In the last few years, anytime someone asked me what I wanted to do with my career, I’d always say “work for myself.” It’s not because I want to work from home or because I don’t want to work with other people. It’s actually quite the opposite. I want to work without boundaries, and I want to work with like-minded, creative, driven and brilliant people no matter where they live or what they do.
This is where Jared gets the credit–he saw me dreaming and literally said, “Why don’t you buy a website? Something like Wichita Love?” This was just about a year ago. So, I started looking at what sites were available and if they matched an Instagram handle that was also available. Thus, Wichita with Love was born.
I posted on my Instagram account a few times in May and invited all my friends to like my new “lifestyle/hobby account.” That was the best way I could describe what I was doing at the time.
I thought about being a restaurant reviewer, but Wichita By EB had that one on lock. I thought about just being a pretty lifestyle account, but that market is overly saturated. So I just continued with sharing pieces of my life.
I scored a design internship at a Wichita ad agency over the summer, but it sucked, and I resigned. Too many closed in walls and minds forced my hand with that decision, but it turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to Wichita with Love. Suddenly, I had two and half weeks until I returned to my job at WSU, an empty website, and all the time to do what I love.
I found a woman named Jenna Kutcher online and started to take her free trainings–eventually her paid trainings. I learned all about email lists and started to grow one. I learned about how to curate a unique and inviting Instagram account with a message of positivity. With a little seed money from a freelance job for Big Dog Motorcycles and an investment by my favorite business partner, my mom, I was able to fund the purchase of my screen printing system, register Wichita with Love as an LLC, and start building something real and authentic.
I’m a margarita-loving, strong-willed, girl-power promoting, t-shirt enthusiast. I am Wichita with Love, but Wichita with Love is not just me. It’s not something I could have ever done without the love, help and support of my parents, fiancé, friends and growing online community. Wichita with Love is rooted in all of us–in Wichita and beyond.
Today’s Wichita with Love Shop launch is just the beginning. I’m not entirely sure what the future has in store, but I have some leads and ideas to explore.
In May, I will FINALLY graduate from Wichita State University–the university where I have blossomed as a thinker, doer and creator over the course of six years; and, the university that inspires me daily and has given me some of my best friends, mentors and memories.
At the end of May, I’m getting married to my favorite person in the world and spending two weeks in Europe. I’m extremely excited about my future with Jared.
I’m also excited about my future as a career woman, even if I don’t know what that really looks like yet. But here’s what I do know . . .
The mystery behind the future, the endless possibilities, the unfettered, unbounded, unconstrained prospects drive me to think beyond big. Unknowns and challenges don’t scare me, but inspire me . . . and I hope Wichita with Love will inspire you.
Welcome to the WWL family.