If you were to sneak a peek at my Daybook Planner, you would find at least two coffee dates penciled in each week. Not only do I love a good excuse to get my Starbucks fix; I adore spending an hour (or three) of one-on-one time with the sweetest, most encouraging women I know. Each Friday I try to bring that same laid back atmosphere and warm conversation to the blog by featuring some of my favorite ladies. These Coffee Date guests are all in different seasons of life and have great stories and wisdom to share. Highlighting them on the blog is something I look forward to every week.
When I think of encouraging ladies, Kristin Schmucker comes to mind. I've been following along with Kristin and her business on Instagram for several months, and not a day goes by where she isn't reminding me of what's most important. She's the heart behind a beautiful shop and photography business, she's a wife to a church planter and recent seminary grad, and she's a mama to two precious little girls, Stella and Sophia. I know you'll enjoy getting to know her this morning.
What's in your coffee cup this morning?
I am not a huge coffee drinker, so I drink lots and lots of water. But when I need a little boost to get through the day I have coffee with a little bit of cocoa powder!
Give us a glimpse into a "day in the life" of Kristin Schmucker.
Having a toddler, my days can vary, but here is a peek at what a typical day is like. Since I am self-employed at Stella likes to sleep in, I don't have to get up too early. My day usually starts around 7 or 7:30. I get up and spend time in Scripture right away. For me being in God's Word as the very first thing I do is the best way to start the day. Stella usually wakes up before I finish and we spend the morning together. I also try to get some reading and exercise done in the morning. We usually have lunch as a family, and then Stella naps for most of the afternoon. This is when I really get most of my work done. Answering emails, fulfilling orders, painting and designing prints and products, and writing and designing Devotional journals. Just about the time Stella wakes up and it is time to start dinner, and then we spend the evening as a family.
You recently launched an Etsy shop full of prints, coffee mugs, and devotional journals. What inspired the shop and what has been your greatest joy in this new venture?
Opening my shop was what I refer to as a happy accident. It was never something that I set out to do, but as my passion for God's Word grew, I wanted to be able to help others cultivate a passion for God's Word. A lot of people started asking me to write a devotional, which was actually something I had always dreamed of doing and even told my husband about when we first started dating. My husband and I felt that it was time, and that it was a way that we could serve the Lord and minister to other women, and encourage them to make Scripture an important part of their lives. My greatest joy has been hearing about how women are spending time with the Lord using our journals. It is amazing to see something that was a dream of mine help others in their walk with the Lord.
How did you and Jeremy get into the wedding photography business? Do you have any advice to other ladies who are starting their own business?
We got into wedding photography because we fell in love with our wedding photos and the memories that our photographer captured, and because we love marriage. It started slow and grew into a full time job for both of us. My biggest advice to women wanting to start a business is to never stop learning and to do what you love. If you do what you love, it won't feel so much like work.
I have a feeling that life as a mama, wife, and business owner can get pretty stressful. How do you simplify?
It can be! Simplifying is a huge passion of mine, but something I am learning that I need to do more and more. I think you need to figure out what things are most important to you, and try to get rid of some other things that consume your time. Learning to say no is a huge thing. When I say no to something I am not passionate about and I don't really love, I am able to say YES! to the things that are most important. I try to keep my marriage and family more important than any work I am doing, and try to be aware that sometimes a tea party is more important than email.
What is something you've been loving lately?
I am kind of obsessed with the color white. Our home is full of white furniture, white picture frames and white decor. I think it makes everything look fresh and clean. I may be the only mother of a two year old with white furniture, but I am okay with that.
And just for fun, if you could have a Coffee Date with any woman, who would it be?
This may sound silly, but I would love to have a big coffee date with all of the women I have met through Instagram. It is my favorite form of social media and I have met some amazing women that just love Jesus and have a passion for life, and I would love to get together and just soak up their wisdom.
Follow along with Kristin
It just so happens that Kristin launched her new Freedom and Grace journal yesterday (and lots of pretty art prints, too!) And guess what? She's offering Elle & Company readers 20% anything in her shop through next Friday, August 8th! Head on over there now and use the code elleandco at checkout.