Mamapreneur: Jessi Metzger
Business: Lovebug Photography
Facebook: Lovebug Photography
Jessi is mama to two beautiful lovebugs, Clark (4) and Rosie (1), who challenge her every day to live authentically, love fiercely, cherish each moment, and pray for the strength to be the mama they deserve (and, as she says, “Let's face it – pray NOT to loose my cool!!”). She and her hubby started dating as teenagers working at a Christian camp, then after a deployment, several moves, and a lot of figuring out life, they are now happily settled in Western New York. Her family strives to be warm, authentic, and playful every day (coincidentally, that's the goal of her business as well), and through everything, their deepest desire is that they would point their littles to the Lord.
Awesome, Jessi! We can't wait to hear more.
About Jessi’s Business:
Lovebug Photography is a boutique portrait photography service in the Rochester, NY area. The goal is for every session to be warm, playful, and authentic. Lovebug Photography specializes in providing heirloom-quality wall art & products.
Why did you decide to become a Mamapreneur?
Our son was born during my husband's deployment in Afghanistan. He was almost 10-months-old before his daddy got to hold him for the first time. During my pregnancy, I vowed to document all the little details of our son's life in an attempt for my husband to feel as connected as possible. Through pouring myself into photography – researching, testing, practicing – I found a very real love. Something clicked inside me like never before. This creating and capturing just felt so right, like this artform was meant for my heart. Two days after my husband's homecoming I set off on my first client session. I was hooked! And I have been ever since.
What is the greatest challenge you’ve experienced in your business?
Wow, there is so much I could write here: fear, doubt, financial struggles, comparison, learning how to run a business (and not just a hobby!).
How did you overcome that challenge?
We've always done things through trial and error. Without a lot of savings to pour into our business, we couldn't afford a fancy online course to guide us. We took a few smaller courses, like FB Brilliance, and then tried things until we found what worked. So far, simply reaching out to online sellers we know in real life and through our online endeavors has been our biggest success.
What is your greatest win as a business owner?
Honestly, every time my clients walk away with beautiful, heirloom-quality products, I count it as a victory! I absolutely love that my clients will have gorgeous artwork displayed within their home that they will enjoy every day. I used to only offer digitals and it was such a disservice to my clients. Many client portraits remain stuck on their CD or lost in cyberspace, never to be printed. I am so very proud of the direction my business has taken and the service I can offer my clients because of it!
Describe your ‘day in the life.’
What’s your great big dream for your business?
When I realized I wanted to run a business, and not just have a hobby, I educated myself on what exactly that would entail. I made sure I was registered, insured, and correctly filing my taxes. I enlisted the help of business mentors who, through workshops and one-on-one mentorships, helped me align my dreams with attainable steps to reach them. I learned about SEO, marketing, advertising, and blogging. While many of the steps weren't particularly fun, it gave me a lot more confidence and ownership in my business!
Share a tip with your fellow Mamapreneurs.
My GREATEST tip for busy mamas is this: wake up early.
Truly, it's gold. I'm not claiming you will be able to accomplish much before your littles come parading down the stairs, but if you have a simple routine that's yours, it will help you feel as if you're in control of the whole day – rather than having it just happen to you.
My husband will attest that I am NOT naturally a morning person, which is exactly why I believe I need this time more than anyone. I sip my coffee, read my Bible, and start a load of laundry all before I'm required to talk to anyone. Once my hubby or my kiddos come down the stairs, I'm ready to greet them and greet the day as well.
Share a funny, crazy, or disastrous Mamapreneur moment you’ve had.
Oh man, this one is SO embarrassing! First off, I'll just say I'm relatively clueless when it comes to trendy jargon (that tends to happen when any screen time usually ends with Elmo or Veggie Tales played in an unending loop!).
During my newborn sessions, I always invite the dads to relax in the living room with a snack and set up the TV so they can watch whatever they'd like. For months I had been inviting them to “Netflix and Chill.” Turns out that means something very different than what I thought! My husband, who teaches at a high school, and therefore is privy to whacky teenage sayings, clued me in one night and couldn't stop laughing! Haha! I will be triple checking what phrases mean before I try to use them.