Tell us a little about your business. How did you get started?
I started my business in early 2015. I was recently out of college, newly married, and pondering the question many 23 year-old ponders: now what? I took a job right out of college working part-time and quickly realized the administrative office life was not for me. At the same time, I was taking an online calligraphy course and helping some friends with wedding photography. And then one day it hit me. Maybe I should try doing this as a business! Like the real deal! I quit my job and started from scratch. And the rest is history, I guess. I am still learning a lot about myself and this business, but I am so thankful I get to run my own business. My business (Rachel Allene Photography + Lettering) offers handmade calligraphy goods and styling photography for creative women in order to encourage, empower, and cultivate confidence and truth in their lives. When people come across my work, my goal is for them to feel empowered, alive, beautiful, and welcome. We all struggle and feel isolated at times, so why not battle those struggles together?
What is your favorite quote or saying that inspires you?
Oh boy, this is tough! I have so many favorites. I have a bunch of quotes written out and hung on the wall in my office, and the one that is empowering me the most right now says: “Ask Jesus what He wants from you and be brave!” My faith is central to my life and business and each day I hope to honor God through my work and actions. Bravery is tough for me, so this reminds me to take risks, move forward, and be bold with my life.
What’s your best tip for balancing work and personal life?
Grace! I have to approach every day with an attitude of grace. Yes, we have to-do lists, and yes those things need to get accomplished, but I’d rather do them with an attitude of grace, not hustle. Some days I get SO much done, and other days it feels like nothing gets accomplished. But, I work hard to give myself grace on the hard days and wake up the next day feeling productive and empowered. I also make strict rules for myself to stop work around 5pm so I can make dinner and be present with my husband. I don’t work on the weekends (for the most part!). Sometimes, there are projects that need a little more attention and I put in a couple hours on the weekend, but that is rare!
What is the hardest lesson in business you’ve ever learned?
How and when to say “no.” Especially when you are first starting out, you want to say yes to every client, every project. But that is not always the most beneficial thing to do for your business! You want to say “yes” to your target market and ideal clients. Anything else might attract clients you aren’t wanting to attract and lead to burn out or hating your job! As an entrepreneur, I never want to hate my job!
What’s one thing you really want to do but have never done?
Travel to Europe!
Your most memorable moment.
Marrying my husband on July 27, 2013. He is my greatest support and I wouldn’t be able to run this business without him. He’s the best. I wish you could meet him!