Finding Your Why
Introducing Creative Founders Conference 2017 speaker Kristin Wilson as she shares some photos with us and talks about her journey from teacher to creative founder of Grace & Serendipity!
Hi everyone! I am Kristin of Grace & Serendipity and I will be speaking on Your Core at the Conference this upcoming spring. This is something I am incredibly passionate about and so am hoping to get to meet you there! Grace and Serendipity is a custom and product design business that strives to create meaningful items celebrating the moments in the seasons of our lives. Whether we are planning a wedding or raising our littles with love, my business has been created to instill happiness into the moments throughout our lives with grace and faith. The photo above is technically an outtake from my session with photographer friend Aislinn Kate, but it captured my personality really well!
I actually started out as an elementary school teacher, and after I got married, realized how much I truly loved planning our own wedding day and so started my business as a wedding planner. One year into planning, I "retired" from teaching to run my business full time and also to be able to raise my daughter beside me every day. I fell in love with the paper world when one of my brides had a letterpress invitation - I had never seen anything other than invitations done with flat printing before and my heart started beating out of my chest with excitement when I ran my fingers over it. That day was a turning point for me, and so I quietly started teaching myself graphic design, taking online courses and watching every tutorial I could to learn this new beauty of a world.
After much prayer and many "should I, shouldn't I, oh goodness I need to be there!" battles in my head, after one sign after another that I was meant to go at that time, I finally attended the SCF Conference in July of 2015 and it was an absolute game changer for my business. By learning how to apply the skills I learned at the conference that summer, I knew that I was more than ready to do paper design full time. Since that conference a little bit more than a year ago, I have closed the doors of my wedding planning days and my business is solely one for custom wedding invitation and meaningful product design, with my now two little kids at home with me every day. I will share a bit more of my story at the conference, as we work through the Core general session. Will you be one of the ones I get to dive into this with? I certainly hope so!
As part of Grace & Serendipity's core, staying true to the the person I am and what I want my business to encompass when they work with me for either custom or product design are the values I hold high. This is a small piece of my business mission statement, which can be seen in it's entirety on the Grace and Serendipity website: "We look for the good in every day, living serendipity, and moving through this one precious life gracefully instead of packing our schedules to the brim, rejoicing in the quiet, unspoken moments that will become some of our favorites in our lives. We know that words can inspire and encourage us, shape us into the people we are and the ones we desire to be. That words can instill hope and give us the confidence we need to take big leaps of faith. And when we read those words infused with the soothing design that we love to create with, we know they have the ability to leave a lasting impression on our hearts. We believe in living our days choosing kindness, loving well, and giving grace upon grace upon amazing grace both to ourselves and to others."
On the first day of the conference, I will work with you to discover what this business means to you in the core of your being, which contains the values of your business and the feelings you have for it, channeling everything into one powerful mission statement that you will be proud of in your business.
Styled images are one of my favorite things to create for my @graceandserendipityfeed on Instagram, and this is a peek of a few supplies I have on hand currently. I have found it makes things so much easier when you learn the basics for when you want to capture an image of something you're working on or before you mail it to your client or customer to have it to share later on social media. Although stock images are so great to have to rely on and use within your overall look of your brand, this is a skill you want to learn more about that will set your brand apart from using only styled stock.
As a creative breakout session, I will be teaching about making your own spin on styled photography as a way to increase recognition of your brand and develop a signature photography style so that when people are scrolling through social media, they can recognize your work instantly. We will also go over apps to use on your phone and where to purchase supplies that will help you stay true to your Core branding and edit photos in a similar style each time, even when the lighting's not the best! This will be a fun session and one I am thrilled to expand upon with you.
We all know that in our line of work, when we love what we do, it is so simple to all of a sudden be completely overwhelmed and stressed out, especially when you add littles at home with you into the mix of your daily life. This print came about when one day I had said yes to too many things, planned too many items I was convinced I could accomplish and had underslept as my son was not yet sleeping through the night, so was running on empty from the get-go. At one point during that day, both kids were crying, laundry baskets were overflowing, my inbox was exploding, and my shop had gotten a huge spike in sales, suddenly consumed with orders needing to be filled. When I felt like I was almost at my breaking point and tears were welling up in my eyes, I stopped, took a deep breath, and simply prayed, asking God to please bless our home with grace and love instead of the stress I was feeling. The peace I felt wash over me after saying those words changed me as a mom and a business owner. I now have this print framed in a prominent spot in our home as a reminder that grace and love always wins.
As moms working from home, we don't work traditional hours but we need to know how to juggle so many different things to make everything work. This has become one of the most important details in my business - that it works with our life and doesn't consume it, but that it still thrives and grows.
For one of our porch chats, we'll talk about learning to balance the ebb and flow of busy-ness with mamahood, learning to give ourselves grace and finding a schedule or a routine that works best for each of us. I have found that it works differently for everyone, but also as moms we are a wealth of knowledge on what works best for each of us, to build each other up and encourage each other as we create a business we love.
I've had so much fun and I hope that I get to meet you at the conference! Take care, and have an amazing rest of the week!