If you are new to Uniquely Women, I started a new blog series column – The Creative Local. This series showcases boss ladies, whether it be bloggers, entrepreneurs, or women making a difference in their neck of the woods. Each will showcase their current city, taking us around to their favorite places along with a little bit of their current business endeavors. Tag thecreativelocal on Instagram & Twitter to showcase the creative local in YOU to be featured.
Up this month: Alyssa Joy – Small town girl with BIG dreams. She is such a joy to follow and connect with. I love admiring her stock photography and design skills! She will share some of her favorite small-town Pennsylvania favorite hangouts as well as a little more about her business and her day-to-day life. Without further adieu – meet a favorite creative of mine – Alyssa Joy!
Her Favorite Susquehanna County, PA Spots:
I love the small town aspect. There is no traffic, cause I mean let’s be honest, how do you ever have traffic when the road is one straight shot of a single mile and there are no stop lights, right?! If I’m out of something, yes, the store is a half hour away, BUT I have several neighbors right there willing to share their cocoa powder with me so I can finish my half made recipe!
Joycie’s Cafe is a small cafe in the next town over from where we live, Montrose, PA. While I love their free wifi that I rock on days when my little is in preschool, there hot chocolate tops it all – especially with it’s giant mound of delicious whipped cream that graces the top!!
CHOCOLATES BY LEOPOLD
Chocolates by Leopold is a handmade chocolate shop in Montrose, PA. You pretty much get fat just walking in the door, but the delicious smell of chocolate hits you in the face and you just can’t help trying some! Each Christmas they have an open house where you can take a tour of the factory and participate in other special activities!
WEE BEE FLOWERS
Wee Bee Flower is our local flower shop in Hallstead, PA. Being a stock photographer, I am always picking up different fresh flowers for my photos and this is my go to place!!
Being a mom boss, play breaks are absolutely necessary! So of all the places in town, THIS right here is my little’s absolute favorite! From the monkey bars and twirly slide to the fun activities found around the walking track.
Next up: An Interview with Alyssa
In a few sentences describe yourself:
I’m Alyssa Joy, a mom, a youth pastor’s wife, a daughter (of the King and a dad who’s living with the King!), a sister, and last, but not least, a graphic designer & photographer! I’m a little OCD to be honest, about a lot of things, a little obsessed with perfection and making things as pretty and clean as possible! Lastly, I LOVE doing what I do, I’m blessed to spend each day at home with my little one while also doing what I love and helping other entrepreneurs, creatives, and small businesses succeed!
Why did you decide to start your branding + graphics business? Where did that passion come from?
As I said before I can be a little OCD and I LOVE making thing look as pretty, professional and polished as possible! I guess this led me to what I do, which is helping creatives and small businesses beautify their brand from start to finish! All things pretty – that’s what drives me! I can’t fathom not having a blast helping other entrepreneurs achieve a beautiful cohesive look for their biz across all platforms through branding, web design & custom styled stock photography. I love helping clients achieve their dreams, I love cheering them on when they might have a down day, reminding them that they are totally rocking it – let’s be honest, we all need that sometimes! I thrive on delivering work that’s beyond my clients expectations! It’s a great day when I receive an email back from a first draft that says “Oh my goodness!!!! I LOVE them!! Seriously, you nailed it!!” That’s a great day right there – that’s the passion that fuels me!
How do you balance between being a stay-at-home mom and your business?
It’s tough. It’s a juggling act most days and if you ask my little, she might just say I drop a few balls here and there! It’s easy to feel guilty for working rather than crawling on the ground playing Barbie’s all day long with her, but then I remind myself that I am blessed to have a job where I can still be at home with her, some mom’s don’t get that opportunity and have to take something outside of the home to make ends meet.
Sometimes when my schedule gets really crazy, I do a little timer trick that a fellow mom shared with me. I set the timer for 30 minutes and I try to crank out as much work progress as possible, but when that timer goes off, the next 30 minutes are hers – whatever she wants to do! Sometimes balance is easily found, other times, not so much, so I just have to focus and remind myself that work has it’s time, but she’ll always be my number one priority and when she needs her mom, she needs her mom, no one else can fill that God-given role in my/her life and it’s certainly a blessing to be her mom!
What is one of your favorite things you have designed?
Ohhhh that’s a tough one!! Ahh!! I usually fall in love with my latest project! Every time I have the opportunity to work with an entrepreneur and bring their style and their dream business to life with beautiful branding it gets me super duper giddy and I fall in love with the process and the end product! BUT, If I have to pick only one, I’d have to say the branding I designed for Lauren Spates of HistorInk. Lauren is a freelance writer who takes people’s history and genealogy and turns it into a modern-day keepsake – how cool is that?! Anyways, for her logo, she wanted the fountain pen with a crosshatch pattern that had been passed down to her from her grandfather incorporated into the logo. I came up with the first draft using a hand drawn version of the fountain pen as the I in HistorInk and sent it over, anxiously awaiting her reply. When I received her response she shared that when she opened the email she was hit with such a rush of emotions that it brought her to tears – good tears – we had brought a beautiful piece of her family history into her branding. I guess you could say I thrive on bringing my clients to tears, good tears that is!!
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
Part of my process with each client (along with lots and lots of chatting about them as a person and their business) is a secret Pinterest inspiration board, I tell them to pin things they love, things they hate, and note on there what they like and dislike. I encourage them to pin not only logos, but objects, colors, photos, anything that they love, or reminds them of their business and the message they want to send to their clients with their branding. I love searching some of my favorite places like Pinterest, Logopond, and good ole google images for inspiration, but I also try to really get to know my clients and their business as well as I can and what I think their style is based on these boards and then try to kind of clear my head of any specific logos I’ve seen and think about what unique logo I can make that will fit them perfectly! I never want one of my clients to have a cookie cutter logo, it should be unique, just for them, cause there is no one else out there just like them!
Top Bucket List Locations?
– Bora-Bora and I HAVE to stay in one of those huts on the water!!
Do you notice a theme here?? Basically anywhere tropical island-like – TOTALLY on my bucket list!! <3 me some sun, warm weather, my bathing suit, flip flops and beautiful beaches!
Currently – Top Must-Read Blogs?
- Well I love following my awesome clients and seeing their biz grow, so of course I stalk sweet friend, Wendy Zook Photography (http://www.wendyzookphotography.com/wendy-zook-photography/)
- Gotta get me some blog posts from www.livesweetblog.com too cause she’s a fellow Susquehanna County gal AND who doesn’t love adorable kiddos and cute little pigs?! Right?!
- I also love to frequent fellow creative Erin’s blog over at www.sixthbloom.com
Don’t forget to share #thecreativelocal on Instagram and Twitter with photos of you or other small business owners, entrepreneurs, or other hustlers out there making a difference in their neck of the woods!
Business Images via Wendy Zook Photography
Visit Alyssa: Alyssa Joy
You can also find her here:
Instagram | Facebook | Stock Photography Shop