97: Carly Romeo, How to Be a Disruptor - the Creative Empire podcast

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. 

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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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Episode 86: How to Get Organized in Your Business, with Jillian Smith - the Creative Empire podcast

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.

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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
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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:

85: How to Collaborate on Styled Shoots, with Shea Hopely - the Creative Empire podcast

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. 

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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:

Episode 82: How to Define Your Own Version of Success, with Rhiannon Bosse - the Creative Empire podcast

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
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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:

75: How to Run a Successful Blog, with Lauren Grove - the Creative Empire podcast

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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64: How to Find Your Ideal Client, with Eliana Baucicault - the Creative Empire podcast

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:

Episode 63: How to Brand Your Photography Business, with Vanessa Velez - the Creative Empire podcast

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
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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:

60: How to Get Featured as a Guest Expert, with Kristen Ley Green - the Creative Empire podcast

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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55: Making Things That Matter Happen, with Lara Casey - the Creative Empire podcast

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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53: How Micro Changes Produce Macro Results, with Katelyn James - the Creative Empire podcast

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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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. 

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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:

41: How to Move Your Business Across the Country, with Shelby Steckbauer - the Creative Empire podcast

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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27: How to Learn From Your Non-Cinderella Story of Entrepreneurship, with Laura Foote - the Creative Empire podcast

For this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast Reina + Christina are talking with Laura Foote. Laura discusses her journey to creating her creative empire which has spanned over the last eight years. She talks about her windy, non-Cinderella story of creative entrepreneurship and how she has grown and changed with it. Laura highlights how people can learn from what they're doing right now, even if it's not where they want to be. She talks about how she has found balance between life and business, and found a sense of community and friendships despite moving across the country. 

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Show Highlights:

  • How to embrace the windy, non-Cinderella story that can be creative entrepreneurship
  • How you can learn from what you're doing right now (even if it's not where you want to be)
  • How to find community and friendships as a creative entrepreneur
  • How to balance different priorities in life and business
  • How to find balance when you're just starting out
  • How to grow and change with your industry

Laura’s Bio:

Laura Foote is a Kansas girl turned Floridian who specializes in branding and wedding portraiture. She has been featured by brands like Lauren Conrad, Emily Ley, and Glitter Guide. Laura holds a Master's degree in College Education and recently made the jump from advisor/instructor to full-time photographer, speaker and mentor! The intersection of learning/teaching/mentoring other creatives is the core of her heart and she considers herself a storyteller who focuses on the real, raw, beautiful life moments that are intimate and worth remembering. Any day that ends with good food, red wine, and conversations that go 10,000 feet deep are the best in her book!

Laura's Social Handles:

21: How to Spread Happiness with Your Business, Maghon Taylor - the Creative Empire podcast

In this episode of the Creative Empire Podcast, Maghon Taylor joins the girls to talk about how to spread happiness using your business. She begins by explaining how she crafted a mission statement for her creative business, and why she felt a need for it. She goes on to talk about how to translate an individual business owner's personality to social media. Maghon discusses how to gain confidence and pursue your passion as a creative. This lead to debating the positives and not-so-great parts of being an entrepreneur and how to manage the struggle of going from having co-workers to being on your own. 

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Show Highlights:

  • How to craft a mission statement for your creative biz (+ why you need one!)
  • How to spread happiness using your business
  • How to translate your personality to social media
  • How to gain confidence and pursue your passion
  • How to manage the struggle of having co-workers to working alone
  • What are some of the positives and not-so-great parts of being a creative entrepreneur

Maghon's Bio:

I'm Maghon Taylor and I am the She behind All She Wrote Notes.  I am a sweet Carolina girl on a mission to spread happiness through my handwriting. I have delighted in pretty handwriting all my life -- with a name like Maghon, you can't help it! My sweet southern mama says she spelled it that way because it looked prettier to write. I'm serious.  So, I think I was destined to be a calligrapher. All She Wrote Notes is a calligraphy studio that specializes in celebrating every day!  We believe calligraphy and beautiful handlettering shouldn't be saved like china for special occasions. Life can be full of so many little celebrations and we love to party! We specialize in adding my whimsical handwritten calligraphy to stationery, paper goods, gifts and party supplies. I also love teaching calligraphy and sharing my skills and knowledge through my traveling calligraphy workshop program called Calligraphy Y'all.  

Maghon's Social Handles:

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15: Creative Conferences, with Kat Schmoyer - the Creative Empire podcast

On this episode of  the Creative Empire Podcast Reina and Christina are talking to Kat Schmoyer of Dear Sweetheart Events and the Creative at Heart Conference. Kat explains her journey from her full-time job to creating her own business and journey. Kat explains how rewarding (but difficult!) this transition can be, but also how full-time entrepreneurship isn't for everyone. She goes over what the typical stages of this transition are and how to overcome them. Because Kat founded the Creative at Heart Conferences, she discusses conferences with Reina and Christina and how they are planned and executed. 

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Show Highlights:

  • Embracing the transition from part-time to full-time entrepreneur
  • What are the typical stages of this transition
  • What is the deal with conferences for creatives (especially the Creative at Heart Conference)

Show Notes:

Kat's Bio:

I’m Kat – wife, planner, florist, pink lover & mama to a crazy brittany spaniel! My high school sweetheart Matt and I live in a tiny 2500 population town in an old, historic home … and we love every bit of it! We’re both a bit obsessed with the Christmas season, love watching sitcoms like Seinfeld & Friends, and cheer for the Redskins on Sundays. I began this dream of mine a little over 2 years ago, and have been blessed to work with some truly incredible couples! Wedding planning combines my love for organization, strategy & color-coding; floral design allows me to dig even deeper with you into the heart of your design aesthetic, so we cultivate a wedding day that is both logistically sound & aesthetically unforgettable. Diet Dr. Pepper is my drug of choice, popcorn is my favorite snack, and there must always be a candle burning during my work day! I love chatting with brides over iced chai lattes, can spend too many hours browsing through Target and rarely leave the house without my Simplified Planner & pink Kate Spade bag.

Kat's Social Handles:

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12: How to Build Buzz Around a Launch, with Megan Martin - the Creative Empire podcast

This episode we're talking with Megan Martin about building buzz around a launch. Megan stresses the importance of starting early and remaining consistent in branding before, during and after a launch. She also talks about how she builds buzz, and how she finds brand ambassadors from the creative community. Before a successful launch can occur, it is important to choose and then utilize the right project managment tool for you and your team, that's why Megan and the girls are discussing tools like Trello and Basecamp. Finally Megan talks about what she DIYed and what she wish she had handed off to a professional (ie website design). Learn how to avoid launch failures, or at the very least, what to learn from them with Megan Martin! 

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Show Highlights:

  • How to build buzz around a launch
  • How to find brand ambassadors/cheerleaders
  • How to choose and utilize the right project management tool for you and your team
  • How to avoid launch failures (or what to learn from them!)
  • To DIY or not to DIY (that is the question)

Show Notes:

Megan's Bio:

Hey y’all! Yes, I say y’all, love preppy stripes and swoon over Southern accents & all the fixin’s! I am a Jacksonville, Florida girl born and raised and will always call this home, for this is where my heart truly is. It is where my sweet parents chose to adopt me at just three days old, giving me amazing opportunities and guidance I may have never had. It is where I made best friendships that will undoubtedly last till the end of time… and probably longer than that! It is where I met my soul mate and husband, and made my trip down the aisle to tell him, “I Do,” in a downtown New Year’s affair. And it is here that I welcomed our two babies (girls!) and began the journey of learning and loving mommyhood. Like Tim says, “A heart don’t forget somethin’ like that!” Somewhere in all that history I grew a deep passion and love for pretty details, good design and making it happen. I can’t remember how many times I would redecorate and style my room as a little girl or how many on trend magazines I would flip through while mom was shopping. She taught me, and still reminds me, that everyday is an occasion to give a gift, to always kill ‘em with kindness and most importantly to follow my heart and my dreams. All that dreaming has led me to the here and now, designing powerful brands, prop styling, crafting meaningful social media feeds and cheering on creative entrepreneurs.

Megan's Social Handles:

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10: How to Create a Personal Brand with Nicole Yang - the Creative Empire podcast

This episode of the Creative Empire Podcast Reina and Christina talk with Nicole Yang of Design by Delight and Southern Weddings all about branding. Nicole opens with why consistency in branding is key and how brands can change (and that's okay!). What is important is  knowing how you want your audience to feel. Building a successful brand is about a consistent and clear expereince, Nicole goes on to explain, even if the entrepreneur's mood changes every day. Nicole highlights the important difference between branding and having a logo, and how without good branding, any business can fail. 

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Show Highlights:

  • Why branding is vital for any successful business
  • Why consistency in branding is key
  • How you brand can change and that's okay
  • How to build a successful brand (*hint* it's about the experience)
  • What is the difference between branding and having a logo

Show Notes:

Nicole's Bio:

Nicole, owner of Nicole Yang Delight by Design and the Art Director of Southern Weddings could survive off of hush puppies and BBQ alone. She has an affinity for the color orange, all things pug-related and paper. Her favorite parts of the day include unwrapping pretties that have arrived from the printer, planning weekend brunch and searching for her future puppy. Nicole is an avid list-maker, color-swatch-collector, and office-supply-lover. She believes in family dinners, bear hugs and candy stashes.

Nicole's Social Handles:

6: Abby Grace, How the 'Gentle No' Created Her Dream Business - the Creative Empire podcast

Abby talks about how the 'Gentle No' allows her to respectfully decline the wrong potential clients and focus on the right ones. Abby discusses how finding a niche is important, even if it's difficult to say no to amazing projects that simply don't fit the brand. Abby describes how her own struggle with this resulted in a strong brand image, clearly targeting the clients she wants to work with, resulting in her business sky rocketing. Abby Grace is an international wedding and anniversary photographer who loves what she does.

Show Highlights:

  • Why you shouldn't be afraid to say no (and why it's good for business)
  • How finding and then declaring a niche can help your business sky rocket
  • How to stay true to your brand and niche, even when you're tempted away
  • How to respectfully reject the wrong potential client (and focus on the ones that matter!)

Show Notes:

Abby Grace's Bio:

Abby Grace is an international Anniversary + Wedding photographer based in Washington DC. She has a serious crush on all things old-school chic and classic. Abby Grace gets to travel all over the world to shoot weddings, and has been doing so for over six years. When she's not photographing weddings and anniversaries, she's teaching across the country at different conferences and workshops. Abby Grace Photography's mission is to run a business that enables a life that they want to live and to enrich and extend the life of any given marriage through photography. How beautiful is that?

Abby Grace's Social Handles:

1: Callie Murray, Thinking Outside the Box: When Your Unique Idea Turns into a Business - the Creative Empire podcast

This week’s podcast interviews Callie Murray, the Founder and CEO of The Big Fake Wedding. The Big Fake Wedding came to be after the unique idea to throw a Not-Wedding event sparked the possibility of profit and business potential. Thinking outside of the box, Callie now has a booming business which is scheduled to throw 30 events across the country this year alone. In this podcast Callie discusses with Reina and Christina how thinking outside the box turned into a business, and how to turn an idea into a thriving enterprise. Callie highlights how she started, but also the harder part of how she took calculated leaps to expand and grow her business, despite moving across the country (due to her husband’s Navy career). Part of this expansion included hiring a team, so Callie talks about how she hires and what she looks for in new employees, which is ultimately the key to her business’s success. Before she even made the leap to commit to The Big Fake Wedding she had to establish how feasible the business idea was and ultimately quit her job. Callie discusses how she went about these big steps in a smart way, sharing tips and practices that helped her through the transition of becoming a full time creative entrepreneur.

Show Highlights:

  • How to turn a unique idea into a booming business
  • How to hire employees that you believe in and that believe in your business
  • How to make the transition to full time creative entrepreneur
  • How to manage creative entrepreneurship and motherhood

Show Notes:

Callie's Bio:

Callie Murray started The Big Fake Wedding (then called The NotWedding) in 2008 and has been blessed by steady growth of the company in the midst of cross-country moves with her Navy husband and the births of her three little girls. Callie currently manages the staff and handles the big-picture elements of the company: where we’re going next, who’s taking us there, and what we are going to do when we get there. She is the Founder and CEO of The Big Fake Wedding as well as the proprietor of The Green House, a co-working office space in downtown Norcross.

Callie's Social Handles: