99: Molly Suber Thorpe, How to Create a Thriving Calligraphy Business - the Creative Empire podcast

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.

Molly’s Social Handles:

Listen And Subscribe
Listen And Subscribe

96: Dominique Broadway, How to Treat Your Business Like a Business - the Creative Empire podcast

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:

42: How to Build an Intentional Wedding Planning Brand, with Cassie Cherneski - the Creative Empire podcast

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. 


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:

32: How to Confidently Find Your Niche with Kirstie Jones - the Creative Empire podcast

Equine photographer Kirstie Jones is Reina + Christina's guest this episode.  They start the episode by discussing how she even created her niche of equine photography and how she found her style as a photographer. She owns her passion for pricing + business and talks a little about how she has to create her own demand. Kirstie discusses putting money into advertising and how she gets return on her investment because she knows her customer. Kirstie's confidence shines throughout this episode and Reina asks her what she would tell a new business owner who maybe wasn't as confident. She ends the episode with the advice for new entrepreneurs to craft their why and their story and believe in every inch of it, because that will help them with sales better than anything else.


Show Highlights:

  • How doing what she loved helped Kirstie find her niche and noticing common threads in what she loved developed her style
  • How having a pulse on the market helps you calculate your business decisions
  • How Kirstie takes cues on pricing from other industries
  • How you get a great return on your investment if you understand where your clients are and if your messaging is correct
  • How Kirstie first started getting published in blogs + magazines and what she would do differently now
  • How believing in what you're selling wholeheartedly leads to confidence + an easier time selling
  • Why crafting your why + your story + believing in every inch of it is important to entrepreneurs

Show Notes:

Kirstie’s Bio:

Kirstie Jones is an equine portrait photographer located in Dallas, Texas. Since opening Kirstie Marie Photography in 2013, her work has been featured across dozens of equine publications, as well as on coveted photography blogs around the world. Using both film and digital cameras, Kirstie’s work is often described as authentic, emotional, and timeless. Kirstie earned a BBA in Finance from the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, where she also rode as a scholarship athlete for the TCU Equestrian Team.

Kirstie’s Social Handles:

23: How to Make the Money You Deserve and then Manage It, with Lauren Bowling - the Creative Empire podcast

This episode, on the Creative Empire Podcast, Reina + Christina talk to Lauren Bowling all about how to make the money you deserve, and then manage it smartly. Lauren discusses how she transitioned from her full-time hedge fund job to blogging full-time. In fact, Lauren doesn't even work full time, she works about 25 hours per week and has already pulled in $8,000 this month! Wondering how to make a full-time income working part-time? Then this is the episode for you! Lauren elaborates further on how to make real money with affiliate links and passive income products.

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Show Highlights:

  • How to turn your side hustle into your full-time job
  • How to repurpose blog content
  • Why you don't need to hire a professional to manage your money
  • How to make a full-time income working part-time
  • How to make real money with affiliate links + passive income products

Show Notes:

Lauren's Bio:

Lauren Bowling is the blogger behind L Bee and the Money Tree. After getting her degree in theater and racking up thousands of dollars in credit card debt in college, she moved to New York City with $300 in her pocket. While there she landed a sweet job on Wall Street which sparked her interest in personal finance and helped her kick her bad money habits for good. Three years, three cities, one home purchase, and nearly 2,000 blog posts later, Bowling is a pro at mastering tricky millennial finances. In addition to blogging on L Bee and the Money Tree (LBMT), Bowling is the host of the award-winning internet talk show, Awkward Money Chat, and her writing has appeared on notable outlets such as Business Insider, Forbes.com, Learnvest, Yahoo! Finance, and The Huffington Post. As a source, Lauren’s expertise has been featured inside the pages of Redbook, Woman’s Day, and others. She spends her free time renovating her first home, enjoying good wine while avoiding the kitchen, and “killing it” at karaoke. She’s even been known to act in a musical or two. By day Bowling runs her own content marketing firm, Beehive Content, and she happily resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lauren’s Social Handles:

16: Reina and Christina Jam Session: Pricing: What is the Value of Your Work? - the Creative Empire podcast

During this jam session with Reina and Christina the girls are talking all about pricing. They discuss how to start pricing your services strategically and how to build your portfolio, leading up to a business launch. Reina and Christina talk about gaining the confidence to raise your prices and discuss how a luxury service is defined. Christina explains vertical and horizontal collaboration, and how to use it. Finally the girls close with a free Survive and Thrive Budget Workbook (details on how to get this below). 

Email Header Episode 16
Email Header Episode 16


  • How to start pricing your services (strategically!)
  • How to build your portfolio and lead up to a business launch
  • How to gain the confidence to raise your prices
  • What is a luxury service
  • What is vertical vs. horizontal collaboration (and how to use it)
  • How to price yourself to survive and thrive


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