It’s official. We’re expanding our GET TO KNOW series to include even more entrepreneurs and business owners that we admire. Women who are committed to leading lives and having businesses with heart. And today, I’m beyond grateful to bring you a conversation I had recently with Kathleen Shannon!
Kathleen is the co-Founder of Braid Creative & Consulting and the Being Boss Podcast. Her background in advertising led her on a winding (and super interesting) journey towards being her own Boss, and creating a successful business with her sister.
And a year or so ago, she co-created a podcast for creative entrepreneurs that is pretty damn great – and filled with useful information and tips for your business journey. Somewhere in there Kathleen manages to find time to blog, go on adventures, travel and have a family (and fur babies). I mean . . . she epitomizes the word Boss.
I’ve been following her work for a year or two now and it’s super inspiring to watch her grow and see how much she is still anchored in doing work that not only feeds her family, but her soul as well.
Enjoy getting to know this wildly talented and soulful entrepreneur, Kathleen Shannon!
Photo by: Sarah Becker Lillard
Thanks for being a part of this conversation series Kathleen – I’m stoked for our readers to get to know you. Let’s dive in! Where are you from and what you do + create + love?
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband, our son Fox (2), and two cats. Growing up I was always voted “most non-conformist” every year in school and I think that has really informed my life mission to help creative entrepreneurs be who they are 100% of the time. When I’m not working, whether that’s branding, coaching, or podcasting, I like to spend time traveling, going on adventures with my family, or chilling out at home.
Tell me, how did you decide to do this work in the world, and ultimately be your own boss?
I started blogging about remodeling my old historical home while I was still working as an art director in advertising. When I quit my day job to go freelance I began documenting the journey of working for myself (along with my journey trekking to Mt. Everest Basecamp in Nepal) and attracted like-minded creatives who were also interested in taking life by the reins in both their creative career and outside of work.
After a year of freelancing, my sister quit her job as a creative director in advertising to start Braid Creative with me. Since then we’ve worked with hundreds of creatives from all over the world on their branding, identity, positioning and messaging both one-on-one and through our Braid ECourse. We also have a lot of free resources like our blog and newsletter.
A little over a year ago my creative comrade, Emily Thompson, approached me about launching a podcast together. Being Boss was a passion project of ours that has morphed into a full-time gig for the both of us and a tight-knit community for our listeners! We both write and record content over at Being Boss.
Photo by: Sarah Becker Lillard
I love that. And I love your podcast btw. SO great and super helpful! So, what’s important about this work you’re doing in the world?
It’s easy for me to take my work for granted. It’s easy to forget that a lot of people are spinning their wheels trying to live up to outside expectations of what they “should” be doing for a living, what they “should” dress like to look professional, and how they “should” act while networking. Let’s ditch the “shoulds” and show up as we are 100% of the time!
My work is all about blending who you are with what you do so you are not only putting food on your table doing what you love but feeding your soul with a career and a life that matters.
YES! Well said. I’m so with you on that. As you and I both know, it’s not always unicorns & rainbows being a business owner. How do you stay motivated and inspired in your work and life?
I love talking about this! First off, I’m always motivated by my goals. I have a clear vision of what I want – whether that’s a specific dollar amount or a specific lifestyle (hello 4-hour workweek). And the thing with inspiration is this: inspiration is waiting for YOU to show up and do the work… it’s not the other way around.
Beyond that, systems for everything (we’re talking Google Calendar, Asana, canned emails, a working method), a team of coworkers, regular travel, and a commitment to always learning and growing is what keeps me fueled and going, even when I feel less than stellar.
Ahhh systems (sidenote: I could probably have an entire conversation with you just about my love of Asana!). So, on those days where things are less than stellar what gets you out of bed in the morning?
Literally: my love of breakfast and my two-year-old son who refuses to sleep in. I have a pretty solid, yet simple, morning routine that involves tea with collagen and almond milk, lighting incense, a solid breakfast, cuddles on the couch with my kiddo, getting everyone dressed and out of the house, and then a workout which is either boxing or lifting weights.
Photos by: Choate House
Nice. Having a solid morning routine seems to be a common thread amongst the women I’ve talked with. I’m curious, what does it mean to you, to live a life and have a business – with SOUL?
It means that what you desire and what you value . . . your higher purpose . . . is aligned with the work you do in the world.
Switching gears a bit, I’m a believer that our six senses (taste, see, smell, hear, touch, feel/intuition) are a pathway to fulfillment and joy. What do you feel is your predominant/favorite sense? Anything in particular that lights up your senses?
Intuition has guided me every direction of the way. Without that “gut feeling” and tuning into my heart’s desires I would be lost.
But when it comes to my physical senses it’s hard to choose! Food, music, incense, making out with my husband, the weather, birds chirping, my son laughing, hot showers… these are all things that engage my senses that make me feel happy to be alive.
I’m with you – intuition is my guiding light as well. Another not-so-random question I have (as a big birthday fan), I’d love to know your dream way to spend a birthday?
One of my most memorable birthdays was when my husband and I ate at the bar of a fancy restaurant. We were able to see the chef preparing our meal (a full roasted redfish!). We had great conversation and tasty cocktails. Another fantastic birthday was spent with my in Asheville, NC with my bestie and her man. I actually secretly officiated their elopement on my birthday – it was such a special day and such a gift to share my birthday with their anniversary.
I love that – it sounds like being around people you love is key to celebrating a memorable birthday. And I couldn’t agree more. Now, because I love exploring, I’d love to know the top 3 places you’d send me if I was visiting your ‘hood (Oklahoma City).
People are often surprised to find out I live in Oklahoma City. But I love it here and we have such amazing food! Here’s where I’d send you:
Shop Good OKC
They have the best gifts, accessories, and t-shirts.
The Plaza District
This is my favorite little area of town full of amazing local businesses including DNA Galleries, Collected Thread, The Mule, Oak & Ore (my favorite place to grab a beer), Well Beauty (an all natural nail shop), and Bad Grannies (a great thrift store).
Hands-down my favorite place to grab brunch.
Photo by: Justin Falk
What are you working on right now that feels like a celebration?
I have so much to celebrate! We just launched www.beingboss.club along with our community clubhouse and that feels huge.
If you knew then, what you know now – what message would you have for your younger self?
The people you surround yourself are who you become – spend more time with your art buddies.
One final question: what do you know for sure?
Magic is real.
. . . . . .
I don’t know about you, but I find it fascinating to go behind-the-scenes and talk real talk with women who are totally rocking the Boss title. Kathleen is someone you not only want to hire but who you want to break bread with too. My kinda girl!
Head over to The Braid Creative and Being Boss to show Kathleen some love, and get some incredible tips on being Boss in your work and life. If you’re a podcast listener, I can’t recommend her podcast enough, be sure to check it out!
We’re so excited to be bringing you more fun Q&A’s with creative entrepreneurs and business owners like Kathleen, who truly make a difference and are leading with heart. Expect more exciting conversations in the weeks to come!
Header Photo by: Justin Falk