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

Hi Courtni, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
The question of how my work-life balance has changed truly encompasses my scrutiny of it. I believe my work-life balance must be fluid. With life changes, my priorities have shifted based on the highest priority at the time. In recent years, I have modified my work-life balance at least three times. Each time, my perceived balance has become more paramount to my decision-making for taking on new tasks, for my financial goals, and for how I spend time with others. The first was during my military career. The second was during major life changes. Most recently, I transitioned to entrepreneurship and life outside of the military that required me to reconsider my priorities, and adjust my balance again. While serving in the military, my highest priority was decided for me. That left very little time for my personal priorities and required me to take a lot of consideration for them. At this point, I began to evaluate how much time I needed for my physical well-being, mental health, and for others in my life. I determined the need for a balance that created inner peace for myself. As a result, this balance of work and life allowed me to retain important aspects of my identity and personality.
Not long after joining the military, I got married and became a mother. This change was most challenging because my work-life balance carried the priorities of my family, as well as my own. I struggled creating a balance because I was forced to abandon the ideals of my roles, and maintain the vision I previously established for my well-being. During this time, my work-life balance changed drastically. Ultimately, I asserted the top priority by no longer allowing anyone else to decide for me.
Currently, I have a particular appreciation for having a peaceful balance between work and life. I have set boundaries by creating clear definitions for what work is and what life is. Work is what I do to provide for what I love and value. These definitions maintain my boundaries and provide comfortability with communicating them to others.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I create shirt designs for women to feel empowered by their individuality. Each design is inspired by a conversation with a friend, a bible scripture, a life event, or expressions that make people laugh. They highlight a unique aspect of a woman’s personality and her beliefs.

Some of my friends have recalled something I said that changed their life. When I put those messages on shirts, I connected with other women. I decided to create a brand to reach and connect many. I set out to connect women’s style directly to the voices they desire to share with the world. I am most proud that I have translated that message, and women are connecting with the brand and each other. They wear the designs proudly, and they share how many other women saw and connected with them. I am excited about promoting and normalizing a society where women are seen and heard.

I feel like I have not reached a point of arrival yet because I have so many goals for my brand. The process has never been easy, but the hardest part was deciding to start. I had to past the point of doubt and take a leap of faith. Once I did, I gained confidence is trusting myself and my abilities. Currently, I am learning to build a team and trusting others. I have not overcome this challenge, but I am researching the best options, so that I’ll be confident in my decision when it’s time to make one.

I have learned to exploit all of the resources available. I have knowledge that catalyzes when it is combined with the knowledge of others. I listen to entrepreneurs share their experiences, I let experts do what they are good at, and I tap into many of the tutorials, podcasts, and seminars available.

I want all people to value their voice. We all bring something unique to the world, and each part is integral. Expressing our individuality is how we inspire each other. It is a power that we must use for the good of all.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a week to show my bestie the best of the area, we would start by sleeping in. I know that sounds boring, but as natives to a big city, the quiet backdrop of this city cannot be understated. It is unique in a way that people appear to be doing nothing on the surface, but there are hidden gems everywhere, if you know who to ask. We would eat some home-grown beef from The Shed, but we would have to go early before they sell out. We would explore a wide selection of local shopping in one place at Under One Roof in downtown Abilene. A short walk away, we could enjoy some global artwork at the Center for Contemporary Arts. The most interesting place to visit is May Farms for an up-close experience with live animals. We would highlight the trip by spending time at A People Party Productions, my favorite studio for creating, meeting people, and collaborating with other creators and entrepreneurs.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am most thankful for a God who loves me. He has blessed me with parents, family and friends who support and encourage me as often as I need it. Also, I am thankful for my friend and spiritual mentor, Lynda Watson, who prays with me and helps me keep my focus on what’s most important to me. Most profoundly, my husband, Jermaine for cheering me on and supporting my vision. He helps me so much with the heavy lifting, literally and metaphorically. He encourages my creativity and growth and I am so appreciative.

Website: https://cookibloom.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cookibloom/

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

Image Credits
Images by Cooki Bloom®

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