Entrepreneurial Inspiration: Forever and Everett Photography

I met Forever and Everett’s photographer, Brittney Everett, a few months ago when I visited Ohio. I got to know her and her business a little better a few weeks ago at a wedding. Brittney is one of the coolest photographers I have met. Her calm attitude put everyone at ease during the photo shoot.  So I asked her to share her business story with The Lead Journal!

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Forever and Everett Photography had an interesting beginning – the company is an example of Brittney’s can’t-keep-me-down attitude!

Brittney and her husband were living in Denver and her husband was in school full-time getting his Masters of Divinity at Denver Seminary. Brittney was working for a company but soon after she was hired, she was replaced with a marketing company and was left jobless!

That year Brittney had purchased a nice camera with her birthday money to take good pictures of the beautiful Colorado landscape. She decided to put the camera to use in a way that could make her some money!  When Brittney got married, a friend of hers came up with the clever name combining ‘forever and ever’ with her last name, Everett. She felt as though it fit with a Photography business since photos make memories last forever. Hence the name – Forever and Everett Photography.

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Forever and Everett Photography suited Brittney’s schedule perfectly. It allowed flexibility on the side of any temp jobs or babysitting jobs she could get until she was hired full-time somewhere.

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Brittney’s mom had started her own side photography business and was excited about the possibility of photographing a wedding together! But at the time they lived in different countries so that wasn’t that feasible! Brittney and her mom finally did it for a first time at a wedding few weeks ago! (It was the same wedding where I met Brittney.)

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In Denver, in order to advertise and grow her clientele, Brittney needed to use a strategy that would work with the limited time and resources that she had. So she started the company by offering free photo shoots to a couple families who also attended the Seminary! Those couple photo shoots gave her the confidence that she needed to expand her work. Since she did not fix prices, she started asking for donations for family photo shoots! Her clientele were all in the same boat as them, “poor seminary students, but with children!” She decided that she would rather accept $20 for a photo shoot, than someone not be able to have family photos because they couldn’t afford it!

She posted her pictures on a Facebook page: foreverandeverettphotography and on a blog: www.foreverandeverettphotography.com. Brittney relies on shares, likes and word of mouth as well as the business cards that she occasionally passes out, to build her clientele.

Brittney describes Forever and Everett as more like a hobby or side job that she can fit into her life.

Because I’m a stay at home mom now, it’s still something I can do on the side!

When they moved from Denver to Ohio, she was sad to leave her clients there. She had done photo shoots for many families and they were promoting her to other families. Her business was growing with the referrals that she was receiving since they loved her work so much!

Forever and Everett Photography offers something that most other businesses don’t offer – there are no set prices! Brittney says, “I do it because I love to, I love pictures and I love looking back at photos for memories! I love providing an inexpensive option for people to have those memories!”

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Brittney started with family and baby photo shoots and worked up to senior pictures and weddings.

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I love to capture candids rather than poses, more “in the moment” stuff!

Brittney fits in shoots in evenings or weekends or in the middle of the day, if that works for the subjects.

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I’ve heard the phrase, “Do what you love and it won’t feel like work,” and that’s kind of how I decided that was what I wanted to do in my time of desperation!

 

Brittney took a course at a community college to learn how to use the manual function of her camera and she keeps learning from other photographers.

I mostly have an eye for cool angles and ways of looking at things!

Check out her photos here: www.foreverandeverettphotography.com

To contact her for photo shoots, email her at: brittneyleverett@gmail.com


1913233_488983211207910_1267106761_oGuest Contributor: Brittney L. Everett is the founder of Forever and Everett Photography. 

Images: Brittney L. Everett

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The Overseas Magazine has amazing guest authors! In fact, some of the most read articles were written by our guest authors. You can be one too!

Everyone loves a good story and practical tips make life easier. Do you prefer having a format or guiding questions? Email your request to editor@theoverseasmagazine.com

 

How to submit your article or comic:

If you have something original and interesting to share, you can email your article or comic to editor@theoverseasmagazine.com. Articles will be edited for sound formatting and will be published when the content is approved. A good word limit for our posts is 2000 words but you can choose to keep it shorter.

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Compensation: We compensate our contributors in the form of valuable publicity! Since we offer free subscription to our overseas community, payment is in the form of gratitude only.

 

Below are topics that you could write about if you’re looking for inspiration.

Business Operations:

  • Do you know an entrepreneur who would like to be featured on The Overseas Magazine? We would love to connect with them and tell their story.
  • What lessons have you learned based on your work experiences? Every industry is different and readers would love to learn about yours.
  • Do you have an awesome employer? Tell us what makes them awesome.

 

Living Overseas:

  • Have you lived overseas? How was the experience? What advice will you give to a friend who is planning to move there?
  • Do you have any advice for families as they prepare to travel overseas? Do you have any advice for spouses and children living overseas? What about pets?
  • Did you use a new airline recently and loved the experience? Share about your flight experience, customer service, amnesties or just stories.
  • If we were to visit your city when you were not around to drive us around, how would we get around? Please tell us about your local transportation system, recommended hotels, restaurants, and tourist activities. We know you love your city and can write all about it.
  • Do you know a language other than English? Help us learn a few basic phrases.

 

Other:

  • Share about your recent travel experience. Remember that you can always request for guiding questions by sending a Facebook message or email to The Overseas Magazine.
  • Did you try any new local restaurants this year? Which of those would you recommend to a friend?
  • Tell us what you think about current news and events around the world. Voice your opinion!

Thanks for considering and please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Entrepreneurial Inspiration: South Gate Design

An entrepreneur whom I find personally inspiring is Harriet Charles. She is the founder of South Gate Design, wildly elegant florals for the romantic heart. So I contacted her for some inspiration and she agreed to share more about her entrepreneurial journey with The Lead Journal. 


Early inspiration and starting South Gate Design   

For my entire life I have been in love and inspired by nature. Growing up on a farm with few children of my own age around, I played outside building forts out of china berry trees and picked weeds and wildflowers to decorate my forts! Building bridges across ditches was my forte.

My mother loves flowers and greenery and always has! At 93 years young, she still snips and cuts greenery and flowers in the yard to bring indoors to brighten up the house and everyone’s day! I definitely inherited that gene from her as I do the same thing!

southgate2I love nature and really find beauty in all of it. And I adore spending time in my yard gardening. In or around 2000 I had a reception for a couple who had recently married out of town. The guest list was large and the party took place inside and outside of our home. Several people admired our yard and asked if I would help them spruce up their yards and flower beds. That is how South Gate Design started and it consisted of jobs here and there to help someone prepare their yard for a home wedding or to dress up a front entrance or to add container gardens. Over the years South Gate Design grew to keep me busy.

Expanding South Gate Design

southgate4Flowers really are my first love and always have been. However, having a florist shop has never appealed to me. I did not want to be tethered to a shop, so I didn’t pursue that avenue.  Over the past few years I started seeing more and more independent floral designers online and I thought, how appealing to be able to pursue my number one passion without being tied to a shop!

I started following Erin Benzakein of Floret Farm on her blog and social media some time ago. In 2015 Floret Farm announced a workshop on floral design and business. On the day the application for a scholarship to the workshop was due, I woke up with the thought that I couldn’t shake. Why couldn’t that scholarship be for me! I worked on the application until the moment it was due and submitted it. I was not awarded the full scholarship but was given a discount which made me decide that it was meant to be. So in August 2015, I booked the flight to Seattle, Washington and paid my workshop fee. All of those things coming together got me  thinking, “I am going to do this”, all the while not knowing exactly what “this” would be.

Investing in additional skills

southgate5The workshop set me on fire and gave me the confidence to move forward. I ordered flowers and spent a lot of time practicing floral designs and photographing each one to get just the right shot! Before going to Seattle, Floret Farm offered a discount for an online photography class and I took that class which helped me hone in on my photography skills.The photographs are key in getting my work before people so the photography class and my love of nature photography helped to push things forward.

Offering inspiring workshops

southgateWhile in Seattle at the workshop, most participants talked about weddings and events while I declared to a few that I wanted to lead floral design workshops!  I enjoyed the company of the other creatives and everyone seemed to have such fun that I thought I could duplicate a workshop on a small scale and teach what I had learned and studied. My idea is not to just teach floral design but to encourage women to learn new skills, to enjoy experiences over stuff, to connect with other women in their community and to have down time in a relaxed fun atmosphere. Certainly bring on the weddings and events but inspiring workshops will be a big part of the business in my community and in other places. So, yes to putting workshops on the road!

Life as an entrepreneur

I continue with landscape design and container gardening so my already busy routine is busier now with the added floral design component. I definitely need to find more balance and need to learn to say “no” more often. On many a morning I have put my yoga classes and bootcamp classes on the back burner to take care of more pressing business concerns. I am definitely working to improve in the area of balancing work, health, play and relationships.

southgate3My intention is probably unique in that I actually want to schedule business so that I can stop and start when I want to in order to take time off to travel and to visit with my family. Many entrepreneurs may actually see working out of their home as a negative but I prefer working out of my home. I’d rather be at home working at all hours of the day (my husband would add here, “and night!”) than in a warehouse or office space. Flexibility and being home are very important to me.

Inspiring future entrepreneurs

To future entrepreneurs I would suggest finding mentors, taking classes, studying and researching online. Once you are ready to take off establish a relationship with a bank, use mobile online billing and accounting to keep organized and to keep things looking professional. I use Freshbooks (www.freshbooks.com) for this. If you aren’t savvy in an area, as soon as you can, hire someone who is.

Find others who are in related businesses who are just starting out and support one another! There are enough people in the world that will want the services offered without being cut throat to one another. Being loving and supportive to others in the same line of work will go a long way in building your own business!

JUST BE YOU and JUMP IN! You will never know unless you try!

Folks who are full of passion about what they do get others excited and the energy is contagious! Customers love enthusiasm, great customer service and beautiful products. WIN-WIN!

So GO FOR IT!


southgate7Guest author: Harriet Charles is the founder of South Gate Design.  She describes herself as Florist, Wife, Mother, Lover of Beautiful Things, Traveller, Light-Seeker.

Explore her website: harrietcharles.com and check out her Facebook and Instagram pages! 

 

I quit working 9-5.

Every entrepreneur that I have spoken to has endorsed this truth: Starting a new business can be both exciting and overwhelmingly exhausting. Most entrepreneurs start their own ventures because they are tired of the routine 9 – 5 work schedule but end up working longer hours when pursuing their dreams – which is a extremely impressive!

Even when entrepreneurs are not working, they end up thinking about work. Entrepreneurs insomnia is the inability to rest from work at night. It’s hard to detach from work because the lines between work and passion cease to exist. Be reminded that at the end of the day, it is work and unless an entrepreneur takes time to recover, burn out and lack of motivation will be hard to kick aside. Here are five solid tips to help you remain motivated in this entrepreneurial journey.

  • Separation between work and rest is important for entrepreneurs. Taking a break from your work can help you become more productive and creative. It is when it gets a chance to rest that our brain often creates wonders. Find out what helps you rest and recover and be intentionally consistent about incorporating it into your schedule.

 

  • Engage with your customers and supporters, not just to grow your business but also to get affirmative feedback. Affirmation can be a strong motivator and can relieve negative stress. Entrepreneurs often ignore current supporters because they are too busy pursuing new ones. Keep both friends and enemies close – both groups can motivate.

 

  • Pursue hobbies. Just because you started your own company does not mean you must sacrifice all your other interests. Starting your company will most likely be all work for the first phase and there might be days when you will question your entrepreneurial journey. Hobbies can encourage innovation.

 

  • Keep improving your skills and strategies. Make use of every opportunity to learn something new. Your company will continue improving with you.

 

  • Enjoy the work an celebrate successes because when you enjoy what you do, failures will truly turn into stepping stones for greater success. As Drucker said, “Failure should always be considered a symptom of an innovative opportunity, and taken seriously as such.”

 

As an entrepreneur, what are some tips you wish you had heard before you started? Write to theoverseasmagazine@gmail.com. 

Entrepreneurial Inspiration: Battle Brick

If we don’t think it’s cool, we won’t sell it.
-battlebrickcustoms.com.

2009 marked the beginning of a company that thrives on innovation. The company is called Battle Brick. Battlebrickcustoms.com is the home of Battle Bricks custom military kits and mini-figures made with real LEGO® bricks

Battle Brick began when entrepreneur Andrew Roberts started making M1A1 tank kits and selling them on ebay as a way to finance his next LEGO® project. When the kits started selling, he realized that there was a market for these products. Andrew began making different military tanks and vehicles and the ideas kept flowing.

Before that time most people’s impression seemed to be that it was just a hobby.

It started as simply “something fun to do” and then grew into a full-time store. In 2011, when Andrew was able to make this his full-time job, most people were shocked. Most people are still surprised when they realize how a small innovative business idea can support their family.

Andrew and his wife Amanda teamed up to grow the business. According to them, their customers helped them succeed.

We had no idea what we were doing early on – from our products, business processes, and even basic customer service – it’s a miracle we made it at all. Without our customers’ encouragement and constructive criticism we’d be nowhere. Our customers are amazing.

Start-ups can be so unique. Battle Brick as a company did not have a ribbon-cutting official start date. Instead it slowly evolved from a hobby to a full company over the course of many years. Initially they made only sets but now a big part of the business is selling customized mini-figures and mini-figure equipment.

One day we just sort of woke up and realized “we have a company”.

Often we have to sacrifice some things in order to achieve our goals. Life changes as business grows.

Running your own business means that the company lives and dies with you. Early on we both worked full time during the day and would arrive home at six and work till midnight and then work 16 hours on weekends. Right now even with both of us home and adding some additional help we routinely work 6-7 days a week. There also are no such things as “sick days” and taking a vacation is very difficult.

Being their own boss has its convenience too. They can have a flexible schedule and are able to tailor it around their daughter, working during nap time and evenings. Although they work longer hours and weekends, they are able to make the most of their family time.

Christmas will be a busy season for the company so don’t delay placing that gift order. Check them out on www.battlebrickcustoms.com

Popular figures displayed in featured image:
– U.S. Air Force Para Rescue PJ Made With Real LEGO(R) Mini-Figure Parts
– Seal Team 6 Special Forces Minifigure Commando Made With Real LEGO(R) Mini-Figure Parts
– SWAT Police Officer Pointman Made With Real LEGO(R) Mini-Figure Parts

Women Entrepreneurs: Corporate Advisors Law Professionals

It takes courage and a lot of diligent work to succeed as an entrepreneur. Disha Dugar, chose that path of courage when she quit her corporate law job and became a freelancer in 2012. About a year later, a phone from a former colleague, Ruchika Singhi changed a few things about that plan. In August 2013, Disha and Ruchika started what is now called Corporate Advisors Law Professionals (CALP) and established it in Kolkata, India.

Disha was born and raised in Kolkata and developed her love for puchkas and mishti doi early in life. She is an alumni of the reputed Ashok Hall Girls Higher Secondary School. In her senior year, her eagerness to pursue Pure Mathematics led her to a convent school called Our Lady Queen of the Mission. I met Disha in St. Xavier’s College when she was pursuing her graduation AND her Post Graduation in Company Secretaryship at the same time! She completed her CS from the Institute of Company Secretaries in India a year after completing her graduation and started training at a real estate and tobacco manufacturing company. She climbed the ladder quickly and was soon the Vice President – Legal cum Compliance Officer and Company Secretary at NTC Industries Ltd.

When Disha decided to start their own company, it required a significant amount of research. The team needed to figure out business registration processes, costs and competitive strategies but looking ahead they knew they would make it. The basics didn’t take much time –  they set up an email account, registered their business and began building their client base.

CALP began with a few clients who were known to them and the duo successfully executed the projects that they worked on. Things started moving pretty quickly after that. They were able to rent an office in central Kolkata and renovated it. They started working out of their new office space with minimal furniture – two tiny ceiling fans, a desktop, a laptop, a printer and scanner. By January 2014, work was so busy, it was time to recruit a trainee and begin growing the team.

CALP provides Company Law, Finance and Taxation solutions to corporate, individuals, non-profits and banks. They focus on client requirements and provide customised solutions. What sets them apart from their competitors is that they don’t base their work on their fees. They ensure that their clients receive excellent services and two years later, they are busier than ever. CALP also supports a non-profit called Shades Foundation and has done projects with less privileged and special children in the city.

For Disha, one significant change in lifestyle has been the choice of picking her own work hours. There are days when her work day starts early in the morning, while there are other days when she can start at noon. She enjoys being responsible for her work schedules.

Disha has had to face some challenges from people who are disrespectful towards successful women entrepreneurs. But support from her families and friends has helped her and the company continue progressing. CALP started with a big idea and the team is confident that the company will grow bigger. They are excited to see where this dream will take them.

Disha encourages future entrepreneurs to be brave in pursuing their dreams. A strong will overcomes hurdles. The entrepreneurs at CALP have had to choose work over several social events in order to grow their business. Starting their own company required their involvement in everything – right from management to marketing. They love it because a day well spent and work well done makes everything seem worth it.

Make sure you check out corporateadvisorslawprofessionals.in for more details about the company. 

Entrepreneurial Inspiration: How one dream turned into Crossindia Adventures

A select few turn dreams into reality. I had the joy of interviewing an entrepreneur who fueled his dreams into reality and I had a great time finding out answers.

 

“I felt entirely confident when I walked into the Managing Director’s office to hand over my resignation.” Thus began a fantastic journey for Vishal Tupper, Founder and Head of Crossindia Adventures, a company that offers and organizes adventure tours and river cruises around West Bengal in India.

The idea about starting Crossindia Adventures became clearer when Vishal was working at a large tea company as the Head of Human Resources and Administration. He had been working there for four and a half years and his career path seemed very promising. He had been hired for the assistant manager position and was promoted to Head of HR in a very short span of time. However, Vishal could not resist the idea of plunging into the tourism industry as an entrepreneur. Vishal believes it was God leading him and that gave him the confidence to submit his resignation and dive into this ocean of opportunities.

What is interesting is that even though Vishal loves to travel, tourism was never his first choice of business. Being a food blogger, enthusiast and critic, it had seemed more natural for him to get involved in the culinary world. He had even developed significant knowledge about world cuisines and had a wide network with people in that industry. He was also featured on national food television shows and in major newspapers as a food enthusiast. But surprisingly the thought of starting something related to the food industry did nothing to inspire him. So tourism it was!

After all the intial ideas about possibilities in tourism, the big question became “what do we do in tourism?” Tourism is a huge industry and exploring the right direction was the key to success. At first he considered promoting adventure tours like trekking and camping and adding a few destination tours to expand the business. But Vishal is glad to have been miraculously introduced to the operations at Sundarbans Reserve Forest or Sundarbans National Park, which is the largest mangrove forest in the world and has been declared a Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is also the largest reserve for the Bengal tiger. An instant connection was formed and CROSSINDIA ADVENTURES was established.

The first season of successful touring around the Sundarbans led to new ideas. In what seemed to be perfect timing, an organization in Kolkata approached Vishal to arrange a cruise down the Hooghly River in Kolkata. The Hooghly River Cruise Division was launched and amazingly, this Hooghly tour has become most popular among customers.

Vishal had to combine strategy and dedication at networking to increase his customer base in order to sell his ideas and products. Vishal says, “being an entrepreneur has been very challenging but equally rewarding”. But Vishal does not work alone. His team consists of star chefs and operations staff. They have played a big role in advancing the company’s vision and making Crossindia grow.

Vishal is confident that God has led and blessed their entire operations.  And the company wants to give back to the community in terms of funding organizations and people involved in social causes and outreaches around India.

“We have learned more about life and realized that relationships hold more value than monetary profits. The experiences in Crossindia has humbled us, helped us grow and has increased our dependence on God”. -Vishal Tupper.

If you want to enjoy some exotic food, comfort and or adventure on a cruise, check out their website: www.crossindia.in.