Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! For those of you that are new to this blog series, prepare to meet some of the most inspirational and motivational creative entrepreneurs in Chicago. I feature a new young creative entrepreneur each week that is living their best life, to help encourage you to finally turn that side hustle into your full time job!
This week I interviewed Audrey Simper, a Chicago boudoir and portrait photographer. Audrey and I met in college and I immediately felt a wonderfully contagious, positive energy about her. Flash forward to 2018 and I see her amazing work all over Instagram. She’s an inspiration and one to watch. She’s the queen of female empowerment and helping other woman see how beautiful they truly are. There’s no better word to describe this interview than authentic. She shares with us the journey of finding herself and how she became the boss babe that she is today. One of my favorite lines from Audrey: “When you put yourself in the life you want to be living, you have no other choice but to make it work out.” Enjoy getting to know Audrey Simper and be sure to follow her on Facebook and Instagram!
1. How did you get started with photography?
I’ve been a creative for as long as I can remember. I dabbled in many different forms of art. It gave me the freedom to express myself and found it consumed me for hours. Before Photography I used to draw. After taking all the drawing classes I could possibly take in high school I found Photography next. I fell in love with Photoshop and creating stories through images. I became so inspired by this medium that I spent most of my free time planning, creating, and dreaming of what I could compose next. I grew up believing that artists don’t make money and that it isn’t a “real job”. So I went to study Architecture for two years only to drop out when I started to get paid for my photography work and a realization that Photography was my real passion.
2. Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
In a way, yes. I always knew that I was destined for something greater than a 9-5 and I really enjoy being the boss ;) I am usually always more comfortable leading than following.
3. When did you know it was the right time to go full time on your business?
I’ve run my business full time since 2015. I knew it was the right time when I was previously living a pretty safe life, I was uncomfortable taking big risks. Committing to my business full time seemed like one. I honestly wanted an escape. I decided to quit working as a Nanny, take a break from my business and move to another country to live with my boyfriend at the time. But there I really hit rock bottom. Nothing was going as planned and my worst fears came to life. During this low I read a book called “You’re A Badass” by Jen Sincero. That book inspired me to completely change my life and the way I was thinking. I decided to move to Chicago, get my dream apartment, and commit to my business 110%. I had no idea how I was going to do that since all I had was one month’s rent. But this book prepared me for that. When you put yourself in the life you want to be living, you have no other choice but to make it work out. And that’s exactly what happened. I had faith in myself and the world, I ignored the worried voices in my head by practicing gratitude, meditation and visualization.
4. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome with owning your own business?