Happy Thursday folks! Today I have the amazing Andi taking over the blog! She is a blogger, wife, dog-mom, graphic designer and the owner of the handmade stationary shop, AP Loves Design! Real life SUPER WOMAN! Get to know more about Andi below!
You started out as a graphic designer, what led you to opening up your own print shop?
I'd recently lost my job and was in an emotional and creative rut. The idea of designing cards was always in the back of my mind, but after losing my job I thought, this is the perfect time. Why not!
I love how your blog is an even balance between business and your personal life! Do you believe giving people a peek into your life is important for building a business?
The majority of the blogs I follow are small business owners who also happen to share some of their "real life" with their followers. I don't think I ever really thought about it until you asked me that question, but it's nice to know that they don't spend 24 hours a day in front of a computer. They have families, and pets, and like to go to the farmer's market like me! If you want to make a personal connection with your audience I think it's definitely important to share some of that personal side with them.
What can you be found doing when you are not working?
Like I mentioned before we love to go to farmer's markets. We live in an awesome neighborhood where we can walk almost anywhere, and that's important. We can walk to tons of bars, restaurants, and shops. My family is very close, so I'm almost always with family. My husband and I try to spend as much time outside as we can, usually going to ball games (Go Reds!), and taking our dog Layla to the park.
What has been one of your biggest challenges since starting your business and how have you overcome it?
Staying motivated and keeping my eyes on the prize so to speak. In the first 6 months or so it was hard to stay motivated. I still have days when I want to stay in the bed, but keeping myself on a schedule has helped a lot. I get up early when my husband leaves for work. I get dressed as if I were going off site to a job. I make myself a to do list…all these things help me stay focused. I also try to interact with people because being in the house with the dog all day can drive you a bit cuckoo!
What is your current favorite print that you've created?
My favorite card right now is the "Oh Happy Day" card. I love that card because the colors are bright, and it can be used for almost any joyous occasion. A baby shower, new home, graduation, marriage…anything! And every time I read it that song from Sister Act 2 pops in my head, ha!
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start their own business?
Go for it! I'm blessed that my husband is my rock and is able to support us while I go for my dreams. And I realize that everyone doesn't have that kind of situation. I pray everyday, and that's important to me too. I would also recommend to read as much as possible from other creatives and entrepreneurs who have been successful doing what they love. I still check out tons of books rom the library about starting a business and how to stay motivated and creative. Hearing that there are other people out there who have been in my same situation and are really successful is inspiring. There are so many resources online. Use them!
If you had the opportunity to take over anyone’s business or blog for the day who’s would it be?
I really enjoy the girls at A Beautiful Mess. They are a great example of mixing just enough business with some personal life in there too. I would really just like to spend a day with them at their office. I love their food recipe's and gardening tips. And they seems to be mixing up al kinds of cocktails. My kind of gals! And you can tell just from reading their blog that they love what they do.
Completely unrelated, what are three things (not people) you can’t live without?