The sky cries as tears fall from my eyes, the blue skies remind me of my own blue eyes when feeling sad inside my life. I’ve learned that pain isn’t personal, it has a purpose to present us with a circumstance to grow within each season of our lives. The sky cries as a part of my soul dies, and I will soon begin to thrive.
- How did you come up with the concept of Katie Creative Co? – Kate Creative Co started out of my desire to create a positive and uplifting place to land on social media. Social media can be so negative and harmful, but I have always seen it as a place that if you want to follow the right people can be inspiring, uplifting, and positive. I wanted Katie Creative Co to be that place.
- What inspired you to start a small business? – Truly, my business started on accident. I was drawing and illustrating for fun and sharing it on social media and as my page grew, the demand for products grew. I started with stickers but have since grown and changed into a self care collective offering me time essentials for the bold and beautiful!
- What was the concept behind your most recent release The Caffeine Collection? – As anyone who follows me on social media knows, I am obsessed with coffee. When I was realigning my brand and going in more of a self-care direction, I began to think about the most serene and enjoyable parts of my day and immediately my morning coffee came to mind. I wanted to design cups to make people’s morning just a bit more fun and the caffeine collection was born!
- At what time did you think you wanted to become a graphic designer? – I would consider myself more a content creator than a graphic designer if we could use that phrase, or even social media specialist. I started off my college career as an education major. Growing up around parents and grandparents who didn’t work in creative fields, I didn’t even know many of these kinds of fields existed. After being elected as VP – Public Relations for my sorority, my eyes were opened to the world of content creation and social media management. I realized that not only did I love it but I was also talented in it. Soon after, I switched my major and began to pursue a career in social media and content creation.
- Along with being a graphic designer, how is running your own podcast Check Your Aesthetic Podcast? – CYA is probably my favorite thing that I do. Alexis and I started the podcast out of need. We were lucky to have each other to lean on for advice, to rant, or really just to have someone to understand the industry but we realized not everyone had that. So, we created Check Your Aesthetic Podcast – The go-to podcast for self-starting creative twenty-somethings. On the pod, you’ll catch open and honest conversations around entrepreneurship, social media, design, self-care, and trends, within the creative industry. As Alexis and I have said, we are just two girls who have made a bunch of mistakes and want to help other girls avoid making the same ones.
- Is there any piece of inspirational advice you would like to tell your audience. – If you spend your entire life worrying about what other people think of you, you will never get anywhere. Let go of other people’s judgements and expectations of you and go after what you want!
- Was there a point in your career where you considered reinventing your brand? If so, why? – Yes and I did! Because I started my business so quickly, I really didn’t have a plan so a couple of months ago I realigned my business and came up with more of a plan. If you want to hear more about how I did that, check out Episode 42 and 47 of Check Your Aesthetic!
- How would you say you’ve changed creatively since starting your small-business? – I have definitely grown so much creatively since starting my business. I have learned where my skills lie and where I may lack and learned to be comfortable with that. I have also learned that it’s ok not to box yourself in– you can still stick to one “aesthetic” while giving yourself some room to breathe creatively.
- How would you define your own aesthetic? – I am attaching the KCC vision statement here because I feel like it describes KCC super well– much better than I could with just visual words.
Katie Creative Co. is a self-care collective that inspires, encourages, and equips its community to live fuller, more creative, and happier lives through lifestyle products and more. From the moment someone enters our “world”—whether via socials, the Check Your Aesthetic Podcast, our website, or elsewhere—they instantly feel seen. They know they have a place in the KCC community. Their mood shifts and brightens because of our uplifting, relatable content and fun, unique products; they’re immediately inspired to create more beautiful moments in their everyday life. When someone chooses to start integrating KCC products into their self-care and wellness routine, they experience the joy of supporting a small, woman-owned business, but they also experience much more than that…KCC supporters and customers feel like they’re a part of something—a movement that brings mental health to the front of the conversation. A community that believes and embodies the fact that taking great care of yourself isn’t a chore, it isn’t a luxury, it’s a fun and romanticized part of their daily and weekly routine. It’s our vision to make the little moments in our people’s lives even sweeter, so they keep coming back for more of what makes them feel alive, creative, encouraged, and free.
Flames surrounded her within her sightline. That’s all that she could see standing in front of her. She knew that she would rise above the fire to become a phoenix rising from the ashes set around her world. She would set a path blazing behind her with every step she took towards the sunlight. She would set fire to her past, leaving only her present in front of her for the taking.
Today I will be interviewing one of my favorite creative content designers on the Etsy platform explaining how she began her small business, what inspired her designs for her audience, and where she is now in her career online with her shop.
- What is the significance behind the name HannahElleCo? – When trying to choose a name for my shop I wanted to come up with something that was meaningful to me. It took me a long time to land on an official name, but that was something that wanted to have set in stone before I officially launched my store! I didn’t think that my name really rhymed with anything, because my middle name is actually Elizabeth. One day I was talking about it with my mom, and she just says “why don’t you just shorten it to Elle, and it would sound better.” In that moment I was like wow you’re right. Technically my mom actually helped me come up with my shop name!
- What does the term shop small mean to you? – Prior to starting my own small business, I am not sure what the term “shop small” meant. I knew that there were smaller businesses who deserved our support, but I did not did not realize to what extent. I know that this is cliche, but large e-commerce websites like Amazon don’t do a ‘happy dance’ when you order from them, but small shops like myself do! I think it is so important to shop small because we put so much thought and time into every single thing we make! When you shop local or small businesses, not only are you getting a unique product but you are also getting to be a part of a community. I definitely think that we should continue to celebrate small business culture!
- When was the moment you knew you had the creative niche/ability to turn your hobby into a career for yourself? – Ever since I can remember. Art in general has been a key part of my life. In high school I was a part of our AP art program where I was able to thrive artistically. After graduating and going off to college I found myself not really having the time for that creative outlet anymore, which was really hard for me. When COVID-19 hit, I was able to fall back to that passion once again, as I finally had the time. It’s funny because I actually did not initially start my business thinking that it would turn into what it has. It actually evolved down a few paths. Last spring I started out by painting a table for my roommates and I. My friend’s brother saw it and wanted one for himself. I had so much fun making his vision come true with that process, but it was extremely time-consuming and took me around 3 weeks to finish.
- As far as the creative process/when creating what inspires your designs? – When it comes to my creative process, I wouldn’t say that there is one thing in particular that inspires my designs! It’s actually kind of funny because most of my ideas just pop into my head randomly throughout the day, and I will put out the notes section in my phone and quickly jot down my thought before it disappears. Most, if not all of my designs have come to me at the most random times. I find it super hard for me to make myself sit down and focus on coming up with a design. Most times I’ll just come out empty-handed.
- For your shop, which design has been your favorite to make? – I have honestly had so much fun creating all of my designs! I think I would say my favorite ones to create have been my most recent shirt and crewneck. I just think that the bright bubblegum pink was so fun to use!
- Was there ever a mentor/inspirational figure that inspired you to start your business? If so, who and why? – There has never really been a specific mentor in my life who has owned a business to help me. I have had to navigate this process through a lot of late nights and endless researching. I would have to say I am thankful for my mom. She has been so supportive of me throughout this whole process and pushing me to continue.
- Did you ever think you would be where you are now in your career today? – When I started my small business, I definitely did not think I would be where I am today. While I still think I have a lot of more growing to do, when I first started out I thought that it was just going to be a fun hobby making stuff for friends and I to wear. I am so thankful to all my friends, family, and everyone who has supported me throughout the way, pushing me to go on.
- If you could give advice to someone starting out on this career-path what would you say to them? – If I could give advice to someone just starting out and wanting to create their own small business, I would honestly tell them to just start. That is the hardest part of it all, at least I know it was for me.
- What has been your favorite experience within your journey as an Etsy business-owner? – I would have to say my favorite part of becoming a small business owner has just been all the people that I have met throughout the journey. I have met so many genuine individuals through Instagram, who have been so supportive of me. It is crazy to say that, because before I started my shop I never thought I would have been able to build actual friendships over the Internet. Truly I am so appreciative.
- Where do you see yourself and your business in the next year? – In the next year, I really hope that I can continue to grow Hannah Elle Co and continue creating designs that I love! It means so much to me to see people wearing and enjoying things that I have designed.
Follow Hannah Elle Co on Etsy for more creative content, and inspiring designs. She is truly such a talent to the Etsy platform, and I highly recommend anyone looking for fun fashions to look no further. Her shop is right here. https://www.etsy.com/shop/HannahElleCo
Today I’ll be interviewing Jess Bangaree a fashion influencer and digital creator about her experiences in the digital space of the world, as well as her career in The Big Apple.
- What’s it like living in the Big Apple? – New York city is the heart of my inspiration. Growing up, living 15 minutes away from the city has ALWAYS been a blessing that I am grateful for every single day. The colors, energy, and uniqueness are what fuel my passion to create things that will resonate with people.
- Who in the city is your biggest inspiration? – I get a lot of my inspiration from similar bloggers in New York City. There is something about seeing women create this content that makes you feel like you are a part of their adventures. I have a lot of idols that are also outside of the city and they push me to create things out of my small little area of the world.
- Would you say city-life has influenced your current style? – I would say my current style is inspired by my past, present and I’m always looking to change and evolve for the future better! New York City is always where I get my best ideas because there’s so much going on and it for sure jumpstarts my creativity.
- How did you discover your passion for social media within your career? –I discovered my love for content creation in college when I was constantly doing something. If it was with my friends, family, or just by myself, I looked at Instagram as a collection of my best memories. After college, the post-grad life was different and I didn’t know how to get used to it. Picking up Instagram has been the most incredible experience as my true creative outlet. I am able to inspire people in so many different ways, and that’s what motivates me to take it full speed.
- Was there an experience that inspired you/changed you for the better within your career? – Behind every motivated person is definitely a story. For me, it was after college when I needed to step into the real world and get a ‘big girl job’. To say the least, I was pretty miserable. I was following the norm, having the same routine every single day 5 days a week. I felt drained even though I wasn’t working my hardest – That was my biggest indicator that I need something bigger than what I was settling for. Picking up Instagram has satisfied my creativity, and makes me feel like I am making an impact, something a 9-5 job could never give me.
- What advice would you give someone dreaming of beginning a career like yours? – Keep dreaming and dream so big that you feel yourself outgrowing the things around you. It is ok to be uncomfortable. It is ok to feel different. It is ok to feel like you want more. These things can bring you to the next best thing. Do what is the best for YOU, and never feel bad about it. The consistency and drive are what get the most successful people the furthest.
- If you could trade places with any celebrity/public figure who would it be & why? – I think if I had to trade places with anyone, it would be Delaney Childs. She has always been my muse and she lives in Cali, a life that I have never known! I would love to see what the vibes are like in a different part of the US.
- What are some of your favorite beauty/skincare staples in your collection? – Some beauty products I have currently been loving are Dermalogica products, as I am someone who has dealt with acne for a large portion of my life. I also still swear by Mario Badescu facial sprays! I use them 3-4 times a day.
- Have you ever been inspired to create your own brand for yourself? – Creating my own brand has ALWAYS been a huge goal of mine. It is in the game plan for the future (fingers crossed).
- Where do you see yourself in the next year within business/career? – I’ve been taking things day by day but each month, I grow a little more. Sometimes I grow more than I ever anticipated. I feel that within this career and hobby, things can change rather quickly depending on consistency. I hope to be at 10k followers next year and definitely want to have more collaborations under my belt. My goal is to never stop growing, learning and moving towards the next best thing!
To keep up with Jess you can find her on Instagram posting her latest & greatest trends. 💋💋 https://www.instagram.com/jessbangaree/