From University Grad to Brand Strategist: How One Millennial Booked a One-Way Ticket and Built a Creative Branding Studio
Ever wondered what it takes to ditch the cubicle and become a full-time girl boss? Our Student Spotlight Series interviews our students who have made the transition from 9-5 to remote CEOs!
From what inspired them to start their own business, their favorite podcasts, go-to morning routine, advice to aspiring girl bosses, and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Chelsea Blackwell, Founder of Honey & Co. Creative! Originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Chelsea gives us a glimpse into her girl boss journey…
Q: What type of online business do you own and what services do you offer?
I’m the Founder of Honey & Co. Creative. I offer holistic branding, website design, and coaching for conscious female founders.
Q: How did you discover the Bucketlist Bombshells?
I discovered the Bucketlist Bombshells when I saw Cassie talk at Dojo Coworking in Canggu, Bali!
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells course?
I was inspired to enroll in the Design Skills Course after seeing Cassie in person and discovering how passionate she is about helping women follow their dreams. Cassie and Shay are both immeasurably inspiring and so down to earth!
Q: How has the course helped you to become an online business owner?
“The Design Skills Course made me realize that following my dreams, having freedom, and being a business owner was totally possible and within reach!”
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Prior to running Honey & Co. Creative, packing up my life, and moving to Southeast Asia, I had just finished my university degree and was bartending full time.
Q: How long did it take you to ditch your 9-5, and how much time did you dedicate in order to make it happen?
I took the leap without necessarily knowing the path that was ahead of me. I knew I wanted it badly enough that I was bound to make it work.
“So, I saved up for about six months, sold all of my possessions, and left Canada on a one-way ticket to Southeast Asia.”
While I was traveling and living in Bali and Thailand, I spent most of my days learning, building my portfolio, and eventually launching my business.
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
I had such a deep-rooted sense of knowing that I was meant to chase a life that fueled my creativity and need for freedom. Chasing it relentlessly and without looking back just felt natural to me (despite being scary!)
“Honestly, I just knew deep within my heart that the typical post-university path was not for me.”
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
After launching my social media channels and website, I landed my first client in about one month!
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
Currently, I find all of my clients via Instagram organic reach and engagement. Sometimes people find me on Google now too, which is cool!
Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
My mindset and getting out of my own head have been my biggest setbacks!
“We tell ourselves a lot of stories about what we’re capable of, what we can charge, and what the limit to our success is. When we realize that all of these things are our own limitations, everything changes.”
I experienced a massive shift regarding this in my work with my mindset and business coach Amanda Joyce Weber. She is the bee’s knees!
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
Wearing all the hats is definitely the most challenging part about running Honey & Co. Creative! When I decided to start a business, I didn’t fully realize everything that happens behind the scenes that I needed to worry about beyond my craft.
In the beginning, I was doing all of my own marketing, project management, client on-boarding, bookkeeping, etc. There’s so much that goes into running an online business! These things are SO important to learn, but I am so grateful to now be at a point where I can outsource the things I don’t enjoy.
Q: Looking back on your online business journey, what is something that you’re most proud of?
Honestly, I’m proud of just doing the dang thing! Behind starting a business, there’s a lot of fear, Imposter Syndrome, and wondering how others might judge you.
“I’m proud of myself for pushing past it, feeling the fear, and doing it anyways.”
Q: If you could speak to your past self, what piece of advice would you give her?
Early on in my business, I was in a place of wanting to please my clients NO MATTER what. I often didn’t establish clear boundaries or expectations from the get-go, which led to me feeling taken advantage of in the long term.
When you don’t communicate clear boundaries and expectations in the beginning, you really can’t blame anyone for crossing them. A HUGE lesson learned!
“I would tell my past self to stand up for yourself and create clearer boundaries!”
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
I love what I do so much that I feel more and more motivated as my brand continues to grow. I see the difference that my work makes in the lives and businesses of others. That makes it all SO worth it!
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
I like to have a slow morning; I’ll wake up, take my two rescue dogs for a walk, and get ready for the day. I’ll usually head to a coworking space or cafe to work for three to four hours. Afterwards, I’ll head home to work for one or two more hours, and then I’ll usually head to the beach for a sunset walk with the dogs.
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
I love the freedom I have from being my own boss. I get to decide every aspect of what goes on in my business, what clients I take on, how much I want to work, and how I support my community.
“It’s so freaking cool to have full control over my impact and legacy!”
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love watching my clients’ confidence and impact shift during and following the work that we do together. I’m primarily doing design and consulting, which always results in so much more for my clients than having a visual brand that they love. They are given the tools to go forth and create a big impact in their niche.
“I love that I get to support other women in chasing their dreams and designing the life and business that they love, just as I have for myself!”
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
My favorite destination to work remotely from is Bali because it feels like home for now. Chiang Mai, Thailand is my second favorite! In the beginning of my business, I lived there for six months and I got to go back and visit there with my partner this past February. I love that there is such a cool mix of culture!
Q: What’re your favorite business tools that you’d recommend to other girl bosses? Why do you love them?
I’m obsessed with Dubsado for contracts, questionnaires and invoices. It makes on-boarding and getting paid a breeze.
I love Asana for keeping track of projects and their workflows. It helps both me and my clients stay on track and minimizes back and forth email communication.
Also, I’ve been LOVING Calendly these past few months for quickly and easily scheduling meetings and consultations. I used to try to do this through email and would trip up over time zones. Calendly lets the client choose their spot, automatically puts the appointment in my calendar, and sends us both a link to the Zoom meeting. It’s a life saver!
Q: What is one of your favorite business books that you would recommend to another girl boss and why do you love it?
Gary Vaynerchuk is my idol! His book Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence―and How You Can, Too is amazing. It changed my entire outlook on building a sustainable brand and legacy.
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcasts that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
When first starting my business, I religiously listened to Manifestation Babe with Kathrin Zenkina and The Rise Together Podcast with Rachel Hollis. These podcasts helped me stay on track with my dreams and made a huge impact on my life. They are both hosted by women who started wildly successful businesses from virtually nothing, which is so relatable and encouraging!
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
Keep moving forward no matter how hard or scary it feels. Success does not happen in leaps and bounds — It happens in the little day-to-day happenings that you don’t even recognize until looking back years later!
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
Meet The Bucketlist Bombshells
Hey! We're Cassie & Shay - we're obsessed with helping women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
Today, we’re sitting down with BB student Marion, Founder of Modali Branding! Join us as she...
We’re Cassie & Shay
– we’re obsessed with helping women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
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