Happy Monday! Today for #InspiredMakerMonday we are featuring Jen Kitzmiller of Pretti Mini, a shop offering party decor, pom pom wands and accessories, and craft kits. All of Jen's pom poms are made by hand in her studio and they are gorgeous. Read on to find out what Jen has been up to since attending the Inspired Retreat!
When did you attend Inspired Retreat? Spring, 2015
Where were you in your business journey when making the decision to attend Inspired? I was 3 years into my business and feeling a bit overwhelmed. I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to do with my business, but not a lot of concrete ideas about how to run it efficiently. I needed a little direction. And some inspiration. I came to the right place! :-)
Knowing what you know now, what would you tell yourself on Day 1 of starting your creative business? That it is the process - not the perfection - that matters most.
What is one action item from your Inspired Retreat experience that has changed your business and/or mindset? Identifying my ideal customer and really getting to "know" her - what she likes and dislikes. Giving her a face and a name. Coming from the mindset of what can I give rather than what can I sell. It changed everything for me. I want to give my customer a memory, not just a product. I want them to have that one-of-a-kind moment or celebration they always dreamed of having with their little one.
With the abundance of noteworthy creative workshops offered, why would you recommend Inspired Retreat over another? I love the one-on-one you get at Inspired. To be able to sit next to your mentors at lunch or dinner and ask questions and get to know them. The whole vibe was warm and inviting. Like sitting around with a group of friends. It was a one of a kind experience.
What is one thing you have implemented that has helped you to streamline or help manage your creative business and family/personal priorities? Letting go of some of it. I can't do all things perfectly at all times. I just do the best I can with the things I can and let go of the rest. My family is first. My business is 2nd. That laundry basket in the hall? It can wait. I have learned to delegate out the tasks I don't have time to do and hire help when I need it. That has made life SO much easier.
What things do you do to stay creative/be inspired? I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks while I work. Both business and inspirational. It gets me all pumped up and reminds me what the end goal is and spurs my imagination. I often stop to jot down a great quote or marketing idea. I also take a break when I need it. This is hard to do sometimes, but essential. Just taking time to sit out on the porch in nature and breathe...or hang out and laugh with my daughter. It is so therapeutic and gives me the little boost I need to go finish my work for the day.
What is your daily routine like? I get up at 6 or 7 (sometimes earlier) and check my email, Etsy account, Amazon account, FB, and Instagram. I write back any customers with questions and set up any special listings that need done. I pack my daughter's lunch and get her up at 8 to get ready for school. Once she is off, I get some breakfast, hit the shower, and then head up to my studio. I work on the 3rd floor of my 300 year old farmhouse. I am usually up there working on orders until 6ish, but it depends on the work load. Sometimes it can be a bit later. I come down and have dinner and spend time with my family and then go back up to work another hour or 2 (if needed) when my daughter is in bed. Weekends are for family time unless I am really backed up. But I tried hard to make that time for family and resetting.
What is your favorite business book, magazine, or podcast? Currently listening to Revisiting the Emyth by Michael E. Gerber (on audio book). Eye opening and brilliant, it was recommended by my business coach, Renae Christine, who is equally brilliant! I listen to a lot of Renae's courses and webinars while I work and also Marie TV, webinars by Heather Crabtree and Reina and Co, and The Lively Show podcast by Jess Lively. These ladies are so inspiring!
So, what's next for you? As the company grows, I grow, too. Adding more products and employees as I go. Currently working on a holiday collection and will put out a new wedding collection next Spring. Another area I really want to focus on is expanding our kids craft kit line. The first ones we released were very well received, so I'd like to do more of that. I just love crafting with my daughter. It's a special bonding time for both of us, making things with our hands while laughing, sharing, and being silly. I know a lot of moms can relate to that so I want to find more ways to share that.