{look at her: mariah danielsen}

It's been a while since the last time I featured someone for Look At Her, but I'm bringing it back today! The goal of this series is to share inspiring young bloggers who are chasing their dreams or living the life that they want to live, and this week's amazing woman is no different!

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a daddy's girl and my dad was a science teacher, so I always thought I would grow up to be an astrologist or a marine biologist. I didn't realize I loved graphic design so much until I was on the yearbook committee in high school, and I knew I'd finally found my passion.
What other type of work experience do you have?
I have a 2 year degree in graphic and web design and a 4 year degree in marketing, and to be honest, I only worked one real job before I quit to start my own business. I interned at a company throughout college and got hired on as a graphic and web designer as soon as I graduated. Six months later they promoted me to lead designer which was really great. We had a small marketing department, so while I worked on design stuff I got to learn a ton about the marketing process as well. It really was a wonderful experience, but after a year as lead designer I knew it was time to quit and follow my own passions, so that's what I'm doing right now!

What do you do now? What inspired you to start your own business?
I do a few different things right now! I have a wedding decor and paper goods business called Oh, What Love where I help indie and vintage brides come up with fun and unique details for their wedding. I am also working on a vintage rentals section of Oh, What Love because my husband and I travel around the state going to auctions and sales - we find some really amazing stuff! We also have a little booth at an antique shop in our town, so I help manage the inventory for that too.
I also knew I wanted to keep working with businesses on their design and marketing, so I co-founded the Create + Connect Project with my former coworker. We help creative entrepreneurs turn their own passions into profit with e-books, video training series and longer online courses. I love helping entrepreneurs figure out how they can grow their business. 
I was inspired to start my own business because when I was working a full time job, I didn't have much time to work on the things I loved. I was working 8 hours at the office and then coming home and doing 4 hours of side projects, that just wasn't working anymore. I fell in love with weddings as I was planning my own and I finally realized that I could take everything I loved about graphic design, DIY projects, and antiques and use them all in a wedding business. I think I've always known I wanted to work for myself, I just had to get the courage to quit my job and start doing my own thing.
Do you have any advice for those who want to get into the wedding industry?
My advice is to build relationships with as many people as possible - both with clients as well as others in the wedding industry. Reach out to people who inspired you. Social media makes it SO easy to grow relationships, and you never know what type of opportunity can come out of one little tweet or comment you leave on someone's blog.

What is one piece of advice that you would give yourself when first starting out?
I think I would tell myself to focus on exactly who my ideal bride is and not worry about trying to target every single bride. I just recently figured out exactly who I want to work with and that has made all of the difference. It makes things more fun.
What is your favorite part about working for yourself? Least favorite part?
Favorite Part: Setting my own schedule! I love being able to go for a run over lunch or run a few errands in the afternoon if I need to. Least Favorite Part: I am my entire business - sales, marketing, design, accounting. There are things I don't enjoying doing, but since I am a one woman show right now, I have to do it all.
What is one thing that you want to accomplish personally and thing thing that you want to accomplish professionally before the year is over?
One thing I want to accomplish personally before the year is up is to start a network of like-minded entrepreneurs in my area - kind of like a fun accountability group where we can share our goals and help each other grow in our businesses. Professionally, I want to land a few more new clients. I have my brand launch party in early November so I'm hoping that will help. I also want to get my letterpress machine working so I can add that to my list of offerings!

All of these entrepreneurs in the wedding industry really inspire me. They make me believe in myself, that I can do it too! I absolutely love Mariah's work, and I love her goal to set up a network of entrepreneurs in her area. I'm hoping to set up my own vendor network in Southern California too.

Definitely go check out Oh, What Love Studios if you're looking for paper goods or vintage items for your wedding. I promise you won't regret it!


Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Her story is totally inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing it.


Joelle :: Something Charming said...

You're so welcome! xoxo