“I didn’t ever think of having my own business – I just said ‘sure’ and did it.” – Jennifer Vallina
Jennifer kills it on her FIRST TIME on a podcast.
Jennifer Vallina is a master of saying “sure” and jumping right in. She accidentally started a successful business, One Sock On Photography, from scratch in a brand new industry for her – in the most political city in America. It’s a photography studio that has been featured in the Hirshhorn Museum (her kickass cards were in the gift shop!) and grew from Jennifer’s passion for finding the beautiful essence of everything – especially the overlooked. Her business tagline is “Capturing the beauty of the world overlooked” and Jennifer does that through her lens.
This week, we hear how Jennifer’s life has been changed over and over again by just saying “Sure.” From her drive for accessible art to finding the arts scene in a city known for politicians. We also get to hear about how she found the love of her life at a bonfire on a cold night – right after she had given up on dating FOREVER. Jennifer gives some solid advice about humor in relationships and some rad fruit puns (This is a big deal, says the woman who is awful at being punny.)
“I want art to be accessible.” – Jennifer Vallina
Want to get children to pose for photos? Listen to Jennifer’s tip:
We also get the inside scoop about the reason for her brand’s name (hint: it has to do with dressing for the East Coast winter.) Jennifer also shares about losing the job she loved most, her ongoing love of dance, and slowly building a business from nothing. Listen to hear her wisdom on trying to not give away all your secrets (another thing I’m terrible at doing.)
At the end, Jennifer speaks to knowing her brand down to the shade of green and how her business is built on being the photographer who won’t automatically airbrush the bumps and bruises of life.
“When you get out of your comfort zone, that’s when great things happen.”
– Ati Williams
There are so many great things I could say about my dear friend, Ati. The last time I saw her, she had just shown us The Poopy Dance in front of a live audience on the Rock Your Talk stage, which is absolutely as impactful as it sounds (scroll down for a piece of the action.) Ati is a mother and entrepreneur. She attributes a lot of the innovative solutions she has used to build her real estate company, DC HomeBuzz, with her Kenyan upbringing.
In this episode, we discuss rocking your personal brand, what motherhood has taught Ati about being a leader, and how to properly answer the dreaded: “So tell me about yourself.”
I asked Ati if her 5yo self would give her a high-five. Watch this for her answer.
THEN, the tables turn and Ati surprises me with a few questions. Listen to this episode of Adventures in Branding to find out how I found my personal brand, what are some of hiring tactics, and what really happened in Bali.
Be a part of the Rock Your Talk audience this Thursday, October 26, 2017 and listen to some amazing people share impactful stories. Watch Ati’s talk (and The Infamous Poopy Dance) from the last Rock Your Talk event in June 2017 for a piece of the action:
BONUS ROUND: Ati is actually a fantastic artist! Here’s a beautiful piece she painted for the office.
“It’s important to work together to ensure everyone has the opportunity to take time for themselves.”
– Michelle Lim Warner
Meet my neighbor, Michelle Lim Warner. Michelle owns DCanter Wine Boutique on Barracks Row here in DC with her husband. Together they are creating a powerhouse in the wine lifestyle market.
We hadn’t seen each other in awhile so it was great to do some catchup here on the podcast. She and her business have been undergoing some serious growth! Michelle has been branding her business like a branding pro – so much so that all of her new hires are so excited about the culture they have created together at DCanter – and the crazy part?! They were all customers FIRST!
This week, we talk about growing your team, using your growing team’s talent to help catapult your business, manifesting a work/life balance, and the commitment it takes to own a business with your spouse. First tip: take walking meetings! Listen in to find out why.
Watch her answer "What's one tip for building a better culture?":
“You know how in your life you have two special people?
Yeah, my sister is like number one.” – Natalie Poitevien
Sisters go one of two ways – they’re either SUPER close or not at all. There’s not usually a middle ground. Generations of my family’s sisters have shown me that, including my own. When my previous trainer, Natalie, said she was going to bring her sister on HERadventures, I was SO excited to hear about the closeness of the two of them. And it’s WAY more close than I expected.
Natalie and Shaneya didn’t choose their bond, but they definitely chose (and choose daily) to embrace it. Even if their significant others end up in second place. These two have each other forever.
Mary & I chatted with Natalie and Shaneya in Washington, DC about their unconventional family tree, growing up in Brooklyn, and their hopes for the future. Natalie is a fitness coach and Shaneya is a senior stylist. This episode of HERadventures includes many laughs and a reminder that real sisters host “ugly face” competitions (yep, we have pictures).
Natalie & Shaneya’s Reading Choices:
Natalie Recommends: “The Great Work of Your Life” by Stephen Cope
Shaneya Recommends: “The Sookie Stackhouse Novels” by Charlaine Harris