We had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Harvey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Catherine, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Let me start by saying, there is no such thing as work life balance. For me, it’s more of a work/life rhythm. I made a commitment years ago to be content in the seasons of business and the seasons of rest. If the work aspect of my life was always busy, that would mean consistent income and many hours working. It would also mean less family time, less homemade dinners and outings with friends. The opposite is true too. A busy family season means less time for work and therefore less income. The temptation for me was to make it all work out, be even across the board and balance everything so money flowed evenly and my time was spread out among my commitments- but that never quite seemed to work out. So for me, I pray for my business and I ask God to bring me the clients I need and the jobs I need during that season. If work is crazy and busy I stay thankful for the blessing of a busy work season and let some other things go. If family is busy and work is slow, I am thankful for my extra time with family and aim to enjoy those moments. It has helped me so much to stay thankful for each busy season and slow season with the business instead of worrying about every little change in pace. Are there times when everything is going crazy all the time and there’s hardly a minute to breathe, much less be thankful? Sure! In those times I remember that this is usually a short period and then everything will kick back into a rhythm again. It’s also in those times I reach out and bring in some help. Either a high school or college student to help around the house while I work, or someone to help with the business so I can get caught up. Adding someone to the team, even temporarily, has always helped me feel more confident in working in all the different areas of my life.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have always been creative and had an eye for design. I think as soon as I realized Interior Design was an actual career I was interested in pursuing it. In college, I majored in interior design and minored in art with a focus on graphic design- just because I thought it was fun. Like many, after college I worked in the field that I majored in. One afternoon at my design firm, my boss asked if anyone wanted to take charge planning the holiday party. When everyone turned and pointed at me I became the unofficial “party planner” at the firm. Work I enjoyed almost more than the design. In my off time I started creating graphics to go with party themes and creating parties down to the tiniest detail. After creating some birthday parties for my son a friend asked if I could do their child’s birthday. Then another friend asked and another and I started to wonder if it was time to pivot from interior design to party planning/design. So I did! I pivoted! I was able to leave my job which gave me more time with my family and my young child (soon children) and it was so amazing and freeing. Quickly I learned that party planning/designing took up a lot of time and served a limited market- as not everyone can afford to have a person design every party. Also, parties are mostly on the weekends and I didn’t want to spend every weekend running parties. However, the party designs could be packaged and sold online for people to execute themselves! I could create it once then with some minor changes have it ready for someone else! And, I could do most of that from home. I started creating all kinds of custom party supplies and selling them on Etsy. It was so fun to sell something then customize it for someone new. At first, most of my orders were printed & shipped. Through the years, digital items became more popular that people would print themselves or just email out. I had to make some changes to what I had and how I listed it to make sure and meet the demand of digital. The other big change I made was taking many of the extra party items out of my store. I was spending hours assembling cupcake toppers, banners, signs, straws… often having to hire someone to help me complete the orders. It became too much to do on my own but not enough for full time help. I took those items out of the store to focus on invitations- it made me so sad to lose part of what made my business unique but it was also what was bringing me the most stress. Letting go of some of the high-stress things to preserve my sanity and give me freedom to spend time with my family was a huge lesson and one that I try and continue today!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Weekend trips are my favorite! I would probably start by taking the TEXrail to Harvest Hall in Grapevine. Go a little early to wander downtown then hang out at Harvest for dinner and drinks at the food hall. In the morning, sleep in and head to Whistle Britches in Southlake for brunch and wandering around the town square. Grab some Crumbl cookies for the drive down to the stockyards in Fort Worth. There’s so much to see and do down there- spend the afternoon wandering and don’t miss the cattle drive at 4:00. Dinner and drinks at 97 West in the new Hotel Drover. If it’s not too late head to Sundance Square for shopping and people watching! In the morning, go to the Fort Worth museum district for brunch at Café Modern in the Modern Art Museum and explore the Modern, Kimball and Amon Carter. I love all the museums so much!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have had so many people encourage me through the years. I am so thankful for each one of them! About 10 years ago, my friend Josie asked me to design everything for her daughters birthday party. She gave me the theme and I created the whole party from decorations to menus- printed and executed everything. Up to that point I had only done that for my own sons birthdays. She had confidence in me that I didn’t have in myself yet. I ended up staying the whole party to help and when the other parents came to pickup their kids, they were asking for business cards and getting my info for future parties. That was the beginning of everything! I truly feel like it would have taken many more years to get going without her prompting me to start.

Website: https://everythingdesignco.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/everything_cat.harvey/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherine-harvey-299b1b3/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/everythingdesigncat

Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EverythingDesign

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.