Here at Braid we work with lots of photographers - and even though it’s a seemingly saturated market, each photographer we work with has a distinctly unique vibe - both in their personal style and their professional process. Greer Inez is no exception. She’s the kind of gal who isn’t afraid to shave the side of her head, wear high-waisted bell bottoms, and rock a hot neon green bra under a sheer white tee. She has a sexy smoker’s voice (without being a smoker, mind you) that draws you in and hypnotizes you to what she’s preaching - which is usually something along the lines of insisting on living a bold and beautiful life. And being photographed by Greer feels like being photographed by a rock star - a rock star who makes you feel (and look) beautiful. 

Greer was headed towards a doctorate with dreams of teaching college students when she found herself unexpectedly pregnant with her little boy (now two years old). It was an opportunity for her to completely change directions into creative entrepreneurship. We’re chatting with Greer a little more on how she lives a bold and beautiful life of her very own.  

Energy + Hard Work = Dream Job
Braid: How did you end up on the road to creative entrepreneurship?
Greer: I was on the path to a PhD with dreams of teaching college students when we found out I was pregnant with Lennon [surprise!]. I continued graduate school while I was pregnant, I'll never forget squeezing my big-ol-belly into those tiny desks I had once sat in as a narcissistic 20-year-old. When Lennon came into this world, my priorities were drastically affected. I couldn't excuse spending another penny on more school for myself, it felt selfish, I needed to start saving for Lennon's education. If I was going to be away from my baby, I was going to be making money, not spending money... Desperate, I found myself in one of the scariest times of my life, worried that I wouldn't find a new path that fulfilled me while also financing Lennon's needs. 

My husband and a few friends had been hounding me about my photography for years, thinking I needed to find a way to make a living with my photography. I thought it was the wildest pipe-dream. But I've always been a dreamer, I am super comfortable thinking outside the [rational] box. So once I started neurotically nourishing that dream with energy + hard work, my dream job was created. I must say, from the very beginning, I have included the raddest people in every decision I could. I believe in the power of community, and even though my career might look very solo from the outside, my life as a photographer actually consists of many radass people supporting me.

Braid: Travel is super important to you. How does bringing your talent coast-to-coast change (or boost) your outlook as an artist and as a business-woman?
Traveling is very important to me. My parents started sending me overseas as a teenager, and I learned quickly the importance of travel on a person's growth + evolution. Being taken out of my comfort zone + being exposed to new things, enjoying things that my home may not have. Oh the goodness of travels... This country varies dramatically coast-to-coast. Taking my business coast-to-coast keeps my eyes stimulated, keeps my creative juices flowing. I am constantly gathering inspiration and being energized by the people I encounter on my travels. I would feel so stale / stagnant without the ability to take my business coast-to-coast. 

Braid: You seem to really thrive in the work / life overlap - which is what having a personal brand is all about. What advice would you give to those embarking on a creative career when it comes to blending who you are with what you do?
Greer: Oh man. Loaded question. Always keep a heart of gratitude. Surround yourself with smart + creative people. Your business is vulnerable to your emotional state, so take care of yourself. You will have to be your biggest fan some days. Get yourself a set of awesome people that you can depend on, support is important. Share ideas and include others in your daily path. Make goals + plans of attack. Get [& stay] organized, LOVE your lists, and keep making bigger goals than yesterday's. Gather inspiration, but don't peruse for too long because when you compare too much, you can start feelin' beat down. Oh and keep that heart of gratitude along the way...

Person Professional Overlap
Braid: Photography is a booming industry right now. How do you manage to stay confident when there are so many other creatives with cameras to compete with out there?
Greer: Thankfully, I do not have much time to look at my competition, because I'd probably start feeling insecure. And insecurity / jealousy is such a time-consuming, self-destructive cycle. To be honest, I kinda keep a certain level of naivety at all times. Oh really, there are other people out there that are better than I? And people will hire them and not me? Well, if so, ignorance is bliss, eh?

Like my man always says, don't worry about other people, worry about yourself. So I worry about myself- I take good care of myself, I believe in a lot of positive self-talk, I work really hard, and I do all that I can to deliver a phenomenal product/experience when I am hired. And I believe there is always that person out there that is looking for that unique Greer Inez experience.

Don't Worry About Others
Braid: Surrounding yourself with creatives - your tribe - is really important to you. Tell us about that. What advice would you give to others who are looking for "their people"?
Greer: My tribe is so important to me. I invest a lot in these people. Because I would be nothing without them. I believe in myself because I believe in my people, and my people are what support me on a daily basis. Support is so important.

My tribe varies from blood-family members to childhood friends, to my branding company + web developers. I guess you could say that I insist on the best. And you should too! Surround yourself with incredible people. Just simply insist on it! 

My Tribe

Surround Yourself With Incredible People
Braid: What are three daily "must-haves" you cannot live without?
1. My Leo loverboys (my man and my little boy - both born under a Leo sun)
2. Greens (like Kale / Spinach) (I need to have greens every day of my life!)
3. iPhone (I take about 1000 iPhone photos a week. I'd be really sad without it.)

Three Daily Must Haves
Braid: Do you think creative types have unique challenges as entrepreneurs?
Greer: I have noticed that some creative types struggle with motivation. I assume it tends to be a lack of belief in oneself or a lack of organization.  It is so sad, but I have seen many super-creative people struggle to get their business off the ground. I know it is hard some days, you just have to insist on keeping that personal dialogue a positive one, a productive dialogue. I do believe that those that can stay motivated & hard working [through the hard times] are the ones that will be successful.

Braid: Finally, share with us a recent victory you've been celebrating.
Greer: I travel a lot for work. But most of my business is in Oklahoma since I live here. After establishing myself in Oklahoma City / Norman, my goal was to establish myself in Southern California, so we could spend more time at our house in Laguna Beach. And I have recently reached a point where I am working in California enough to be there a few months out of the year. Dream come true!

Congrats Greer on taking big leaps when it comes to finding the balance between living a curiously creative life while raising a young family and fulfilling your own passions. 

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.


Piper Toth of One Sydney Road has turned her wanderlust, her love of beautiful things and her small business background into an online shop success – most recently curated as a series of city-themed collections (from Parisian streets to Brooklyn boardwalks).  And while the pop-up strategy has helped keep the daily grind of running a retail business fresh for Piper, she’s come to realize that her true “passion path” may be actually helping the shopkeeps themselves. These small business gals (and guys) who she often celebrates in her Meet The Shopkeeps feature on her pop-up site, are exactly who she’s come to realize are her true dream customer. And that, kinda gives us goosebumps for where this creative entrepreneur’s wanderings could take her next. See how Piper’s made a go of it so far, and how she’ “braving up” to take her business vision road on a new direction.

Brick vs. Online
Perks and Pains
Celebrate Small or Big Wins
Lightbulb Moment
A Shopkeep Embracing Expertise
Shops and Passions

What’s the best investment you’ve made in your own business?
Piper: One of the best decisions I ever made was to open my store online.  Before I opened, I had been looking at actual storefronts and considering having a brick and mortar store.  I’m glad I took the time to really think about what that would entail.  Having worked from home the past two years, I now know that I love the freedom it allows me.  Had I opened a storefront, not only would I have to be there running the store, but the overhead costs would have made growing as a new small business very difficult.  Not to mention even more stress!  I think that’s such an important step when starting a business – know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. And I love that I can do in-person shows and get to be ‘shopkeep’ for the day!

What’s it like working from home?
Piper:  Working from home is pretty great.  I always suspected that there was something to working in your pajamas!  Not to mention, being able to work outside or listen to music as loud as you want.  Or even to just pack the day in.  What I didn’t expect was how difficult it can be!  The isolation takes the cake.  You’re home, all day, without anyone to talk to, bounce ideas off of or help make decisions.  Thank god for Skype and my monthly biz gals meet-ups (a local group I started). They have absolutely helped with that!

A lot of creatives have a love-hate relationship with creating their content – writing, blogging, etc. How about you?
Piper: I’m smiling as I write this because damn, if that isn’t the truth! I used to force myself to sit down and create even when I wasn’t in the mood.  Now I’ve learned that the best thing for me is to work in bursts when I’ve got the love thing going.  It’s amazing how much more I can create when I’m in the mood and enjoying it.  Then I can schedule the content or tweak it at a later date.  This helps to get through those “if I have to come up with one more thing to say, I’m going to freak out” times!  I also have found that looking around online for inspiration actually keeps me from creating.  I think it’s too easy to get information overload and feel unable to create content.  So to get reinvigorated I step away from the computer, get outside, and go back to simple times  – good ole pen and paper.  

What’s a business victory for you, as of late?
Piper: Great question!  Especially since small business owners, like me, tend to forget to celebrate the small (or big) wins.  It always seems like it’s on to the next thing with no time to stop & smell the roses.  My latest victory would have to be launching the online pop-up shops over the summer – which then led to my newsletters for the pop-up shops being featured on MailChimp!  I spend a crazy amount of time (not to mention lots of hair pulling!) creating and designing the images for both the pop-up shop and the newsletters, so to get recognition for that work was an absolute treat!

Is there a specific struggle you keep coming back to as a creative entrepreneur?
Piper: Currently my struggle is a biggie.  It’s rebranding and transitioning my business from an online store to a coaching and consulting service for creative entrepreneurs – especially in the areas of creating and designing images and content.  

It’s a hard transition to make when you’ve poured your heart and soul into your business, to turn around and start almost from scratch.  It’s a bit terrifying, yet exciting, because I know this is the work I’m meant to be doing.  And I wouldn’t have known my true passion is for entrepreneurship, helping others, and designing – had I not opened up my store in the first place.  But my store has a special place in my heart which makes it hard to finally close the doors so to speak.  Although don’t they say that when you close one door, another opens?!

But more often than not, once I take that first small step, the next steps don’t feel as hard and overwhelming.  And trust me, this is coming from someone who will procrastinate until... That’s become my new mantra “take action!”

Dream jobs are hard work. How do you “keep the dream going?”
Piper: The motivation is that I’ve found my calling, so to speak.  I actually got my college degree in Small Business Entrepreneurship – yes, there is such a degree! This whole time I thought that I wanted to open my own business.  True, but what I realized over the past two years is that I’m most passionate about helping others start and run their businesses.  And I’ve got the training and knowledge to help.  Hello, lightbulb moment!   I used to coach dance teams and it was the most fulfilling, rewarding, hard as anything, job I’ve ever had.  When I started questioning retail and why it didn’t seem to fit me, I kept going back to that time.  The answer was there the whole time – I’m at my best and most fulfilled when I’m working with and helping others.  Knowing that has changed everything for me.

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.


Have you heard the saying, “the cobbler has no shoes?” It’s often the same thing for vibrant, bootstrappy creative firms, when it comes to telling their own brand story. Think design studios, marketing firms, sound studios, video/editing studios and other creative shops – in cities, we should mention, that might just happen to be smack dab in the middle of the country or off the beaten path. (Hey, not everyone can live in a creative-metropolis-on-the-coast, right?) 

Firms like this often have mad skills, but they need the shoes to match. Or, like that fabled shoemaker, they need to stop “doing, doing, doing” for everyone else, and take a moment. They need to stop just “cobbling” together their own brand into an image of how they think a creative shop should seem – but actually look inward, and start saying what they really mean about themselves.

Kathleen and I just had the chance to work with one such Oklahoma City design firm. They’ve been blazing away creating some really beautiful brands and modern designs for their own clients, and they have this cool open space along an urban street – and their name is Ghost. The name alone is magical, right? The trigger for them to take a hard look at their own brand, was gearing up for a website redesign and relaunch their internal team would design and develop (which is there anything harder than working on your own projects?) 

But, their principal Brian Barnes, is the kind of creative who embraces – well, other creatives. He and his creative director, Matthew Pickett, decided to take this evolution as a chance to shape up their content as well. So they said to us, “hey Braid, we want you to help us share our own brand story better.” So, of course we say 1.) yes, please, 2.) you have to let us create a brand video for you, and 3.) yo, Brian, you’ve gotta be the voice of this dang thing! So, first, go watch the new Ghost brand video we helped them create, here.

Then read more below, as we Q&A with the guys of Ghost. See if some of the barriers and brave moments that come with (gasp!) letting other creatives, get all elbow deep into your business – perhaps stir up some feelings about your own content (and dare I say, ghosts) of your own.

Ghost Brian Quote

Ghost Matt Quote

Ghost Quote

Why is self-branding such a challenge for creatives, let alone creative agencies?
Brian: When you live, eat and breathe your business every day it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. We face the same challenge as a design company. When it comes to our own story and our own brand we can be a bit nearsighted. Our own needs often get put last on the list behind the work we're creating to serve our clients.

One of the most valuable services Ghost provides our clients, is taking an honest, objective look at their branding. From their logo and graphics, to their collateral and content, the clients aren't always telling exactly the story they think they are. Or more often than not, they're not telling the whole story. Objectivity is nearly impossible when it comes to your own company. 

For a firm like Ghost that already has all these creative components in place – what’s the “before & after” now that you have a clearer vision for your content?
Matt: Working on your own brand and creating that content, is challenging and fun, but it’s also usually done after hours – which isn't.  So you make it up on the fly, and only when you make the time after the paid work. I think that’s why you see so many agencies (us guilty as well), of a site just sitting there with no new content besides the blog (at best) for over a year.

Now our content isn't just about the great creative. There’s still mystery, but you have to be able to effectively communicate about yourself, what you do and how you're different than your competition. We didn't do that for a long time. Now that we have this well thought-out content – that really speaks to what we are trying to do and our process – it makes it a lot easier with clients and internally. Everyone knows what to expect next. 

We’re also putting ourselves out there more, so to speak, which is a bit of a 180 for us. To identify your strengths or the projects that truly excite you instead of a “yes we do everything” mentality, means doing a better job, and in turn getting more of that type of work out of it. I know that's not always reality, but you have to make it a priority or goal.

You’ve been growing Ghost for almost eight years now. What advice would you give to other design firms or agencies just starting out?
Brian: For design firms just starting out, I offer this sincere advice. Take the time to really understand your purpose and your vision. Yes, your talent is important and necessary. But it's just as important and necessary to know what you plan to use your talent for. If you can define the issues or challenges you want to help others tackle, you'll put yourself in a great position to get the work you want. 

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.



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