From CPA to Creative Entreprenuer

Brenna from Ivy + Linen Design Co. working on her Macbook at her white desk

Over the last several months as I have ventured into creative entrepreneurship, I've found people asking "Why? What? How?" and each time I've gotten better at explaining how Ivy + Linen came to be. But I also know there are a lot more people that have those same questions, so I'm sharing a little bit about my journey into entrepreneurship, in the hopes that it inspires and motivates you!

Why?

I went to UNC-Chapel Hill (Go Heels!), got a business degree and then a Master of Accounting degree, passed the CPA exam, and was working in public accounting as a tax accountant. I had a great job, a clear promotion path, and coworkers that were more friends than just work companions. It seems like the perfect situation. BUT, with public accounting comes a lot of stress and hours, and if it is something you truly love it is all worth it. But for me, I had this desire to start a business and do something more creative (although you'd be impressed at how pretty you can make a spreadsheet look). It wasn't that I didn't like my job, I definitely did, but knew that long term I desired something else and it was time to start making that a reality instead of sitting back hoping it would someday happen. That's my why.

What?

Once I decided I needed to start making moves, I had to figure out what I was going to do. My husband, Nick, and I started brainstorming one night to think of all of the possibilities, and we kept coming back to stationery. I've always been drawn to stationery and love sending cards, so it seemed like a natural fit. I knew I wanted my business to be something I truly enjoy, because being authentic is an absolute necessity for me and my brand. That's my what.

How?

Now that I had the why and what, I just had to figure out how a CPA was going to make this creative business happen. I started taking hand lettering and brush lettering classes, learning everything I could about Adobe Illustrator, meeting with creatives in similar industries, researching production partners, and stepping up my social media game. There have been so many resources that helped me in the pre-business learning stages (and continue to help me learn and grow). I've linked a few of them below so that you can hopefully benefit from them too!

Skillpop (amazing in-person learning!) - https://www.skillpop.com/

CreativeLive - https://www.creativelive.com/

Skillshare - https://www.skillshare.com/home

Cultivate What Matters (the best inspiration a girl could ask for!) - https://cultivatewhatmatters.com/

I hope you see that I am just a normal twenty-something with a dream and supportive friends and family. I encourage you to not settle for the easy or established path, but rather to take the path that is the most fulfilling to you!

Make moves, friends!

Brenna




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