Celebrating Life’s Moments with Entrepreneur Kristen Ley

Today on the Brava Podcast we’re going to hear from a powerful creative entrepreneur and CEO who turned her passions into a thriving business by simply celebrating life’s moments. I’m SO excited to introduce you to Kristen Ley, CEO, er, actually I should say, “Chief Confetti Maker and Founder” of Thimblepress. The in below to get real with Kristen and her start-up story, learn more about differentiating products in a competitive space and advice on how to make your dream a reality.

Kristen Ley and Brava Podcast

SHOW NOTES:

Interview Kristen Ley is a party in a podcast! Can’t wait to get started with our interview (1:40)

Kristen has been creating art as early as she can remember. Her parents have always been very encouraging with everything Kristen has gone for despite her family coming from a medical background. She went to school for art and design. She graduated with a BFA in business and graphic design and a minor in marketing (2:40)

She started her career with an internship at Matchbox Studios in Dallas and loved it (4:30.)

She remembers going to the library in Charleston, SC to learn the ins and outs of how to start her business…from scratch! Her and her colleague hustled to launch and sustain their own marketing and branding business (5:00.)

Then she was offered a full-time offer to be a full graphic design artist that was closer back to home and she took the job. After about a year she quickly realized she was not wired for a 8 to 5 job (7:15.)

She used her letterpress as a creative release for years before making it part of her future career. During Christmas of 2012 she was convinced by her friend to start an Etsy and have a craft show (8:00.)

In 2013, she decided to make it official and launch Thimblepress, LLC inspired by her grandmothers and mother who influenced Kristen’s crafting (11:15.)

Thimblepress comes from the deep desire to want to encourage, lift up others, and show others how they can be present and celebrate friends and family (13:00.)

Kristen used to have 20 employees. Over the years she learned a lot about herself and her personality and realized a larger team is not for her. She’s very interested in the enneagram and it also helped her learn more details about her personality and how she can lead in the best way possible. Now she has a very lean team and she loves it both for her business and her wellness (17:45.)

When it comes to competitors, she keeps herself in her lane and focuses on her customer’s happiness and loving them like they are family and friends (20:00.)

My strategy? Do what’s best for me!
— Kristen Ley, CEO and Founder of Thimblepress

Looking to launch your own product? Kristen wants you to know that you are already amazing and a success no matter what. Allow opportunities to flow into your life and jump, even if you are afraid. Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect others to believe in your business? (21:56)

Stay in touch with Kristen’s next steps and business ventures! She recently launched KristenLey.com to be open and honest with her own business. Check it out! Be sure to check out Thimblepress too and celebrate others along the way!


Thank you readers, to tuning into the Brava Podcast. If you like the show please leave a review on iTunes

What from our conversation inspired you today? What do you hope to hear next? Tweet or message us on Instagram @BravaPodcast to tell us what you want to hear, even if it’s your own story! 

Ethical Leadership and Stopping the Spiral of Incivility with Audrey Murrell

Today’s episode is focused on highlighting ethical leadership and putting a proactive end on the spiral of incivility. In the work place, whether we’re leaders, managers or part of any team structure, we can face this at any time. 

I’d like to introduce and highlight the expert on this matter, Associate Dean at the University of the Pittsburgh Business School and Director of the Berg Center for Leadership and Ethics, Audrey Murrell. She is a woman of influence who conducts research, teaches, consults and helps organizations better utilize and engage their most important assets - their human and social capital. 

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SHOW NOTES:

Audrey shares that rudeness, bickering, work place behavior, demeaning personalities, taunting…all are examples of incivility. They are not the cost of doing business, they are costly to business. They may start off as something small or manageable, but they are creating a downward spiral for businesses (1:10).  

When incivility is not corrected it has a whole host of consequences for the organization. It erodes culture and affects turnover (2:13).

There are many reasons that incivility is on the rise: we have a tendency to ignore incivility hoping that it will go away itself. Another reason why it may be on the rise is that leadership and higher-ups may be the instigators of bad behavior without ramification or are not providing proper discipline in their own workplace (4:13).

Leaders must establish norms of zero tolerance for incivility.
— Audrey Murrell

Audrey always starts off meetings in her unit acknowledging the positive behavior of her employees but also create a model for the norm in the workplace (7:25).

The best way to counter negative behavior is to reinforce positive behavior (8:45).

Audrey will look for people who can be partners with her in this practice. She and a colleague made a pact to model positive vs. negative behavior in their workplace. Overtime they continued to add people to their pact to change their negative workspace into a positive one (10:00).

Careers in reality are not steps, but much more like a labyrinth with adjusting to change and tackling obstacles. Audrey believes that education is transformational both to our thinking and our opportunities. She’s also very passionate about mentoring, specifically peer-to-peer mentoring (11:15).

I really hate the word networking, it sounds very transactional. I talk about relationships because there is a mutual benefit.
— Audrey Murrell

Effective leadership is not only about what you do and your skill-set, but it’s also about finding the right context and the environment that is right fit for you as a leader (16:00).

Want to lead and you don’t think you are getting that support from your organization? Look outside your organization to develop your leadership skills, negotiation, organization…at volunteer opportunities, church, community events, etc. It may not be at your job, but it is definitely in your community (19:00).

Ethical leadership is so powerful because you can’t be an effective leader without being ethical and being ethical and particularly shaping the ethical climate and culture in an organization requires leadership (21:30).

Want to star putting Audrey’s insight into action? She recommends seeking ethical role models in your organization that you can talk to and learn from. She also advises to seek training for leadership and ethics within your organization. Lastly, she suggests to connect within your community and push yourself outside your comfort zone. Do something different because that’s where you need your growth (23:20).

Leaders push themselves even if it’s outside their comfort zone.
— Audrey Murrell

Audrey works to stop and acknowledge the amazing things their students are doing and to celebrate with them and for them. It’s what keeps her going! (28:18).

If you would like to learn more on leadership and ethics or incivility, please go to audreymurell.com for more information. 

Thank you readers, to tuning into the Brava Podcast. If you like the show please leave us a review on iTunes

What from our conversation inspired you today? What do you hope to hear next? Tweet or message us on Instagram @BravaPodcast to tell us what you want to hear, even if it’s your own story!