Today at A League of Her Own we meet the fabulous female founder behind Katherine Henry Boudoir. Katherine founded her business in 2010 when she shot her first boudoir session and fell in love. In 2012 she opened her own boudoir studio in Reading MA. Before this, Katherine worked with her husband photographing weddings.
Katherine tell us more about your business, Katherine Henry Boudoir
I work with women of all ages to capture beautiful photographs, my clients leave their sessions feeling beautiful and empowered. Many clients are celebrating upcoming weddings or anniversaries, I also have clients preparing for a milestone birthday. Some of my favorite client stories are those who have overcome obstacles in their lives, such as divorce or illness.
Many clients will set up a session and plan to make a gift of the images for their significant other. Even when they come in thinking the shoot will be a gift, they realize it was really a gift to themselves in the end.
I want all my clients to have a beautiful album of images they are proud of and will look at for the rest of their lives!
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I love the idea of working for myself! I love that when something new comes along I can dive right in. It’s exciting to try new marketing ideas or switch up my product line and not have to worry about approval from a million people. I worked as an in-house designer for a company before working on my own, and it was so difficult to get the higher-ups to understand trends in marketing or new ways of thinking. I love being able to make all the calls!
How long did it take for you to put your idea into action?
I started my studio while still at my graphic design job. This allowed me to build up my clientele and presence in the community. After my son was born I was actually laid off from my job as the company went through a lot of down sizing. The timing was scary, but perfect all at the same time! It was the push I needed!
What has been your scariest moment as an entrepreneur?
I think knowing that everything falls on me. If I’m not clear with pricing or the way a session works and a client is confused I know it all comes back to me. I work extremely closely with all my clients from start to finish and I want everyone to have an amazing experience. It can be a lot of pressure, but so rewarding when I’m presenting my clients with their final photo product.
What has been your proudest moment?
Having clients travel from around the world to work with me! This year was the biggest travel year to date with clients coming from Kentucky, Europe, Canada, United Arab Emirates and the Virgin Islands! I’m so honored and humbled by this.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned from founding your own company?
Even when you are running your own company and you are the only one in the studio on a daily basis it’s so important to connect and form strong relationships with others in the community. Through social media I’ve found some really amazing ladies local and further away that have supported me and my message. Sometimes I’m able to meet in person with them to collaborate or learn from each other and sometimes it’s more of an online relationship. Both types of relationships are unique and important.
What does success mean to you?
Right now with my young family success is allowing me to be creative and help support my family while still being able to be home with my two children a majority of the time. I’m able to make and stick to a schedule that works for us.
Has a mistake ever led you to success?
A lot of what I do is trial and error. I try new products and see what clients have an interest in. I try new ways of marketing and see what performs the best. I can’t say one main mistake has led to success, but lots of trying of new things has. You never know what will work until you try!
Which women inspire you?
My Mom! She has always been creative and encouraged me on my artistic journey. We still do lots of crafting and projects together, currently she is teaching me how to quilt.
I’m also inspired by all my friends who are also moms. Watching them take time for their families and also themselves is inspiring.
And which men?
My Dad gave me my first camera many many years ago. She was always into photography and would take photos growing up – as a teen he photographed for a local newspaper as well! He is also an entrepreneur and introduced me to this idea very young.
My Husband, Craig, has worked extremely hard while starting his company, Bonfire Studios. His digital agency works with amazing brands and he is always learning new skills to help advance his work. His ability to sit down and teach himself something is so inspiring! I’m trying to do more of that.
What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you first started out?
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help or to just introduce yourself to someone you would like to meet. It took me a while to start doing this, but I’m sure glad I have! I’ve developed some great friendships and working relationships simply by emailing someone that I would like to work with! Chances are the person you are contacting would love to meet you too. It’s all about networking and growing!
What’s the best piece of business advice someone has ever given you?
Sometimes when business seems slow it can feel lonely or sad, but my Husband always encourages me by reminding me that this is a great time to learn a new skill or update part of my website that I haven’t had time to get to. Things slow down for a reason, and I believe that’s the time to work on something else and see where it goes!