Tell us a Little about yourself, your family and your business.
I'm a mompreneur who is originally from North Carolina living and working in the big city of Fort Worth, Texas. I am a professionally trained graphic and website designer and owner of Red Velvet Ink and Red Velvet Paperie. Red Velvet Ink is a boutique style creative design studio specializing in stylish branding, digital and print design as well as other graphic design services for women entrepreneurs and boutique businesses. My goal as a graphic and website designer is to create a brand that my clients are "wowed" by and that will give confidence to market their business socially and professionally (no more being too embarrassed to show people your business card or tell them about your website) and drive to accomplish their business goals. Red Velvet Paperie is the shop part of Red Velvet Ink where I create cute stationery, paper goods, apparel, coffee mugs and other gift items for the woman who absolutely loves her hustle!
What did you do before starting Red Velvet Ink?
Before starting my own business, I was a Brand Designer in the corporate world for a major food retailer that catered to supermarkets up and down the east coast of the United States.
How did you come up with your company name and why?
The name Red Velvet Ink came about when I was at home one-day doodling designs on a piece of scratch paper and eating my favorite red velvet flavor of cupcake. I put the two together and the name just stuck so I went with it.
What inspired you to start your own business and how did you start it?
I launched Red Velvet Ink because I love design, and I simply want to help women entrepreneurs build their brand! I worked in the corporate world as a brand designer for six years and knew quickly that "cubicle lifestyle" was not for me. I've always been surrounded by a family of entrepreneurs so I decided to part ways and start my own design studio. Best decision I've made thus far!
Is there a specific tool you use that makes managing a business easier?
Definitely! I use a variety of apps to help manage my business. One app I use is Asana, which is a content management system that helps me keep all of my clients projects in order and lets clients communicate/interact with it as well. I also use my daily notepad planner which I created to sell in my online shop to help me stay on track and map out my day!
What Were some of the learning curves of just starting out?
Learning how to balance time was a biggie for me. It's so easy to get distracted while working at home. I've learned how to set specific time slots for everything I do during the day which helps me in my daily work schedule. Using social media for business. When I first started working for myself my social media pages like Instagram and Facebook were very personal and private but now I've learned that using social media for business is a great way to get exposure, meet potential clients and let people know what you do. All of my social media pages are mainly in my business name and are open to the public these days!
What's it like being a business owner and mom, how do you schedule both?
To be honest, at times it's overwhelming. I want to be this excellent mother, wife and business owner but I've realized that I'm only human and I do get tired at times and can not do it all and it's okay to get help if needed. I try to get a lot of work done while my son is taking his naps or having playtime in his room. If I'm working on a big design project with a tight deadline, I usually take my son to daycare for a couple of hours to be amongst other kids his age. It's a good way for him to get interaction with other kids since he's currently an only child and for me to focus and concentrate on the design project I'm working on at the time.
What has been your greatest lesson in business and motherhood?
Do not get so wrapped up in business life and do not compare yourself to others for you do not know what they may go through as being a Mom/Business owner. Spend as much time with your little ones as they are only that age once.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurial mothers?
Learn as much as you can about starting a business or becoming a Mom. Reading books and blogs was so helpful to me.
What does a “normal” day in your home look like?
Let's see...Breakfast is around 9 am then I sit and watch cartoons/sesame street with my son for about 45 minutes. He has play time while I check/answer emails. When play time is over he usually goes down for a nap and that's when I start working on design projects. When he wakes up he has a light snack and I get started on dinner. The hubby comes in from work, we have dinner then we all watch some TV. At night, before bed, I try to finish up what I was working on earlier and make my to-do list for the next day.
Besides business and your family, do you have any hobbies you love to enjoy (when you have the time)?
I love to sew! I like to make my own patterns and things that I can use and serves a purpose in my life.
I can't start my day without coffee. What's that one thing you need every day to kickstart yourself?
I'm not really a coffee drinker but I do drink a variety of juices and my favorite one right now is Mighty Mango 100% Juice Smoothie by Naked.
Who has been your greatest inspiration to you in your life and why?
My parents and people, I've encountered that are entrepreneurs and are really serious and focused about their business/brand. My parents because they've always pushed me and taught me to strive for the highest. I network a lot and when I come across a person that really know their stuff and is serious about their business, that just inspires me to the fullest because if they can do it then I can do it too.
If you could travel anywhere or do anything in the world what would that be?
I would love to visit Canada or Italy.
If your children learn one thing from you what would you wish that to be?
I want my child to know that giving up on anything in life is not an option anything in life is possible if you put your mind to it. Push yourself to the limits, stay focused and know your end goal.
Any other comments or advice you would like to share?
Being a mom and business owner is stressful and overwhelming at times but it is so rewarding as well! If that is what your heart truly desires then go for it and don't let anyone tell you, you can't do it because it's happening every single day!