Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Just 5 Things: Caitlin Bristow

  So, we're a month into this series. What do you think so far? I'm not sure what I expected, but I was blown away by how much I was challenged and encouraged by hearing different answers to the same 5 questions. Being a mom is such a unique job, one that I think starts before you even conceive and never really ends after that. 
  And now-it's a new month! That means a new focus for the Just 5 Things series! All month long we'll be hearing from different creative women and their answers to the 5 questions. I love this focus because I wouldn't necessarily categorize myself as a 'creative'. I don't own a handmade shop or use my creativity to make a living. BUT. I love hearing from women who do those things well! 
  And what better way to kick off this month than with one of my real life favorite creative women?? I met Caitlin {the lady behind Lettered Life Shop} three years ago when we found ourselves starting a cooking club together. All I knew of her from our first meeting was that she had the most fun curly hair, bubbly personality, and ran a little Etsy shop out of her home. Ha! Her shop is actually huge and crazy successful and that is 100% accredited to Caitlin's talent, humility, and most of all- her trusting God with her business. 
  I love this girl. She's about to be a mama soon and, even though she ditched Indy for North Carolina {we forgive you} I love the once a year visits we're able to have! Caitlin goes out of her way to encourage and speak truth to all of her friends- and I hope you hear that in her answers today.

Just 5 Things

1. Give us your elevator speech. What's your go-to way to introduce yourself?

I'm a hand-letterer and lover of all things creative business! I have a shop where I carry home decor and paper goods, and I also do lettering for special events and branding work.  Lately I have dipped into the world of licensing and am really enjoying that aspect of the business as well. My husband and I live in Charlotte and we're expecting our first baby in June. We love being outside, attempting new recipes together and trying to serve as best we can at our church. Fave meal is good turkey sandwich followed by a chocolate chip cookie. 

2. What has surprised you the most about having your own creative business?

How much I enjoy both the creative and strategy sides of the business.  I'm a "maker" through and through, but I actually studied business in college, and Lettered Life has become a mash-up of things I truly love.  A day doesn't go by that I'm not future planning, managing finances, setting up new projects, and then setting that aside to bust out all my pens and writing utensils to letter away! While there are tricky and sometimes stressful parts in both areas of the business, I don't think I realized how much I would love setting goals and going after them on both sides. 

Also, it has been a JOY and an honor to have my husband's support in the endeavor.  I did not anticipate how much fun we would have together working on the shop, as Austin has been vital in helping me run Lettered Life!  (On the strategy/technology side, not the lettering...we still have to work on that part! :)) It's blessed our marriage and I'm so thankful.

3. What is one thing you say 'no' to (or hire out!) in order to say 'yes' to better things?

I'm still working on this one, but I've had to learn to say no to taking on lots of custom projects in order to make sure I can still have time to run the shop, plan for future products, take on commercial projects, and do all the things I want to outside of work as well. It is so easy to wind up working every hour of the day when you work for yourself, so I've had to scale back on that part of the shop to make sure I'm keeping myself, my relationships and the shop healthy!  (Side Note: My book reccs in this arena are The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst and Essentialism by Greg McKeown)

4. What would you tell your 10 year younger self?

His ways are so good. His plan is already set in motion and it's better than what you can plan for, so just keep following chasing after Him! Ten years ago, I'd never dream I'd live somewhere outside of Missouri, much less have lived in several different parts of the country by the time I was 28! Creating art for others was not on my radar, much less was running my own business, but The Lord sure was setting me up for it with His wonderful and sneaky ways. 

5. If you could only make or have one piece of art in your home, what would it be?

Gracious! This is a tough one! Lately I've been eyeing this collection by Erin Gregory after seeing Emily Thomas sharing a piece she recently received for her mantle. If I had to chose one, I think I'd start with "Efflorescence 8." (Lovely pic of it via A Beautiful Mess here!

Thank you, Caitlin! I can't wait to squeeze that baby next time I see you! {I'm still guessing boy!}
Want to hear more from Caitlin? You can find her here:

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