What it Takes to Open a Brick-and-mortar with Business Owner Libby Springer

On this episode of Indy Wine Chats, we talk about what it really takes to open a brick-and-mortar. We are having a conversation with Libby S- owner of state of grace boutique in Fishers. Libby has a background in marketing, worked 15 years in a corporate industry and now is a successful business owner. We dive into the honest hardship and all that really goes in to opening a brick-and-mortar. 

Libby’s Story 

State of Grace opened in September 2017. Libby is a wife and a mother to three boys. She has a background in marketing, she went to grad school and undergrad for marketing. About 6 months ago she realized she didn’t want to keep climbing the corporate ladder. She is also passionate about health and fitness. Starting a boutique wasn’t even on Libby’s radar until she continuously drove passed an open location on her way to where she trained. And then sparked a fire for her passion to start a business. 

 “A lot of people think it looks easy, but it’s my duty to really represent a real story of what it’s like to own your own business.” -Libby

Libby said it’s been SO much better than she expected but also harder than she expected too. Financially, her and her husband saved money and side-hustled to make this work. The truth of the matter for when you start your own business and that if you’re doing this full time, you have to kind of go in: 

1.    Expecting to invest your own money 

2.    You don’t know if you’re going to be profitable right off the bat even if you are, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be making a lot of money. 

Libby has big growth goals in hopes of opening in another location.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to make their passion full-time, and how do they financially prepare for that?

1.    Create a business plan

If you want to try and get a loan, you’re going to HAVE to have a business plan. Drill down to the numbers and plan this way ahead of time. 

2.    Talk to other business owners in this business industry 

Helps you get an idea of expected finances. 

3.    For your expected expenses: Multiply that by 2.

Your expected expenses are likely to be much higher. 

4.    Include your monthly expenses into your plan.

Also, look at your own personal budget to make it work. 

 

“If you don’t have the finances that doesn’t mean don’t follow your dream, it just means it might look a little different.” -Libby

 

“No one is going to be as passionate about your business as you are, so be prepared to put in A LOT of work for it.” -Ericka

 

Libby at State of Grace

At the beginning, Libby and her business partner were there almost every day. A lot of advice they received was that they should not be working the floor as a business owner, but with that being said Libby thought it was super important to meet the customers and learn about who her target audience is. One day a week, Libby helps on the retail floor, but she is always a part of the everyday processes. She is at State of Grace on a daily basis getting office work done, helping where needed and more. There are many late nights and many other things people don’t realize, at the end of the day it all falls on her shoulders. 

 

“Business owners have SO MANY hats to wear.” -Steph

 

What tools and resources have helped you grow State of Grace?

1.    Marketing and Business background 

Even though both of those experiences have helped, she still had a lot to learn in the retail business. 

2.    Reading books about the financial end of things 

3.    Bouncing ideas off of other business owners

4.    Watching webinars and seminars 

 

“When you’re getting ready to start your own business, really sit down and talk with these people BEFORE you open your doors.” -Libby

 

5.    Even if your accountant is doing the majority of the work for you, you still HAVE TO make numbers and finances your thing. 

6.    Reach out to venders and people you can learn from 

 

“You have to be willing to continue to learn and grow…You might think you have it figured out but it’s likely things are going to change.” -Ericka

“Every industry changes over time so you are going to have to commit to being a life-long learner.” -Libby

What is one thing you wish you would have known before you started this business?

When you run your own business, it’s not just your own business, it’s a family business. You have to make sure everyone is on the same page because you have to respect the fact that it affects everyone in your life. You have to be willing to communicate and compromise. The hardest time for Libby was the first three months when she was preparing to open, and having support from her family was so crucial.

Libby’s dream and one step she is taking to get there:

Libby loves writing, she has a blog she updates 1-2 times a month, but her dream is to write a book one day. 

Find Libby on social media!

INSTAGRAM: @libbyinindy and @stateofgrace_fishers 

FACEBOOK: State of Grace Boutique

WEBSITE: Stateofgrace.shop

Cheers!

 

 

Pregnancy with Ericka Kresge: The Good, Bad, Weird and Wonderful.

A Pregnancy questionnaire with Co-Host & Mom Ericka Kresge

BIG NEWS: Ericka’s pregnant with baby #5, due in October!! This is an open and honest conversation with Ericka about what her pregnancies have been like and currently is like. The ugly, the amazing, the rough, the beautiful and more. It’s hard to know what to expect because everyones bodies are SO different.

Ericka’s Journey with baby #5

Ericka is the oldest of 5, she is used to the big family feel. Nathan and Ericka always knew they wanted a big family after they got married. After their fourth baby, they thought they were going to be done having kids and that Ericka would pursue surrogacy. However, they didn’t necessarily get the answer they wanted in December. Once they found out that wouldn’t be an option for them, they didn’t think they would have another baby until Ericka thought she might be pregnant, but turned out she wasn’t and they were bummed, and that showed that their hearts were leaning towards having another baby. 

Baby #1 

Everything was great, toward the end of her pregnancy, Ericka had been leaking amniotic fluid and went in for an ultrasound. The doctors then said “OK, you’re having this baby today.” Ericka says labor pains are NO JOKE. Ericka pushed for 4.5 hours and wasn’t progressing. They decided to have a C-Section. Little baby Nora came out healthy and beautiful.

“With pregnancy and birth, you sometimes don’t know how its gonna go, you have to be emotionally prepared that it may not go exactly how you want it to go and that’s okay, as long as your baby gets there healthy, that’s all that matters.” – Ericka 

What are you thinking during giving birth?” Ericka walks us through these moments

Ericka says its odd because you are numb, but you do feel pressure. So, you know when their taking the baby out with a C-Section. Like squeezing toothpaste out of a toothpaste bottle. But she also says the overwhelming excitement you feel knowing you’re about to meet your baby overrides any anxieties and fears you might have. 

“Everyone’s bodies are different, you can have 8 C-Sections or you can have 2, it totally depends.” -Ericka 

 Advice from Ericka to couples trying to start a family:

You aren’t ever going to feel like you’re fully prepared to have a baby. 

1.    You have to know your lives are going to drastically change in amazing ways, you’re going to have to give up yourself. 

2.    If you are worried about it financially, most people can afford it it’s just a matter of what you’re willing to give up to make it work. 

3.    Be prepared to lose your freedom a little bit

4.    Start prepping! If you know you’re wanting to start a family go ahead and makes lists of things you’re going to need and what that budget might look like. Prepare as much as you can.

 

“It’ll be something that changes your world in the most beautiful and wonderful way you could ever imagine.” -Ericka 

 

Ericka’s top baby items 

1.    Ericka chooses to breastfeed, but if you don’t choose to, use bottle/ formula. Top of the list obviously because your baby needs to eat!          

2.    Baby Bassinet or some type of small bed so that the baby can sleep next to the crib because they probably won’t sleep in the crib for several months. 

3.    A bouncy seat because you can take it with you anywhere in the house 

4.    (Besides clothes diapers wipes etc.) Pajamas that zip! Babies are moving and kicking all the time, so avoid the pajamas that require a lot of snaps so you don’t totally lose your mind when your baby is hungry or crying. 

What Ericka would tell a couple that might be struggling getting pregnant

Since Ericka hasn’t struggled with that personally, it’s a hard question to answer because she hasn’t experienced it and doesn’t know what it’s like. But she says find other women or other couples that have been through infertility etc. that can pour into you, because you need those people who have been where you’re at and know your struggles.

What is the weirdest thing about pregnancy?

 Again, EVERY WOMAN IS DIFFERENT. One thing Ericka remembers is that her thighs would sweat like nobody’s business. Pregnancy comes with some weird stuff we can be afraid to talk about unglamorous moments because it’s embarrassing, but it is what it is! Bringing a life into this world is such a beautiful thing. Your body is carrying a miracle. Also- if you didn’t know there is a proper way for a baby to latch onto the nipple. If they aren’t latched on right your nipples can bleed. Ouch. After pregnancy, your hormones are all over the place too! Feeling the baby move inside of you is Ericka’s favorite part of pregnancy :)

Taking time for yourself as a mom

Ericka likes to make time to pull herself together, although not every day is like that. It is just something that is important to her and she feels better overall taking on the day. You will learn what works with your day and with your schedule.

“In order to pour into everyone’s lives, you have to fill up your own cup first.” -Steph

What to pack at the hospital:

-      Comfy pajama pants

-      If you plan to breastfeed, pajamas with buttons!

-      Definitely a robe

-      Comfortable underwear (not a thong)

-      The hospital has diapers, wipes, etc. Take advantage! 

-      Boppy Pillow- circular pillow around your waist for you and your baby to rest on

What do you do to look so great after having kids?

Ericka’s always had a smaller shape, but her body definitely isn’t the same as it used to be. 

“YES I have stretch marks.

 YES I have loose skin

 YES I have scars

 YES I have a little pooch”

There are definitely people who bounce back super fast, but do not feel bad if your body doesn’t do that. Everyone handles pregnancy differently. Try not to go crazy and overeat when your pregnant. If you’re craving something, EAT IT! Just do it smart and in a good portion. Give yourself some grace, you just went through something so huge! All of our bodies are made totally different.

Be proud of what your body can do. Cheers! (With orange juice, of course.)

Meet Sierra Holmes: Helping Women Feel Comfortable in the Skin They're in

Sierra Holmes: Helping women feel comfortable in the skin they’re in through her platform Eclectic Kurves

If you’re looking to connect with somebody who radiates confidence, you’re going to want to check out Sierra Holmes! We are chatting with her today about her platform Eclectic Kurves, through this platform she creates content, blogs about everything from being a mom to fashion. Eclectic Kurves is a site that celebrates differences that make us fabulously unique. Sierra wanted to create a safe place to showcase women of all sizes, colors and background she believes that being eclectic is not only cool but it’s necessary. One of her biggest points is that style should have no size constraints. 

This girl has a heart of gold. She shares some challenges she’s been through over the last couple of months. Her confidence and the way she makes others feel is amazing. 

A little bit about Sierra:

Sierra’s blog is all about women empowerment, plus size fashion, lifestyle and her kids. Most of all it’s a safe place for women of all sizes, ages and backgrounds to come and discuss who they are unapologetically and feel good about who they are no matter what their pant size is. She is also a wife and a mom of two. 

Sierra’s motivation for her blog 

Her blog was born out of necessity. Before blogging, she worked in fashion retail for about a decade. She was a stylist, a manager and ended her retail career working with other stylist’s, constantly working one-on-one with clients. Sierra heard them talking so negatively about their bodies with the smallest things to criticize themselves over. 

“We are all so beautiful in our own way.” -Sierra

She was always reminding her clients of how beautiful they were. Sierra expresses herself through fashion which she loves to do, and that didn’t go unnoticed by her clients.

Sierra got her Bachelor’s degree in English and writing, so she’s always loved to write. She took her passion for writing, her passion for women and her self-confidence and married the two. And that’s where Eclectic Kurves was born. 

Her mission:

Sierra’s mission behind the blog is to allow women to feel comfortable in the skin that they’re in no matter the size, no matter their background/upbringing. Sierra wants Eclectic Kurves to be a safe place for every woman. Sierra shows how important it is to have self-confidence. She is very transparent and honest with her readers about her self-confidence and when she didn’t feel so much like she had it. She sprinkles in conversations about relationships and how important all of that is with your self-love journey. 

“I try to have a genuine connection with my readers, so that when I talk to them, they feel like we are friends. I want to be the girlfriend that reminds you that you’re amazing at whatever size and no matter what you’ve been through.” –Sierra

Howe Sierra pushes through tough times:

She is going through a huge challenge now- she fell in January and broke her leg. Ouch! All of her busy-ness came to a fault after she fell. The fallout of not being able to walk or drive really made her lean in on her support system. 

“As an influencer, you really have an obligation to use your platform to talk about things like that because you have no idea what your readers are going through, and what you have to say resonates with them.” -Sierra

Sierra highlights the importance of being completely honest and transparent with her audience. There is definitely good in the bad, and Sierra shows that to her readers. 

Finding your confidence: Reminders from Sierra

1.    Reciting affirmations. You are worthy of love. Your body is beautiful.

2.    Take care of yourself and love yourself so you can take care of others

3.    Be your own best friend first 

Readers vs. Followers

Being an influencer is bigger than just the Instagram sphere. Sierra uses “readers” vs “followers” because they have built a connection. They are having real conversations and building real relationships. 

“The special sauce is when you develop this working relationship with your audience. That’s what makes it so magical, when you get responses from the people who read your content. When you engage back, you learn a lot about them. It’s a bigger community than just saying someone is a follower.” -Sierra

There are so many other ways to engage with your readers. Sierra doesn’t put all of her eggs in one basket by only being on one platform. Building a community and building connections means doing outside of the digital world 

 A piece of advice from Sierra:

Say, “Today, I’m just gonna be my best self as possible. You have to be okay with that.” 

Tell yourself you can only do what you can do. If you can’t give yourself love, it’s hard to expect anybody else to do that. Be your own best self one day at a time.

What is one thing you’re dreaming about and one thing you’re doing to reach that dream?

Sierra is dreaming of putting her toes in the sand. She is crushing physical therapy to get there, as well as doing everything in her power to be as strong as she can for her upcoming beach trip.

Click platforms listed below to check out Sierra and her content!

BLOG

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

PINTEREST

Questions to ask yourself:

1.    Am I being of value and encouragement to someone else?

2.    Am I being a light to others?

3.    What are my daily self-affirmations?

4.    How can I overcome these challenges I’m facing?

5.    Am I proud of who I am?

 

Cheers!

Babes Supporting Babes: What it means to Empower other Women

Babes Supporting Babes: What it Means to Empower Other Women

In this week’s podcast, we need to get honest with ourselves. What does “babes supporting babes” really mean? Ask yourself if you live out that phrase intentionally. Are you doing it because you think you will gain something out of it? We wear the t-shirts, we say the phrase, and today Ericka and Steph share their thoughts on this phrase and this culture we have created in our society, exposing what it means to genuinely support one another. 

We get lazy on what this actually means. In this episode we talk about how to really live this out. This can become a buzz-phrase when we don’t allow it to reach its full potential. If you really want to live this, you have to have a clear understanding of what it is that you’re saying.

“For me, these phrases mean really supporting each other regardless of follower numbers, the event type..etc. I’m going to an event because I genuinely support this person, I believe in what they stand for, and want to see them succeed. Regardless if I am a competitor.” -Steph

A lot of times, this whole thing can turn into being less excited and celebrating other women in business or just in life, motherhood etc. its more about lifting others up. If you think you are above them and only looking to get something out of it, you’re doing it wrong. Make sure you aren’t a part of a clique only supporting your little clique. Our perspectives on this has changed to “what can we get out of it.” Don’t lose focus on what it means to really encourage one another and lift each other up. 

 

We challenge you guys to think about other people in your life.

1.    Why are you supporting them? 

2.    Why are you not supporting them? 

3.    What’re you expecting to get out of it?

 “Make choices about what support looks like for you. When you support others, it has to come from a very true and genuine space. It can’t come from a “I can’t get anything out of this” mindset.” -Steph

The world we live in is so focused on social status…we automatically put people in boxes, and we treat each one of those boxes differently based on what we think we can get out of those boxes or what its going to take to give up ourselves. This isn’t just social media based. Write someone a letter, ask them to coffee, don’t forget to make time for others. 

Think about what you can do over this next week to encourage and lift somebody up without expecting or wanting anything in return. This shouldn’t be a forced thing. If you don’t truly support someone at their event or wherever it may be, don’t show up, and don’t use “babes supporting babes.” Practice what you preach.

“I challenge you to think of all of your motives behind it. Look at other people around you in your life and take note of who they are building up and who they are supporting.  As humans, we have to take a step back sometimes and re-evaluate our priorities.” -Ericka

We have preconceived notions of things that most of the time end up turning into something amazing. Help foster environments that seek this true idea of women empowering women no matter what walk of life you’re in. 

All of our values are different, but at the end of the day we all want to be the best version of ourselves and we have goals, hopes, dreams and stories that matter and we want to support other people in environments like that.

 

Questions to Ask Yourself:

1.    Do you need to give yourself a reality check?

2.    Are your motives in the right place? 

 

CHALLENGE:

Find a way to lift somebody else up that you genuinely care about, regardless of where you are in life knowing that you are not expecting anything in return. WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT HOW YOU ARE ENCOURAGING EACH OTHER! 

Challenge us too. Give us tips and things you did! We value feedback, connecting and learning with you.

Cheers!

Marriage: Easy? No. Rewarding? Absolutely.

MARRIAGE

“Marriage is one of the hardest, but most rewarding relationships that you can have.” -Steph & Ericka

Ericka & Steph share their love stories & advice along the way.

 

Ericka gives her marriage advice:

“We are both imperfect people that are doing every aspect of our lives together and sometimes that can be beautiful and perfect and sometimes that can bring out the ugly…once you get married and life throws things at you, you have to really have to know you’re dealing with another imperfect person just like yourself.” -Ericka

 

-      If you think that person is going to give you every single thing that you need, you’re going to be disappointed. 

-      Ericka & Nate’s joy comes from keeping Christ at the center of their marriage. 

-      We put our marriage before our kids

-      Foster your marriage in a healthy way

-      Make your marriage your priority 

-      Stop and think about everything that your spouse does.

-      Appreciate the small things

 

“Marriage isn’t just a butterfly feeling in your stomach of being in love, it’s a commitment.”-Ericka 

 

Steph gives her marriage advice:

-      Understanding of learning to live independently together.

-      It’s important for you to each have something you love in your relationship that you can do on your own, but you can support each other doing it.

-      Let each other have your own experiences.

-      Having patience through financial instability- make a budget that both of you agree on.

-      Be open in your communication and what your expectations look like 

 

“Communication is key.” Cliché but absolutely true.

 

Support & Respecting Boundaries:

-      It is so important to determine what your boundaries are and what works for you.

-      Separating work & life.

-      When you’re doing work, work together

-      Find something you really like to do together

-      It doesn’t have to be crazy and elaborate, just something you both can do together that brings you closer.

-      Marriage isn’t a tally system.

 

“At the end of the day, marriage is hard. It’s one of the hardest things in life to figure out how to live with someone and love them and all of their unique quirks that they come with, and you have to figure out how to navigate that space whatever that looks like.” -Steph

 

“Anything that’s worth having takes hard work. Sometimes you have to be okay with setting your pride aside.”-Ericka

 

Questions to ask yourself:

-      Am I putting my marriage first? 

-      What is one thing I can do today that will make my spouse smile?

-      Are we communicating effectively?

-      Do we appreciate and accept our differences?

See you next week wine chatters. Cheers!

As Told By Us Conference: Why You Need To Be There...

AS TOLD BY US CONFERENCE

For the dreamers, doers and fempreneurs who are crushing their biggest goals in life as the modern business woman. 

 Who: Steph is hosting- Ericka will be on the panel!

 What: A conference loaded with speakers talking about branding, social media, self-care and more!

 When:Saturday, Feb 23 from 10-6PM 

 Where: 235 N. Delaware St. Indianapolis IN 46204 (Vision Loft Events- downtown Indy, near mass ave)

 LINKS

Get your ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/as-told-by-us-with-trendy-in-indy-tickets-54573241033?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

 SALE ENDS FEB. 21- CANNOT GET AT DOOR.

General: $55

VIP: $75

 Check out the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2416589215079547/

 

“All about how you can invest in your business this year so that you can grow with us.” -Steph

 Steph and Ericka tell us how they are nervous, but so excited to speak in front of all the guests. 

 

STEPH’S IDEA COMING TO LIFE

Guys… she has been planning this APRIL 2018! Steph met with Julie, who owns Vision Loft Events. Julie went to a conference herself and told Steph she had all the faith in her to do that here. Julie had the location, and Steph just needed to make her dream a reality. 

-      Events can be scary, you don’t always know how they will be received.

-      For the most part, Steph has been putting this together on her own with ticket sales, booking speakers, food and more. 

 

“One thing that can hold you back from doing something you’re really excited about…is hoping people are just as excited and passionate about it as you are.” -Ericka

 

“You have to have a dream before you decide on your path.” -Steph

 

-      Regardless of whatever walk of life that you’re in, this conference is going to benefit someone who has passion and wants to learn how to grow and how to better serve their audience.

-      This conference will teach that through speakers, and panels that we have. The first panel is focused on branding. 

“Your brand is your voice and your voice is your story.” -Steph

-       How do you want your brand to be perceived in the market?

-      Second panel focused on social media. You will be taught how to do it all in an authentic way

-      Making sure your audience is engaging with your content

-      Third panel focused on self-care.

-      Ericka will be sitting in on the self-care panel!

-      Every year we figure out what works for us, we all have a different journey

-      Ericka will ask questions to challenge you to think about your goals

-      If you know where you need to go, we can help you figure out how to get there.

 

“There is a way to make personal, professional.”- Steph

 

KEYNOTES

1.    Steph- she will kick of the morning sharing her story- telling us why her brand is the way that it is.

2.    Erinn Bridgmann- Girl-boss business coach, has helped Steph really understand what she wants.

 

“You have to invest in yourself and your business if you want to grow.” -Steph

 

SPONSORS

-      Food & beverage: Box lunch from Indy Fresh. They are focused so heavily on fresh ingredients and healthy products. They provide a unique catering experience to all of their clients. 

-      Wine: Ian from Smith Deveraux Wines is sending wine all the way from NAPA VALLEY for this conference! Sending new bottles & labels. (Enjoyable for everyone 21 & older)

-      Beth from Simplicity Juices: Sample breakfast and cocktails with her juices!

-      Shop: Ella James & Shop Jeanne Celeste & State of Grace: Check out spring lines and hear their stories! State of Grace- swag bags! 

-      Lesley Jane & Shop Goldilocks are sponsoring panels

-      Splitwhit Visuals & DeCamp studios- photography & videography

-      Dreamers table: Connect & take photos!

-      ClemSEO

-      Emma from Zips Dry Cleaners

-      Massage Heights- Chair massages during lunch!

-      Laser and Skin Surgery Center

-      Merle Norman- Lip bar

-      Handmade Hoosier- designed logo & helping with décor

-      Brooke from Uncommonly Styled

-      J.P. Parker Flowers

-      Banzi Balloons 

-      Brickhouse Coffee Co. to keep you energized! 

 

Hope to see you there, cheers!

 

Meet Brooke Csukas-Raisor, & See Why Her Brand "Uncommonly Styled" is so Unique.

Brooke Csukas-Raisor

 Brooke is a people person & entertainer. She absolutely loves to celebrate & get people together. She is the owner & creator of Uncommonly Styled, creating the most amazing tablescapes. Her business plan is so unique, because she does things in such a cool way.

 More about Brooke:

-      She was in sales with non-profit organizations for 10 years

-      Her older sister was involved in a car accident, leaving her with traumatic brain injury, (she is doing great today) which is what inspired Brooke to start Uncommonly Styled.

-      She then started getting creative with encouragement from her husband 

-      In a matter of two weeks she started a business!

 

A little about her brand:

-      In-home entertaining focus

-      She is bringing back the “dinner party.” 

-      “Tablescape,” place settings/ rental style.

-      Basically, you can choose a design, number of guests, and Brooke will give you all the stuff you need to entertain!

-      She picks up the tablescape afterwards up AND does the dishes!

-      She also has kid-friendly play settings.

“I just love getting everyone together.” -Brooke

Her goal: Helping make it easier to spend time with those you love.

 

“The dinner table is where memories are made, and fun conversations happen.” -Ericka

Insight into her brand & how business has evolved

-      Making sure designs appeal to everyone

-      Make sure its unique and bold 

 

“I help pull together an evening you’re proud of…without the stress!” -Brooke

 

-      It’s so important to spend time with people and being confident in what you’re able to put out there

-      Brooke wants to help provide an experience for people

-      The details around the table translates as love and care 

-      Helping hosts be confident!

 

Brookes challenges as a business owner:

-      There isn’t really a path for her to follow, no 1..2..3..steps.

-      Figuring out the best kind of marketing avenues and hitting them all as much as possible, kind of just making it up as she goes!

 

 

Advice for people with crazy ideas who are scared to go forward:

 

“The uniqueness is the power!” -Brooke

-      Go in whole-heartedly 

 

Being creative- it can hard to be organized and get your ideas out in the world…

 

“I have all these ideas- how do I execute?” -Brooke

-      Keep doing more and more tables!

-      Shopping a lot and finding pieces from different stores 

 

How are you marketing for your business/ finding out what works for you?

-      Got some credibility from Steph & Ericka early on helping out with their brunch

-      Trying to do more pop-up shops

-      Reaching the right audiences on social media platforms 

 

“Marketing is ever evolving, you have to be coming up with something new & different…brands need personality… people want to relate to you and see your business through your eyes.”     -Steph

 

Why THIS business? 

-      Brooke says she appreciates life in a different way now than she used to

-      Spending time with people you love is the most important thing

 

“It makes me appreciate my life more and spend time with my family more… I feel like women feel a lot of pressure in a lot of different ways…you still want to put together a nice evening for your friends. If I can make it easier for women to not spend time away from family, or allow them to be more present and relaxed, that means that that’s quality time being spent together.”   -Brooke

 

What is one dream you have right now and one thing you’re doing to accomplish that dream?

 

“I would love to do large scale event designs, sourcing materials and handing it off to make it happen.” -Brooke

-      Making a lot of connections- just committed to some events with a design role 

-      Connections are huge to get you to where you want to be. 

Questions to ask yourself:

-  What makes me/my brand unique?

- How can I get my name out there?

- How can I connect on a deeper level with my family & friends?

Connect with Brooke:

Instagram: @uncommonlystyled 

Facebook: Uncommonly Styled

Website: uncommonlystyledindy.com

Body Image: What it Means to Love Yourself and the Skin You're in

Body Image

Ericka & Steph open up a conversation that covers the good and bad about body image, but hope that it strikes a fire in body-positive thoughts and finding your confidence beyond just a reflection in the mirror.

Ericka talks about her journey with her body changing after 4 kids: 

-      How it can be a struggle, but also a beautiful thing.

-      Everyone has their own beauty & their own shape.

-      Everyone’s “healthy” looks different through all the changes we go through in life.

“Your body changing should NOT be viewed as a bad thingI am proud of what my body did to carry our 4 healthy children. Yes, my body changed but that is something to be proud of.”

What is Body Image?

“Body image is a mindset, and an internal conversation with yourself and how you view yourself when you look in the mirror.” -Steph

Steph then tells us that people’s opinions are forced upon us at such a young age when our bodies are changing before we can even develop our own opinions.

“We are beautifully crafted in the way that God developed us.” -Steph

 

Steph’s self-image battle

-      Steph grew up doing ballet and was constantly told “get your hip down!” But couldn’t because of her uneven hips from scoliosis. Although others may not notice, she reminds us we are our own worst critic.

Key Points:

-      Positive conversations about bodies in general are SO important 

“Why do we identify people by their body shape before their character?” -Steph

-      We tend to use physical appearance instead of characteristics 

Ericka utilizing positive body image with her daughters

“I had to realize that when I say negative things about my body, my girls are going to pick up on that… I’m doing them a disservice by saying those things.”

 -      Ericka tells us that there are ALWAYS going to be things a about our body that we don’t love but it’s about learning to realize that’s a part of who we are and nobody else can have that, and that’s what makes us unique and beautiful. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and God didn’t make a mistake when he made you. 

 “We always want what we don’t have… but we shouldn’t because that’s not how we were made.” -Ericka

 

Important things to note:

-      At the end of the day, you need to be around people that will lift you up.

-      You cannot take it as truth about what other people say/think about your body!!

-      You know what your body needs & you know when you feel your best and there’s nothing wrong with saying you want to be healthy!

-      Appreciate that being you & being different is what makes you unique.

-      Building others up helps build yourself up too. 

 

“YOU GET TO DEFINE WHAT HEALTHY LOOKS LIKE TO YOU AND YOU GET TO DEFINE YOUR CONFIDENCE. And the moment you let somebody else define who you are or what you look like, or how you view yourself is the moment where you need to check yourself and shift your mindset.” -Steph

 

Questions to ask yourself…

-      What positive affirmations are you saying to yourself daily?

-      Are you body-shaming yourself/others?

-      Are you shifting the conversation if someone else is negatively talking about another person’s appearance? (Be the driving force!)

Steph’s challenge to you:Go look in the mirror and say something out loud that you love about yourself. 

 

YOUR BODY IS AWESOME.

 Cheers!

Meet Erinn Bridgman: Girlboss Business Coach, Podcaster & Networking Genius

A little bit about Erinn:

 Erinn is an expert girlboss business coach, podcaster & networking genius. Her dream & mission behind Bridging Herstory is to empower female entrepreneurs to create the beauty they are intended to bring the world through up-leveling their personal and business growth. After accumulating 1,000’s of hours in sales experience, finishing in the top 10 amongst 100’s nationwide with direct sales, scaling her own creative empire to a 6-figure brand she is thrilled to empower others to rise to their potential. With her expertise, alongside her StrengthsFinder coaching certification she works intentionally with female entrepreneurs ready to up-level their mindset and revenue through her business coaching program. She lives in a 1950’s home in Indianapolis, that she renovated by hand alongside her husband Brent, who is her biggest fan and best friend. You’ll find her with a smile on her face anytime she’s exploring new foods, bike riding or lake livin’. Cheers to making the world a more beautiful place. 

In this Podcast, Erin tells us her story before building her brand. She worked in higher education helping mentor and develop women and ran a small creative business. 

 “I was wearing a ton of hats, and I loved all of those hats, but I can’t be most effective if I’m super scattered and worn out.” -Erinn

Erin tells how her strengths would be used in this brand that she created.

“As entrepreneurs, when we start things, we don’t know exactly what it’ll become, its always a continuing, evolving journey.” -Erinn

“We are often “solopreneurs” so we’re working by ourselves, which is important to be able to execute our business but often we need more voices at the table.” -Erinn

 

ERINN’S 3 MAIN REASONS FOR HIRING BUSINESS COACH:

“Even a business coach needs a business coach!”

1.  Mindset Work

- When we are alone; grinding, hustling in our own worlds, we are going through a big mental battle. Our work is us. Our identity can be closely tied into what we do. SO having a coach that can help you with your mindset, help you with directing your energy, having clarity of thought, knowing your value and how it doesn’t change based on people’s opinions or results in our company

2. Accountability 

- Having that person in your life that’s keeping you accountable to goals. Keeping you focused, helping you come up with data-driven goals, helping you find the best direction when you’re running around in different ones, 

3.  Results 

- Whenever you’re selling a product or a service, sell the transformation not just the deliverables. How will you be changed? More profitable, gain more time from the systems and processes we put in place, help you get clarity and gain confidence.

 

AS AN ENTREPENEUR, WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GET A BUSINESS COACH?

-      Hire different coaches at different seasons, from just starting out, to 2-4 years into their brand! Whenever you just want that support or personal investment. It can save you a lot of time trying to figure things out on your own .

-      Hopefully, they will have strategies & life/ business experience!

-      Save time, money, energy at the beginning of creating a business

“I view my clients as whole, beautiful people who have a lot of the answers inside of them, and so it’s very much a partnership helping to draw out what they already know.” -Erinn

 

“No matter what your company or business, you benefit from coaching, but it’s really about that person believing that the money and the time is worth their investment.” -Erinn

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THAT YOU SEE FEMALE ENREPRENEURS FACE WHEN THEY COME TO YOU?

-      A few steps forward, one step back. Mindset work is something you have to be intentional with.

-      Helping them understand the importance of niching down. 

-      Learning to prioritize ideas

-      Fear: Not being all things to all people 

-      When we show our expertise, then your ideal client knows they belong, much more likely to convert. 

IMPORTANT NOTES FROM ERINN

“We are human, we can’t be all things to all people”  

“Figure out how to prioritize your ideas and what’s most strategic to implement into your business and to not.” 

“In order to change a habit, you have to replace it with something else.”

“5 minutes of intention and gratitude can set your day up for success

WHAT IS ONE DREAM YOU HAVE RIGHT NOW AND ONE THING TO ACCOMPLISH IT? 

-      Erinn would love to start speaking at more events & conferences, female business retreats and reach more people that way. 

-      Launching her podcast was a major step in helping that dream come true! 

“We can dream all day but if we don’t have a plan in place to get to that dream, then it’s just a dream.” -Ericka 

 

CHECK HER OUT!

Most active on Instagram: @bridging_herstory

Website:  www.bridgingherstory.com

Podcast: Bridging her story on iTunes or her website

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF AFTER LISTENING:

-      What are 3 things that you have control over that will make your day great today?

-      What are you grateful for? 

-      Are you caught up in your own to-do list? 

-      What steps are you taking to make your dreams come true?

-      Are you a “solopreneur” who could use a business coach?

 

CHEERS!

Meet Jacquelyn Thompson: Owner of Stella & Nash

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Sharing her journey of entrepreneurship that started with knowing her strengths and having a dream, Indy Wine Chats welcomes Jacquelyn Thompson. Jacquelyn  is a mom, wife and owner of the popular Indianapolis children’s clothing boutique, Stella and Nash. A big focus for Jacquelyn is community over competition which she uses to support other girl bosses in Indy. This chat with Jacquelyn is one that we ALL need to hear.

Jacquelyn and her husband are both entrepreneurs, he owns a commercial playground company and encouraged her to start her own business. So in August of 2017 she launched her online children’s clothing boutique, Stella and Nash.


For Jacquelyn, starting her business wasn’t just about children’s clothing. At first she felt like she shouldn’t focus on clothing because she doesn’t consider herself the most fashionable person. But she took a step back and discovered that it’s about being able to manage a business that works for you. And for Jacquelyn it came down to the website, she decided that clothing would be the easiest thing to ship when it came to ecommerce.


Everyday Jacquelyn is surrounded by inspiring women who open their arms to her; whether it be other boutiques or photographers to shoot her clothes for Stella and Nash. While she learned from her husband’s business, she realized on her own that there are so many opportunities for women to work with each other instead of being competitive.

Similar to many working mothers Jacquelyn often experiences “mom guilt.” Prior to the brick and mortar location, she had a very flexible schedule to accommodate her family. With the store she now gets help from her husband and her store manager. It’s a balance of letting work go to be with your kids and husband.

Jacquelyn stresses that it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you are going to have mom guilt. You can spend all day with your children and still feel guilty when you do your work. But she tries to find the positive in it; she’s showing her children how to work for your dream.

So, Wine Chatters, ready to hear about mom guilt, life-work balance, and advice from a mother and female entrepreneur?



What we think about New Year's resolutions

Welcome to 2019 Wine Chatters!

In this podcast, Steph & Ericka highlight their thoughts on New Year’s resolutions, goal setting, and about what’s to come this year.

Thoughts on New Years Resolutions

Steph & Ericka say they have nothing against the resolutions, we are all completely motivated by different things. Important note: Don’t make changes because it’s expected to do for a new year, you make your own fresh start, nothing else determines that for you. If you do something because it’s expected or because someone else is doing it, it blurs the lines between something you want to change and something you have to change. It is so much pressure to set new goals. Keep in mind that they won’t last if they are not genuine or real.

Keep this quote in mind:

“The hype of a new year is not enough to sustain lasting change if you want to change your life then change your thoughts.”

 If you aren’t setting goals based on the right reasons, then the goals are never going to last. HAVING A REASON FOR THE GOAL IS CRUCIAL! Hold yourself accountable, write it down and say why you want your goals to be achieved, and how you will take those steps to get there.

You set goals thinking you’re going to change something, more than likely if it didn’t come from a place of true change, it wont be fulfilled and then you will think you have failed. We are humans, we will never do things perfectly! You might mess up, its life and thats okay, we learn from our failures. Set little goals to get to a big goal. It’s good to take baby steps.  

Reminder: GIVE YOURSELF GRACE!

Love yourself. Kick off 2019 in a positive headspace. Steph is kicking off each day with positive self-affirmation. After doing it for a while, it will become a habit and a new mindset. When we take care of ourselves we can take care of others better & do our jobs better. Make yourself and your headspace a priority!

Ericka gives herself a pep-talk! Everyone has different goals and thats okay. Don’t set a goal just because somebody else did it, set one that is feasible to accomplish and relates to your personality. Do what makes sense for you. We have our own strengths and weaknesses, be self-aware.

Be inspired. Be motivated. Make your goals your own.

Ericka’s 2019 goal: Focusing more on living her social media life like she lives her everyday life. She was so focused on showing everything, but she needs time where she is away and disconnected from her phone and spending time with her family. She didn’t document her New Years, and that is totally okay. It is so important to take moments with family and friends and BE IN THAT MOMENT. Show up. Be present.  

“I am going to make it make sense with my lifestyle, not make my lifestyle make sense with social media.” -Ericka  

“This is the year of AUTHENTICITY.” -Steph

More real moments that haven’t been seen before. You don’t always have to be “on.”

Ericka says she isn’t always “on,” so why does she feel like she needs to be?

“If you don’t want to go to breakfast all glammed up, then don’t do that, and BE CONFIDENT!”

Steph’s word for the year: BOLD

She wants to be bold in her choices, be bold for herself, be bold with confidence, lee bold in life,  be bold in the direction of business, and overall just exude boldness this year. 

Wine Chatters…we are so excited for you this year. We hope you feel/ find love, joy, peace and new opportunity.

Cheers!

Questions to ask yourself

What are realistic goals I can set for myself?

Am I too hard on myself?

Am I struggling giving myself grace?

Do I celebrate my small victories?

What gets me motivated?

Where are my priorities?

Is what I’m doing bringing me joy?

Steph's Instagram lockout and the future of the platform

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This week’s Wine Chat focuses on Steph’s Instagram lockout and predictions for Instagram in 2019.

On November 15th, Steph attempted to log into her Instagram when she received a “Page not found” error. She had a gut feeling something bad was about to happen and a few minutes later, she was kicked out of @trendyinindy and @indywinechats on Instagram. Luckily, the Indy Wine Chats lockout didn’t last long.

After filing a report with Instagram and a lot of back and forth for almost a month Steph was finally able to regain access. Unfortunately, the damage was already done and as a result of this lockout Steph lost collaborations and potential clients.

The Instagram lockout made Steph take a step back and realize that for her, being an influencer is not something that she feels is sustainable. Moving forward she is working to grow her brand consulting business and meaningful partnerships.

So, where do Steph and Ericka see their brands going in 2019?

Their focus for the new year is authenticity and incorporating that into all aspects of their brands, especially on Instagram. We all appreciate the perfectly staged and filtered pictures on social media, but in all honestly people are growing tired of this. Perfection doesn’t exist, and in 2019 we will see more raw moments.

Gone will be the days of posting “just to post,” the new year is about creating genuine content to better engage followers. We are all living our lives on different journeys, but Instagram is where we can relate to other people who are similar to us.

It’s important to have a feed that is a mixture of real and beautiful content, everyone is doing their own thing and we should do what we’re comfortable with. Steph and Ericka respect that everyone does their own thing because the world would be terribly boring if everyone was the same.

Wine Chatters, 2019 is in our sights and it’s time to be your perfectly imperfect selves!



What it looks like to be a student and an entrepreneur with Allie Deno

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How many of you out there are just starting your journey as an entrepreneur? Or maybe you haven’t even started yet. Well, this week’s wine chat features a woman who has turned her challenges into possibilities and fulfillment.

Meet Allie Deno, a graduate student studying occupational therapy and a boss lady in the making.

Allie recently launched her blog, Patches of OT which covers topics on occupational therapy and mental health, after she recognized a gap in content for the occupational therapy community. She’s fostering a community of encouragement for other grad school students.

For those of you who may not be aware (don’t worry we weren’t too sure either) occupational therapy is a new practice in the medical field that’s rising to the top; it goes hand in hand with physical therapy which can cause a lot of confusion. OT is a holistic care of trying to get people back to their daily occupations by working on everyday tasks that many of us may take for granted, like brushing our teeth.

Allie is a relatively new entrepreneur who is working on growing her business and brand. She went through a process that we’re all familiar with: figuring out who she was and what she wanted to do in life.

Allie began by researching blogs about people going to grad school for occupational therapy which led her to the realization that there was a lack of information on the topic. Since she had been wanting to start her own blog for a long time she decided to run with the idea and create Patches of OT!

Allie’s blog is here to help students balance life, school, and mental health because that is a huge factor that no one really talks about when going through school and life.

Sometimes we forget that everyone started somewhere so this week we get a look at someone who is just beginning her entrepreneurial journey.

Wine Chatters, whether you’re in school, don’t know what to do with your life or just want to be inspired you need to listen to this week’s chat!

Find Allie on Instagram here and at her site now!



What it means to truly support other women with Erica Dildine

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“You have everything you need, and you always will.”

Steph and Erica are joined this week by hair stylist, turned salon owner, turned boutique owner Erica Dildine. Erica is sharing how she has made one of her biggest dreams come true, as Co-Owner of Sweet Olive and Company.

Erica will be chatting about what it’s like to be in a business partnership with not one but two other people, who also happen to be married to each other; and how they’ve figured out how to balance their roles based on personal strengths. Erica shares the importance of learning new skills as a business owner so that you can make your vision come to life.

Erica started in cosmetology school at the age of 17, and has been doing hair ever since. Four years ago she and her partners opened Sweet Olive Salon then shortly after that they opened Sweet Olive and Company.

So, what’s it like when you want to play it safe but your business partners aren’t necessarily on the same page? Erica says she’s learned to trust her business partners because at the end of the day they all want the best for their brand.

As we talk about time and again on Indy Wine Chats, female entrepreneurs should be supportive of one another. The boutique world is extremely competitive, and Erica stresses the need for a “babes supporting babes” mindset. It’s important for us as women to build each other up and create that sisterhood.

We often find ourselves thinking we’re not as good as other women in our industry whether it be makeup artists, photographers, or fashion stylists. Erica is able to take this negative aspect and turn it into a positive that she then uses to encourage other women. If you have a skill that you’re working at keep practicing it. Professionals aren't created overnight, everyone has to get their start somewhere.

Through her journey Erica has been able to find her voice; she often notices herself tending to say yes to everything and letting a lot of things go. Unfortunately, these things then build up an aggravation inside her of what’s going on in her environment. Her business has taught her to speak up while still being honest and kind.

So, Wine Chatters, ready to get deep with Erica Dildine?

Check out Erica on Instagram here and shop the latest from Sweet Olive here.



Why college alone doesn't make you successful with Maddy Corbin

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Steph and Ericka are joined by self-branding educator and social influencer, Maddy Corbin. Maddy is a self-taught creator who has had an entrepreneurial mindset since age 10! Both Steph and Ericka have crossed paths with Maddy, Steph even participated in her mentorship program to grow her business.

Maddy is a 20-year-old self-starter who has taught herself how to code, use a camera, and build a successful business. Her story starts in high school, where she developed all the fundamentals of business like filing taxes and owning an LLC through her luxury bath and body company, and her photo and design LLC.

After graduating high school in 2016, Maddy decided she wanted to be an entrepreneur. She took as much freelance work as possible to expand her portfolio, and ended up working with 5 or 6 businesses in downtown Fishers.

After a few months Maddy started to feel depressed and lonely; she realized she didn’t have anyone around her age to work with, so she decided to go to college. She wanted to major in PR or journalism so she could learn more about business and become a better writer. Her hope was to take that knowledge and put it into the work she wanted to do.  

After day 2 of her 75 minute commute, she realized this path wasn’t going to get her where she wanted to be. Maddy finished a semester at IUPUI, but decided she wanted to work on her lifestyle and branding blog full time.

You might be wondering, “how can you be successful without a college degree?” Maddy stresses that college isn’t for everyone, and it’s okay to take a year to self-educate and find what you’re passionate about. Maybe you could make your dream come true without investing all of that money. There are so many opportunities out there to self-educate, and endless opportunities if you go and do instead of learning from a book.

For Maddy, doing what she loved didn’t need to come with a college degree.

Let’s grab some wine, or sparkling juice in Maddy’s case, and tune in to this week’s Wine Chats!

Find Maddy Corbin on Instagram and check out her website!



Queen of Authenticity: Sarah Hill

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Sometimes the busier you are, the more productive you are, can anyone else relate to that feeling?

This week’s Wine Chats features Sarah Hill, a full time nurse and mom turned photographer and Monat hair care expert.

Sarah was born and raised in Central Indiana, she worked as a nurse for 10 years before she retired in 2014 to focus on her photography business. She focuses on family photography that she shoots in Indy. She also works for Monat, a premium line of hair care products.

With her family and two jobs Sarah is constantly busy, but that’s what works best for her. The more she does, the more productive she will be. If there’s a day on her calendar with nothing planned then nothing will get done around her house.

From the beginning, Sarah knew if she veered off the path of authenticity that she would fail. Everything with her social media, photography, and Monat is authentic to her brand. She never wanted anything she was doing for work or her personal life to feel “icky.” She’s thankful for that realization she made many years ago, it has made it easier to integrate her work into her personal life. Sarah is a firm believer that the more authentic you are the easier it is to share your life and your brand with your follows, clients, customers, or whoever it might be.

Sarah wants her followers to always see the real her, “the day that someone says I am not like they imagined me to be, or I am not like the person I am on social media is the day that I’ve failed.”

So, Wine Chatters, ready to have a real conversation about authenticity and entrepreneurship?

Check out Sarah on Instagram and book her for your next photo session!