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Girl Boss Notepad + Graphic Tee + Monogram Necklace Giveaway

Congratulations Racquelle R. on wining the Girl Boss Notepad + Graphic Tee + Monogram necklace!

Boy, are you lucky? These products just keep rolling in for me to giveaway! This second giveaway is a great mix of products including this girl boss notepad, inspirational tee and of course a monogram necklace! Read more about the brands behind these products below. Also, don’t forget to enter this giveaway from yesterday.

Giveaway

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the brands:

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(Girl Boss Notepad)

1.Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started?

I started Papered Hearts in late 2014 and it was a dream that happened overnight. I have never had any intentions of opening a business or even pursuing something creative. I come from a family who pushed us all to succeed academically and so I went off to university to study biochemistry. When I graduated it was a real struggle for me because I had no idea where I wanted to be or who I wanted to be. I was really scared (and I still am sometimes) of throwing myself into something so different from where I thought I would be, but ever since it became something that I can’t stop dreaming about and that brings me so much joy and happiness I knew I was heading in the right direction. I can attribute all of Papered Hearts to the wonderful girl bosses whose lives I got to take a peak into on social media. It was their passion and joy that lit a spark in my heart and helped me take the leap. There has always been a stationery addict and a stylist inside me, partnering that up with my type-A personality and Papered Hearts fell into place.

2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Papered Hearts is very young and so I still enjoy all of the aspects of running a business – even the book keeping. In the life cycle of a product though I’d say there are three high points that don’t quite compare with anything else. When you are finally holding that finished product in your hand, after you’ve dreamt about it and stayed up all night working on the fine details is a fantastic moment because you finally have some tangible proof of what you have been working on. Launch day is always exciting as it is so challenging to keep something you love so much from others and it is always fantastic to see peoples responses and finally, seeing people use your product. I have designed all of my products to try and bring some enjoyment into your work day so seeing people use them for that very reason makes the whole process worth it.
3. What is your advice for other entrepreneurs and small business owners?
The hardest thing for me was doing it all alone. I had a lot of supportive people around me pushing me to follow my dreams but no-one that understood what I was going through or the struggles I would face. My research in a day has changed dramatically since I went to university because now I follow blog posts and watch webinars instead of hardcore research. There are such fantastic communities online and so many people out there that are going through what you and I are going through now that are all willing to share what they have learned. My three favorite resources are Elle & Company, B is for Bonnie Design and the lovely ladies behind With Grace and Gold.
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(Graphic Tee)
1. Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started?

Tulip is a specialty boutique that offers unique fashion options and encourages individual style. It’s for the gal who desires one-of-a kind, she wants to be recognized as on trend and stylish. Our locally owned boutique is located on the iconic Country Club Plaza. Tulip doors opened in 2008. Relocation to Kansas City in 2007, created a need to close and merge my then existing business.

2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Tulip allows me the opportunity to be creative on a daily basis. It may be merchandising the boutique floor, working on a custom item, or pulling fashions for a style show. In addition, I spend a good part of my time on the sales floor working with our customers. It is a total joy for our Tulip customer to leave us excited with their purchase, and happy that we made their day.

3. What is your advice for other entrepreneurs and small business owners?

It is an all in commitment. There are not short cuts, and not necessarily a balanced life all the time. I work six days every week, and sometimes seven. Be prepared for the unexpected, and roll with it. Realize that sometimes you think what is going to be the path of your business pivots as you go. Patience is key, as success always takes longer to create than we first imagine. I remind myself every day that it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

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(Monogram Necklace)

1.Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started?

Leigh & Marie is a sister team that sells handmade necklaces and bracelets that incorporate your “brag abouts” via numbered charms. Our business was started with the idea of creating classic jewelry that was made to mix and match at an affordable price.  Leigh & Marie’s collections are made up of items that we can see ourselves wearing daily, with accessories that range from simple to statement pieces.  Each accessory includes a charm that lets you carry around a Bible verse or “brag about.”  Whether you’re tackling the boardroom or acing tests, carrying around “Philippians 4:13” {one of our charms} is always a good reminder of what you’re capable of. Style has always been something we’ve enjoyed. Creating a jewelry line that is uplifting, effortlessly added to any ensemble, and something we can do as sisters is accomplishing exactly what we wanted.

2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?

We love working together. Something about sitting down with a table full of beads is relaxing – when you pair that with hanging out with your sister, it is unbeatable!

3. What is your advice for other entrepreneurs and small business owners?

My advice is this: If you have a business idea that you know you’ll be passionate about working towards, why not do it? If the start-up is branding yourself and your skills or has a reasonable start-up cost, in comparison to your budget, do it – but don’t rush the process. Sometimes your initial plan gets the ball rolling, but the best creative ideas come when there isn’t pressure to find an answer {that’s how our Arm Party Collection was inspired, and it’s one of our favorites}! For anyone who is already established, there is nothing better than “spit balling” with other like minded entrepreneurs over coffee. Bringing together perspectives that are running parallel with differing skill-sets  offers the added benefit of continued learning during a chit chat session.

Thank you to Papered Hearts, Tulip and Leigh and Marie for their generous giveaway!

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Building a Brand You Love

Staying true to yourself, especially when it comes to your brand can be extremely tricky. As I recently launched this site, I took a long hard look at what I wanted my brand to be about. Although it is tempting to make your brand trendy or about the latest fad or obsession, it needs to be timeless and a direct representation of you. I have compiled my tips and tricks on the best ways to ensure your brand is a direct reflection of your best self.

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Do What Feels Natural

This seems obvious but really its one of the most important parts of creating a brand you can feel proud of. If it is something you would do even if you didn’t get paid for it but simply because you’re passionate about it, then this is a brand that is right for you. A good way to test this is to practice talking about your brand to some of your closest friends and if it is easy and fun to talk about, rather than forced, you know you have built something you can be proud of.

Don’t Rush Into It

Good branding takes time so take your time building it before you launch. Taking the time to do everything right when creating your brand is crucial. You don’t want it to look sloppy or thrown together so pour your heart and soul into your work. Doing this before you actually launch your brand is most important because you don’t have to worry about meeting deadlines for posts, podcasts or other projects,

Invest in Your Brand

I am all for saving money whenever possible but when it comes to your brand it is important to invest in doing it right. This includes everything from a branding workshop to help define your brand to a well-designed WordPress site. A few of my favorite branding workshops are here and here.

Enjoy It

Lastly, enjoy the brand that you have built. You have worked hard for it so go out there and network and tell everyone about it.

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Woodbury Lane Giveaway

Congratulations Megan G. on wining the Woodbury Lane blanket scarf and earrings!

In celebration of the launch of Influential Gal, I am doing a week’s worth of giveaways! The first giveaway is a beautiful blanket scarf and earrings from Woodbury Lane. The giveaway is only open for a few days so hurry and enter!

Giveaway 1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I want to introduce you to the founder of Woodbury Lane, Katelyn Kosinski. I met her at a blog conference where she told me about her shop that she was launching. She ended up launching Woodbury Lane earlier this month and I have to say that I am completely obsessed with every single piece in the shop. Below is a Q&A with Katelyn on how she launched her dream career.

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1.Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started?

After graduating college, my plan was to take over my dad’s insurance business. About six months prior to graduation, I had the realization that I could run a business from my home, in a field that I was more passionate about and had a better opportunity for growth. That business was an online boutique and about a year after I had that realization, Woodbury Lane was officially born. Woodbury Lane is a shop that is different from most online boutiques for a few reasons. We are not one of those stores that purchases the most inexpensive items that we find to gain a huge profit margin. Cheap wholesale items usually means cheap quality and we don’t believe in that. Woodbury Lane is also not a boutique that is solely focused on brand name items. We fall somewhere in between, at a point where we can still bring you great quality items, while also at a reasonable price point. 99% of our items are under $100. Woodbury Lane believes in style over trends and quality over quantity.

2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I enjoy the creative side of my job the most by far. What I mean by this is doing things like organizing and executing the photo shoots, designing and laying out my website, and curating new seasonal collections. With that being said, you should also know that this is the smallest part of what I do. Most days my primary focuses are on budgets, sales, inventory management, and marketing.

3. What is your advice for other entrepreneurs and small business owners?

I’ve only been operating an open business for a few short weeks but I suppose I would say that we small business owners need to stay cool, calm, and collected. Our jobs are high pressure especially if we have employees working for us. It’s easy to get stressed or have high anxiety, but remaining calm even when sales are low or your dealing with an unhappy customer will have a direct impact on your future success

Thank you so much Katelyn for your generous giveaway!

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IG Podcast Ep. 1: Building a Positive Community with Kathryn Snellen

Welcome to the very first episode of the Influential Gal podcast. This episode is perfect for those who are in the PR industry or are an entrepreneur. Kathryn shares her tips for managing her own PR business (Kathryn Elise Studio), the Go Blog Social conferences and Kansas City Fashion Week. Although life is busy for Kathryn, she also discusses how she stays motivated and inspired, and the importance of building a positive community.

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Show Notes:

If you would like to connect with Kathryn, feel free to reach out to her via Twitter or Facebook.

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