On Monday mornings around here, I interview people who inspire me. In August and September, the theme is RUNNING AN ONLINE SHOP. Today I’m excited to introduce you to Nicole, a fellow blogger, mommy, and the owner of Nicole Joelle Prints.
When I moved to College Station from D.C., a mutual friend connected us and I’m so glad she did. Nicole and her husband are juggling many pieces – the life of a grad student, a house remodel, and one active little guy (soon to be joined by another little one!). In addition, Nicole creates and sells lovely inspirational prints.
I was excited to sit down with Nicole and get a behind-the-scenes look at her home and shop.
Tell me about your shop!
My business is called the Nicole Joelle Print Shop. I design prints and poster printables that are encouraging, inspirational, and happy. I also have a top secret product coming out at the end of August.;)
Describe a typical day in your home + business.
Since I am a full-time momma to a very busy toddler, most of my day is spent chasing after my son and keeping up with my family and home duties. I do 98% of my blog and shop work during naptime and after bedtime. Although my son makes an excellent post office assistant, I feel like this balance has worked best for us during this season.
How do you feel about where your business is now?
I think I’m surprised that I am actually still running (and passionate about running) my print shop. I am such an idea person, so I often drop one project to move onto the next. But, I am thankful that I’ve stuck with this business because it’s been so rewarding and fun. It’s definitely evolved since I first opened shop, and with a few fresh products coming soon, I anticipate more change will be happening. That’s definitely exciting for me.
What’s your greatest daily challenge related to your business or family life right now?
Right now, I have so many new and fresh ideas for my shop and blog, but I don’t have as much time or energy to complete them all in the time-frame I’d prefer. Plus, with another baby coming in January, I know that our family’s rhythm will shift again. I’m trying my best to practice persistence and patience–and keeping the perspective that everything does not need to happen right this second.
What part of your daily juggle do you feel is most successful right now?
Right now, I’m thankful I have committed dedicated time to blog and run my shop. My house would probably be a lot cleaner if I didn’t, but for me, my creative pursuits energize me and connect me to so many others. I also value pursuing what you love to do and want to model that for my kids.
Who are some of your mentors, role models, or inspirations?
Oh, goodness. So many! I love learning from Haley Morgan because I can relate to many aspects of the way she thinks and works. I am also daily inspired by Holly Holt (of Holly Holt designs)–she is simply so encouraging. I also adore Maggie Whitley and am often encouraged by her love of creating.
What is one time management tip you would give to someone trying to build a creative business or portfolio?
Especially if you are a mom or have another full or part-time job, I would encourage you to carve out super specific time to work on your project and do all you can to eliminate distractions. You might not have a full day or afternoon to dedicate to your project, but bits of intentional time add up quickly.
What is one piece of life advice you’d give to someone worried about juggling a family, life, and a business or creative endeavor?
If a creative or business endeavor will energize you, you can find time to do it. However, expect that the time you take to pursue will press hard on other areas. Take time to define which areas you are willing to let go of a little. Also, be prepared that it might take time to figure out a balance that works for you and your family.
What’s one goal for your business in the next year?
I actually have two big goals. First, I want to continue to use profit from my shop to pay off our student loan debt. One of my main motivators for keeping at is is knowing that my work is helping us shed some of our debt. Secondly, I want to create a program that helps adopting families raise support for their adoptions with prints and profits from the shop.
What is the hardest part of your business for you?
Goodness, the hardest part for me is definitely marketing. I really struggle to know how to best market and brand my shop. I also find goal-setting to be a challenge since I often have the tendency to go small rather than think big. I want to get better at recognizing that I’ll fail and/or struggle in areas – and that’s okay. Learning from my mistakes or unsuccessful campaigns can only improve my business.
What are you most grateful for?
I am really thankful that I can spend time with my son and husband as well as carve out time to run a creative business. It’s not always a glamorous season, but it’s a good one.
If you could start over and, knowing where you are now, change one thing, what would it be?
If I had to start over and change one thing, I think I might have taken more time to think of a different shop name or create more long-term goals for the shop.
Thank you, Nicole!
As an aside, one book on my booklist is Jessica Turner’s The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You. It’s been recommended to me as wonderful encouragement for moms trying to make more time to create.
*Some links are affiliate. Thank you for supporting the Orange Slate!