brand crush: holly holt design

brandcrush_holly-01 Hooray for Thursday!! I love Thursdays. Maybe even more than Fridays. Fridays are a fairly take-it-easy day for me and I try and close my laptop early to get into weekend mode. Thursday is the bust-it-for-one-last-super-productive-day day so I can fully enjoy the weekend. So, hooray Thursday! Today I am extra excited because I get to share with you one of my loveliest and most talented friends, Holly Holt and her business Holly Holt Design. I first connected with Holly online, then met her in real life at the Influence Conference last September. Holly is kind, generous, has a huge heart and incredible talent and I am so thankful to know her, to call her friend and to watch as she lets the Lord continually use her passions and giftings for His glory! I was thrilled when Holly agreed to answer some questions for this brand crush series and hope you love getting to know her! Introducing, sweet Holly!

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Tell us who you are and what you do!

Hello, it’s so nice to meet you! My name is Holly, and I would love for us to be friends :) I currently live in Minneapolis, MN, with my husband Derek and cuddly cat Phoebe. I create for Holly Holt Design where I live out my passions for encouraging others, creating community in the midst of hardship, and building a strong marriage. These passions have come out of personal experience facing hardship with my husband’s health and have carried over into every aspect of life.

Describe a typical day for you.

Oh, the “typical day”… :) Well, usually my days are anything but typical. Although my daily tasks and to-dos tend to fluctuate depending on the season we are in, I try to stick to a weekly routine that helps our family stay on the same page. Sundays and Mondays are my “weekend” days because of Derek’s work schedule. On those days I attend church, get the house in order, grocery shop, and try to take time to rest - both alone and with Derek. Since my business is small, I ship orders on Tuesdays and Fridays each week. Thursdays I reserve for meetings with clients or collaborations. Saturdays are brainstorm days (my favorite!). The rest of my time is divided with emails, collaborating, working on new products, and connecting with others. Having this loose routine has helped me tremendously keep perspective on life and make what matters most happen.

How do you stay inspired?

As an ideas person, staying inspired is something that comes natural to me - I love coming up with ideas and seeing them through to the end! Digging deep into Scripture, praying, going on walks, and journaling all help tremendously in creating focus for my inspiration.

 What's your favorite way to cultivate creativity?

Brainstorming! I absolutely love sitting down with a pen and paper and writing down everything that comes to mind and then stepping back to look at the big picture to see how all the little pieces can work together. A few other favorite ways are collaborating with fellow creatives, reading a good book, and going for a walk to get my creative thoughts flowing.

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How did you get started doing what you do?

From a young age my father taught me how to be an entrepreneur - cleaning houses, pet sitting, and any other odd job working for myself. As I grew older, this passion stayed with me, and in 2014 I opened my first Etsy shop dedicated to creating paper goods for life’s celebrations. Things got off to a fantastic start and I was busier than I knew how to handle. A few months after I opened, my husband’s health relapsed and I was forced to put my business dreams to care for our family. Over the next six months, a new business mission began to emerge from the broken pieces of our life. Now, Holly Holt Design is dedicated to encouraging and empowering women to lean into the Lord and true community during seasons of hardship. Each product or service I create is thought through, prayed over, and carefully packaged up with love to draw us all closer to what matters most.

What are your three favorite reads? (books, blogs, magazines)

Only 3? Reading is one of my absolute favorite pastimes so it is hard to narrow it down.. :) I am always encouraged reading Gretchen Saffles' blog Life Lived Beautifully. She has a deep love for Christ, and I am continuously blessed by her testimony. (I also love reading this blog because of all the amazing topics you come up with - The financial and capsule posts are my favorite!) My two current favorite books are Restless and The Circle Maker, but I must also recommend Finding Faith in the Dark!

What fills your tank so you can keep doing what you do / how do you rest?

Giving definitely fills my heart and soul with so much joy. If I could be a professional gift giver I totally would! I love thinking and seeking out just the right gift for the right person to make them feel like they are receiving a big hug when they open the package :) Reading also fills my tank in more ways than I can even describe. Years ago, I used to read all the time but somewhere along the way that habit was lost. Last year, I decided to try to read one book a month and have carried that goal into 2015. Rest is something that I am currently learning about, and it is a definite struggle. I used to think that rest was time wasted because “there is always something I could be doing”... I am learning when I take the time to rest, I can give my best to the things that matter most.

If you could give another creative entrepreneur who's just starting out a piece of advice, what would you say?

The world needs your special story and gifts and talents in this world. Please do not get caught up in comparison and doubt. It is so easy to get caught in this trap and think “I will never be as good as ____” or “If I only had those connections, skills, friends, pretty office, _____ then I would be successful” and so on… These thoughts just aren’t true, and they have the power to paralyze you with fear if you let them. Persevere through it all, and trust in the Lord for guidance. Seek out connections with friends and creatives in your field that will push you to be your best and support you through the ups and downs that are guaranteed to come your way in life.

Share five products or apps that make your life easier or you can't live without.

Instagram, Camera/Snapseed, Macbook, Adobe Suite, Art supplies

Favorite song to throw an impromptu dance party to?

Shake it off (or anything T Swift) - of course! I also love Happy by Pharrell :)

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Thanks so much, Holly! Be sure to follow Holly on Instagram, check out her beautiful products in her shop and once her gorgeous new site is launched, keep up with her via her blog!