Growing a Business & a Family With Jen Davis - rachelleslie.co

Growing a Business & a Family With Jen Davis

In honor of Mother’s Day, for May’s installment of our Beyond the Brand interview series, we’re highlighting one of our favorite entrepreneurs to share her experience, wisdom, and learnings from juggling a growing creative brand and family. Meet Jen of Hello June Creative, a boutique brand identity and web design studio crafting colorful and elevated brand identities for creative visionaries. We are SO lucky to call Jen a friend, a creative partner, and a trusted collaborator so it’s our pleasure to introduce you to her and share a piece of her story. 

We are so grateful for Jen’s vulnerability and honesty; whether you are a mom, hope to be a mom one day, or love someone who is a mom, we hope you take something away from this interview. Shall we?

1. We’re so excited to chat with you! For those who don’t know you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?

Hey guys! I’m Jen, and I’m a brand and web designer for self-made, luxury, creative service providers such as interior designers, fine artists, and premium coaches.

2. One part of your story that we love is the meaning behind the name Hello June Creative, can you speak to that inspiration?

June was the month my son Ryder was born (2020) and the month I married my high school sweetheart (2016). Right after I had my son, I realized that the sweet sound of a “hello” to a new friend, combined with a month that represents springtime and new beginnings was the perfect way to rename my business!

3. For this month’s series, in celebration of Mother’s Day, we wanted to recognize the challenges and triumphs of raising a little one while growing a business—both of which are incredible feats! As a mom yourself, we’d love to know how you juggle the demands of being a business owner with raising a family?

Such a great question—and the answer is that I don’t believe true work/life/motherhood “balance” is actually possible. I prefer positioning the way I navigate the various parts of my life as “holistic harmony” and a rise and fall of different seasons of life.

Recently I’ve structured my schedule to make for lots of time chasing after a 2-year-old (I work 4-5 hour workdays that end at 2 pm and only work M-Th). When I had Ryder, I committed to taking every Friday off to make that a day for me and him to spend fully together and I have loved having a four-day work week! At the end of the day, it’s more about flexibility and prioritizing what truly needs to be done rather than trying to fit everything into my days.

4. What are some obstacles you’ve had to face as a working mother? How have you worked through those?

Time scarcity is the biggest one—not feeling like I have enough time to get everything done that needs to get done. I’ve worked through this with lots of support from my coach and other mentors in my life. There are a couple of things that have really helped: switching from a daily to a weekly to-do list, focusing on only one or two work priorities per day, and moving into more premium services so I can work with fewer clients at a time. 

A second obstacle I’ve had to face (and one that won’t ever truly go away) is mom guilt, or even just the guilt associated from spending time away from your child, even if it’s for an enriching or self-care reason! Reminding myself of my intentions with my business and the fact that I am currently the main provider for our family really helps with this, along with a very limited working schedule that makes a lot of room for mom/baby time.

5. Hello June Creative collaborates often with other creatives like copywriters (oh, hey!), developers, and other designers to help bring the client’s vision to life. How do you foster a successful creative collaboration while balancing all the things?

Working with contractors is an incredible way to expand and up-level the value of your services as a creative service provider, and I’m so grateful for all the incredible people I get to collaborate on client projects with! One of the things that has helped me especially with my limited working hours is to get into a communication and project management groove with my contractors. 

It goes like this for me: brief, deposit, service, internal refinement, client refinement, and then wrap up. I love working with contractors who are already top of their field, not only so I can provide the highest quality work for my clients, but because they typically require less management than more junior contractors. In the future when I have more time in my schedule, I’d love to implement an internship program to help pour back into newer designers who are looking to learn while they work!

6. Motherhood and entrepreneurship on their own can be isolating, what has your experience with that been like and how do you find support and community?

Facebook groups are a wealth of knowledge and connection, and there are so many podcasts out there as well for everything under the sun! I’ve also personally navigated this by shamelessly making friends online. I’m always in my IG DMs chatting with various people, and Voxer is the BEST for asynchronous communication with friends who live in different time zones too. Plug for my podcast for brand designers, Better: The Brand Designer Podcast, we also have a Facebook community.

Motherhood and solo entrepreneurship are two of the most isolating situations, but only if you let them be.”

7. What about the good stuff, what would be on your entrepreneur highlight reel? What about your motherhood highlight reel?

Entrepreneur highlight reel:

  • My first 10k month.
  • My first gross 6-figure year and then my first net 6-figure year.
  • Launching my podcast in 2019 and growing it to nearly 50k downloads and 3k community members.
  • Launching my rebrand and new name in 2020.
  • Launching my 1:1 mentorship program for designers and selling out the spots.

Motherhood highlight reel:

  • When Ryder slept through the night for the first time at 7 months old! It was a long journey.
  • When he took his first steps.
  • When he looked at me and finally said “mama.”
  • Going on smoothie dates with him to the park.
  • Taking him to the ocean with my husband.

8. What is the best advice you received as an entrepreneur and a mother and what advice would YOU give to a mom or mom-to-be looking to make the leap into entrepreneurship but feeling unsure?

I read about this in a book called “Essentialism” by Gregory McKeown: If you don’t prioritize your schedule, someone else will do it for you. Basically, treat your calendar like a shrine. Only let things onto it that truly make you happy, make you money, or add value to your life or someone else’s in a way that feels fulfilling for you. Also, ASK FOR HELP! It’s impossible to run a business fully on your own, raise a child on your own, and not experience intense burnout or anxiety. Take help when it’s offered!

“Treat your calendar like a shrine.”

9. We’d love to know, how do you stay inspired and creative in your business? If you have any book or music recommendations, we’re all ears!

I have a whole podcast episode about this! There are a handful books I go to or reference: Essentialism, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, The Coaching Habit, The Advice Trap and You are a Badass at Making Money to name a few of my favorites.

10. In honor of Mother’s Day, what lessons do you hope to teach your children about creativity?

That you can make whatever you want, and that you can design your life however you want. That the 40-hour workweek is dead, and there’s another way to make the income you want while truly living your life. That, in the words of Bob Ross, there are no mistakes in creativity, just “happy accidents.”

11. What do you have coming down the pipeline in your business? What should we be keeping an eye out for?

The launch of my official sales page for brand identity intensives! These are two-week intensives that get clients the results of a custom-designed brand in half the time and with half the budget. They’re one of my most popular services and I am excited to share more about them!

12. Lastly, let us know where we can find you and stay connected!

To learn more about us or inquire about intensives or brand identity work, you can inquire at hellojunecreative.co or connect with me on Instagram @hellojunecreative

And there you have it. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Jen and hearing some of her story. We are so grateful for her vulnerability and feel honored to work with inspiring creatives like her and in awe of how she seemingly juggles it all. 

If you know someone who would be a good fit for this series, please email team@rachelleslie.co! Want to be the first to know when a new interview goes live on the blog? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the know on all the studio happenings.

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