Turn The Tables Series - Question 1

Hello friends! Kristen here! I am thrilled to bring my "Turn The Tables" series to you. Over the past few years I have had amazing conversations with super talented and smart business women and men. Each conversation leaves me inspired and ready to conquer the world! Ok, maybe not conquer the world, but certainly fired up about what I do and how I do it. Every time I go to a show I get to meet up with my business friends from across the USA and world, have dinner and talk about our businesses (and other stuff of course). Those conversations mostly end in laughter, but there are also gems of information we share with one another that have sparked major change or product ideas within myself and business. The wonderful thread that you will find in all of these answers, across industries, is that people do it because they love it and they have passion and drive to see it through. A lot of times with my business posts I talk about me and how I do things, what I like and so on. I wanted to turn the tables, so to speak, and ask some business owner friends of mine what they thought about certain topics, like or dislikes, and overall business goodness. Simply put, this series is like one giant dinner table of business men and women from all avenues of business answering the questions we all want to know about. The people I had answer the questions below are all amazing folks, with huge hearts and crazy awesome talent and creativity. From shop owners, candle makers, jewelry designers, textile creators, paper goods & stationery designers and printers, lifestyle blog owners, and creative geniuses, each week I will a dinner table of business owners together who will each answer a new and exciting question. I hope you stay tuned, as this series will take us through the end of the year, and hopefully give you a heap of knowledge! Cheers! - Kristen Ley



What is the number 1 reason you love owning your own business (other than the fact you get to make your own schedule.. that's too easy)?


"I love seeing something I’ve built effect people in a good way. Seeing that it started so small and has become something more than just a store in a small southern town, but a place where artists can also grow their business and reach customers that they might not have otherwise." -Erin

CONNECT WITH ERIN: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest

"While I do love making my own schedule, what I love more than anything about owning a company, being my own boss, is just the pure creation behind what I do. The only constraints placed upon me are ones that I have put there myself, so it really allows me to let loose and give my creativity freedom. Now that doesn't mean things will always sell... but there are so many outlets now that allow me to create for the sake of creating. Most recently, I just launched a series on Instagram, #hometowntuesday, which allows me to explore the hometowns of shops and makers I admire from afar, through doodles. It's just a fun escape from the everyday, and helps bring me back to my roots of what I love what I do." -Meg

CONNECT WITH MEG: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest
Heather_Duncan "The relationships that are built among my employees and customers. Girls that work there build lifelong friendships and that to me makes it all worth it. There are also women who come in just to chat or need some solace from their life and we provide that for them. I love when people tell me my shop is warm and welcoming. That is the best compliment I could get. People are what matter and my shop brings them together. That's what I love most about owning my own shop." -Heather CONNECT WITH HEATHER: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest

"You have the ability to make a positive impact in people's lives" -Aubrie

CONNECT WITH AUBRIE: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | aubrie's instagram


"I love getting to put my ideas to use and share them with the world! Especially in the stationery industry, the things I make bring people together. Hearing about the relationships people have, and the reason they chose a certain card for someone is my favorite!" -Sara

CONNECT WITH SARA: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"I get to choose who I work with! I love collaborating with friends, and running Cotton & Flax means that I can surround myself with an amazing squad of talented makers and artists." -Erin

CONNECT WITH ERIN: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"I love the interactions with customers (or potential customers!) I am just getting started – my online shop has only been open a year and I have a weekly pop-up at an outdoor market in Boston – but I already have such a responsibility to the customers I DO have. And it’s rewarding when, say, I randomly get a card in the mail from someone who just adored their order, had fun opening it, and loves my site. It just makes my day. I look forward to days when these people can walk through a door and we can chat for reals." -Kristina

CONNECT WITH KRISTINA: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"I LOVE the creative freedom owning your own company offers. It’s fun and exciting and exhausting and challenging in the best ways possible." -Emily

CONNECT WITH EMILY: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"I worked at ad agencies for 10 years, which meant any idea we came up with had to be approved by a client in order to get made, which made sense -- it was their brand and their money. Working for clients was awesome training, but now, I'm SO happy to be the only person who gets to decide which of my ideas are good. If I like something, I get to make it, and if I don't, I don't have to. Whether it sells or not is a different story -- but I'm doing my work for me. I love the freedom in that, and that's also why I don't do any custom work." -Emily

CONNECT WITH EMILY: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"I love being a business owner because I love having a direct affect on the outcome of what I chose to do. Sometimes that can be a bad thing (aka: a certain product doesn't sell so well, or a sale falls short) but for the most part I get to see every little idea in my head come to fruition. And then see the impact it has on others that buy our products. When I was in advertising I had to jump through a million hoops just to possibly see if my work would be published. A lot of the times, the worst idea would get picked over mine and it was very frustrating. Now, I get to see everything from beginning to end and when it finally hits the store shelves, it's such a sense of accomplishment!" - Lisa

CONNECT WITH LISA: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"For me it's never really been about owning my own business. That's secondary. For me, it's all about doing something I absolutely love and it just happened to have turned into a business. I love to scour the world for inspiring people, places, and things. It gives me such joy. The fact that I get to do it as a living is the cherry on top. Now that also means I'm not a pro at running a business. It's something I am learning about as I grow." -Taylor

CONNECT WITH TAYLOR: website | glitter guide's instagram | taylor's instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"It is incredibly satisfying creating ideas and then watching them come to life. I love owning a business (the business side of a business is way more fun than I ever thought it would be!) but I am especially grateful that my business allows me to create actual products and watch them come to life in our studio!" -Rosanna

CONNECT WITH ROSANNA: website | instagram | facebook


"We get to create things that we wish were in the world! Many of our most successful and popular creations are things we've made for ourselves because we couldn't find anything like it already existing. Turns out, there are other people who want these things too, and it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy that we can fill that need! (Even if it is neon printed booze bags!)" -Arley-Rose

CONNECT WITH ARLEY-ROSE: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest

"The number one reason I love owning my own business is of course because I own all of my successes, but as important (and gratifying in a weird way) is that I own all of my mistakes. I feel like you learn so much more from your failures and mistakes when it’s you that made them and they affect YOUR business rather than someone else’s." -Adam

CONNECT WITH ADAM: website | instagram | facebook | tumblr

"I feel grateful because my work never feels like a place I go and do this task for several hours a day before I can go back home to my "real life." My husband, Ben, is here working alongside me every day and we get to share work and all its hard moments and all its fun moments and going home spending our time together just bleeds into that. I love the way I don't have to compartmentalize my job and my life. It's all one unending experience bleeding from one day to the next in the best kind of way." -Erin

CONNECT WITH ERIN: website | lucky-luxe instagram | facebook | erin's instagram | pinterest

"I feel like I’m using more of my brain now than I ever was before - if that makes sense. There’s just a sense of fulfillment that I never had when working for other people. Alternate answer : It’s all about meeeeeeeee. ;)" -Sam

CONNECT WITH SAM: website | instagram | twitter


"Owning Packed Party is so incredibly fun and rewarding. Not only do I get to be my most creative self each day, but I also get to make people's days with our unique packages and gift items. It's so special to see the feedback from people who are strangers turn quickly into friends and loyal Party Girls. Making my schedule isn't so much a big deal for me because I work much harder than if I was working for someone else. People always say, "oh it must be so nice being your own boss", and it is, but you have to work 24/7. Which of course too doesn't matter when you do what you love!" -Jordan

CONNECT WITH JORDAN: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"I feel like my future is in my own hands. And let’s be honest… being the boss is not that bad most of the time." -Kristen

CONNECT WITH KRISTEN: website | instagram | facebook | tumblr | pinterest


"We have the best team. They are a joy to work with, and each member brings something different and wonderful and important to the puzzle that is small business. Annnd, we can have prosecco and chocolate cookies on Friday's, just because. : ) " -Melinda

CONNECT WITH MELINDA: website | brand instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest | shop instagram


"The flexibility." -Jillian

CONNECT WITH JILLIAN: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"The other day, someone asked me what I would study if I could have the luxury of going back to school and starting fresh with a career right now. I told him I'd study design, business, fashion, and film, which are all things I am pursuing, through Sycamore Street Press and NØRR film. He responded, "So you're basically living the dream already." I hadn't really thought of it in that context, but I guess I am. And owning my own business, despite its downsides, has given me that." - Eva

CONNECT WITH EVA: website | instagram | journal | pinterest


"The autonomy is number one, but what I love the most is the ability to make a life and career doing something that I love! Not everyone is cut out to make a living off of their skills or talents so I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do that, and I always keep it in mind when I’m having an off day." - Shannon

CONNECT WITH SHANNON: website | instagram | facebook | twitter


"I love owning my own business because I was able to build myself my own creative outlet. A place to sell my own goods (I make jewelry and it is one of our biggest sellers in the shop- yay!) but also to be able to curate other people's beautiful handmade goods and to be able to present them to our community. I also love merchandising and finding new ways to display goods, pretty dorky but true! And last but not least I love creating an atmosphere where people can come together and have a good time and I get to do that once a month during Norman's art walk. We showcase amazing art, serve up tasty cocktails, put stuff on sale, do some giveaways, turn up the music, and have so much fun with our customers. Sometimes I think why am I doing this?! Is it all worth it?!....and then I remind myself of these things and think YES (!!!) definitely, for sure!" - Dana

CONNECT WITH DANA: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"Because I have a world inside my head of inspiration to share that could not be held down by a desk, computer or building. It can also not be controlled or taken for granted by a 9-5." -Tiffany

CONNECT WITH TIFFANY: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"One of the main reasons I love being my own boss, aside from flexibility, is agility. The ability to make quick decisions, launch new programs or act on an idea is what really fires me up and keeps me motivated. I worked in very large, international law firms for 12 years and as you can imagine it would often take a long time to get an idea through to execution. Not the case when you’re the one calling the shots!

Being my own boss, I decide what to offer, how to take it to market and the level of risk I’m willing to take without waiting for a committee to weigh in. I have a lot of ideas and I like to move on them quickly. If something doesn’t work the way I had intended, I can quickly and easily switch gears since I’m the boss and set the rules" -Katie

CONNECT WITH KATIE: website | instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest


"Control of success, failure, hours, products, services. And I get to bring my dog with me everyday!" -Susan

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: website | instagram | facebook | pinterest


"First of all I get to live a creative life that I love and there is always something new to achieve, a new goal to meet, a new challenge to conquer!" -Kelly

CONNECT WITH KELLY: website | kelly's instagram | brand instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest

Thanks again friends for following along on our new series and I truly hope you enjoyed it! Catch question 2, next Wednesday!

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