Hooray! We survived the great blog hack of 2017, so now it’s time to catch up on 3 months of posts. Breathe, Stephanie, breathe. Here we go.
Each month at Own Your Bold, we feature a different creative business owner who exudes the #boldboss vibe: confident, encouraging, authentic, courageous, and wholeheartedly passionate about positively influencing women.
Have fun getting to know Charisma, one of my good friends who has been supportive of my online journey from the very beginning. I love reconnecting with her in person when in Florida. Thank you, Charisma, for inspiring and educating other entrepreneurs with your expertise!
Name: Charisma O’Keefe
Biz: 725 Creative
Title: CEO, Head Consultant
1. Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your small business!
I run a branding and social media consulting firm that specializes in working with creative small businesses. We offer consulting sessions that focus on: social media, growth and development, creative direction, and business sustainability. We offer social media training as well as ongoing social media management. We are committed to developing brands that stand the test of time. In addition to brand development, we offer web design and development, product photography, and brand photography.
When I’m not running 725 Creative, I also have a lifestyle blog that focuses on entrepreneurship, health and wellness, travel, and creativity. I co-host the Heart and Hustle Podcast, I’m Editor In Chief of the Equal and Forever blog, I’m a contributing writer for a number of blogs and publications, and I still occasionally photograph portrait sessions for other creatives and boudoir clients.
Outside of loving all the wonderful, creative aspects of what I do for a living, I also love traveling, reading, and great vegetarian food.
2. Can you tell us what your favorite things are about your part of the world, and what we can expect if we visit you someday?
My main place of residence is in Orlando, Florida. I live incredibly close to Walt Disney World and I wouldn’t have it any other way. While Orlando is a unique and diverse city that offers much more than theme parks, there is something truly magical about being able to drop into a Disney or Universal park for a few hours whenever my heart desires. The theme parks provide an endless amount of creative inspiration for me.
I also spend a lot of time in NYC and Charlotte, NC. These areas are incredibly different and I love them for different reasons. NYC pumps me full of creativity and innovation. Every moment I spend there is full of thought provoking conversations, artistic endeavors, and unexpected adventures. Charlotte is a place where I can rest, recharge, and relax. Every day I spend in Charlotte makes me feel healthier and more at peace. Both cities are full of friends and family and John and I consider them to be our second homes. Visit me in any of the three and we are sure to have an amazing time!
3. Do you have any tips for your fellow bosses? What are your fave cameras, supplies and equipment to use for your projects?
The best equipment is always what you already have. You can make it work and create amazing art with all sorts of equipment but the trick is to start and keep practicing. So many people want to wait to take pictures until they get a certain camera, wait to start lettering until they have a certain pen, or wait to make music until they buy a certain microphone. What really matters is believing in yourself and having the determination to practice and get better. All the equipment in the world won’t make you any better without talent and effort. Also, sometimes our most creative moments come from having less to work with. Can’t afford expensive editing software? Work on nailing exposure in camera. Can’t afford new calligraphy pens? Check out what other artists are doing with number 2 pencils. When there is a will to create, there is always a way.
With that being said, I think investing in yourself and your business when the time is right is a wonderful thing. I would highly suggest using Skillshare to continue learning and practicing your craft. I would also consider buying the second to latest version of lots of equipment. If you wait until the new version comes out, last season or last years model will normal decrease in price significantly!
4. What are your other hobbies and passions outside of entrepreneurship?
I love to travel! I have started making travel goals for myself so that I will prioritize spending money on travel before it is spent elsewhere. The first goal I made was to get to Europe before I have children. I’m finally going this March and I couldn’t be more excited about it! The second goal I made was to travel once a month for six months. I made this goal in September. So far I am half way there and my goal will be completed in March. I can’t wait to come up with my next travel goal!
I also love to read. I have been an avid reader since I learned to read and I never tire of the feel of a new (to me) book in my hands. This year I made a goal to read 80 books! You should join me on Goodreads to see if I can pull it off!
I’m very passionate about equality for women and POC, black lives, LGBT rights, and education. I’ll be attending the Women’s March in D.C. later this month and continuing efforts throughout the year to ensure that my freedoms and the freedoms of those I love are protected.
5. What are your future plans in business and in life?
I would like to see my business continue to grow, I would love to put away money for retirement and my children to attend college, and I would like to travel more for work. In life, I want to continue growing, evolving, and learning forever. I would love to try new things more often, do things I am afraid of, read more books, go to more places where I don’t speak the language, swim in more bodies of water, meet new people, help others, and be the best version of myself that I can be.
6. What’s your favorite thing about social media and the internet? What’s your biggest challenge?
My favorite thing about social media is how it connects me to people all over the world. I have met some of my closest and most inspiring friends on social media. My favorite thing about the internet is the amount of knowledge that can be found on it. Anything you could ever want to know is right at your fingertips.
My biggest challenge is not falling down a rabbit hole of watching cute dog and cat videos all day.
7. What’s your personal philosophy or belief system?
I believe that you should try to leave this world better than how you found it. I believe in love and kindness and laughing until your sides hurt. I believe in helping strangers and standing up for those who can’t stand on their own. I believe in loving what you see in the mirror. I believe in celebrating as much as possible. I believe in letting your voice be heard. I believe a good book and a cup of tea can cure a lot of things. I believe in equality. I believe in true love.
8. What’s the most important lesson you’ve ever learned in life?
“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” –Maya Angelou
9. What song do we all need to listen to… right now!?
I’m a rule breaker so I’m going to tell you to listen to entire albums instead. I love an amazing album that tells a story from beginning to end. Coming Home from Leon Bridges and A Seat at the Table by Solange are both absolute perfection.