In this edition of #ProfessionalGal, we are excited to introduce you to the two beauties behind With Grace and Gold, a design and branding agency for creative women in business.
With Andra’s sharp eye for beautiful and meaningful design and Kelly’s passion for encouraging diverse women in business – this dynamic duo is a force to be reckoned with! We had the chance to chat with these lovely ladies and hear what makes them successful womenpreneurs. Read the interview below:
What is the most important aspect of building a successful business?
Kelly: Consistency! Over the years, we’ve done our best to create new content consistently, to market our business consistently, and to serve our clients consistently well, through a well-defined process. Consistency not only helps to create systems within your business, but it also helps to build trust – because your audience and your clients will know what to expect from you. Of course, there is always grace built in… but we believe consistency can make a big difference!
Andra: To “stay in your own lane” or to focus wholeheartedly on what you are doing well. It’s easy to become distracted by what is working well for other business owners. I think the most important aspect of building a successful business is knowing what you do well, carving your own path, and wholeheartedly believing in what you do.
What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you at the beginning of your career?
Kelly: That’s a great question! This isn’t so much advice, but I wish I had solidified a female mentor as I started my career. There are certain challenges women in business, and women in leadership positions face, and I wish I had someone to encourage me or show me how to successfully journey through life as an entrepreneur.
Andra: Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart. You can serve people well, but there will be long days (and weekends) and sacrifices along the way. It is worthwhile to make your own schedule, pick and choose what you work on, and experience the joys of entrepreneurship – but there are definitely sacrifices!
How do you deal with setbacks that occur in running your business?
Kelly: First, we step away from our business for just a moment – whether it means going hiking, going to yoga, or spending time with my husband. When setbacks happen in business, it’s easy to feel immersed in or overcome by the setback. Then, we talk about what went wrong – and what we can do differently in the future. Being a small business owner is all about making pivots and adjustments, day after day, week after week, and so on. That way, you can always grow, evolve, and produce better work in the years to come.
Andra: Kelly and I walk through what went wrong, what went right, what was out of our control, and what we could have done differently. Sometimes, things are out of our control and we can’t do anything – and other times, we can learn from our mistakes and grow from them.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
Kelly: Having a schedule has helped us to achieve better work-life balance. Our current business hours are 7 AM – 3 PM, so having a set schedule has been really helpful. We also shifted our mindset to believe that the time away from our business is just as valuable as the time within our business. We want to bring our best selves to With Grace and Gold, so being healthy, happy, and balanced is essential.
Andra: Set boundaries and stick to them!
Who is your role model, and why?
Kelly: I don’t necessarily have a role model; I try my best to pick up bits and pieces from a variety of people. I’m always inspired by women who are unapologetically themselves, who are brave and share their stories, who are authentic. I also really look up to my husband, who is an extremely hard worker.
Andra: My mom – she was the queen of balance; managing a household, finding time to volunteer, spending time with family and friends, working hard – she balanced it all!
Is there a motto you live by?
Kelly: “Every day is a new day.” My husband once shared with me a Tony Robbins “lesson” about drawing a line in the sand and beginning fresh every day. So, no matter what has happened to you in the past, no matter what lies you’ve believed about yourself, others, or the world – every day is a chance to start again, become the person you’ve aspired to be, and change the world.
Andra: I’m not sure if this is a motto, but I read this quote the other day and loved it: “Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” – Vincent Van Gogh. It’s true in business and in life: thinking outside of the box, being OK with making quick decisions that are out of your comfort zone, rolling with the punches, and figuring it all out along the way.
Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?
Kelly: I love this question! We’ll continue to serve creative women in business in a variety of ways. And I hope we foster more of a sense of community among diverse women – to let women know that, no matter where they come from, there are millions of ways to uniquely reach their goals. I grew up in poverty, and I wish I had seen or known of more women who successfully emerged from hardships to reach their personal and professional goals.
Andra: Serving creative women in business – and potentially in more robust ways, through more diverse resources or offerings.
What would you tell a woman who is interested in making the leap to entrepreneurship?
Kelly: I would say, look inward before looking outward. There is a LOT of noise on the Internet… millions of articles will tell you how to successfully navigate entrepreneurship. But, before you go looking at those articles, decide for yourself what you’d like entrepreneurship to look like for you. If you look at those articles first, your journey will be a blend of everybody else’s goals and visions. First, decide what your vision is, and then incorporate the lessons you learn from others.
Andra: Go for it… but be smart! Plan ahead, and make sure you are paying your bills.
What is your go-to piece of professional workwear? Why?
Kelly: When I became an entrepreneur, I excitedly donated all of my professional workwear. But, I do have a navy blazer to wear when I need an extra boost of professionalism. As an entrepreneur, my go-to piece is a fun pair of earrings. They dress up any outfit in a personal way.
Andra: A stylish shoe! It can make or break any outfit.
What do you do when you are unsure about a future business move?
Kelly: Discuss it thoroughly with Andra. We are really decisive and love trying new things – so we’ll always encourage one another to think more strategically before a final decision is made. If you don’t have a business partner, there are awesome Facebook communities of business owners.
Andra: Talk through all of the pros and cons with Kelly! We push one another to make decisions quickly and strategically.
What song do you listen to when you need a confidence boost?
Kelly: “Get It Right” by Diplo (Also a fun workout song!)
Andra: 90s music is my guilty pleasure!