Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shannon Tacheny, Owner and Founder of Feather Blue Studios, located in Twin Cities, MN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Feather Blue Studios - we provide brand and marketing strategy, creative services, and community for big-hearted female entrepreneurs to help them love their online presence and be set up to draw the perfect clients with ease.
We have a community called The Small Business Bay, where we provide connection, coaching, accountability, entrepreneur education, and fierce encouragement to help small business women thrive.
Tell us about yourself
With over 15 years of small business experience, it's been a winding road journey that's taking me to where I am now! I have always been entrepreneur-minded and initially ran a small handbag and jewelry design business. Then I decided to firmly establish myself as a photographer (having studied photography in Paris during a college summer semester), and for ten wonderful years ran a photography and graphic design studio (all while keeping flexibility while my kids were little) where I learned so much about the need for setting oneself apart.
As a visionary entrepreneur who wants to challenge myself and lean into my own gifts and passions, after a long run as a local photographer, I realized the marketing of my business was bringing me the most joy and decided to lean into my brand and marketing roots (having studied communications, design, and marketing in college). So I transitioned to a full-service creative firm offering strategy, design, copywriting, brand photography, and more, which has now turned into ways we can teach and inspire women to build their own businesses (hence, our community, The Small Business Bay).
I am motivated by helping women cultivate a simple business path that fits their own personality (even if they're introverted or don't want to spend all day on social media), feels deeply meaningful, draws the clients they love to work with, and adds joy to their life!
And as a give-back business that helps provide small business loans for women in developing countries and in the fight against human trafficking, I am motivated knowing my business has a ripple effect of impact on other women around the world.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One of my biggest accomplishments as a business owner is probably resiliency. It might not seem exciting, but half the battle of running a business is simply tenacity and sticking with it. Having pivoted and rebranded my business model more than once, I'm aware of both the challenges and the joy of wanting to try something new and having to follow through in both the amazing moments and the hard moments. The payoff that comes when you lean into a vision for your business that aligns with how you're designed feels remarkably rewarding.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It's easy to feel discouraged as an entrepreneur when you're seeing slow progress. We live in an "instant-everything" world, and it's easy to think you're falling behind when really, most successful businesses grow slowly, facing forward movement and a few pitfalls along the way. You're normal! Perseverance (along with a strong strategic vision) will get you where you want to go! Learn to accept slow growth as normal and even value and celebrate how you are planting deep roots so you can burst forth and flourish down the line!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take time to build the deep roots of a brand story. All of your marketing will flow out of this. If you find yourself wondering what to say on social media, aren't getting enough clients (or the right kind for you!), or are having a hard time standing out online (in a sea of online noise), taking time to cultivate a brand story should be your number one priority. (This is a big part of what we help women do in our curriculum inside The Small Business Bay.)
- No matter how big or small your business, create a mini daily routine for renewing your mind as a business owner. You are a CEO! But when you're stuck handling admin tasks or putting out fires, it's easy to get discouraged and forget to remind yourself of your capabilities, accomplishments, goals, and big vision. Establish a routine for renewing your mind before you start your work each day, whether that's affirmations, Bible verses, or brain-science-based hacks for building excitement, hope, and optimism into your work, even on dull or discouraging days.
- Lean into community. As entrepreneurs, we're often on our own, second-guessing decisions, and can become lonely or discouraged. Plus, it's easy to give up on goals (even when you're more than halfway there!) without real accountability. In order to beat the feelings of isolation and decision fatigue and make sure you hit those goals that matter to you, find a community of other entrepreneurs that share similar values, personality traits, or business models, and get plugged-in in a meaningful way!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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