We're back with #InspiredMakerMonday! Today, we are featuring Courtney Cowan of Milk Jar Cookies, a cookie shop in Los Angeles. Milk Jar Cookies began in 2013 when Courtney left her job as a TV Post Producer to pursue her dream of opening up a cookie shop. Her cookies are delicious and she's been featured in many publications such as Glamour Magazine, Time Out, and Refinery 29, as well as on local television stations. Go Courtney! We're excited to share what she's been up to since attending the Inspired Retreat!
When did you attend Inspired Retreat? October 2015
Where were you in your business journey when making the decision to attend Inspired? When I decided to attend Inspired, Milk Jar had been open for about 2 1/2 years. I was feeling good about the way the business was growing, but I was at a loss as to how to find some semblance of balance and was craving relationships with fellow female entrepreneurs.
Knowing what you know now, what would you tell yourself on Day 1 of starting your creative business? Trust your gut - it knows what's up.
What is one action item from your Inspired Retreat experience that has changed your business and/or mindset? While I am not always successful at completing it, Leah Remillet's Daily Performance Challenge is something I keep in mind everyday. I have a tendency to just keep my head down and work, work, work, and that's not good for anyone or anything. Her recommended 5 daily actions are always in my head and have helped me realize the value of stepping away and changing my focus so I can come back to the work renewed.
With the abundance of noteworthy creative workshops offered, why would you recommend Inspired Retreat over another? There was something about Inspired that immediately spoke to my soul. The setting, the speakers, the activities, and the feeling that I was going to be surrounded by like-minded women had me feeling invigorated before I even landed in Nashville. It delivered on every level, and then some. Even when a session or speaker didn't completely apply to my specific business, I gained something from it. I believe there is something inherently inspiring about being around other women who are trying to build something special, and the aptly named Inspired Retreat provided the perfect environment for that inspiration to flourish.
What is one thing you have implemented that has helped you to streamline or help manage your creative business and family/personal priorities? To be honest, I still struggle greatly with making myself and my personal life a priority. I do my best to make a schedule and plan my days in a way that allows for some work/life balance, but the business seems to wrestle its way into that time quite often. I am very mindful of it, and that's the first step, right - admitting there's a problem? Haha. In all seriousness, I regularly think about the advice that Heather Crabtree gave to "schedule time for everything" and stick to it.
What things do you do to stay creative/be inspired? I tend to find inspiration through reading, talking with fellow female entrepreneurs, hiking, and when time allows, crafting. For me these days, even the smallest creative activity feeds my soul and begets more creativity.
What is your daily routine like? Every day is different, and I love it that way. I generally wake up early and snuggle with my dog for a few minutes before the day begins and then hit the ground running. Once I arrive at the shop, it's a combination of emailing, baking, packing boxes of cookies, managing my staff of 19, ordering supplies, decorating the window, helping customers, and everything in between. There are new challenges daily, and it is certainly never dull.
What is your favorite business book, magazine, or podcast? I love the podcasts "Start Up" and "The Growth Show."
So, what's next for you? I am starting to put a plan in place for a second baking space that will be our shipping & delivery hub, as that's our biggest area of growth currently. I'm very excited about this expansion!