Well it’s the first Tuesday of the month so that means it’s BABE time! When we brought in our BABE sweater we knew that when we thought of a babe, we thought of a woman who’s more than just a foxy lady. We thought of someone who was inspiring, creative, community driven and someone who gives back. This is why every month we’ve been highlighting a different babe who inspires us.
Today we want you to meet Jennifer – the serious babe and boss lady behind the adorable Olive + Jude stationery company. She’s an artist and designer, business owner and mother and this month we want to highlight why we think she’s so incredible! Let’s get to know Jennifer….
We adore your shop and think you carry the sweetest stationery, how did you get into the stationery business and what made you want to open your own shop?
Thanks so much! I got my start on Minted and loved the outlet it gave me to create things outside of the corporate design work I do for my full-time job. Getting to draw and use things like gouache paint was (so!) exciting to me, and I loved connecting with Minted’s community. I just became obsessed and knew I wanted a bigger outlet where I could create more things and have my own brand. I also knew I wanted to be able to donate as part of my business, so creating my own shop seemed like the perfect fit. At the time we lived on the San Francisco peninsula and I had a long commute to work, so I would sit on the train and sketch and come up with ideas for my shop. It just felt like one of those things in life—that if I didn’t at least try it, I’d regret it.
What inspires your designs?
In college I interned at an advertising agency, and one of the designers there told me that the more you explore and have new experiences in life, the better your designs will be. I’ve definitely found that to be true. The more I get out and see new things, even just in my own city, the more inspiration I have and the easier it is to create things. I also have a huge stack of design books and magazines that I look at often. Blueprint Magazine was my favourite, if anyone remembers it! I’ve got stacks of those that I look to for ideas, and I love to flip through design books for inspiration. A lot of them make frequent appearances in my Instagram posts since they have such pretty covers!
We love that you give back 10% back to charities supporting women and children, how do you decide which charities to donate to?
My main goal when giving back is to find charities that support women and children in the areas of food and shelter. When we had our twin girls I had this overwhelming concern thinking about all the mothers out there that can’t feed their babies or who don’t have a home. Babies and kids are so dependent on us, and I just couldn’t imagine not being able to provide for their basic needs. I know there are moms out there that are heartbroken over this and my goal is to support different charities that help them. I’ve also been inspired by some of the women I’ve seen on Kiva, who are building things for their communities to make a better life for themselves and others. It’s such a cool thing to see these women in hard circumstances that are standing up to work and help make things better. I love supporting that as well.
Any advice for other business owning moms out there who are trying to balance it all?
It’s so hard to juggle it all when you don’t necessarily have control over your time. There have been so many days when I’ve tried to be intentional and dedicate parts of my day to my business but the fact is if your child needs you, there’s not much you can do about that. And I want to be there for them and enjoy the days we have together! I don’t want to look back and only remember how hard I hustled. I want to remember spending time with our little people and how much fun it was. So, I do as much as I can when they’re sleeping, even if it means getting up super early in the morning to finish a task. But beyond that, I’ve learned to redefine what a successful day looks like. My goals and timelines are going to look a lot different than someone else who has more time. I make small goals and tackle them as I can. During the course of a few days it might not look like I’ve accomplished much, but when I look back over the month all those small tasks add up. I’ve also found that working a month or two ahead really helps. So, the things I’m working on now won’t come out until two or three months from now. It definitely alleviates some of the daily stress. Jenna Kutcher (from the Goal Digger Podcast) has some amazing tips that have helped me manage my time—if you haven’t checked her out yet, she’s a great resource. Other than that, I would just say hang in there! I’m with you and totally understand all the stress (and joy!) of having kids and a small business.
Thanks so much Jennifer for being our BABE of the month! For more inspiring women check out our other features