A promotion. Moving to another continent. Marriage. Taking risks. Moving in together.
My friends are doing awesome things, and I’ve never been more proud than I am this year. It feels like recently we’ve had more to celebrate than usual, and I’m happy to be the cheerleader. While it’s fun to send congratulatory emails and goofy snapchats (always remember to draw a crown on your friend’s head), nothing beats a good old fashioned card.
Today, I’ve teamed up with Jolie from Brim Papery to celebrate two things: her successful business and a giveaway for you! Jolie has generously offered a set of six “One Boss B*tch” cards as well as a 5×7″ print to one lucky winner–hop on over to my Instagram feed for details. In the meantime, learn more about how Jolie started her business, the rewards and the challenges along the way.
I found Brim Papery’s Etsy shop through Betsy, a blogger friend with impeccable taste, and the delicately swooping letters, bold quotes and bright prints hooked me immediately. Stationery has always been my weakness, and Jolie’s pieces were no exception. I ordered my own set of the One Boss B*tch cards to send to a few friends, and it was all I could do to keep my hands off these beauties:
Jolie has a story that I think many of us can relate to: not knowing how we will balance a career and motherhood. Her interview gives some insight on how future (or current) moms can use owning a business to shape their professional trajectory–and of course, some ideas on how she celebrates big accomplishments.
Hi Jolie! Could you tell us a little about yourself and how you started Brim Papery?
Absolutely! I am a former high school Spanish teacher and I live in a sweet little neighborhood tucked into central Columbus with my husband and 18-month-old daughter. I run my business out of the basement of our townhouse, which started out looking like a scene from Silence of the Lambs when we moved here but is now shaping up into a quaint little studio space. I started Brim Papery in the spring of 2013, a few months after I gave birth to my daughter.
I really didn’t have an idea of what kind of place I wanted in the professional world once I would have a child. I liked working, but I also knew I would enjoy being home with my baby. After deciding it was best as a family if I quit my job and stayed home, I quickly realized that I still wanted space to develop and organize something that was outside of my responsibilities with my home and family. That’s how Brim was born! I started out with a few greeting cards and prints and things just took off from there, with the help of several very supportive friends and family.
You’ve had your own business for just over a year. What has been the most rewarding thing about this journey?
Honestly, the blessing that this business has been nearly knocks me over when I think about it. I love to work, and I love to mother, and with Brim, I get to do both of those things simultaneously and keep the business going at my own pace, and it’s so wonderful to have the privilege to do that. That feels like my biggest reward, but the next best thing is the excitement of having people really love what I make. It truly never gets to old to have a complete stranger purchase something I made, simply because they love it that much.
What do you find most challenging about being an entrepreneur?
I think the balancing act of wearing 27 hats at one time can be a huge struggle for most entrepreneurs. On any given day there seem to be at least 50 things that need your attention, and you only have the time to properly attend to about five of them. Figuring out what needs my attention and when in regard to creative work, administrative work, accounting, networking, organizing, stocking supplies, advertising, and all the rest has been and will probably always be my biggest challenge.
Where do you find the inspiration for your prints, notepads, and cards?
Typically, a lot of things I create come from my own life experiences–quotes I come across that meet me where I am in life and keep me going, or items that I wish existed but can’t find on the market. For example, I have been making weekly grocery lists and meal plans for years on random scraps of paper, and while I wanted to upgrade to a notepad, I could never find one that fit what I was envisioning, so I decided to make my own.
When one of your friends has a big accomplishment or milestone, how do you like to celebrate?
Now that I have a daughter, getting out by myself or with girlfriends can be hard to accomplish, so anything that involves getting pampered and a margarita is high on my list of ways to celebrate!
Thanks so much to Jolie for sharing her journey with Brim Papery. Don’t forget to head over to Instagram to enter our celebratory giveaway–it ends at 11:59pm CST on July 24, 2014.
Disclosure: I purchased a set of these cards using a sweet flash discount offered on Jolie’s Instagram account, and a couple weeks later, Jolie and I decided to collaborate! She is providing products for the giveaway, but I was not compensated for this post (or my glowing review–seriously, I could fill my stationery drawers with these cards).