We had the good fortune of connecting with Shellie Small and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shellie, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work Life Balance, especially as an Entrepreneur is such a slippery slope. When working my Corporate Leadership role, it was tough, but a whole lot easier! Now being my own boss and running my own business adds more challenge. Many think being an Entrepreneur you make your own hours, you are the boss, you do what you want when you want, etc. You run your business, the business doesn’t run you. While some of that is true, in some industries you may be able to work your own hours, but in a creative retail industry that is not the case. Additionally, there are times and situations where you have to commit to working 80+ hours a week, whether at home or in your business space. Starting out, I used to be at the studio all the time! I had to make sacrifices to not be the wife, mom, or friend I wanted to be! I did not attend a lot of friend’s birthdays, celebrations, moves, brunches, life events, etc. Why….because I was busy building the legacy for my family and really gauging where my time would be utilized the most. When running your own business, sometimes you are up late trying to figure out the next best move or maybe that is the only time that you have that time to really focus on the business overview. Sometimes you work later than anticipated because you get sucked into I just need to do this one little thing that turns into 10 little things and 5 minutes turns into 30 minutes or an hour. Work Life Balance is important not only for you, your mental and physical health, but also for your family (or the loved ones around you). Self-care is extremely important! If you cannot show up for yourself, then you can’t show up for your business. Making sure to set aside time for the important relationship will give you the permission you need to invest back into yourself. Although some relationships deteriorate – because as an Entrepreneur you may not be available like you used to – know that the strong ones will survive the challenge. I am not where I want to be with the balance, but I am getting there. I have built up a team where I am able to take that time to invest back into my family life – whether it is a couple of hours a week or a day here and there. I even occasionally fit in some friend/brunch time that also gives me the opportunity to pour back into the relationships that we all need to thrive!
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 am the Franchise Owner for Pinspiration Peoria. Pinspiration is the world’s first Pinterest-inspired, DIY Art Studio, complete with a Jackson pollock-inspired Splatter Room. The first Pinspiration location opened back in 2015. Pinspiration’s unique concept allows customers to come in anytime to make a masterpiece. There is no need to make a reservation, or sign up for a workshop or a class. Customers can choose from dozens of the trendiest DIY projects and everyone can select their own project and create on their own schedule. With a large variety of projects there is something for all ages and all levels of experience. Once the project is chosen the muses deliver a tutorial and a pre-assembled project kit along with the all the high-quality art supplies tools and materials for customers to complete personalize and work at their own pace to complete their DIY. Business-wise I got to where I am by the grace of God! I left my Corporate Leadership role March 13th – 2 days before the entire world shut down. Was it scary – absolutely! All I knew that this was God’s plan and I was doing it. I was (and still am) literally living by faith and not by sight. The biggest challenge I experienced was not knowing if I would have enough financially to fund my business and have working capital. When I went to obtain loans from my business bank and other loan providers, I was continuously told no. Even though I had all the documentation and assets, I was told I needed more or did not qualify. Long story short, I ended up funding through the ROBS program and do not owe anyone, but myself. The biggest lesson is to not always sign up for everything and that it is ok to say no. When approached with events, advertising, sponsorship, etc make sure it fits your demographics, your brand, your territory and your budget. If it does not check the boxes, then be ok with declining the invitation or not moving forward, My story is constantly evolving and growing! I am unapologetically authentic and have big plans for the future! Stay tuned!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Of course I would say come to Pinspiration Peoria – duh, lol! The first place we are going is Pinspiration Peoria for the Splatter Room. Who doesn’t want to suit up and fling paint on a canvas? The next thing we are going to do is a Craft at Pinspiration Peoria. I am going to pick the Acrylic Pour because it is fun and messy. My best friend will probably pick Canvas Painting or String Art. The beauty of Pinspiration Peoria is we can do both or all three! The next day we would go to Hash Kitchen! Have you had their brunch! It is delicious!! We are going to eat the Eggs Benedict and the Lights Out Mimosa. Since the Lights Out is a whole bottle of Champagne, we are going to head to the mall and walk around the stores – acting like we have all the money in the world to spend. I think Love Sac is a good place to start! Sizzle would be our next day lunch spot! Their Bulgogi/Korean BBQ is sooooo delicious!! That and their Plum Wine is sure to hit the spot. We can head over to the Boba spot around the way and walk around Desert Ridge outdoor mall area. Depending on the time of the year, we would have to check out some events going on in the area and find some cool things to do! If it has food and mimosas, we are there!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate my Shoutout to my husband and my two daughters! They have been there with me from Day 1 and have poured, invested and sacrificed so much to help our family live this dream and fulfill God’s promise! Without God’s strength, their support, their motivation and their encouragement I would not be able to continue through some of the challenging times! My second Shoutout would go to the Big Boss Energy Women that have showed up in their businesses and continue to inspire and motivate me to keep pushing – directly and indirectly! I am not going to name names, in case I forget someone, but they know who they are…..and if you don’t then ask me if you are on the list, lol!