selective niche business that fits into a wide array of different visual platform needs!

DESCRIBE AN IDEAL VISUAL SPACE THAT YOU’D CREATE USING YOUR COMPANY’S VINTAGE AND SPECIALTY RENTALS. 

Morgan: Lately, I’ve been really inspired by unique blank canvases, especially in nature.  Canopies of tree branches filled with chandeliers over intimate seating nooks right at dusk, or a gorgeous river-side space with low-set tables and lots of bright colored rugs and pillows for a happy and funky picnic with friends - both of those sound amazing to me!

Perkins: I really love an industrial warehouse with natural light! The juxtaposition of soft vintage pieces in the masculine environment is really eye catching!

WHAT LEAD YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?

Morgan: I’d love to say a clear plan and decisiveness, but as is often the case with small businesses, I think it is more a combination of hard work and hard headed-ness!  I also believe that since we got a taste of being our own bosses (and being the kind of bosses for our team that we always wanted), it’s been easy to let that motivate us.

Perkins: Hard headed & determined for sure! I feel like Morgan & I have done a really good job about staying positive about the business plan and the natural detours that are appropriate for growth.

I THINK IF YOU ASKED US 5 YEARS AGO IF THIS IS WHERE WE IMAGINED OURSELVES TODAY - WE WOULD BE SHOCKED! I’M SO PROUD TO BE A PART OF THIS!

WHAT’S THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? THE BEST PART?

Morgan: I think the most difficult part is knowing that other people are depending on us.  Clients, creative partners and employees - they are depending on us to make good decisions and steer the company in the right direction!  At the same time I think that’s also the best part - it’s so awesome to look around and know that we are providing a value to our little corner of the world.  Whether that’s helping a small business sell their product at a trade show better by supplying our pieces, helming a couple celebrate one of their biggest days at a wedding, or providing jobs in our local economy - it’s so cool to know we’ve made a mark on people’s lives.

Perkins: Morgan has said it perfectly! The fact you know you are responsible for other’s well being with a business based on risk keeps you on track with your business decisions and follow through. It is a fairly structured business plan for such a creative field. 

HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED AND CONTINUE TO GROW, PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY?

Morgan: I love to consume media for inspiration- everything from other companies email marketing, to magazines, to podcasts, to social media, to books!  I also love to travel for both business and pleasure, and in addition to all the inspiration there is in seeing new places, I find that I get some of my best thinking done on airplanes!

Perkins: Personally, I find a lot of inspiration in home decorating blogs and magazines. A personal favorite of mine is Domino Magazine. I think you see client’s event aesthetic inspired by their personal or home decor. Their event is an extension of their personal brand. 

WHAT’S YOUR NIGHTTIME ROUTINE?

Morgan: Well, it definitely includes wine! But seriously, we work hard all day, so I love to wrap up all that work by spending time with my husband and rescue pup, unwinding with a glass of wine and an episode of anything from the Bachelor to the latest and greatest HBO show!  I am a list person, so I will also give my list from that day one last look, adjust items I didn’t accomplish to a new timeline, and take a look at what tomorrow’s schedule and action items are - I sleep much better knowing I have my head wrapped around the next day!

Perkins: I’m a failed but relentless gardener! I unwind by spending some time in the garden in the evenings watering my weeds & then forcing our team to take home the veggies that they probably don't want…but yes wine is a staple for the evenings, recapping on the day and preparing for the next!

WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS?

Morgan: Always be learning - and look to places outside your bubble to get great insight and ideas!  I love following other event rental companies, but I also follow tons of graphic designers, photographers, stylists, fashion icons, magazine editors and other folks who work in visual mediums - it’s always great to look beyond your own bubble!

Perkins: Stay positive, stay humble, stay grateful, keep pushing … and wine:)

Thank you so much for sharing, Morgan and Perkins! 

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