Grit and Glitter Co Podcast: Challenging the Advice Given to New Business Owners

headshot of artist brittany branson featuring the grit and glitter podcast logo

“If I said no to non-ideal stuff right off the bat, I would not have ever learned what I should say yes to.”

It was my absolute honor and pleasure to recently sit down with Lauren Frontiera of the Grit and Glitter Co podcast for her 100th EPISODE! How cool is that? Lauren very appropriately named the episode Grit and Glitter Co Podcast: Challenging the Advice Given to New Business Owners. It’s all just that! A challenge!

Lauren is all about real and raw conversations, something I very much appreciate, considering all of the fluffy “inspirational” content and education out there on the interwebs. It’s always nice to tune into something light and inspirational from time to time. But, too often we in the creative industry give so much of ourselves to our services and crafts that we refuse to open ourselves up to what may be hard or difficult to hear. I get it! We’re so mentally drained from pouring our hearts into our clients that we almost can’t possibly give anymore, especially to discussions or thoughts that may make us feel less than uplifted. But, I think that not only does our industry a huge disservice, but ourselves! I had a strong gut feeling Lauren would be the perfect person to talk with about all of these things, and I couldn’t be more right!

Have Courage and Just Try

It was late one night after a rather frustrating day in the studio that I decided to take the chance and reach out to Lauren. Honestly, I didn’t expect her to respond, let alone give me the “hell yas” to come on to the show and dig deeper! We talked a little bit more about that expectation on my part towards the end of the episode: as a “newer” creative entrepreneur I didn’t have the “right” to develop so strong an opinion on certain topics because I don’t have the years on my resume! If anything, I hope our chat breathes a little more courage into listeners. Whether you’re 1 day into your entrepreneurial journey or 1 decade, we need you! Your voice matters, and we need you to use it!

headshot of lauren frontiera of grit and glitter co podcast
Lauren Frontiera of Grit and Glitter Co

Dangerous Advice for Newer Entrepreneurs

The topic Lauren and I immediately dove into was the one that I was itching to talk with her about most: how there is so much advice, particularly from more seasoned entrepreneurs, encouraging newer entrepreneurs to say “no” to non-ideal clients and projects right off the bat. Personally? I find that advice to be rather dangerous.

As a creative that offers a rather niche product and service, I, to this day, do not have many seasoned creatives to look up to. I continue to have to forge my own path with regards to educating fellow creatives and my clients on how I can best serve them. If I had started to turn people away, especially in my first few months of business, simply because I BELIEVED, at the time, that they were not my “ideal,” I would NOT be where I am today, nor beginning to be recognized for my style and service. I had to say “yes” to anything and everyone in order to LEARN to identify my ideal. Nothing replaces good old fashioned time and hustle. Though it may take time, and a heck of a lot of pain, it does no one any good to cut corners.

How Some Popular Advice Can Make Our Community Less Inclusive

Lauren and I then took the conversation in a direction I didn’t quite expect, but am so thankful for. As we were discussing this rather dangerous advice of immediately turning away non-ideal clients and projects at the beginning of ones business, we began to flesh out the realization that that advice could be a form of privilege. In that, many aspiring creatives are not in the financial or personal position to immediately turn away clients. This, more often than not, begins to affect certain demographics and communities of people more than others. Whether we want to recognize it or not, our community is beginning to look, feel, and sound the same. This type of advice absolutely discourages aspiring creatives of particular races, ethnicities, demographics, and communities from feeling welcome and finding success. We owe it to ourselves (and each other) to start changing that!

The “Courses” Phenomenon 

In the same vein as the “turning away non-ideal clients” conversation, Lauren and I then dove into discussing how that kind of advice usually reaches newer entrepreneurs through courses. Before jumping into creative entrepreneurship, I spent a few years in arts management/legislation, before spending a hot second of my life doing User Experience on a federal contract. It was a HUGE shock to me, as a newer entrepreneur, to learn about this course/education phenomenon…and their prices!! This type of alternative-stream-of-income/transactional relationship between more seasoned and newer entrepreneurs doesn’t really exist in other industries. Also, considering the average income of a creative entrepreneur is quite lower than, let’s say, a federal web developer…woah!

I’m not AT ALL saying that courses are evil, or newer entrepreneurs should not invest in themselves and their business. I’m just encouraging everyone to recognize that there is soooooo much of it! If you are an entrepreneur that offers this type of service: I beg of you…please make sure that you are not promising that your algorithm for success will make everyone else successful…and, perhaps make sure that your service is unique and not just “another” offering/source of income for you.

I know this was a lot, but I sincerely hope these smaller conversations can start leading to something bigger. We owe it to ourselves, each other, and our industry to always find ways to improve, be more welcoming, be more encouraging, and be more inclusive!

A HUGE thank you to Lauren for having me on the show to share a little bit of what’s been on my heart lately. Please, go give her and her amazing podcast some love, and listen to the entire episode by clicking the links below!

Listen to Brittany on the Grit and Glitter Co podcast

Learn more about Lauren and Grit and Glitter Co podcast

Once Wed Feature: Elegant Garden-Inspired Wedding

So, we in the creative industry always aspire to work towards or with our “ideal.” Usually, this refers to an “ideal” client: someone who not only truly values our work, but who offers us the creative freedom and expression we long for. Well, I recently had the opportunity to work with a team of “ideal” fellow creatives in the events and wedding industry on an “ideal” piece. Let’s be real, the entire inspirational photo shoot and experience was ideal. Working with this team on this particular artwork to help create these images? Oh, and to be featured on Once Wed? One of the most prestigious publications featuring gorgeous, high-end weddings? Well, I’m going to be very honest and say it has made me take a wonderfully powerful look at the direction and future of my own business and perspective as an artist. And so, I’m very thankful. Below you’ll find some of my favorite images and inspirational ideas from the watercolor wedding inspired shoot. If you would love to check out the full online feature, head on over to Once Wed – Elegant Garden-Inspired Indoor Wedding Ideas.

 What Started It All

Our fearless leader Margo of Bright Occasions was approached by Heidi of The Dandelion Patch with the idea that ultimately brought us all together: this watercolor wedding stationery. The soft blush, white, and gray of the watercolor with touches of gold became our color palette, and we all ran with it, never forgetting the natural softness of any watercolor work. Being an artist, of course I was inspired.

watercolor wedding invitation suite by the dandelion patch
Watercolor Invitation Suite by The Dandelion Patch

I spoke with Margo about having always wanted to tackle a more lengthy backdrop piece. It was so refreshing and inspiring to work with a planner and stylist who not only trusted my vision, but shared it. But then…I ran into what, in my artist’s mind, was a bit of a hurdle. I specialize in acrylic backdrops painted on woven linen canvas. It’s always my personal goal to have my acrylic paintings look and feel like watercolor…but two very different mediums. It didn’t feel right to use an acrylic on canvas backdrop for a watercolor wedding shoot. I knew I just had to get out of my head and over myself. Bonnie, our amazing photographer of Bonnie Sen Photography, had about 25 feet of heavy card stock paper ready to go…and off I went with her and Margo’s blessing!

Getting Out of My Head and Over Myself

25 foot watercolor marble backdrop with green vines pink roses and white drapery
25 Foot Watercolor Marble Backdrop with Florals and Drapery

It was quite a scene in our apartment: 5’5″ me (and my arm-span) tackling 5 x 25 feet of card stock paper. I may or may not have had to line up our kitchen table, followed by our coffee table, followed by my desk (yes, all three different heights) to paint the thing! First, I cut off a few squares from the bottom to test out my watercolors. I actually had the PERFECT shade of bluish-gray, the perfect compliment to the blush watercolor-stationery! I was all set and ready to play…when disaster struck. Ok, it wasn’t a real disaster, but for picky ole me it was! The watercolor was not taking to the card-stock…at all. Instead of the pigment neatly and equally drying into the paper as the water of the paint evaporated…well, the water was evaporating…but the pigment decided to seek out its lost brothers and sisters and clump together…On top of that, once it did dry, the final color looked nothing like what I had dropped! It was a struggle. I quickly turned to my old friend: acrylic paint. But, I knew she would look too artificial if I simply dropped her as is. Instead, I mixed a color consisting of gray and blue and watered her down like crazy. I then dropped the tinted water from the bowl onto the paper and pushed it around with my bare hands, thinning it out where I thought a lighter spot was needed, or leaving it be. I still had frequent heart-attacks, as the final color still ended up looking different from what I dropped (and let’s not even talk about how often the paper was on the verge of ripping). But, in the end, it turned into the 25 feet of watercolor marble backdrop and aisle runner goodness you see before you (thank you Jesus)!

bride and groom models standing in front of ceremony watercolor marble backdrop and florals
Our Beautiful Models at the Ceremony Set Up

“Starting with a 25-foot long hand-painted marble backdrop and aisle runner, the fresh foliage was added in a way that feels as though it’s growing up and around the couple.” <- actual Once Wed quote.

beautiful gray candles and greenery flank the aisle runner backdrop
Beautiful Gray Candles Flanked the Aisle Runner

 P.S. I had the absolute best time helping Kelly of Petals by the Shore drape these vines and carefully pin the roses. Y’all know how much I love fresh flowers! Isn’t it perfection?

beautiful greenery and pink roses provided by petals by the shore
Beautiful Greenery and Roses by Petals By the Shore

The Florals

There’s not much more I can say other than “perfection.” I’m a sucker for a few things in life, and fresh flowers is one of them (paintings of oceans, Starbucks very berry refreshers, and Golden Retriever puppies are a few others…just FYI). I swear I was a florist in a past life. Kelly of Petals by the Shore truly brought a whimsical garden to our indoor space at the National Cathedral School, but in a way that was elegant and sophisticated, as opposed to Tarzan-worthy junglesque.

lush bouquet of roses and pink flowers with dangling pink ribbon
Gorgeous and Lush Bouquet by Kelly of Petals by the Shore

Pas de deux bridal’s perfect something-blue gown looked just stunning amongst the organic gray and blush garden goodness.

It’s All in the Details

beautiful wedding gift by marigold and grey
Beautiful Gift by Marigold & Grey

What wedding, event, or corporate guest wouldn’t want to be welcomed by this artisan gift inspiration courtesy of Marigold & Grey? I mean, yes way to bottles of rose!

signature blood orange cocktail in martini glass
Signature Cocktail

Signature cocktails are a must. Even our cocktail was inspired by Petals by the Shore’s whimsical vines!

white wedding cake with pink and gold sugar flowers by catherine george cakes
Wedding Cake by Catherine George Cakes

Catherine George Cakes and I have worked together a few times now, and she never ceases to amaze me with her confectionary creations. Not only did she provide this incredibly crafted cake, but macaroons and other dainty treats as well! Because, you know, your guests need options! And Something Vintage’s bar cart repurposed as a cake table? Inspiring.

pink and gold dessert bon bons by catherine george cakes
Dessert Bon Bons by Catherine George Cakes
wedding cake displayed on a vintage gold bar cart in front of watercolor backdrop
Cake by Catherine George Cakes Displayed On a Vintage Bar Car by Something Vintage

Some of the most incredible styling by Bright Occasions.

The Venue

I’ve lived in the DMV for quite a few years now, and the National Cathedral has never stopped being a site of wonder and inspiration. Even living on the VA side…the Cathedral is that ever-present, beautiful landmark you see in the distance on the hill just across the Potomac. When Margo told me that the Cathedral and National Cathedral School would be our venue? In that moment it didn’t matter if she simply needed me to spray paint a twig…I wanted to be a part of this.

exterior photograph of the national cathedral school
The National Cathedral School

bride and groom walking outside the washington national cathedral

bride and groom walking outside the washington national cathedral

exterior photograph of the washington national cathedral
The Washington National Cathedral

I’m so grateful to have been a part of such a talented and inspiring team. And, as I said earlier, this shoot really has changed my perspective on my business and heart as an artist. I can’t wait to share with you the fruits of the that change in the new year! But, one thing I can promise you is this: it will be pretty!

The Team

Wedding Planner: Bright Occasions

Photography: Bonnie Sen Photography

Venue: National Cathedral School, Danielle Capecchi

Invitation Suite: The Dandelion Patch, Heidi Kallett

Wedding Cakes: Catherine George Cakes

Florals: Petals by the Shore, Kelly Shore

Wedding Gift: Marigold & Grey, Jamie Kutchman

Hair & Make-Up: Amie Decker Beauty

Artist: Brittany Branson

Draping: Drape Kings, Meredith and Marybeth

Rentals: Select Event Group

Vintage Furniture: Something Vintage

Wedding Dress: pas de deux bridal

Rings: Susie Saltzmen

Groom’s Suit: Alton Lane

Models: Anastasiia Putkova + Sepehr Hajireza