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

Hi Catie, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks can feel a little uncomfortable. But that’s how it is supposed to feel, otherwise we probably can’t call it a risk. I’ve realized the more life we live, the easier it is to stick to the stuff we’re good at. Get in our groove and become a role model, expert, etc. – which is amazing! But something I never want to undervalue is the growth produced from continuously being brave.

There’s a tension that comes with risk-taking. This tension holds together two things for me: my deep desire to take on something that I really want to excel in (like starting a business, learning Spanish, surfing, driving a stick shift), and the “what-ifs” that trail behind. What if I’m not good at this? What if no one cares? What if people don’t take me seriously?

You don’t have all the answers, your pride is on the line, you’re not fully in control. It feels scary, exposing. But what lightens the load of the scary stuff every time is looking fear in the face and saying “I’m doing it anyways.” And then, you grow. If I fail, I learn. If I’m wobbly, I shake it off because I’m human. And when it goes well – what a rush.

I always thought in another life I’d be a killer saleswoman, wheelin’ and dealin’ as I easily convince everyone in my path that I’m selling exactly what they’re looking for. However, as the saleswoman hat becomes a new fashionable accessory for me at Lemon Lines, let me just say: way easier said than done.

To all of my fellow salespeople in the world: Mad respect. Also…want to sell some greeting cards? 😉

Mustering up the courage to walk into a shop with a sales pitch about why they should buy my greeting cards – tough. Knowing the right response in the face of pushback – tough. Yet, risk-taking has become a necessity for Lemon Lines to grow. I have to channel the “I’m doing it anyways” mentality in risky moments and be okay with shamelessly asking the “stupid” questions along the way. Even Einstein asked questions, right?

The greatest reward is the fruit that comes from all of this risk-taking labor. I can put fear in its proper place, not allowing it to make any decisions for me. I can get better with practice. I can look back at a growing testimony of how taking risks sharpened, challenged and grew this business and me for the better.

There is absolutely still work to be done, growth to be had, and risks to be taken – and it doesn’t always feel exciting. Nonetheless, I press in because I know in the scary new moments awaits growth and a deep knowing that this is what I’m made for. That’s the beauty of bravery.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A big factor in creating art is facing or feeling imposter syndrome, so a lot of support came from my family and friends who encouraged me along the way, pushed me to do the scary stuff, and told me I was good enough.

When starting a business there are so many logistics to figure out and with the help of a strong community and incredibly supportive husband, we worked out the kinks along the way. I remember whenever I was officially an LLC I got in the car to drive somewhere and I felt excited and nervous and emotional and kind of scared all at the same time – yet it was the best feeling ever because I was doing the dang thing!

Before Lemon Lines, I remember roaming isles of stores and not finding a card that was as relatable as I wanted it to be, or that didn’t really sound like me when I read it. I thought, “I’ll just make one myself”, so I did for a while. Then, friends at work started to ask if I could create cards for their friends and family. After creating with colored pencil and a cut out piece of paper for a while, I thought…maybe I can really do this. My friends were saying it, my coworkers were saying it. Maybe I should take the plunge, and see what happens!

My goal with Lemon Lines is to create relatable greeting cards with a familiar voice, one that sounds just like a best friend telling them to keep their head up, or a significant other telling them how striking they are, or a daughter telling their mom how much color she adds to her life. It’s the greatest feeling helping people choose words that are meaningful, funny, and relatable for the big and small moments.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friends were to plan a trip to visit Boulder, Colorado I would take them for a hike on Shanahan Ridge to stretch out those airplane legs. Then, we would go grab coffee at Boxcar coffee on Pearl Street or get a beer at Upslode brewery. Saturday farmer’s market is always a great spot to grab produce and lunch. Or maybe a picnic with a nice view of the Flatirons. I would take them for a hike at Chataqua — popular hike in Boulder. We would eat down on Pearl street for dinner — grab drinks beforehand on the rooftop of Avanti and head to My Neighbor Felix for some tasty spicy margs and tacos. I would cap off the weekend with a morning hike at Sanitas (hard and short hike, but great views!) and then grab brunch at Lucilles Creole Cafe – benedicts to die for.

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?
To my husband Michael for his incredible support of this idea from the get-go, his confidence in me, his pep talks, his type A brain that keeps me on track, and so much more.

To my entire family for pushing me to do scary things and for being my think tank and soundboard for new ideas – honesty is their best policy. 😛

To the Greeting Card Association for providing a “no question is a stupid question” space for me to ask questions and learn from others who are leaps and bounds ahead of me in this gig.

Website: lemonlinespaper.com

Instagram: @lemonlinespaper

Facebook: facebook.com/lemonlinespaper

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.