I’m so excited to introduce my new interview series, Behind The Brand, featuring small business owners & creative entrepreneurs! My goal is to inspire and empower you by sharing stories of some ah-mazing bossbabes and bossdudes, as they navigate their business journey. First up is the adorable, rainbow-dipped duo, Jenna & Cortney.
These beauties are the smiling faces behind, A Whimsy Wonderland, lifestyle blog and social media brand. Their fun, sense of style and silly approach to life is inspiring and downright infectious!
WHAT DOES BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR MEAN TO YOU?
Entrepreneurs wear SO many hats. So, this answer is a hard one. We are so lucky to be able to make a living doing what we love, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Being an entrepreneur means being ready to hustle. Ready to work until 3 am. Ready to cancel social plans to meet deadlines. But with that, it also means seeing something you sketched out ideas for on the back of a Taco Bell napkin become a business, a platform, something that people relate to, and something that cuts you a paycheck. It’s an extremely emotional ride, basically all the time. Haha!
SHARE WITH US YOUR "LIGHTBULB MOMENT", THAT MADE YOU FINALLY QUIT YOUR 9-5?
Wow. Well, we do have to give credit to our previous 9-5 job. It’s where we met, and where we dreamt up the idea for A Whimsy Wonderland. Once we started Whimsy, we knew we wanted to pursue it full time. Once our income became consistent with this business, quitting became a much more real possibility. And still, by NO means are we rich. It’s still a hustle, and it still can be scary. But we think everyone signs up for that when you go into business for yourself. But when we had to keep turning down jobs and opportunities for our own business due to our schedules at our 9-5’s, we knew we had to just kind of jump and go for it!
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EFFECTIVE TOOL OR TACTIC IN MARKETING YOUR BRAND?
Most effective tool? We’d say Instagram, by far. Or social media in general. We live in such an amazing era to be able to connect with people around the world to show off places, brands, and experiences we’ve loved. And we do work hard in marketing our brand. We are an Instagram duo (who are basically polar opposites of each other, anyone who knows us can vouch. Ha!); the way we dress has definitely become part of our brand as well, and changed the way we market ourselves and the brands that we work with! Marketing your brand starts with finding your niche in whatever field you’re in and keeping it consistent!
IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR 'YOUNGER SELF' ADVICE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
We’ve answered this question before and it always gets the same answer out of the both of us. Be less scared of what everyone thinks! Three years ago, you couldn’t have paid us to wear these rainbow outfits you see us wearing on instagram now (even though we’ve always LOVED color), or to stand on the street in front of a hundred people doing high kicks in order to “get the shot.” But what we were SO scared of being judged for has actually been a big part of what has made us successful. And it’s fun. ;)
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS?
Do your research before diving in. Practice. Take classes. Hustle, hustle, hustle. Reach out for advice when you need it. People in this creative industry are some of the kindest people we’ve met. Also, hire an accountant.
WHAT’S THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A BUSINESS OWNER?
Being your own boss is insanely rewarding, but also difficult. You’re responsible for your momentum. No one is telling you when to come into work, how much to work, etc. And keeping a timely schedule is crucial, especially when you’re first starting, and if you’re juggling another job on top of your business! Scheduling hours was hard for us at first! Second, taxes. Business taxes are NO joke, y’all. Staying on top of finances is everything. *see above where we said “hire an accountant.” ;)
WHAT’S YOUR SUPERPOWER?
Related to business? Hm. We can (and have) put together an entire shoot, shot it, edited, and had content ready for a client in less than 12 hours. But we don’t recommend this. Hahah! Although I think we both felt like we had insanely speedy superpowers that day.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE SELF-CARE?
Cort: lots of yoga, face masks, hiking, or basically being anywhere that the sun is.
Jenna: sleeping (really!), reading, listening/going to musicals, dancing
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Also related to business? I think everyone, entrepreneur or not, has the same fear of not being “enough” in one way or another. But that shouldn’t stop you from wholeheartedly chasing after what you want!
>> Follow A WHIMSY WONDERLAND on Instagram! <<