How Aligned Is the Look and Feel of Your Brand?

How Aligned Is the Look and Feel of Your Brand?

Engaging, confident, and authentic brands are more successful at reaching their ideal customers. By being intentional with how you approach your visuals and voice, you will develop a clear foundation for your brand—a foundation that feels genuine and true to your vision. If you come from a place of resonance instead of dissonance, your brand will reflect that, and that will help you feel more confident and comfortable in how you present your brand to the world.

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Chasing Dreams Interview with Batani Khalfani, Designer, Dancer, Actress, Writer + More

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Batani Khalfani, who was recommended by Crystal Chin (who I interviewed last year). Batani is a creative powerhouse, from fashion design to dancing, acting and writing.  She also has a great positive outlook and is an inspiration for any multi-passionate women out there.

Let's dig in!

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At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

I was born to be who I am in all aspects. All of my talents are innate. I am self-taught in all that I do artistically. I am a self-taught designer, dancer, artist. When I was 4 years old I was asked what I "wanted" to be when I grew up. I said, "I'm going to be an architect, fashion designer, actor, model and dancer." I am all of those things and soon I will be going to school for architecture.

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

I don't look at anything as a struggle, I look at things as a learning process. I really just do what I feel in my mind, I do what compels me always if it's in a positive direction. Sometimes I move too quickly and miss a few steps and then I have to go back. I've done that a lot. Right now I am making sure I take care of all of the essential steps in order to have a better outcome. But when I finally get it right it is RIGHT!

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

While owning my own business I make sure I do what I want. If I want to hang out with my friends and family I do that. I make sure I put myself around people, especially family, where I can give and receive unconditionally that helps me day by day. Sometimes I get so busy though that I forget to eat, hence me being so thin...I am making a better effort to eat all throughout the day to maintain my health and energy. I love to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. I love spinach and kale, and I love all fruits.

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

Ha! I am so hard on myself and honest with myself that I don't care what anyone thinks. Seriously. I talk to myself all throughout the day, but I have fun with myself in making sure I'm doing what I feel is best for me and my path. I am my biggest critic. So any type of rejection is nothing to me. I have the thickest skin of anyone I know.

When I was younger people used to laugh and talk about my forehead and how skinny I was, and I laughed right with them because the jokes they said were funny. Nothing anyone says can affect me, the only thing that can affect me is if someone does something to me physically then they have a problem, not me.

What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

When I'm having on off day, I usually just sleep to rest my mind. Sleeping is fun sometimes because it renews. People are like, "Team no sleep" I'm like, "Yeah whatever."

Sometimes I will go to the beach and look at the water and let it run over my feet. I find that very cleansing. Maybe sometimes I will go to the park. I like to unify with nature if I'm feeling a little off balance.

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

One misconception that people have about me is that I only design, when in fact I'm very well rounded. Not only do I design but I dance, I act, I write, I paint and sketch. I know Spanish, I am learning Japanese and I know a little bit of Korean. I can talk about anything from foreign policy to indigenous cultures. I like to learn so any chance I get to learn, I'm always on it.

In my upcoming projects I get to show my mind, my thought process and my views of the world and all of what I can do. I'm excited.

I understand, though, why people may have misconceptions about me because most of the time I'm very quiet, I just like to observe things around me. I don't go along with the crowd, I'm always standing out of it watching all that's around me and I've come to find out that sometimes that makes people uncomfortable because people are taught that they have to do things to fit in. I never wanted to fit in because I am not designed to fit in. So people have their thoughts...and I let them have them.

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

One of the biggest lessons I've learned is to do the art for the art and not for the money.

The money will come. Just dedicate yourself to your craft and the rest will follow. I recently just learned that, and I'm glad I learned it at this point because the experiences leading up to it are invaluable.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

Well no one really follows anybody else path unless they're a copycat, but anyone who wants to do anything in life, the most valuable advice I can give is to just do it.

A person should do what they want and what they feel to achieve the success they desire and not let anyone dissuade them.

Since I was a child I've never let anyone tell me I shouldn't do something because I've always known what I wanted in my mind and have always had a very clear vision of my future.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

I feel most like myself every single day of my life. If I'm having an off-day or a very fulfilled day I know each step is a part of my process. I am grateful that I have a keen sense of awareness which allows me to be very introspective and check myself if I'm not elevated towards my higher self.

Sometimes, not that often, I let myself vibrate on lower frequency just to get the experience out but I immediately check myself and go back up. I really enjoy myself and love myself so that love keeps me on high feeling like myself all of the time.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

Anything that has substance, that has a soul, life, character, gets my attention. In a world where most things are mundane and lack substance, the things and people that are true to their core catch my attention.

One of the people in my life who inspire me though is my dad. He has great character and integrity that he's had all of his life and he has never wavered and is very well respected. He gives me something to aspire to. Its also great to know that I have a lot of his attributes.

My mom also inspires me because as I get older I see how wise she is and her thoughtfulness in the decisions that she made towards her children. She always bought paint and sketch books for me. She bought me my first sewing machine when I was 15, and I didn't even ask for one. Her dedication to people outside of herself inspires me.

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

My favorite moment in my career so far has been all of the moments leading up to this point and my future moments. I really am grateful for this process. I enjoy it all. Like I said I love to learn and each day I am learning and going higher and right now at this point in my life I am excited because of what's coming.

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

The most exciting thing in my life right now is that I am living and experiencing. I am having fun and doing what I want. I'm meeting new people everyday and having fun with the people I've known for years. I'm seeing people get wiser, I'm seeing some regress lol.

I am seeing more people wake up to who they really are and right now in my life I am becoming who I will ultimately become. I can't wait to meet myself 6 months from now, a year from now, 5 years from now, 10. This is all exciting to me.

When I am older and ascend to my next life, I will just smile because I know that I will have lived my life the way I wanted to live it and not how anyone else wanted me to live it, and that excites me.


BATANI KHALFANI BIO

I am self-taught artist. I am in love with my family and in love with great things. I design, I paint, I act, I dance and I write. In the near future I will release a book about my life which is way too interesting and I am releasing a documentary about my father who is a very influential figure in South Central Los Angeles. I am working on several projects in the film arena.

I have a blog called Agent of Fashion which you will see more of as well as my YOUTUBE channel under the same name. I am working a non-profit for children. My couture line, which the new collections haven't been released yet, is www.batanikhalfani.com. My couture line is where my creativity and the different levels of it can be seen.

Blog // Instagram

Batani Khalfani
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Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

Chasing Dreams Interview with Samantha Costello, Owner of The Little Green Studio

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Samantha Costello, a fellow member of the Female Entrepreneur Association. Samantha runs The Little Green Studio, a boutique design + stationery studio specializing in wedding stationary. I am in love with her work and you will be too.

At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

My background is originally in marketing, which I loved and still love now but after 4 years in this field, I decided that I needed a new challenge. I started a design & lifestyle blog in 2011 as a creative outlet (as well as a distraction to my then long distance relationship) and completely self-taught myself Photoshop. However, YouTube videos can only get you so far and in 2012, I signed myself up for complete graphic design course at night school and I have never looked back. This was honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made and I knew/know that this is the right direction because it feels so right. I read a quote recently that says, "You know you are on the road to success, if you would do your job and not get paid for it". I believe it was Oprah Winfrey who said that and I think she is absolutely right. I wake up every day and I am excited to get to work; whether that is designing wedding stationery for a client or screenprinting in my studio, if feels like a hobby that I also get paid for!

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

As a completely novice business owner, I have faced every struggle there is; from pricing to time management. There are so many really high highs but an equal amount of lows, especially at the beginning. However, the biggest struggle that I just wasn't prepared for was the amount of time it takes to really get the ball rolling. Clients don't just arrive because you've decided to start a business, you have to really put yourself out there and that takes a lot of time and effort. In our world of social media and always being connected, it is so easy to look at other business owners in your field and think that it looks so effortless for them but you are potentially comparing your beginning to their middle and they had to start somewhere too. Consistency is key, no matter what you do. Make a plan and stick to it. twitter icon

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

Owning a business definitely requires very long hours but it also means that I have the flexibility to decide when I put those hours in. I'm very good at getting up and getting started early in the morning and I also try really hard to do a gym class every day during the week. Evenings are time for me and my husband and I try to be really strict about this. We will both get home from work at about 7pm and then I will cook dinner for us whilst we catch up. This is probably my favourite part of the day. I love to cook and find that it is such a great way to relax and unwind. After dinner we will sometimes take a walk or catch up on a TV series we're watching. I try really hard to leave work at work.

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

Rejection hurts and I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, so I can definitely take things personally, especially when I have spent hours working on something. However, I come from a very positive family and I am a very positive person. I believe that everything happens for good reason and, even if this isn't apparent immediately, it will work itself out for the best in the long run. Bouncing back is tough, especially when confidence has been knocked but I like to take tiny steps in the direction of my dreams to build my confidence back up. Whether this is sending an email to reach out to someone, watching an inspiring video or doing something as simple and easy as getting all of my accounting up-to-date, tiny little steps enable you to move in the right direction, whilst also re-building your confidence.

What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

Being a woman in my 30s, I guess that I have (finally) become used to being on an emotional roller coaster and when I find myself in a dip, I try to remind myself that it will pass and to stay focused on all the things that I have, rather than thinking about all the things that I don't yet have/want. I believe that happiness is created in the mind, so positive thinking can go a very long way to improving a bad mood. Other than that, I will have a chat with my sister, go to a gym class or crack open a bottle of wine!

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

Gosh, I really don't know but I would love to find out!! :)

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

I'm definitely still learning something new every single day but the biggest thing I've learnt so far is how important it is to get out and meet people. This has had such a positive knock-on affect on my business and it is great to meet link-minded individuals, who are in the same industry. Whether it is a catch up over tea and cake or developing a collaboration; networking and developing friendships in your industry is important to your sanity and happiness (especially when working alone) and is equally important to developing a successful and thriving business.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

Be prepared for an adventure and be prepared to never stop learning. Running a business takes so much time, energy, commitment, creativity, organisation and thought. You never switch off, whether you're at your desk or away on holiday, you're always thinking of your next business move and inspiration is everywhere. It should be a lifestyle choice. Find something you love doing and then find a way to make money from doing it. In my specific industry, I would recommend networking at local wedding fayres and exhibiting at local events. Attend national stationery events as well, it is so important to get yourself and your brand out there. Speaking of brands, I would highly recommend developing a solid brand and a beautiful, easy-to-use website. Photography is absolutely key, so be sure to employ the skills of the best photographer you can afford and then use these photographs consistently to build your social media following.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

I honestly feel most inspired when I'm starting a brand new project for a brand new client. After our initial consultation, I will then go away and spend hours researching, developing colour schemes, creating design concepts and moodboards. I will look for the best paper/card stock and give some thought about the best printing method for the job. When it is just me, my Apple Mac, my music, my ideas and of course a cup of tea, I feel happy, inspired and most like me.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

My dad and my sister are such inspirational, self-made business people and I'm so lucky to have them close-at-hand for tips, advice and general business chat. My dad has been building businesses since the 1980s, so he has an old-school attitude to business, which is really refreshing in this age of online businesses and social media. My sister, on the other hand, has built multiple online businesses, so knows a thing or two about the modern business. Both of these very different influences make for interesting family dinners!

With regards to books, I loved The SecretThe Moses Code and The Alchamist, along with The E-MythThe 4-Hour Work Week and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Next on my list is It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be.

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

The day I got my first real, completely unrelated client. That was the turning point for me and I knew I was on the right tracks from that moment forward. I also feel lucky to be able to wake up everyday and do something that I absolutely love. I never mind when Monday rolls round and I'm never wishing for the weekend. Life is good and this makes me feel accomplished.

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

Right now, there are lots of very exciting things going on. Wedding season is fast approaching, so that is keeping us busy and we are currently in line for our busiest wedding season ever, which I'm really pleased about.

I am also in the process of finishing up our first line of greetings cards, wrapping paper, gift tags and prints. All of which are going to be screenprinted by hand, photographed and then added to our online shop by the end of the Summer. Along with all of this, our Costello Collection of luxury wedding stationery is also in development and this will consist of 5 unique designs, incorporating beautiful, hand finished elements, such as gold foiling and duplexing. I cannot wait to reveal this new collection at the end of Autumn.

On a personal level, my sister just got engaged, which I am so so happy about and my husband and I have lots of traveling planned for this year, so I'm pretty excited about that too :)

BIO

Little Green Samantha CostelloSamantha is the enthusiast behind Little Green, a boutique design & stationery studio specializing in developing & styling beautiful wedding stationery. As a newly-wed herself, she completely understands the what it is like to plan a wedding and finds it easy to connect and work with like-minded individuals. She is constantly grateful for the opportunity and community that her business and blog brings and loves the fact that, whilst not easy, she’s turning her dreams into a reality one day and step at a time.

Samantha launched her blog in 2011 as a way to channel her creativity, love for fashion and design and, if she’s honest, a way to keep her mind occupied and focused on something other than her long-distance relationship! Fast forward 4 years and she is now happily married and focusing her attention on designing beautiful wedding stationery, developing content for her blog and being creative in the kitchen to keep her American other-half satisfied.

Keeping it sweet and simple is Samantha’s philosophy in life and this is also true for her design work; which can be seen throughout this website and also in her shop.

Samantha’s love of design often takes her away from her computer and up into her studio, where she can be found screenprinting for hours on end; developing her line of inspirational quotes, greetings cards and wrapping paper, all of which will be available to purchase very soon!

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest

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Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

Chasing Dreams Interview with Sky Marcano, Clothing Designer at Mandala Sky

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I’ve interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you’d like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with Sky Marcano, a fellow member of the Female Entrepreneur Association. Sky shared the video below, and I knew I had to interview her! What an inspiration.

At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

As a small child I started drawing clothing. I told my mother when I was 8 years old that I wanted to design clothing. I was obsessed! All through elementary school and high school I would draw and create new design ideas, I was determined.

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

My biggest struggle would be finding the right people and resources to go along with my vision. I am very independent and I have gone through business partnerships, incorporations and currently running my second business on my own. I do outsource and have employees but hope to get a good team going this year. Mixing my independent strong mind with structure, rules and regulations can be hard on my creative spirit.

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

This year I am trying to write more because I feel it to be a meditative exercise. I have promised myself I will write at least 6 days a week, short blog posts, so my intentions are clear. I try to eat really healthy most of the time because eating healthy helps my mind stay clear and I sleep better if I am eating well. I try to do strength training 3-4 times a week. Plus a huge priority is getting a solid 8 hour sleep; I literally cannot function as well if I don’t sleep.

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

I have faced many obstacles throughout my 11 years running clothing businesses. My hardship of being a single mother earlier in my life really put things into perspective for me. Having some rejection is nothing compared to how I felt back then. I suppose hardship from the past is the source of my inspiration and not taking anything too seriously. I sent an email out today to someone who hasn’t responded to my emails in over a year. I throw things into the universe and think of it as a numbers game; I am bound to win if I keep trying. It is amazing what can happen if you put yourself out there! I have had amazing connections and successes through pounding on doors and being open to receiving. Let the sunshine in.

What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

I really struggle when I have an off day. I like to be clear, inspired and happy. If I wake up off or I let stress or worry get the better of me I go straight to things like mindless movie watching, or my favorite activity, cooking. Lately when I am feeling off, I take my father’s advice, it is just a passing thought, and it doesn’t stick around, onto the next!!

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

I think people may think fashion is glamorous, or exciting. Most of the time I am waiting for production to be complete, visiting factories, working on strategy, marketing and working really hard. Of course some parts are amazing and special but its hard work to stay in this industry.

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

The biggest lesson is finding out that it probably isn’t a good idea to mix family or friendship with business. Personal differences and business differences can get in the way of relationships. I lost a very close friendship because of our differences and it was very hard for me to recover.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a path similar to what you have?

I would suggest finding someone in the industry and following them around for a few weeks. I would also research copyrights in fashion, it is a tricky industry because it is so easy to get ripped off.

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

When I am writing or illustrating my designs, or painting. My true love is sitting peacefully in the sunshine, writing poetry and drawing clothing, being at peace with myself, calm serenity.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

All of the women in the world, who have the courage to inspire other women, inspires me deeply. My favorite book right now is “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield. The two people I am most inspired by right now are Olivia Keane from Oliviakeane.com and Alice Bracegirdle from Bellyfit.com They both represent empowerment, ambition, strength and love! I also love talking to them because I feel they understand what it is like to be a female entrepreneur!

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

To be completely honest my favorite moment so far was reaching sales records selling my first clothing brand on the Canadian Shopping Channel. We used to fly out to Ontario a few times a year and sell the collection; we had fun and sold great designs to other women. It was really quite amazing and empowering.

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

I launched a new Rain Jacket contest last week and it is getting spread all over the internet right now. I have decided to go back into wholesale, selling to stores and I am really looking forward to having some of my classic designs across the country and other parts of the world soon! I am very happy I have been able to run a successful online retail clothing company too! I challenged myself through studying online marketing and I still find it exciting that it’s thriving and growing! You can find out more about my business here: http://mandalasky.com On a personal note, I am excited and proud to see my 20 year old daughter living on her own and my son in high school.

 

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BIO

sky mandala marcano headshotSky Marcano, author of "My Accidental Education" and professional clothing designer and fashion illustrator, has been working in the industry for over eleven years. Her collection, Mandala Sky is manufactured in Vancouver BC, Canada. Mandala Sky Clothing is inspired by other women wanting comfortable, stylish clothing, so they can feel incredible all day! Some may call the line bohemian chic mixed with stylish limited edition prints crossing into fitness and lounge apparel. If you would like Sky’s free eBook about her business experience you can find it at http://skymarcano.com

Website // Facebook

 

 

 

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Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

Chasing Dreams: Starting a Product Line {An Interview with Jo at Things By Bean} + A GIVEAWAY!

This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I've interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you'd like to learn more about? Let me know! Today’s interview is with my friend Jo, creative mastermind and owner of the fun greeting card company, Things by Bean. Jo is one of my favorite people EVER, and will be one of yours too. She may be an Aussie now, but you can still find her cards stocked in the US at Urban Outfitters and now Whole Foods Market!  {OR buy them online, of course!}

Read on to learn about her journey in starting a business and how she stays inspired. Also, don't miss the giveaway instructions at the end! Enter for a chance to win 5 popular greeting cards from Things by Bean.

Fun Greeting Card Collage

 

At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?

It came on really gradually. I made birthday cards by hand when I was a kid and all through high school. Eventually, I got more card ideas than I could make, so I started filling a notebook with the one-liners. And when that notebook got full, I decided to launch a greeting card line! I know it was right purely from the creative satisfaction I got from a completed design. Nothing feels better than getting your idea out of your brain and into the world!

What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?

Definitely the sales aspect of running your own business. I’m a pretty social person but I get super weird about approaching someone for the sole purpose of selling to them. But I’ve finally (sorta, mostly, I think) gotten over that by constantly reminding myself that shop owners want to stock cool stuff and make cool money from them.

Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?

Anyone who goes from a stable 9-5 job to working for yourself will go through an adjustment period. It took me about six months to get used to the benefits as well as the struggles. The benefits for me are having time to exercise every day and cook healthy lunches and dinners; those two things have made a huge difference to my health, physically and mentally. The struggles mostly revolve around the sporadic nature of self-employment. The first time I had a slow week, I panicked and thought it was all going to fall apart and I’d be destitute by morning. But the next week, it picked up! Now when I have a slow week, I work on hobbies, try to garner new business or do some professional development with online tutorials.

Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?

Yeah, it’s a major part of chasing dreams! When I got my first ten greeting card designs printed, I approached a big stationery shop to see if they’d be interested in stocking them. The owner said ‘they were of no interest’ to him… and I started bawling right after I left. For a horrible second, I thought maybe my cards were stupid and no one liked them but me! In retrospect, that shop was all wrong for Things by Bean, anyway. It’s the fancy, Italian-imported, elegant breed of stationery shop and Things by Bean is a bright, cheeky range bursting with personality! So analyzing your target audience carefully is important. Even then, you’ll still get rejected by someone you thought was a PERFECT fit, but there’s plenty more where they came from!

What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?

They’re the worst. It doesn’t happen to me too often, but when it does, I usually go to the gym or start working on something completely different. If you force yourself to do an hour of boring admin, the challenging creative tasks suddenly seem really appealing.

What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?

I can’t think of any misconceptions about my profession, but I think there are all kinds of misconceptions about working from home. I don’t think most people realize how much motivation you have to create for yourself and how honed your work ethic has to be.

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

I think the rejection thing above is the biggest one. But the second biggest is discovering how possible entrepreneurialism is! If you have an awesome idea and you’re willing to work hard for it, you really will be successful.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to run their own creative business?

Be consistent with your ‘brand’, be really easy to work with (answer emails promptly, get orders out quickly, be friendly) and don’t be afraid to tell people how awesome you are. I went into one shop and said ‘Hey, want to stock my cards? They’ll sell better than any cards you’ve ever stocked, I guarantee it!’ And they totally did, which is great because I don’t have a lawyer and shouldn’t be going around making guarantees…

When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?

Definitely when a great card idea explodes into my brain and I lunge for my computer and bang it out on Illustrator. I’m also a writer, so I get the same rush when I finish a piece of writing that I’m really happy with.

What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?

Neil Gaiman is my favorite author because everything he writes is magical, weird and unique. When I need to break from work, I get up and have dance parties to get the blood flowing again – today, I think I’ll have a boogie to Mac Demarco, Steal My Sunshine, anything by Grouplove, King Tuff and some Ignition Remix by R. Kelly for good measure. I’m also inspired by interactions with friends – you’re always at your brightest and funniest around your best buds, so great ideas come out of our interactions!

Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.

Definitely when I got an email from Urban Outfitters saying they were interested in stocking Things by Bean. UO was my favorite store throughout high school and college and I still flippin’ love it, so it was huge for me. After I read the email, I rolled around on the kitchen floor and squealed for a few minutes.

What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?

Things by Bean will be stocked in Wholefoods soon, starting with the store in Charlottesville, VA. And if they go well there, hopefully they’ll be available in other parts of the region before long! Non-professionally, my man and I are hoping to buy our own place soon. Finally I’ll have a proper office! Right now I work in various locations, including but not limited to the living room, the kitchen, my bedroom and once, the bathtub.

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GIVEAWAY

You have two options to enter the giveaway:

1. Check out the Things by Bean website and tell us in the comments on this post which card is your favorite.

2. Leave a comment and tell us what your dream job would be, if you could do anything in the world.

Two random winners will be chosen on Wednesday, October 8th (one week from today) to receive 5 cards each. I will contact the winners by email to get mailing addresses. 

things by bean giveaway

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The winners have been chosen using this random number generator. I've emailed the two winners (#1 and #5!). Thank you all for entering!

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Jo is the creative director, owner and designer for Things by Bean. Things by Bean is a range of cool cards for occasions, non-occasions, and made-up occasions. They're always cheeky, sometimes creepy and often downright cute! And if they make someone chuckle, they've done their little job well. You can find them stocked in various card shops around Melbourne, Australia, as well as Urban Outfitters and Whole Foods Market in the U.S.

Website // Facebook  // Instagram

Have questions for Jo about starting your own product line? Ask her in the comments!

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Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!