Bold Broads highlights women founders and creative [read: BADASS] small business owners about how they really deal with the ups and downs of running a BOLD business. These women share honest wisdom and tough lessons to support you in collectively making good shit happen in your own women-led startup or small business. Meet Tash Haynes of Ike and Tash Photography and Motion. Tash is one-half of a husband-wife wedding and portrait photography team based out of the beautiful city of Tacoma WA in the Pacific Northwest.
Author's Note: Tash is a incredible, very talented personal friend who I rely on daily for inspiration. It's my absolute honor to share her with you. I know you'll fall in love with her as much as I have.
Let's meet her, shall we?
1. STARTING A BUSINESS IS HARD AND SOMETIMES LONELY. WHAT THE F*CK MOTIVATED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I think if I knew how hard and lonely it would be, I may have run in the other direction so I'm so glad I had no clue. Prior to our small business, I was working in a non-profit. I was a really young manager and although honored with the title, felt I had to fight so hard to be taken seriously. I over-performed for years and proved that I was capable of the tasks put in front of me, but I was always viewed as a little girl. As time went on, I saw so many things that I couldn't keep quiet about anymore and there was this little voice that said I could effect more change without rules and boundaries then I could sitting in that corner office. I wanted to write my own story and do things on my own terms and really help people without the red tape and the politics so I blindly stepped out on my own because the only upward mobility I saw was the one I was going to to create for myself.
2. HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED TO KEEP THRIVING IN A CREATIVE SPACE WHERE EVERYONE SEEMS TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER?
Working as partners is a huge motivation, when one of us is down the other one is full of energy and ideas. We bring each other up when we need to and give each other space to have a good balance between our work and personal life. We couldn't do this without each other. Our other huge motivation is the community we're building and the excitement we see from people and the impact our work has in their lives.
3. SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES ARE OFTEN QUIETLY SUPPORTED BY A COLLECTIVE OF WOMEN MENTORS, FRIENDS AND BUSINESS OWNERS. WHAT COMMUNITIES AND RESOURCES HAVE BEEN MOST PIVOTAL TO YOUR OWN BUSINESS SUCCESS?
When we first started our business it was really those around us doing the things we were hoping to do that were integral to our success. The local creative community groups jumped in to encourage and help us and as a result started our love for community building. Those groups made it easier to find our place, made finding the path to success a little easier and created opportunities we would not have had without. Investing in the creative community at large helped us to gain so much and then finding a few girlfriends walking the same route and becoming accountability partners made it so much easier to walk out the tough stuff in private and to know I wasn't alone when faced with certain situations.
4. NO BULLSH*T; WHAT'S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS? AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT; HOW ARE YOU WORKING TO OVERCOME THIS?
Automation. Getting things automated has been my biggest challenge because it takes time to set those systems up and put things in place. I want so badly to be automated and with the amount of time I've spent doing other things - I could've had this issue resolved, but it's tedious work that I would rather not do so even though it will save me time; it always gets put on the back burner because it takes so much time on the front end. I'm trying to overcome this challenge by looking at each aspect of my business and working to put these things in place one at a time vs. trying to do it all at once.
5. SHARE THE MOST HELPFUL PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN.
Always start over. Never get comfortable doing things the same way. It's so important to view our businesses with new eyes. Often. Every year, I take the month of January off to take an assessment of our business, our strengths, and weaknesses - what worked well, what didn't and whether we should move forward the same. I never want to get into a routine and get stuck because I thought we were doing well in business and we missed something.
I UNAPOLOGETICALLY OWN MY BOLD BROAD BADASSERY BECAUSE...
In our business, I do a lot of work with teenage and college age girls. We started a senior model program for our business to help with marketing and recruiting high school seniors and over time that senior model program has grown and grown and developed a new service club. These girls over time are watching me as I run my business and are finding themselves at such a pivotal time. We get to use our business to not only work with the girls, but also encourage them toward their gifts and talents. Many of them travel with us, work with us on special projects, intern with us and we get to help pull out those things that make them so [so] special. This matters, because these girls become self-assured women who know that anything they want out of life is possible and they have an example of a women in their circle who is doing it and making it work. Raising strong women matters to me and I am excited for every life I get the honor of touching!
BOLD BROAD BONUS***FAVE APP?
I love Later for Instagram. It helps me schedule, format, and post on Instagram and has become a much-adored tool. Also, I LOVE Trello. Although I'm still getting the hang of it, I can see why it's so valuable to small business owners.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Latasha Haynes is one half of renowned husband-wife wedding and portrait photography team; Ike and Tash. She loves shooting weddings and portraits across the country and internationally, as well as teaching, speaking and helping other photographer’s around the country grow and strengthen their businesses. She believes in leveling the playing field by using her personal privilege to uplift those around her who might be overlooked. She is also the founder of a boutique photography conference called, BLINK. She believes in the beauty of women collaborating towards their dreams and created the hashtag #hersuccessisnotmyfailure. She's been married for 10 years to a man she met on MySpace, the original “Catfish,” before the term even existed and her 4-year old daughter Wisdom is the best thing to ever happen to her.