We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Morris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtney, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have always had a love affair with paper, books, pens, and all things stationery related. I started making invitations in 2007 when I made my first set for a wedding. I became enchanted with creating products that set the tone for my customers’ events. My thoughts were, the invitation is the first glimpse into your event for your guests. So why not set the stage for what’s to come??? How did I start making planners and journals? As a child I always kept a diary. You know the one with the lock and key? Sure you do! My love for journals and planners therefore came quite naturally. The only problem I had was finding something that represented me. With this void, I began to piece various store bought collections together to get the look I wanted. As you can imagine I acquired quite the collection of planners and journals. After I couldn’t sanely make another planner for myself, I started making them for family and friends who loved the finished pieces and here we are today.
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.
I am most excited about having an inclusive product that represents those that I feel are underrepresented such as minority women, the LGBT community, and full figured women. It hasn’t been easy getting established and maintaining a strong customer base. One of the challenges I face as a small business owner, is competing with big box brands. I continue to work to overcome my challenges by being active in various communities, creating products that stand out and have value, and by providing the best experience I can for my customers. As a child with a very challenging background, I always dreamt of writing a book, or creating some form of art to share with the world. Unfortunately, the challenges of my childhood derailed my plans. Thankfully, years later after a lot of hard work, my spark has been reignited and today I am able to provide valuable products that my customers rave about. I plan to continue to spread small pieces of hope and inclusion through my brand.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am so proud of the growth that has happened within the city for the African American community. I would definitely tell them to visit Cle Supper Club. I just celebrated my birthday there this weekend and from beginning to end the experience was amazing. I’d take them to Pangea’s Restaurant for the music and great vibe. We’d definitely do some shopping in the Legacy West area. If there was a good concert going on which there often is, I’d take them to one of our many concert venues such as Trust CU Theatre to see Ledisi and Musiq Soulchild.
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?
One of my biggest supporters has been my friend Linda Coleman of First Impressions. She is like a mother figure in my life and has always pushed me to go after my dreams. When I first started getting serious about my craft and decided to launch the business, she quickly help me come up with my name CourDiva’s. With her business First Impressions, Linda is one of go to event decorators in DFW. She begin to spread the word to any and everyone that booked with her and my client list started to grow. I credit her for being one of my sparks that ignited my passion for what I do today.
I also have to shoutout my cousin Krystal Mack. She has always believed in me even when I didn’t see it. She has self coined me the next Hallmark. Whenever I am stuck, have a brain freeze, or just feeling down in the business, she always says the right things to keep me encouraged and motivated. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders.
Last but not least my wife, Erica Morris-Wade is my #1 ultimate supporter. She is with me at almost all of my events with no complaints. She pushes me to step outside of myself and let my personality shine. She is my biggest cheerleader and helps me stay the course when I just don’t feel like being CourDiva.