Intentional & Meaningful. These are the first words that come to mind when I think about Renee. You see, Renee not only has successful stationery shop, Heart Swell, but the reason why she makes stationery goods is what sets her apart from so many.
Once you spend some time with Renee, you understand why her business is so special. She has been an advocate of living a life with gratitude, service and love and wanted to help others help, well, others. Creating stationery goods with uplifting words was her way to help us spread that love.
From "You're a Gem," to "I'd Be Lost Without You" printed on her cards with authentic leaf designs and Arizona landscapes, Heart Swell knows a thing or two on how to make any ordinary day extraordinary. These paper goods offer more than just creative lettering and designs, they offer hope, love and most importantly, a smile.
If you ever find yourself in need of a good friend, inspiring words and motivation, Renee is just the person. Her soul is translated in her business, and I deeply admire the community movement she has built all by herself.
Scroll below for an inside look of the Heart Swell office and her tips on starting a business.
1. What made you want to get started in your own business?
I love making people feel special - whether it's cooking them their favorite dinner, making a big deal about their birthday, or sending them a thoughtful card that lets them know I'm thinking about them. My company is an extension of that - I love to create unique, personal messages that allow people to slow down for a few minutes and make someone else feel loved. Life can get really busy and I think it's incredibly important to stop and say; "hey, I'm thinking about you. "
2. What was one of the biggest moments (as of now) that your business had?
In the fall of 2015 I attended Tradeshow Bootcamp. I feel like that weekend was the turning point of my business; it made me really focus and come up with my own distinct, cohesive style that truly reflects me. Meeting so many other small business owners going through the same thing was really helpful - not only to hear that they've had similar experiences, but seeing other people in my industry succeed is so motivating and really inspired me to work hard.
3. What would you recommend to a person who is having doubts of opening a business?
If you really love it, do it. It will DEFINITELY be hard. There will be lots of times that you continue to question if you're doing the right thing - but doing something you love every day is such an amazing, lucky way to live life. And don't be afraid to ask people for help!
4. What is the biggest lesson you learned as a business owner?
It's something I'm still learning every single day - do what you love for you, and be yourself. Everyone's path is different, and especially with social media, it is so easy to compare yourself to other people. Remember this: they're not you. You're not them. You've had your own journey, your own experiences, and your own unique story that has gotten you to where you are. Find inspiration from that, and run with it. Not every single person will love your work, but if you truly do, others will see that and love it too.
5. If you could describe your business in three words, what would they be?
Thoughtful, Natural, Personal
6. One fun fact about you.
My husband and I have lived in four states - PA, AZ, MD, and FL in the past five years - we've loved everywhere we've lived, but West Palm Beach is where we're staying!
7. Favorite quote for motivation?
Sigmund Freud said "Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength." Putting yourself out there can be really hard - and as a creative small business owner, you're forced to do this all the time. I've found that when I share my personal thoughts or take inspiration from something difficult that I've been through, it often lands me in an amazing place.
8. Any other tips you can offer to fellow entrepreneurs?
Be good to people - help someone when they need it, and get involved in your community as much as you can. Try to find a group of other creatives to surround yourself with. They will teach you, inspire you, push you to be better, and give you ideas you may never have come up with alone. And don't forget to show yourself some grace once in a while -- it can be really easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself, but remember to have fun and that you're doing the best you can.