Just reading Stacey Johnson's many titles makes me feel busy. If there's anyone I want to learn about balance from, it's the therapist who runs a dance studio an empowers people through retreats and workshops. I'm stoked to share her inspiring thoughts with you.
Kaitlyn Bullard is a talented photographer with an inspiring story. As so many can identify with, Kaitlyn spent a long time working a full-time job while pursuing photography on the side. "It truly put me through somewhat of an identity crisis," she said. Read on to find out how she got through that crisis and found joy.
Andrea Koester is the owner of Holey Rollers, a gourmet donut shop in Oklahoma City's Paseo Arts District. Here's her top piece of advice to anyone thinking about opening a business.
I discovered Tiffany Haendel and her business partner Emily Smart through DSN+DEV+OKC. They're both incredibly smart and talented and I was thrilled to ask Tiffany about her experience straddling corporate and creative jobs and juggling full-time work and a design business on the side. Check out her inspiring thoughts.
Hearing Merideth VanSant on Kathleen Shannon's Being Boss podcast earlier this year totally gave me a new perspective on fear and focus. I decided right away I wanted to feature her here and I'm thrilled she opened up about things like setting personal goals and dealing with the pressure of leading others. Check out her inspiring perspectives.
Years ago we interviewed Brittney Matlock but it was definitely time to do it again. Check out her interview and you'll see this entrepreneur never stops learning, which means she never stops teaching. We've got a lot to learn from her!
Could Hailey McDermid be the coolest person ever featured on this website? It's possible. After working as a bartender herself, Hailey decided to open one of her own. She now owns two of the most popular bars in Oklahoma City. I'm honored she took the time to share her wisdom with us.
I first discovered Julie DeWalt's work when I got an email about Commonplace Books' new website and clicked through to the most beautiful little space on the internet. Julie runs a design studio and I'm so inspired by the interesting path she's had to owning her own business, her perspective on balance and how she stays inspired.
I first discovered Savannah and the beautiful homes she flips on Instagram, but you also can find her in person behind the counter at Hoboken Coffee in Guthrie. Savannah and her husband are making Guthrie a little more charming one home at a time. I'm thrilled she took a moment to share some of what she's learned with us this week.
Heather Paul is the co-founder and chief creative officer of one of the most successful dining groups in Oklahoma City (and maybe the entire Midwest!), A Good Egg Dining Group. Going into one of her restaurants reveals Heather is not just a business savvy foodie but an all-around hospitality goddess. I'm so grateful she took a moment to answer these interview questions and let us in on her genius.
Erin Cooper does it all. She's a mom, she runs a design studio with her husband, she co-founded a coworking space where she inspired lots of local creatives through workshops and events and if you live in Oklahoma City you've probably seen some of her mural work around town. I'm so grateful that she took the time to shed some light on how she manages it all.
I first noticed Natalie Kent on Instagram where she posts some of her incredible illustration work. Reading her interview made me want to go out and think big and get out of my comfort zone and I hope it has the same impact on everyone who reads it.
I love to ask our interviewees what advice they wish they would have gotten before they started their businesses. Here's what 10 of them had to say.
As if her full time job as the in-house designer for Science Museum Oklahoma didn't keep her busy enough, Erin DeMoss owns Loaf and Puddle, a design studio that churns out sweet and snarky cards, notepads, enamel pins and more. She generously carved out a little time between her day job and side hustle to tell us a little more about how she works.
As someone who runs this very website as a passion project, I feel a special connection with others chasing side hustles. Kayla and Anna stay busy with their day jobs but they've started Localites OKC, a podcast highlighting all the new and exciting things happening locally. Their passion for community shows in everything they do and I'm thrilled to have them answer our interview questions this week.
Jessi Murray's a long-time boss and brand new business owner. On top of being a stylist and photographer, she's preparing to open up her very own clothing store in Midtown. She shared in this week's interview how the path to having her own place didn't pan out exactly how she imagined. I hope you learn as much from her interview as I did!
So many startup stories begin like Maggie's. She's so talented and capable but didn't feel confident enough in her own abilities to make the leap to start her own business. I really appreciate Maggie sharing her genuine experience of overcoming fear and finding that her business fell into place just at the right time. I hope you learn something from her story.
Working in a highly-visual field like videography, it's got to be almost impossible not to compare your work to the work of other people. But Rachel has somehow discovered the secret to stop comparing herself to others and it's so powerful. Check out her responses to learn more about her work.
Sarah and her husband co-own Creative Vega, an Oklahoma City branding and design agency. What really struck me about Sarah when I met her was her attitude toward work and the way it fits into her entire life. She has a maturity most people can't achieve concerning the blend of mind, body and soul and how that impacts the work she produces. I hope you'll be inspired by her interview.
There's no shortage of creative talent in Oklahoma City but that doesn't stop me from being blown away every time I come across someone like Cary Holton. If you've been in OKC for any amount of time you've probably noticed and been impressed by the work of Cary Anne Photography. I'm so grateful to her for answering some interview questions.
Deisy is an established photographer who's going into new territory as she prepares to release the first issue of Dearly Magazine, a publication she founded to cultivate an atmosphere of impactful women. Anyone considering delving into a new project will certainly be inspired by Deisy's journey. Read her inspiring interview below.
It's officially summer, also known as leisure reading season. I love asking Stories & Work interviewees about their favorite books and am always surprised and inspired by their picks. Pour yourself an iced coffee and dig into one of these great reads recommended by some of Oklahoma's most tenacious businesswomen.
Beyond Studios is still a business baby (just six months old!) but already Laura Kirkpatrick has learned so much about building a brand and a following. Check out her insightful responses!
Michelle is a mom running a business that's totally disrupting the way parents buy baby clothes. Her business is still pretty new but she's already learned a lot and was kind enough to share it all with us.
Ten creative entrepreneurs share their tips for being consistent.
There's something really special about a mother-daughter duo starting a business together. Maggie and her mom have a fairly new business but they obviously draw on their years of history together to make work fun and keep their customers coming back for more. Check out her thoughtful interview.
If you don’t know of her already, Ashley Whiteside is about to become your favorite artist. Her art is incredible, but I think people really fall in love with Ashley’s work because she’s not afraid to let others into the process. She uses her online presence to let people into the vulnerability, growth and mystery that goes into a creative pursuit which somehow makes the art more intriguing and approachable at the same time. Check out her inspiring interview and go see her current shows at Clarity Coffee and Commonplace Books.
Andrea is so inspiring because she not only makes self-care a priority for herself as a business owner, she has dedicated her entire career to motivating other women to do the same. Check out her inspiring perspectives on life and work.
Carrie is an Oklahoma City mom of two who co-owns the synthetic grass company Always Greener with her husband. She's one of those magical people who makes business ownership look easy but she's not afraid to be real about how challenging it is to take risks and be your own boss. I hope you'll be inspired by her.
Have you ever met someone so bright and cheerful that just seeing them brings a smile to your face? That’s Natalie Ann Spencer and her stationery and office supply designs are as colorful and charming as her personality. Check out her inspiring interview.
Amanda Bradway is an artist and the owner of DNA Galleries. She was one of the first to open up shop in Oklahoma City’s now booming Plaza District, so we knew we wanted to learn more about her pioneering spirit. Check out her interview to discover her encouraging thoughts on balancing fear, art and relationships.
Hannah Royce is an inspiring force in the Oklahoma City creative scene. When we heard about her upcoming event Confidence Con, we knew we had to ask her our interview questions. We’re certain you’ll be inspired by her responses.
Photo Credit: Brass Bird Photography
We were eager to pick Stacy Jobe Lea's brain because she's had a hand in cultivating the careers of so many of the great creatives in Oklahoma City. Stacy and her mom started Indie Trunk Show, an incredible showcase of Oklahoma artists that just keeps growing and inspiring. Check out her interview.
Reagan Allen works in the wedding industry, one of the trickiest industries for satisfying customers. She does it flawlessly and graciously and manages to build incredible relationships at every turn. Take a minute to see how she pulls it off in our latest interview.
We love coming across someone who sees real meaning behind his or her job. Rachel Bohanan makes her calligraphy business more about relationships and less about selling products. We know you'll be inspired to dig a little deeper in your own relationships after reading her interview.
You know when someone else's passion about a topic is so contagious you can't help but take an interest in it? That's how we feel about Katie Puckett. Her business, Take A Seed, is all about incorporating nutrition education into everyday life. Check out her interview to see how she inspired clients to get more out of life.
As an employee of a company that helps teams be wildly productive, Jason Zimdars knows a thing or two about work. We're thrilled he took a moment to share some of his insights with us and we know you'll learn a lot from his experience.
Nick and Lori Bollinger opened Junction Coffee last year. The adorable double-decker bus immediately garnered attention for its amazing lineup of beverages and its ability to bring people together in a way no other food truck can. We're thrilled Nick could answer some of our burning questions about starting and running a business.
Orthodontic work may not sound glamorous, but it's a field that requires a special attitude toward people and health that John Archer has definitely mastered. We're thrilled to have him answer our questions about how he relates to patients and keeps customers happy.
Okay Yeah Co. has only been open a short time in Oklahoma City's Film Row but already has a reputation as an inspiring space serving incredible food and coffee. Chad is somewhat of a jack of all trades whose background lends itself perfectly to the hospitality customers feel at Okay Yeah Co. His interview reveals the ups and downs of small business ownership and the philosophies that have led to his success.
We first spotted Allison's beautiful and quirky hand-carved block prints at West Elm in Oklahoma City. From that moment, we knew we wanted to know more about how she works. Like many of our readers, her art is not her full-time gig. Check out her insights on avoiding burnout and staying creative.
We truly believe the best work is created by people with the most passion. That could explain why Clint Walkingstick's designs are so beautiful. But reading his interview, it's obvious he puts in the hard work to make sure his designs are inspired and his clients are happy. Read on to learn a little more about how he works.
There's something so special about people who make a living working to help creatives be their best selves personally and professionally. Amber recently opened The Collective, a co-working space in Edmond especially for women who are rocking their industries. She brings a unique perspective from all these women into her interview.
Oklahoma City couple CJ Morrison and Joseph Kunkel have combined their incredible creativity and eye for unique detail to create Roaming Roots, a custom woodworking business based in Oklahoma City. The pair has found success, but not without enduring some risk and growing pains. We’re so grateful they shared their journey in this inspiring interview.
We love to hear from self-made success stories so we were thrilled when Lan McCabe agreed to share her experience opening Sweets on the Side out of her Edmond kitchen. The mom of two stays busy around-the-clock running her business and we hope you'll be inspired by her insights.
We’re always impressed to find locals who are making beautiful things with their hands. Andrew Hooks makes wooden furniture and home decor that’s as functional as it is beautiful. From traditional pieces of furniture to custom pieces, Andrew’s handmade pieces are made to be passed down from generation to generation. Check out his inspiring interview about how he grows his business while keeping the customer first.
We’re always inspired to get in the gym after scrolling through Rachel Flint’s Instagram feed. She’s a busy mom of three running her own business (we highlighted her husband, Ben Flint, a few weeks ago) but still finds time to put her health first and motivate others to do the same. She’s learned a lot since starting her own business and she generously gives tips for success in this interview.
We always catch ourselves drooling over the Güdbytes Instagram feed, so when the owner/artist behind the brand agreed to answer our interview questions, we were thrilled. Elizabeth Davis-Macias started the business herself and has grown her baked goods empire with really hard work and an ultimate respect for the people who taste her creations. Check out her interview to find out how she balances it all and learn about a new venue she’s opening up in Oklahoma City.
When we first saw Julie Robertson’s breathtaking mural towering over the alley at N.W. 44th and Western Ave. in Oklahoma City, we knew we wanted to interview her. Robertson signs her incredible work by her Japanese given name, JUURI, and all her pieces have some Japanese influence. We’re sure you’ll be as inspired by her interview responses as you are her art.
The food scene in Oklahoma City, especially the downtown area, has changed drastically over the past few years. A newcomer to the dining scene is The Fit Pig, a bright spot just off Broadway serving a seasonal menu packed with high quality ingredients catering to a variety of tastes and diets. Carly recently opened the restaurant with her husband, Nick, and we were thrilled when she agreed to answer our interview questions.
You don’t come across too many stand-up comedians in Oklahoma City, so we were thrilled when Ben Flint agreed to tell us more about his work. The husband and father of three often brings his fatherhood experiences into his comedy routines, providing levity and humor to some of the most awkward and mundane parts of parenting. Check out his interview to learn more about what makes him tick.
It’s easy to understand the importance of eating right, but it’s so difficult to follow through. Lindsey Riddle Conway and her husband Jamie are making it a little easier for people in Oklahoma City (especially those who work downtown) to make good choices about what they eat. We asked Lindsey to answer our interview questions to share with all our readers how she married her passion for health and wellness with her desire to pursue meaningful work.
We love shopping local, so we were thrilled when we discovered an incredible collection of neckwear made right here in Oklahoma City. Taylor Hanna of The Clad Stache offers a line of handmade men’s fashions and is even more passionate about his customers than he is his products. We’re sure some of that passion will ignite in you when you read his interview.
Every time we pick up a copy of Edible OKC, we learn something new and exciting about food in Oklahoma City. We have Jen Snow to thank for that. She’s the publisher and editor-in-chief of the mag, which is a publication dedicated to the thriving food culture in the area. Getting a magazine off the ground can’t be easy, so we know Jen has plenty of advice and insight for other entrepreneurs. We hope you’ll be inspired by her interview.
We discovered personal trainer Jason Harrison on the Being Boss podcast. He and his wife co-own a personal training and lifestyle coaching business in Ohio and his thoughts on wellness and success are seriously inspiring. We’re thrilled he agreed to answer our interview questions.
Andrea Koester and Anna Johnston haven’t even debuted their food truck yet but their donuts seem to have taken over Oklahoma City. Andrea and Anna are the masterminds behind Holey Rollers, which makes vegan donuts for local coffee shops with plans to sell from their very own food truck later this spring. The donuts are as beautiful as they are delicious and we were thrilled when the ladies behind the new business agreed to take on our interview questions.
The name Jeff Houghton might not ring a bell, but if you’re one of the almost five million people who have viewed Instagram Husband on YouTube, you’re familiar with his work. Jeff is the mastermind behind the hilarious, viral video that came out at the end of 2015 and he also hosts a late night talk show called “The Mystery Hour” that’s taped in Springfield, MO. Check out his inspiring interview.
Photo Credit: Moments Captured Photography
Can someone’s handwriting be inspiring? We think so when we scroll through Helena Davey’s Instagram account. The uber-talented Oklahoma artist was kind enough to answer our interview questions for you guys and we’re certain you’ll be as inspired by her responses as we are by her breathtaking art.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Hester
When Jabee Williams isn’t on tour, the Oklahoma City native is at home making Emmy Award-winning music and sharing his passion for his craft with everyone around him. Jabee’s rapping career has budded into motivational speaking and teen mentoring and he’s truly making an impact on the world around him. Check out his inspiring interview.
Bryan hit the nail on the head with his inspiring Ignite OKC message about choosing quality over quantity and closing the door on some opportunities to achieve success and growth. He consults entrepreneurs for a living, so we knew his insights would be invaluable for our audience.
If you’ve read our interviews, you know we love to ask entrepreneurs how they handle the risks in pursuing the work they love. So when we saw Jayd mention in her business manifesto “the risk is worth the reward,” we knew we wanted to feature her. She’s a serial risk-taker and entrepreneur who started Femme Beat, a dinner series for women to connect face-to-face to be inspired and discover who they are.
Ever since we read Everette’s incredible insights on business at DesignSponge, we knew we wanted him to answer our questions. In reading his advice for millennial professionals in Forbes, we discovered his path to success was anything but traditional. Even as a homeless teen lacking direction, Everette never wavered in his dedication to work hard and overcome failure. Today, he’s an accomplished entrepreneur running his own company and impacting others with his passion.
Vernon is super passionate about fashion and culture. He is juggling several projects at once out of the Oklahoma City area. OKC is just 30 minutes south of Guthrie. It's fun to interview entrepreneurs outside our community for variety. And, there maybe a little recruiting that happens. We are grateful for Vernon's time to do this interview with us. You can learn more about Vernon at GrpFly.Com.