Creatively Inspired Series: Courtney Whitmore
The Creatively Inspired Interview Series features some incredibly inspiring creative entrepreneurs that are sharing with you a little about themselves and their business. I deeply admire each of these women and how they run their businesses as well as live their lives. They have uniquely found a way to find success with their own business while finding joy in their personal life at the same time. I hope this series inspires you to find joy and inspiration in your own life, business, or career. Whether you are a business owner, stay at home mom, or someone finding their way in the world, my hope is that the stories of these creative entrepreneurs touch you for where you are at in your own life.
Today we are getting to know Courtney Whitmore of Pizzazzerie. Meet Courtney:
How did you get started in this business?
I was working as a career counselor at my alma mater (Vanderbilt University) and found myself lacking any creative outlet. So I started hosting dinner parties with friends. I fell in love with tablescapes and decided to start a blog to showcase these designs. I quickly left my full-time job to focus solely on the site as I began earning a profit. I've been blessed to still work in this creative field four years later!
Why are you in business?
First and foremost, to make a living. It's just that for me - a business. But it goes beyond paying the bills because it's something I truly love doing. It sometimes doesn't feel like "work" when I'm shooting cupcakes or styling a party so I'm thankful that I was able to mesh a passion with a career.
Who inspires you?
My Mom! I grew up watching my Mom style tables and DIYs for magazines so the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. She is so creative with all her ideas, crafty DIYs, and more. I'm always amazed at her talent. She's a great person to work with every day.
What inspires you?
Color and pattern. I absolutely love black and white stripes (it's become part of my signature style). I also love seasonal holidays and always feel inspired when Christmas rolls around because it's such a party-throwing-holiday too!
What is one thing you have learned through making a mistake?
I've made a lot of mistakes as anyone does when they launch their own business. I would say I've learned that you truly can't do it all. As soon as you try to, you'll begin burnout phase. Just take one day at a time and it'll all fall into place.
What is one thing you have learned from someone you admire in the creative industry?
Aimee Broussard (aimeebroussard.com) is a talented blogger and also a cookbook author. She's one of my favorites in the creative industry and she has definitely taught me to keep my head down when life gets wild and just keep doing 'my thing'. It can be easy to get caught up in Pinterest and what "everyone else is doing". Stay focused on your own work and enjoy every minute of it! What is your biggest regret in your business? That I didn't do it sooner! So I don't know that the timing would have worked out sooner but I can remember hesitating about even starting a blog because so many others existed (who were doing it well) but I wanted to give it a shot. Little did I know that it would quickly grow to something far beyond my imagination!
What is your proudest moment in your business?
My proudest moment was getting a book deal 6 months after I started the site. I was so proud to have received a call from a publisher who wanted me to write for them. I've written three books and loved the process so much.
What are three things that keep you motivated?
My daughter, my husband, and my inner "drive". Sometimes I think I have too much "drive" because it's hard to turn it off at night (the creative brain is always going) but I think it keeps me motivated for sure!
What is on your desk right now?
My desk has become a cute tote bag on the go lately as I have been juggling a new baby and shooting outside of the house. However, when I do find time to sit down - it's my calendar (wouldn't know what to do without it), diet mountain dew, and my cell phone. I can fully function if I have those 3 items!
What is your favorite quote or bible verse?
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." - Henry David Thoreau
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite pattern?
What is one thing that always makes you laugh?
Those viral baby giggling videos :)
What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring creative entrepreneurs?
Don't wait, just jump in. It won't be perfect (it never will be) and it will be scary but you won't regret following your passion!