Today, we’re sitting down with Bucketlist Bombshells Academy student Sarah Mills, Founder & CEO of Ink & Olive Media! Originally from Sterling, Virginia, Sarah gives us a glimpse into her girl boss journey…

How This Millennial Quit Her 9-5 to Start Her Own Online Design Studio

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Welcome to our slice of the internet. Around here, we’re obsessed with helping women like you discover what’s really possible for your life & career for more joy, purpose & fulfillment. 

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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 Sarah Mills, Founder & CEO of Ink & Olive Media! Originally from Sterling, Virginia, Sarah 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 and CEO at Ink & Olive Media, a design and marketing studio where we partner with business owners to develop their ideal brand, create thoughtful content and connect with their customers through social media. We offer services like branding & logo design, email marketing and blog writing and social media content creation and management.

“One of my passions is storytelling and I now use it to help my client’s leverage their brand.”

Whether it was writing stories in elementary school, blogging while I was backpacking through Europe or writing copy for social media accounts, I have always been telling stories.

Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy? 

My friend Alex introduced me to the Bucketlist Bombshells Community Facebook group and I drank the Kool-Aid immediately! I enrolled in the Design Skills Course, the Tech Skills Course and The Work Online & Travel the World Course to start my own business!

Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner? 

The courses inside the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy taught me how to use the Adobe Creative Suite for design and how to design WordPress to launch my own online design studio, Ink & Olive! 

The courses really made me realize that the creative skills that I have and love is employable by clients online!

Design by Ink & Olive Media

Q: How long did it take you to ditch your 9-5 and how much time did you dedicate a week in order to make it happen? 

I would wake up and work an hour before heading into the office and work on building my own business on the weekends. It was about one year before I finally went all in with Ink & Olive.

Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online? 

I am extremely blessed to have a wonderful support system, including my brother-in-law who has his own digital design business as well. He has pulled me into projects that fit my skill set, allowing me to have my first client while I was still at my 9-5 job!

Q: What was the final push to ditch your 9-5 job? What was the “aha” moment for you? 

I wanted to break out of the 9-5 grind, have the flexibility to work remotely and pursue my creativity!

“Now that I run my own online design studio, I’m in control of how much money I make and I can make decisions to change my situation anytime I want.”

Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business! 

I actually wake up at the same time I would when I went into an office, but I’m actually happy and excited to start my work day! I do yoga, shower then drink my coffee while going through emails. Then, I check out my calendar and figure out what projects I have on my plate for the day. 

My goal, which I’ve now accomplished, is to take Fridays completely off work! I am leaving this week for Hong Kong for 2 weeks and then I’m heading to Puerto Rico for one month later this summer.

“I love the flexibility of owning my own online business and working at my own pace!”

Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online biz? 

Each time I work with a client, I learn something new and I love constantly improving my skills! I’m also inspired by the other ladies in the Bucketlist Bombshells Tribe Facebook group, some who I now follow on Instagram and am continually so impressed with!

Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss? 

Everything! I love that each day is different and I get to do what I love which is being creative 🙂 

Design by Ink & Olive Media

Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from? 

Locally, I love to work from Ridgetop Coffee Shop in Sterling, Virginia. Otherwise, I love working remotely from a small town by the beach in Puerto Rico called Aguadilla!

Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcasts that you’d recommend to other girl bosses? 

Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher! I love how Jenna has podcast episodes where she’s sharing her wisdom and teaching, along with episodes where she’s interviewing other women. It’s all so positive and I love the community vibe.

Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells? 

Be a Nike commercial and “just do it”! Invest in yourself by taking the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy online courses and just go for it!

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                              the path isn’t always easy to navigate — and it’s difficult to be certain and confident along the way — so we created a step-by-step roadmap for your journey!


                                many women believe that the corporate path is the only way to maintain our financial stability — meaning we have to give up on our dreams to prioritize our other goals in life. 

We believe passion and purpose can go hand-in-hand with financial stability, time-flexibility & location-freedom: whether you want to travel the world or simply work from home & be your own boss, it’s possible. 


We’re Cassie & Shay, best friends & co-founders of the Bucketlist Bombshells. We help women like you create a career full of passion and purpose, because showing up to work every day in the same cubicle to tackle a monotonous to-do list is enough to make some of us miserable...

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