Name: Julie Riggin

Business Name/Occupation: Julie Kay Design Studio

Website: www.juliekaydesignstudio.com

Tell us about your business! Julie Kay Design Studio is a creative boutique specializing in handmade products for your home and interior design. I started my business as a freelance residential interior designer. I love to create beautiful spaces which sparked my interest in making accessories for the home. In 2012, I decided that I wanted to make a few Christmas gifts for family and friends. I taught myself how to make natural soy candles and fell in love with the process and the positive feedback I received. I now have 4 collections of over 30 amazing candle scents available! At this same time, I developed the hand-painted 'Script Scarf'. I began selling these on Etsy and was featured on TheKnot.com for creative ways to propose to your bridesmaids. This was a crucial stepping stone to developing my current line of hand-painted throw pillows. My business is now serving the wholesale community as well and I love the opportunity to be able to bring my products into people's homes across the country!

Why did you choose entrepreneurship? Thinking back on my childhood and college experiences, I have always had a knack for sales aside from being a designer. When my family and I traveled to spend Christmas with my extended family, I can remember bringing my crafts to show, tell, and sell! In college, I matured this skill by working with Southwestern Advantage selling books door-to-door. Little did I know, that summer job proved to be the best thing I could have done to get me ready for this career path. Entrepreneurship has always been my dream and something I have been passionate about. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with that is why I choose to chase after my dream.

Why do military spouses make great entrepreneurs? Military spouses makes great entrepreneurs for many reasons. One being because of the unique transient lifestyle, we are given great opportunity to widen our network and make new friends...often. So with this expanding list of new friendships, a military spouse's reach is grand! I am so inspired by the friends I have made who have developed and continue to grow their own businesses.

What is a "blocker" for you in business. What holds you back? To be honest, my only real "blocker" is myself. I give excuses. I limit myself. I say "I wish" and I don't say "I can" often enough. My fears of making mistakes, not being accepted by peers, or utter failure sometimes take over and block me from having 100% confidence in what I want to do.

What strengths do you possess, that you did not know you had, until you became an entrepreneur? Faith. It is something that I am still working on, but taking the leap of faith to continue my creative business. When I hit a bump in the road, I try to remember that this is what I am suppose to be doing right now.

What would you tell a milspo entrepreneur who is feeling discouraged? I would say don't give up. Keep going. Be brave and know that everyone has daily challenges, but it's up to YOU and only YOU to choose to overcome. On the other hand, don't be afraid ask for help. Your family and close friends will always be your #1 fans and you can more than likely count on them to tell you the hard truths. Oh, and always have a bottle of wine in the house for when you need it.

What are your five favorite things that you can not live without as a milspo entrepreneur?

  1.  My Google Calendar and Day Designer. My memory is not very good these days, so I would be LOST without them.
  2. Family & Friends - They are my scent testers and word-of-mouth marketers!
  3. Positive Attitude - this needs little explanation, its a MUST!
  4. My Hands! - funny but true. I am the creator of all of my products so I literally could not do what I do without them, ha.
  5. Social Media - its a key component to growing my business and meeting new customers.

What is the most amazing thing you have experienced in your business thus far? The most amazing thing I have experienced is all of the people I have had a chance to meet and work with. It fills my spirit with joy when I am able to create relationships with people. From my design clients to meeting a friendly face once at a vendor fair.

How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as a friend, a smile, a laugh.

Twitter: @juliekaydesign

Instagram: @juliekaydesignstudio

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/juliekaydesignstudio

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