Having the opportunity to “meet” business-minded twenty something’s like myself is really something special. Within my own small circle, I am the sole serial entrepreneur & small (itty bitty?) business owner so things can get a little lonely. I can only pepper my fiancé with so many questions or use him as a soundboard for so long. That’s where Little Small Shop comes in: it’s a catalog of chit chats with some of my very favorite ladies (and gents) who have shared their stories and helped me craft mine. And Cassandra Eldridge is no exception – she is a beautiful, wildly ambitious young woman determined to see her dreams come true, one stunning photo at a time. Beyond her eponymous photography business, she also maintains a blog (where I found my current read, “Do Less”), makes time for her daily sweat sesh and is sure to pencil in some puppy cuddles for good measure. Her work has been featured by an impressive array of online publications, including Lauren Conrad, Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake, Darling Magazine and of course, yours truly…*shoulder brush*.
TODAY, ON MY TO-DO LIST:
Before anything: coffee.
- Whip up something for breakfast (most likely an organic cherry and chocolate protein smoothie) and head to the gym for a workout (yoga &/or HIIT running class). On these days, I always shower and get ready at the gym.
- I have a photoshoot today, so I’ll do that, and come back home to snuggle my puppy while my images are being backed up to my hard drive.
- From there, I’ll eat some lunch, cull the images (choose my favorites to hand to my clients), and begin the editing process. At this time, I’ll probably edit a few other shoots I have on the docket as well. (this is where I listen to Jess Lively’s podcast channel: The Lively Show to gain some serious inspiration while I plug away on my computer.)
- Then, I’ll prep a few blog posts for the upcoming week while listening to one of my uplifting Spotifly Playlists.
- I’ll start to prep dinner (something lean and green, most likely) and maybe sip on a little vino while I clean up the office to leave it for the day.
- I’ll make sure my gear is charging for the next day’s photoshoot, and from there, it’s all about spending time with my guy and my puppy.
PINCH-ME MOMENT OF MY CAREER SO FAR: Shooting for Free People’s blog for the first time, and booking small weddings in Paris (2011), Greece this July, and Italy this September. Pinch me is an understatement!
MY GUILTY PLEASURE IS…gummy candy. Especially the licorice bites from Trader Joe’s. It’s a problem. Oh, and nerding out over Game of Thrones. Few things get me more excited than Sunday nights.
I CAN’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT…something for my lips (EOS lip balm in sweet mint, Clinique Chubby Sticks in every. single. color.) – I hoard them in my coat pockets and purse.
MY WORK CONSTANTLY CHALLENGES ME TO…create new, exciting goals to reach for, and to consistently check in with myself to see how I’m doing – both physically and mentally.
Am I overworked? Overcommitted? Overtired? All of these things require an adjustment to my schedule and work patterns in order to create and deliver the best experience possible to my clients. It’s a constant work in progress. Running a small business can be a hard on the soul if you aren’t careful. You often forget to put yourself first. But without self-care and self-love, what good are we to others?
IN ANOTHER LIFE I’D BE…Well, I’d love to reach my professional goal of being either a freelance fashion photographer or shooting for a modeling agency at some point, so hopefully that won’t be in “another life” ; ) I would say either a novelist or an actor. Being able to portray different walks of life would be fascinating.
I’D LOVE TO SIT DOWN WITH (CELEBRITY, PAST OR PRESENT) OVER (DRINK OF CHOICE) TO CHAT ABOUT…Olivia Wilde. She’s a serious role model for me, and I’d love to chat with her about everything under the sun. Literally! She’s so intelligent, warm and compassionate, and I think I could learn so much from her. Plus her energy is contagious. I’d hope to bottle some of that up and take it with me. Oh, and vino. Always vino.
THE BEST PART OF MY WORK IS…the freedom it brings. I will never take for granted being able to coordinate my own schedule. I’m able to travel to see family and friends whenever I’d like, and I will forever be grateful that I was able to spend so much time with my dad before he passed away in 2013.
I’M A NINJA AT…organizing. It’s my thing.
MY MOTTO: These days I constantly repeat to myself: “live simply” – it’s something I’ve come to really value and need in my day to day life to feel genuinly happy and fulfilled.
IF I COULD INVITE ANY FIVE PEOPLE TO A DINNER PARTY, THEY’D BE: Jason Sudeikis, Amy Schumar, Louie C.K., Billy Crystal and Melissa McCarthy. Can you even imagine? I’d probably choke on my food from laughing so hard.
THE WILDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE IS…quit my dream job (that offered great pay and security) in advertising after just three short months to follow my dreams of having my own photography business. Terrifying, liberating, and SO incredibly worth it. I wouldn’t change it for anything.
THE MOST INCREDIBLE PLACE I’VE EVER BEEN IS…I feel like I should answer this after I return home from Greece and Italy! ☺ But as of today, the most incredible place would have to be Paris, France for the architecture and culture, or at a resort called Rock Creek Cattle Company in Montana. That “big sky” is something else.
THE BEST GIFT I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS…my dad being my mentor when starting my business. He prepared me for pretty much any possible thing that could happen while building a small business, and held my hand throughout the entire process. Without him and his guidance, the road would have been far more bumpy. It’s a priceless gift.
IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, I HOPE TO: Move somewhere warm, marry the love of my life, and start a family. And of course keep doing what I love and challenging myself within my business and my writing.
IF I COULD LIVE DURING ANY OTHER TIME, IT’D BE…I’m so grateful to be a part of this generation, actually. One that strives after growth and equality.. so I’d say I would actually want to live in the future. We can only hope that so many of these loop holes will be smoothed out by then, right? Right..?! ; )