Rachel Mae Smith of The Crafted Life
Meet Rachel Mae Smith, Owner + Creative Director of The Crafted Life.
Tell us your story, in a timeline!
10 YEARS AGO
Oh gosh, 10 years ago I was a Sophomore in college and had just changed majors from Fashion Design to Art History and Writing. Blogging wasn't really on my radar, but I knew I wanted to work in a creative field.
5 YEARS AGO
5 years ago I was living in San Francisco working 80 hours a week at a startup while running my blog on the side in my spare time. It was during this time that I realized I was spending my life working for someone else's dream while I put mine on hold. I quit shortly after.
1 YEAR AGO
1 year ago, now living in Philadelphia and working on my business full time, I was making plans to expand into a studio space (which I have today)
Give us a play-by-play of a (work) day in your life.
Rachel: Everyday is so different depending on the time of year and what projects are going on, but my day typically looks like this:
Wake up, check emails/social, queue up post.
Get to the studio and do any shoots that need to be done. Source props and plan for future shoots. Lunch is typically taken at my desk unless my studio mate is in and we go out.
Break! I've found that I do not work well in the afternoon. My brain is mush, so I take that time off to recharge a bit. Of course if I'm really busy I skip this break, but I aim to take it whenever I can.
Catch up on emails again and cover anything else that may have come up.
Back to work.
Editing photos, writing blog posts, etc.
Tell us the real sh*t that goes on behind the scenes.
Rachel: Behind the scenes snippets are always my favorite. I think bloggers are expected to deliver this very curated and styled view on life, but more often than not (and maybe I'm just speaking for myself, but I doubt it), our own spaces are a wreck, at least when we're really into a project.
There was a time recently where I was working on something pretty big and I was having to do about 5-7 photoshoots a day for a few weeks. Needless to say that everything on the flat lay I setup was gorgeous, but outside of that, there was hardly a path for me to walk through because of all of the props. And I'll be honest, I've been known to nap on my bed while the other side is covered in materials from a photoshoot.
Being able to run your own business and have the power to execute your own creative vision, even when you're tried, burnt out and broke (aka waiting on payment for work you did a while ago), is worth it. There's honestly nothing in the world like waking up every morning knowing that what you do that day is entirely up to you.
What's your work uniform/go-to outfit?
Rachel: When working at home, I stay in my pjs all day for the most part. If I'm in the studio and on set, really comfortable cotton dresses are a go-to.
What systems do you use in your business that keep you sane?
Rachel: The one thing that has helped me with my sanity and to stay organized is my end of the day brain dump. When I'm done working, I make a list of everything that I didn't do that day, things that are due soon, etc. It helps me stay on track and to see what's coming up. Plus there's something about writing it out with pen and paper that helps me remember it.
Any words of wisdom for other bosses?
Rachel: Take care of yourself.
I know there's been a lot of buzz about being the perfect Girlboss and hustling lately, but it's really okay if you take time for self care as well. Taking an hour to yourself doesn't make you a bad boss and it won't kill your business (as long as you're not ditching out on an important client meeting). In fact, anything you can do to save yourself from burnout you should do. Think of your business as the long game and what's going to keep you doing in day in and day out year after year. Speaking from experience here-- working yourself into the ground day after day just isn't sustainable.
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