Creative Chats

Creative Chat With Jenna Stratman

Todays interview comes from Jenna Stratman from J. Lynn Designery! Her story is super inspiring, can someone some #girlboss?! I love how we share a love for design, Barbara Corcoran and coffee! 

Tell us a little about yourself, your business & why you started it…

Hello, friends! I’m Jenna, the Graphic Designer and Founder behind J.Lynn Designery. I launched my company last winter as a side hustle project and a way for me to start building a brand I could call my own and work with clients I love. This past summer, I made the leap into full-time self-employment, and have been loving every minute of being a business owner since! Through J.Lynn Designery, I believe in the power of beautiful and authentic design. I specialize in Brand Development and Website Design, and am SO excited to have released my new planner, the Refresh Weekly Planner! Sadly, this planner has sold out, but NEW Mini Lifestyle Planners are hitting the virtual shelves this week in the SHOP!

 

What made you jump into the world of Design?

Since I was little, I’ve always had an appreciation for the arts and for the courage and hustle it takes to build a business from the ground up. My two passions collided when I launched J.Lynn Designery, and I haven’t looked back since.

 

What is your favorite aspect of this type of work?

Ah, this one’s easy…the clients. Working for myself, it’s been an absolute joy having the opportunity to connect with other women small business owners, and I love nothing more than collaborating with them to bring their brand to life, both on- and offline! I feel grateful every day to be able to work with such passionate, talented entrepreneurs.

 

What inspires & motivates you?

SO many things! I find the majority of my inspiration through retail, interior design, magazine layouts (those typographic treatments are like candy to me!), and music. I always have tunes on in the background that coordinates with the mood of whatever I’m designing that day! When I need a break, I recharge with coffee and a flip through some recent mags I have laying around.

 

What has been one of your struggles within your biz that you overcame?

I think one of the most intimidating parts about starting your own business (especially as a solo-preneur) is that you’ll be doing it alone. I clung onto this belief for months. But I came to realize that you can have just as much or even more of a community as an entrepreneur, thanks to the resources you can find locally and online, such as Facebook groups, meetups in your city and accountability partners. Rather than build the wheel from scratch, I learned to turn to these resources for help, advice and feedback for almost every aspect of my business.

 

What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far in your journey?

Hands down: making the decision to take my business full-time. It was a change that affected every part of my life, so it wasn’t a lightly discussed decision, and I spent a lot of time making sure I could make this work financially and emotionally (working from home was a whole new beast for me!). Once I finally decided to make the leap, I announced it to the world — social accountability, people! — and was in awe at the support from friends, family and fellow business owners. It’s been a crazy ride since that momentous day, but at the end of the day, I know this was the right path for me and I couldn’t be happier about it!

 

If you could offer some advice to females wanting to start their own businesses, what would it be?

My favorite piece of advice ever comes from my idol, Barbara Corcoran. She spends an entire chapter in her book “Shark Tales” talking about the differentiating factor between those that succeed and those that fail: resiliency. Every entrepreneur is going to fail at one point or another; the key factor is, how long does it take for you to stand back up and keep moving? Don’t let one “no” rattle you or a difficult client knock you down for good. Learn from those experiences, and know that if you just keep pushing through the muck, that “yes” you’ve been waiting for is out there. If it’s truly meant to be, you’ll find success even if it takes you a hundred tries.

 

Anything else you would like to add?

One more rather important thing I’ve learned as a business owner is how crucial it is to be self-aware. This is something you learn quite quickly when running your own show, and it has helped me learn when I’m most inspired and should stay glued to the computer vs. when I tend to lose focus and should schedule meetings to get out of the apartment. When you understand what motivates you and how to read your own feelings throughout the day, you can tap into that and plan your day in the most productive way possible. Oh, and coffee. Always lots of coffee. ;) 

(PS: the top photo is credited to Emylee Williams of emyleesays.com)

Keep up with Jenna!

Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Creative Chat With Bola Onada Sokunbi

Happy Friday lovelies! Today I am interviewing the gorgeous Bola Onada Sokunbi from Clever Girl Finance! I absolutely adore what Bola is doing and how she is educating women to take charge of their finances! 

Tell us a little about yourself, your business & why you started it!

Hi there, my name is Bola Onada Sokunbi and I'm the founder of CleverGirlFinance.com.  It is a platform I created that is dedicated to empowering women to make the right decisions for their current and future selves. I created this of a passion to educate after several experiences with women who were afraid to talk about money, didn’t know what to do with their money situation and were struggling with debt even though they were very successful in other aspects of their lives.

What made you jump into the world of finance?

I love personal finance and financial planning and have done it for myself and informally for friends for years. My educational background is in technology and business strategy. Being a strategist, planning ways to achieve an end result or goal directly relates to all aspects of my life, including my personal finances.  As I've gotten older, the one reoccurring theme I see with many women is that we tend to shy away from the whole money conversation or we don't care as much as we should. So when i was thinking of what next step to take with my life and career, creating awareness and educating women about their money made the most sense - I'm passionate about it!

What is your favorite aspect of this type of work?

I get to do what I love and I get to see how simple money habit changes can make huge differences in people's financial situations which in turn makes them happier. I love that fact that with my writing and services I am able to make a difference in someone's life.

What inspires & motivates you?

I'm inspired and motivated by my husband and children - they make me want to be my best self. I look at my children and realize that I choose what legacy I create for them and I want them to have the best of everything I never had.

I'm also inspired and motivated by my circle of influence - my friends and my mentors - these people challenge me every day to be better,  they pick me up when I have those days when I feel like I'm not doing good enough and they keep me accountable.

What has been one of your struggles within your biz that you overcame?

One of my on-going struggles as a new business is being the jack of all trades. I am my secretary, social media expert, brander, accountant, content creator - you name it, i'm doing it. The way i overcome this is to prioritize and go step by step day by day. The women I'm reaching come first and then the content and service I provide. I also want to make sure I'm doing all I can to create awareness about Clever Girl Finance and keep my business relevant to my audience. So prioritization is super important!

What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far in your journey?

My business is fairly new but so far my two biggest accomplishments are -

1.  The fact I'm reaching women and they are staying engaged and talking to me about their money!

2. I've actually stepped out in faith and  I'm pursing my dream - CleverGirlFinance.com. This is me putting myself out there in the world saying hey look at me -  getting this far is huge to me.

If you could offer some advice to females wanting to start their own businesses what would it be?

Do your research, plan and then just do it! Don't be afraid of failure. You'll never know the success you can achieve if you don't try.

Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for having me on your wonderful website! I love what you are doing for women everywhere! 

Go check out Bola's incredible website below & check out the interview I did over on her blog HERE