We had the good fortune of connecting with Bethany Powell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bethany, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’ve never been great at taking risks. I’m a very planner-oriented girl, and when things don’t go according to my plan (as things most often don’t), anxiety creeps in. So the fact that I’ve taken more risks than I can count during the course of owning my business is absolutely crazy. But without all of the risks I’ve taken, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Cheesy? Maybe. But it’s so true. One risk stands out among the rest. It’s a beautiful story and one that I’m always so giddy to share. During the first 3 years of getting my business off the ground, I had many many side jobs to help with cash flow. One of those jobs was a nanny job. This was seriously the best arrangement I could’ve asked for. I got to watch the sweetest baby girl a couple days a week, and during her nap times, I was able to answer emails! Eventually the mom decided she needed to go back to work full-time, which led to me either watching their sweet girl full-time or leaving and focusing on my business full-time. The easy decision would’ve been to stay – I was getting paid a consistent amount each week and it was money I could depend on. And plus, I absolutely loved spending time with her. But I knew I wanted to go full-time with my business eventually, so I went for it. And guess what happened. My business BOOMED. I made more in the next two months than I had all year. I was able to focus all of my time and energy towards my business, and it made all the difference. I’m a Jesus follower and because of that, risks are very important to me. Risk-taking = trust. If I refuse to take risks in life or in my business, I believe I am gripping to tightly to control and not trusting in the Lord who I know will provide for me (which trust me, happens a lot more often than I’d like to admit). In the midst of running my business, I have had many ups and downs when it comes to money. But the Lord has come through for me each and every time I’ve been in a bad spot financially. Whether it was a random check from a friend, a babysitting gig out of the blue, or an inquiry coming through at the very moment I needed it, he has been there for me. Remembering these moments propels me to take risks because I know I can count on him and his provisions. Take risks, my friends. It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s unpredictable, but it’s so worth it. I’m so thankful that my business is where it is today, but there’s more risk-taking to do. I can’t wait.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an artist who’s entire goal is to tell my couples’ unique love story through beautifully designed stationery, modern calligraphy, and custom illustrations for their wedding day. I love getting to know my couples and their story throughout the entire design process, and it gets me so excited to see their story portrayed through my work. It was definitely not an easy road to get to this place and one that would take hours to tell. But here goes a brief summary. I worked in the interior design field right out of college, but without going into too much detail, I quickly realized that it was not where I wanted to be. In the midst of working in interior design, I addressed a friend’s invitations for her wedding and loved every second of it, I took a brush lettering class, and I started an Etsy shop with some of my brush lettering designs and artwork. It wasn’t long before I realized that running this Etsy shop was bringing me so much more joy. I ended up working several part-time jobs in the chaos of running this new business, but in November of 2019 I finally committed to being full-time. The road has been long, bumpy, and the speed limit has been crazy slow, but I wouldn’t change any of it for anything. I’ve been so fortunate during this long road to have such an amazing support system that I can lean on when times are tough for support and encouragement. Overcoming challenges when you’re a one-man-show is SO HARD, but having that support system there is everything. I’ve learned many lessons along the way that I won’t bore you to tears with, but I will share one. The absolute biggest lesson I’ve learned since starting my business is understanding my worth. I’ve charged clients way too little to do way too much way too often and it is so draining and defeating. It took me a long time to realize that charging my clients what I’m worth means providing for my family and running a successful business. Doing favors and feeling guilty about my pricing only hinders my growth.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first place on my list would be Las Almas Rotas. If you’ve never been, GO THERE NOW. They have the most amazing tacos and drinks (especially their Mezcal). It’s one of my absolute favorite places to go eat, drink, and have a good time. I would for sure take them to Summit to do some indoor climbing. My husband and I frequent this place weekly, and we love it so so much. It’s fun to get in some exercise without actually feeling like you’ve done a workout. I would also take them on a day trip to Fort Worth, visiting all of my favorite shops and restaurants over there, the water gardens, the zoo, and the Modern Art Museum. And for a good cocktail, I would definitely want to take them to Lounge Here and Bourbon and Banter. Simply delicious. We would also play a board game every single night because why not? You should see the board game collection my husband and I have.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are SO many people in my life who have supported and encouraged me with my stationery and calligraphy business, but I have to give a specific thanks to my husband, Eric. He has been the biggest behind the scenes supporter by helping me with my finances, helping with heavy signage deliveries to wedding venues (and picking up after the wedding when it’s super late), meeting clients when I can’t be there, pushing me to make my business ideas into realities, and giving me the best advice and encouragement when I’m doubting myself. I don’t think I would still be running a business if it weren’t for him. I would’ve probably given up a long time ago, but he has believed in me from day one, and I am just so thankful for that.
Maggshots Kaitlin Rodgers Photography Charity Clayton Photography Nicole Kirshner Photography Sami Kathryn Photography