recently i decided to start injecting a tiny little bit of modern day feminism into this blog. i figure when my ideology and the subjects of this blog intersect, it’s not just an opportunity to spread positive vibes and support great women in the creative industry, but it also presents an interesting story that might be inspiring to you in other ways, too.

the internet is a lovely thing, isn’t it? it’s introduced me to so many inspiring people from all around the world, who i would otherwise never have met. one of them is BREANNA ROSE – a lady whose blog manages to excite and inspire me with every single post. recently i had the chance to chat with her for a little bit – about blogging, life as a freelancer and the difference between our contintents. she also just launched a new design studio – ROWANMADE – which will undoubtedly take her already successful business to a whole new level. i love breanna’s take on work and life, and so i thought she’d make an excellent interviewee for my kick-ass women series. i hope you go on to explore HER BLOG, too. a while ago breanna asked me to keep A CREATIVE DIARY of my day on there – which was a lot of fun for me to do. you can read it HERE.

n a m e   a   c h a l l e n g e   t h a t   y o u   d i d n ‘ t   t h i n k   y o u   c o u l d    o v e r c o m e ,    b u t   c o n q u e r e d    a n y w a y .

one of the biggest challenges i’ve ever done was start my own business. when i graduated from design school, i thought i was supposed to fill out applications to design studios and follow this traditional path, just like everybody else. it had always been a dream of mine to be my own boss, but at the fresh age of 22, i didn’t think it would happen so soon. but as i began filling out applications and considering my options, i realized that my heart just wasn’t in it. i wondered how i was supposed to wake up and go to a job, everyday, that i wasn’t passionate about. why fake it? so as scary as it was, i sat down with my parents and told them about my plan: that i would take the next four months to prove to not only them, but myself as well, that i could run my own business. with a six month old blog, my childhood bedroom, a few freelance gigs, and a whole lot of guts, i went for it and never looked back. it was a serious life changing challenge, but deep down, i knew i could do it. and i did.

w h a t   i s   y o u r   b i g g e s t   r e g r e t ?

when i first started my business, i didn’t have a lot of boundaries set in place. growing up, i was sadly one of those people who could easily be walked over. maybe not ALL over, but i definitely had some push over qualities. the thing is … i was too nervous of what people would think or say if i stuck up for myself. but as i’ve gotten older, each and every year, i’ve seen my own confidence grow, which luckily has applied to my business, too. in the beginning, i let a lot of things slide, simply because i needed more clients in order to make it. i quickly came to realize, though, that i wasn’t being fair to myself. in order to create a successful working relationship with clients, you need to be clear up front about what the rules are and what everyone can expect. i regret not doing that from the get go, but am happy that i am now not only in my business life, but my personal one, too.

w h a t   i s   t h e   m o s t   i m p o r t a n t   t h i n g   y o u ‘ v e   l e a r n e d   i n   y o u r   l i f e   s o   f a r ?

that life is all about love, it’s as simple as that. at the end of my road, whenever that may be, it’s not my job or the money or the things i owned that i’ll be thinking about. it’ll be the meaningful relationships i’ve been lucky to be a part of. the saturday dinners filled with good friends, food, and great conversations. the holidays around my grandpa’s tiny kitchen table. the family road trips that seemed to last forever. and all of those times where it felt so good to be alive and surrounded by friends + family. the people in my life are there for a reason and i’m thankful each and everyday for that. at the end of the day, if i have them, nothing else matters.

w h a t   a r e   y o u   t r y i n g   t o    t e a c h   y o u r s e l f    r i g h t    n o w ?

patience. i am one of the most impatient people i know and am fully aware of it, so i’ve promised myself to simply work on it. if you ask my fiancé, he’ll probably say i have a long way to go, but i know that each little day is a milestone. i’m learning to take deep breaths, slow down, and ask myself “is it really that bad?” my mind is constantly wandering around at hyper fast speeds, so i have to literally force myself to practice patience. it’s tough, but i know that 25 year old me is much better at it than 15 year old me. so what will 35 year old me be like? almost patient, right?

w h a t   i s    y o u r   f a v o r i t e   m e m o r y ?   w h a t    d o e s    i t    s a y   a b o u t   y o u ?

i could choose my favorite memory from so many, all of which would probably sound cliché. you know, the 100+ miles we walked around paris. camping trips up north with my best friend + fiancé. playing cards with family over the holidays. while all of those are definite favorites, there is one that does stand out even more simply for the meaning behind it. and strangely enough, it’s probably my happiest and saddest memory, all in one. two years ago, my grandma bea was diagnosed with lung cancer and given a few months to live. i was very close with her growing up, so it was the hardest news i’ve ever had to swallow. my grandma, though, took it in stride and had the most positive outlook about her future. she simply accepted it. so for those last few months, we made special weekend trips to visit as much as we could and make even more memories. the last day i saw her was just one day before she passed. we spent an hour or so chatting about family, old stories, and how she was feeling. and on our way out, i went down to give my grandma a hug, like usual. but this time was different … she hugged me tight, whispering “i love you breanna rose” in my ear. in that instant, i knew it was the last hug i would receive from my grandma. she knew, too. it was one of those surreal “this world is so powerful” moments where i was simply floored by how beautiful and painful life can be, all at once. despite how hard those few minutes were, it’s one of my favorite memories that i will remember forever. it reminds me that love really is what it’s all about.

w h a t   i s   t h e   b i g g e s t   a c c o m p l i s h m e n t    y o u   w i s h   f o r   y o u r s e l f   i n   y o u r    f u t u r e ?

i have such big dreams for the future of my business and where that adventure will lead to, but even more than that, i simply hope that i can travel + explore as much as possible. this world is so big and i have so much to see + learn.

breanna’s design studio ROWANMADE // and her lovely BLOG
photos via breanna rose

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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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