May 10, 2016

The focus of the Starting Small series is to introduce you to some amazing individuals who have built their own businesses from scratch. They are full of passion, life, and love. Once a month, we feature a new business owner, and pick their brain regarding how they started their business, advice for those who have/wish to have a business themselves, how they making time for themselves, and most importantly, which they love most about being a small business owner. I hope these individuals will inspire you, motivate you, and fill your heart with as much love as they've filled mine!

You're a girl on the move with so much going on! Tell us a little about yourself and your current endeavors. // I'm a designer and creative lifestyle blogger living in Ohio with my husband, Wes, and our Goldendoodle, Chester. I opened an Etsy shop on January 1st, 2013 as a creative outlet from my 9-5 job. It grew really fast (faster than I expected!), and before I knew it, I was quitting my job and going full time. In the last year, I have started focusing more on helping other aspiring online business owners, and inspiring people to live a creative and intentional life.

 

How did you come up with the sweet name of your shop, "Charm & Gumption"? What was the process like for deciding on the name? // I had lists on lists on lists full of ideas! But when I saw "charm & gumption" on the paper, it just clicked. It sort of represents the qualities that I think are really important to have in order to be happy and successful #girlboss.

 

What are three pieces of advice you'd give someone who wants to open their own business and/or blog? // 1) Figure out how you're going to stand out. There are a lot of online businesses these days, so you need to differentiate yourself in some way. 2) Don't try to be everything to everyone. Find your niche. 3) It's going to be a LOT of work. Blogging / owning your own business is hard. It is not a get rich quick scheme by any means, so just be prepared for that!

You've recently decided to quit caffeine (go you!!) What advice would you give others who are also trying to quit, and what has been the hardest part about giving up that cup o' joe? // Oh man, that was tough. The hardest part for me was that I was straight-up addicted so not only was I missing my twice-daily ritual of a hot cup of coffee, but I had pretty intense headaches for a week. I have replaced my caffeinated habit with decaf for the ritual aspect, and the headaches were completely gone after 7 days. Take some Motrin, and hang in there! Now that I've quit, I have more balanced energy throughout the day and less anxiety - it's worth it!

Your shop offers such an awesome variety of unique and inspirational items. How do you decide which pieces to add to the shop, and which item is your current favorite? // Thank you! I create products that are inspiring or just fun to me, and I carry products from other makers that I find beautiful, well-made, and that I would buy for myself. My current favorite design is the "Messy bun and getting stuff done" design, which is something that I came up with because I actually said it for years to my husband!  Every time I really needed to focus and work, I would throw my hair up in a bun.

Describe a typical day in your life! How do you integrate your business +  family + personal time into your day? // Lately, I've been waking up at 6:30 am (I'm working on becoming more of a morning person). I usually start the day by attacking my inbox, then I go to the gym, take a shower and get ready, and get started working on whatever needs to be taken care of. Every day is different, so that could be custom design work, blogging, filming a Youtube video, or editing and posting on social media. My husband and I both enjoy working (he has his own business too), so we spend most evenings watching TV with our laptops on our laps. We definitely make sure to have quality time together too, like a weekly date night and "family walkies" with the dog, and we live near our parents so we see them at least once a week too.

What has been your favorite memory so far during your small business journey? // There are so many good memories, but one that stands out for me was when I was selling my items at my first ever craft show called the Porter Flea in Nashville. I was (and still am) obsessed with the brand Ban.do and I had some of their sparkly heart hair clips sitting out on my table as decoration. This group of 3 blonde girls stopped by and they were like, "That's from our store! We're Ban.do!". It was Jen Gotch and some other girls visiting from California, and they bought a ton of my prints! I was so starstruck, and beyond flattered that they liked my products as much as I liked theirs.

Most used emoji? // The cry laughing face!

Favorite way to destress + relax? // I love to cuddle up on the couch with a comfy blanket, a good book, and a cup of (decaf) coffee.

Want to learn more about Holly? Check out her links below!

 Shop || Blog || Instagram || Facebook

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