role models

Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess 
I started reading A Beautiful Mess years and years ago.  A family friend mentioned Elsie (pictured right) to my mom and me and showed us her blog. I didn't have to look much past her vintage dresses and craft-themed tattoos to know that I was looking at a kindred spirit. Throughout the years, I've seen Elsie's blog, style, and business grow and evolve so much. One of the most important changes over the years was having her older sister Emma become her business partner. Together, they're pretty much the dream team. I admire them both so incredibly much.  I always think about how if I ever met them, it'd be like a normal person meeting a huge celebrity--I'd freak out, probably faint, and then humbly ask them to be my BFFs... They're my #1 idols when it comes to small business.

Required reading: On Changing Dreams, Emma's 5 Secrets to Success, Adapt, Quit, or Evolve, Five Tips for Evaluating a Business Idea, The Story of Our Local Boutique, State of the Biz / Autumn 2015


Jen Gotch of Ban.do
I discovered Ban.do in middle school. It was a happy day when I did.  Since then, it has evolved into a much larger online business, selling much more than just cute hair accessories. Even more than their products, I love the business culture of hard work and FUN that Jen Gotch has created over the years. It truly seems (from an outsider, at least) that she gathered up all the talented ladies she had girl crushes on and hired them to join her #bandogirlgang.  I hope to one day do the same. ;)

Required reading: Everything on her hilarious Instagram

Bri Emery of DesignLoveFest
Let's face it. Bri is hands-down a cool girl.  When I first found her blog DesignLoveFest, I was struck by how stylish, modern, and original every aspect of it was. Because yeah, she's stylish, she's creative, she travels a lot--she's got it goin' on! But the great thing is that she also seems incredibly humble, down-to-earth, and sensitive (at least that's what Instagram tells me), which makes her not only relatable, but also someone who has obviously worked hard to create the opportunities splattered across her blog and Instagram feed.

Required reading: Her Instagram, which will give you a glipse into her current projects and travels!

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