In today’s Vendor Interview Series instalment, we’re going to get to know a little bit about Lee-Ann of Ginger Snaps!
But first, a little bit about the Vendor Interview Series….
When started to plan our inaugural Women’s Expo, we wanted it to be more than just another vendor’s market and workshop event.
We wanted to create a sense of community. To create connections and get just as excited about each others businesses as we are about our own.
We planned a pre-event meetup so that the vendors could get together and get to know each other before the ‘big event’, and we tasked them with some ‘homework’ that they have probably never had to do before when participating in a vendor market style event, (this Interview Series being one of their tasks).
It was our vision that with the information that they provide us with, we do as much as we can to showcase, and highlight these hardworking women, not only the weekend of the Women’s Expo, but as often as we possible could in the weeks leading up to it.
Balancing life and work is hard and we are so honoured that they are choosing to spend some of their time with us <3
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get on with the interview!
Lee-Ann Epp Dueck of Ginger Snaps!
This is what Lee-Ann had to tell us when we asked her about her and her business:
My name is Lee-Ann and a number of years ago I turned a passion into a career. The way I see it, nothing ever stays the same, and we can look at this as a thing to grieve or a thing to celebrate. I choose to celebrate by taking the time to embrace the unfolding nature of life. Taking time to learn from books, from friends, from other business owners and creatives. But mostly to always learn from me.
I see your children grow, I see your family lose those you love, and I believe we need to document it all.
With four children all busting to define their own lives on their own terms, life is busy! So, when you connect with me I completely understand that your life is busy and I will try to make your experience with me as easy as possible.
My work is natural, simplistic and instinctual. I encourage the natural exchange of personalities and energies, noticing the nuances of your relationships and your connection with those you love. You'll find that I work with children, families, love and everything in between. The thread that connects them all, is my ability to use my intuition to tune in to reflect back at you the absolute beauty and uniqueness each person brings with them straight through their heart.
As a creative outlet, I head out into nature documenting the delicate, the textured, the earth around us, using the light and my camera to share what I see. I love seeing my work framed adorning your walls, bringing you joy and peace.
I truly would love to hear from you! Let's see what kind of creative projects we can come up with!
As I see your heart through mine.
I love sharing what I know and teaching other people who love creating, how to take beautiful images that reflect their own imaginations as well. Since I love being outside - my classes are conducted outdoors! "Walk N Learns"
How did you choose what you wanted to do?
One day, I was looking at a photoshoot someone I knew had done of her family. I sat there with tears rolling down my face looking at image after image. I wasn't crying because I was sad or jealous, I was crying because something inside of me was bubbling up.
I was supposed to be following my heart to a creative career, to learn how to do THAT. Take images that were meaningful, creative and professional.
That time sitting in front of my computer opened my eyes to opportunities that came to me with ease. I never would have noticed them had I not stopped and paid attention to my reaction to the images.
Tell us about any formal education that you pursued related to your business?
I went to collage for something completely unrelated. Community Development Worker. I loved working In the non profit world. However, after having children I wanted something that could work around them. I found a great online class in beginner photography and just started running!
Most of my business sense, my web page design, marketing, accounting, editing software, working with new gear etc - everything, really, I have taught myself. I believe in asking questions, learning from others, reading and paying attention.
Photography is a life long journey - always something new to learn, and I take time during the slow season to take online classes to keep expanding my brain.
What are you most proud of about your business?
That I have stuck with It. That I have grown in confidence and perseverance. That I have clients coming back for sessions and recommending me. It means I am doing my work well.
What were you most afraid of when starting your business?
Like everyone else, failure.
How do you stay organized?
I have excellent office software that I use specifically for a photography business. I have created systems that work for me so I don't miss things. I continually ask myself how can I make this simpler?
One fun way you deal with stress? How do you unwind from your work day?
A couple years ago - I decided to take charge of my life.
From the time the weather is warmish I head to the point with my bike and race myself on the trails. I think it ends up being about 20km.
When I am done I feel l stronger, I feel sweaty, I feel charged up and I feel like I worked out the stress that has built up in my body. I LOVE It. Cold weather takes me to the complex for a run and strength training. This stuff is fun for me - because I feel stronger, I feel healthier, I feel safer that my body will continue to carry me along in this life.
What advice would you give to another woman just starting her own business?
Make a plan. But work backwards. Start from where you want to go and work backwards to today.
It helps to break down what you need to do step by step to realize your dream. It's also important to look for mentors. Mentors don't have to come from your industry - just someone who you admire for their business sense. Often people outside of your industry can give you insight into how to see goals and challenges from a different and workable perspective.
What is the best book you have read for business or personal growth? Or, what are you reading right now?
I have a bit of an attention span issue. Currently, I have likely got about 10 books on the go, skipping from one to the other based on the space my thoughts are occupying.
One that I read in spurts Is 'Show Your work! by Austin Kleon
What is your favourite inspiring or motivational quote?
"It's the rough side of the mountain that's the easiest to climb; the smooth side doesn't have anything for you to hang on to." Aretha Franklin
It's true - without my struggles, I wouldn't have half the life smarts I do.
Thank you so much to Lee-Ann for opening up and sharing with us.
Lee-Ann will be one of our workshop leaders at the upcoming Women's Expo (details will be coming soon!)
If you are in the area, be sure to stop by the Women's Expo to say 'Hi!' to Lee-Ann.