With countless obstacles in life, small business owners have to not only be driven, but passionate about their vocation. Even the best business plan cannot take into account the curve balls life can throw you. Trials and tribulations will come no doubt, but so can joy and thanksgiving. For those willing to juggle those curve balls, like Corrie Kraft, their business will endure. Why? Passion, of course.
With the recent arrival of her third son, our Featured Showiteer, Corrie Kraft could throw in the towel. Instead she uses this new arrival and the changes in life to fuel and reignite her creative drive. She is the first to admit that she does not have the perfect formula to balance a successful career and happy home life. After nearly 11 years as a the owner of a photography business, Corrie is well aware of the challenges of running a small business, being a loving spouse, and a mom of three. She is also aware that these challenges come with benefits that far outweigh any other career choice.
“I have gone through buying and selling homes, putting my husband through nursing school, adopting 2 boys, having a son with special needs and overcoming 10 years of infertility with a hard pregnancy and now having a 3rd baby boy! And these are only the highlights! 😉 I would never claim or pretend to have this balance of family and photography figured out. I am still learning and often times failing at one or the other! But I will say that making the choice to stick with it, even when it's hard has paid off.”
With so many challenges, Corrie has not allowed her business drive or her love of her family, to send either careening off-course. It is evident she has managed to use all her vocational callings to re-navigate her life. We dare to say she has an even higher appreciation for her photography business after a decade of forks in the road. As a mom, she now views her vocation as a photographer in the same light as her vocation as mother.
“Photography is like my 4th baby! I want to nurture and cultivate it! Although my family will always come first, and at times that has made my business and customer service suffer; I still will always choose to be brave and do my best to have integrity and keep my clients in that special place in my heart. I am always thankful for people who give small business owners grace! I know I need it!”
The grace she receives from her clients is no doubt a direct result of the love Corrie extends. She names it as her number one point of inspiration in her creative business. When asked what are some of the things that have inspired her through the years, her answer was simple.
“People! Hands down! I love people. I love relationships and seeing those relationships flourish. It has and always will energize me and give me the creative juices I need to be Corrie Kraft Photography!”
Identifying a source of creative energy is always welcomed when you work for yourself. Since Corrie has been in business for over a decade, that means the first portion was spent without the comfort, connections, inspiration, not to mention the educational resources made via the internet.
“The first 4 years of my business felt very isolated and alone. I taught myself everything I knew and barley kept my head above water in running a business. Wow, has the information available come so far in 10 years! After so much time doing it alone, I realized that choosing photographers that inspire you and make you strive to reach higher goals are HUGE! As I mentioned before… I have always been a David Jay fan! I loved looking at his work even 10 years ago… pre Facebook and most social media! 🙂 His work inspired me! I also made the choice to invest in some amazing photographers along the way. Kamee June Photography really helped kickstart a new path for my business! I loved investing into time with Kamee. Since then I try to choose one a year to do a mentoring session or class with. Another huge favorite was my trip to Katelyn James‘ home in Virginia for a day walking through my business with her. She is an incredible soul. I also love to connect with local Colorado photographers. There is so much to learn and be sharpened by with the joyful faces of talented photographers in your own neck of the woods! I have also loved leading the Pursuit – Colorado group for the last 3 years. I have met and been changed by some incredible women through that group. And of course, who doesn't love some JStar on Creative Live!”
Now a days, Corrie is the one serving others as inspiration. Being a successful small business owner for over a decade gives her the experience and knowledge to be a leader in this creative industry. Leading with honesty and grace while balancing a family, well, there are many that hope to follow in her footsteps! To those aspiring to run a small business and maintain their family-first mentality, Corrie has some great advice!
“Be brave, step out there, work hard and don't give up!”
You can continue to be inspired by Corrie by following her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or checking in with what she is up to through her blog. If you have a Showiteer that inspires you, please let us know. We love to shine a light on hardworking leaders in the field like Corrie Kraft.
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