Name: Annie Glenn
Location: Moorpark, California
Current Title: Wifey to my best friend and Owner, Creative Designer of Le Biz Boutique
Educational Background: B.A. degree in Communications & Media Studies from Sonoma State University, with a Minor degree in Music/Vocals
How did your interest in design come about?
I don’t remember if there was an exact moment that really sparked my interest, but I have always been in touch with my creative facet. From the age of 2, I was dancing, acting, and performing. When I was 5 years old, I created my own “publication” called “Pet Care Magazine” (which was short-lived, lasting a total of 3 issues which were created in one whole week). I would cut photos and headlines out of popular magazines, glue them to different colored/weighted paper, three-hole punch the pages, and bind the piece together with whatever curling ribbon was available in my mom’s gift-wrapping bin. At about 7 years old, I started planning my own family parties with complete itineraries. I even had an obsession with the leaflet insert designs that came in the CD album cases. The list goes on!
You have an Etsy shop? What has your experience with that been like?
On a day-to-day basis, I am fueled by the essence of creation, and my desire is to share this love affair with all types of fellow entrepreneurial artists and crafters. Naturally, I developed Le Biz Boutique, a virtual boutique media label, that provides shops with foundational materials to reinforce their brand and style through print and digital expression. Each and every Le Biz Boutique design – whether a digital template layout, a custom order branding package, or a stationary item – is handmade and heartfelt.
So, in a nutshell: I’m learning and I’m passionate. I absolutely love everything about Etsy, and wish I had opened my shop sooner. I’m finally picking up speed, getting more familiar with the interface itself and targeting my market. After getting married this past month, I am officially able to reflect and focus in on my designs, what types of stationary, branding, and templates my potential customers have a need for, and brainstorming opportunities for vendor collaboration and expansion. I have a lifelong vision, and I’m so eager to get there and soaking in the journey.
What is your favorite aspect of being self–employed?
Everyday is different and new and exciting. Creating my own routine and “working” at my leisure, when, where and how. Having a flexible schedule doesn’t mean working less; it means working for an hour this morning and 12 hours tomorrow. It’s self-discipline and 24-7 availability. It’s finding your balance, and establishing your limitations.
What was your career experience before you started your own business?
What did you like and dislike about the experience?
I actually currently have a full-time 8–to–5 job creating/developing interactive e-books as well as hard-copy printed textbooks for institutions. My day–to–day is enjoyable, I have nothing negative to say about my experience; I’m really grateful for the flexibility I’m trusted with, the atmosphere I get to be in, and all that I’ve learned and who I’ve met along the way.
However – although I design graphically already in this position, I don’t get the opportunity to be as creative as I’d like to be; and my values and interests are in a different direction. The LBB product line is catered to an entirely separate industry/market: The designer. I’d rather be the creative director of a boutique shop, rather than another colleague at a large corporation.
Without a doubt, my long-term goal is to leverage Le Biz as my full–time career platform; I have to chase my passion; I can’t imagine otherwise. The fact that doing what I love to do can even be considered “a job” is already magic. But I’m being smart and patient in the way I go about it.
What is your advice to small business owners looking for branding?
Know your purpose. Know your niche. Know your style. Know your vibe. Know your audience. Know your process. Know your short-term and long-term goals, and set yourself up for growth. And re-infuse all of that into everything you do.
“On a day-to-day basis, I am fueled by the essence of creation, and my desire is to share this love affair with all types of fellow entrepreneurial artists and crafters.”
How do you live your life “intentionally”?
I like to think of myself as an intentionally balanced human being. I try to stay as excited as possible, about the big life events, the little day-to-day tasks, discoveries, conversations, meals, entertainment, projects, and everything in between. Staying excited and inspired, encouraging others, and being genuinely interested in people and subjects maintains my positive energy and fuels my drive. I love that there is always something to do (for business and/or pleasure).
Does creativity come easily for you, or is it something you have to work at?
Inspiration comes easily to me. I find inspiration everywhere because I find art in everything. It’s the combination of shape and swatch and texture and medium; but it’s more than that. It’s the way someone carries himself. It’s fate. It’s the weather. It’s the way you say hello to the tiny crack in the pavement on your walk to your car every morning. It’s the energy you feel when you watch a group of dear friends laugh and play with each other. It’s the beauty you find amidst the mediocrity. Creativity is just my natural response to that. It’s my general outlook, my main philosophy, and my artist’s way of life.
Innovation is something I’m always working at. Since I’m so easily inspired, I sometimes feel overwhelmed with which new idea to choose to pursue or which areas to focus in, and my perfectionist mind will become flooded with the particulars, leading to indecisiveness. And sometimes you have to just go with it, even though it’s not perfect. I think true innovation is introducing something entirely new to the table. The real game-changers. That’s my ultimate goal.
What advice would you give to those who are struggling to find their passion?
Spend time reflecting in solitude.
- Think about what types of activities you enjoy doing as hobbies, or maybe there’s something you’ve only done once but liked it. How do those activities all correlate with each other?
- Who do you look up to and what do they do? Don’t be afraid to turn your hobbies and interests into something more permanent.
- What is that ‘thing’ that fuels you, that makes you feel important, that inspires you to make more of it, and gives you a sense of purpose outside of yourself? That’s the thing you should do – because you have to.
“Know your purpose. Know your niche. Know your style. Know your vibe. Know your audience. Know your process.”
Do you have any book recommendations?
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
Häagen-Dazs’ Brownies à la Mode ice cream and Barnum’s Animals Crackers.
Favorite way to unwind after a long day?
Cooking a yummy dinner with my husband, Stephen, followed by watching our shows (with wine). Every now and then we’ll split a nice cigar. It sounds so mediocre, but it’s my favorite thing! I also try to plug out in the evenings if I can help it – meaning no social media, and no texting or emailing unless an immediate response is warranted. Implementing this habit has increased my quality of rest and sleep – the world will still be there in the morning!