Happy Thursday everyone! Can you believe it is already here!? I have a special treat for you as this week's Miss Independent is Chris Nease, Founding Editor and Party Stylist for one of my favorite blog's of all time, Celebrations at Home!
While Chris started her business as an Event Planner, her blog grew and she is now able run her business from an online aspect. You can find ideas for any occasion, including upcoming events like Graduation, Cinco de Mayo and (most importantly) Mother's Day!
1. What made you decide to start your own business?
I had been a stay at home mom with my 2 kids for 8 years so when my youngest started kindergarten I knew I had to find something to do again - a way to make money. Really, the thought of going back to work for someone else was horrifying, plus I still needed the flexibility to be at home for the kids when they weren't in school. I decided to follow my passion for parties and began Celebrations At Home as a party styling service. The blog was created as a reference point but it quickly grew into an online business. Now I'm more of a web-based stylist working with editors and clients.
2. What was your biggest risk or fear about starting a business?
My biggest fear was, and still is, marketing. I'm not a pushy person. I think I've gotten where I am because of some great supportive friendships I've made online, an accessible style that the average woman can relate to, and being a supportive blogger to others. The thought of "selling" myself is uncomfortable for me. The truth is, every milestone I've achieved has been the result of someone finding me, not from me pitching myself.
3. How did you know what you wanted to do?
Actually, what I thought I wanted to do is very different from what I'm doing now. The evolution of my business has been completely organic and I'm happier now as a result. When I was designing parties for clients it was very stressful mentally and physically. The packing, hauling, and setting up was exhausting, and the worry of having everything "perfect" took some of the joy out of it.
Lucky for me, editorial styling became the next step and I LOVE it.
4. What support system do you have for your business to help you stay motivated?
I can't lie, I'm completely motivated by the sweet clients and readers who complement me on my work. Also, the gratification and freedom I get from working for myself keeps me focused. My husband and kids think I have the coolest job in the world, which makes for a great support system!
5. What is your biggest challenge about running your own business?
The biggest challenges for me now are to continue to grow, and reach outside of my comfort zone. Things change so quickly and there's a lot of talent out there to "compete" with. I just have to keep building on the foundation I've already laid and always be open for the next great opportunity.
6. What is the best advice you have for someone wanting to start a business?
The old adage, "Do what you love and the money will come" certainly resonates with me. I don't believe I'm an entrepreneur by design, but I've followed my passion and my talent and found myself in a very fulfilling place!
It's true.. Chris truly does have the coolest job ever! I hope you enjoyed hearing from her, I was so excited she agreed to be a part of Miss Independent today!
Here's to a very inspiring Thursday, and see you tomorrow for Friday's Fancies!