Girl Boss: Kelly from KP-ing It Simple

Happy Friday all! This post is part 5 in my weekly "girl boss" series (view the others HERE!) and this week is dedicated to Kelly from KP-ing It Simple. She has a fantastic food and wellness centered Instagram and blog, which you should definitely check out! I love her stories on Instagram where she breaks down some of the weight loss programs out there, from a very honest and science based point of view. This girl knows her stuff, and not only is she incredibly knowledgeable from a science perspective, but she also has first hand experience from her own weight loss and fitness journey about how to start and sustain the path to health.

Kelly's story has inspired me, and I am constantly liking her food photos on Instagram (drool worthy) so I have reference points on those "what do I make for dinner" nights. Check out the answers to my questions below where she shares her journey, advice to future entrepreneurs, and challenges she's faced along the way. She calls this her passion project, and I think you'll see why! Make sure to check out her Instagram (linked above) and blog KP-ing It Simple.

One other thing - if you don't have any plans this weekend, make sure to go to Marquee Pizza in the Iowa River Landing and order her collaboration pizza called "KP-ing It Local" through Saturday, June 30th! It's really delicious (I've had it twice already) and benefits the Coralville Food Pantry!

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Also, thank you to Elizabeth from Girl Wonderful who sent me some shirts after I bought two for myself and was inspired to do this project. Please, check her out - I love what she stands for and her tees would make a great gift for yourself or any awesome girl you know!

Tell me about your business, how did you begin?

In January of 2016, I tore my ACL when a snowboarder collided into me while I was skiing (an athletic activity that I really enjoyed!). While recovering from that injury, I decided that I was sick of being limited. I was sick of being tired, drained mentally and physically. That spring, I made te decision to start a nutrition program which served as a catalyst for a passion for health and fitness. What began as an Instagram food and fitness diary to keep myself accountable slowly grew into a platform where I dish out healthy recipes and evidence-based nutrition and exercise principles, served with a side of humor and sass. In 2018, I began partnering with brands to promote product lines and taking on sponsorships. My platform is now a side hustle that I am proud to call my own.

Advice you would give to future female entrepreneurs:

Just go for it. Don’t dwell on your ideas. Make them tangible. Whether that is finding the right people to help you form your idea into something concrete or sticking up for yourself and knowing your worth, just do it.

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What decisions have you made that you feel have gotten you to where you are with your business right now?

I created something that is uniquely mine. While there are tons of “foodie” accounts on Instagram, I have found that my platform is different. It is different because I KP It Real. I share my authentic self and I do not deviate from my style. This allows me to come across as genuine, which is something that consumers value.

What are some challenges you've faced along the way?

For a while, I felt that I needed to build a large following before monetizing my work. This resulted in me putting a lot of work into things that had very little return. Once I understood my value, I was able to ask for what I felt that I deserved. As it turned out, I was worth even more than that. I think sometimes we can have tendencies to be more accommodating and do what we are asked, without asking for enough in return. This was certainly a challenge initially, but now I’m not afraid of asking for what I know that I am worth.

When my platform really started to grow, there was a lot of question about why I was spending so much time on something that “didn’t matter.” While it hadn’t taken off yet or had any potential as a source of income, I was seeing growth that others weren’t. I had faith in it, and I knew that I could make something out of what I had created. That faith in myself and what I had built was enough to keep me going through all of the doubt.

Tips for balancing career and family/personal life?

I am a nurse, nursing faculty, a PhD student, a lifter, a wife, a dog mom, and an influencer. It takes a lot of time to do all of those things and to do them well. It is absolutely essential to prioritize your time and put value on what is important to you. While some days I cannot go through and engage with my followers, I make up for it on other days. I also think it’s important to see what has the biggest impact to your business. Previously, I posted three times a day. This became entirely unrealistic. Instead of focusing on quantity of posts, I focused on producing quality content. Since then, my engagement has drastically increased and I reach far more unique accounts on a weekly basis than when I was posting three times per day.

Describe your journey so far in three words:

Surprising. Simple. Real.

What as been the most rewarding part of owning/running your own business?

I have gotten many messages from women who have told me that what I said resonated with them. That they experienced the same thing in their diet history or fitness journey and that they learned something from what I posted or shared on my Instagram stories. I’ve gotten messages saying that women have hated the idea of eating healthy, but that they tried one of my recipes and are now hooked. I’ve gotten messages from women saying that they feared the gym but saw that I worked out in shorts for the first time in years and that inspired them to go to the weight room. I feel as though I’ve touched lives, and that is extremely rewarding.

If this is your part time thing, what else do you do for a career?

I am a nurse, nursing faculty, and a PhD student. I’m BUSY.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

Ideally, I’d love to see it grow into a 100k+ platform that with ongoing brand partnerships. I’d love to be able to source some of my research sample from my follower base. Finally, I want to keep enjoying producing quality health-related content. This is a passion-fueled project and one that I am very thankful to have.


Do you know an awesome Girl Boss you want to see featured? Email me: info@jenmadigan.com!

The S Family [Detroit, MI Maternity Photographer]

This maternity session is for some of my favorites! My boyfriend Jakob's cousin and his wife are expecting their first little one (a boy!!) and I traveled to the Detroit area to meet up with them for a maternity session back in late May. It was POURING the day that we had set aside for their photos, and with a jam packed weekend we had to figure out a way to make it work.

We scrapped our original location, due to the 30 minute drive, and changed it to one closer to where we were all staying. I was up at 7:00 AM watching the radar like a hawk, and when we spotted a brief 20-30 minute break in the rain we managed to sneak in this quick maternity session. Thankfully, Michigan spring was still in full force so the trees were all still blooming and I was SO excited for all these pretty flowery photos to document this time in Genevieve and Scott's journey toward parenthood. I can't wait to meet baby S!

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Jen Madigan Photography is a Michigan and Ohio based maternity photographer. She specializes in capturing the love in life's big and little moments. Jen is a Mentor, Ohio Photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, and lifestyle sessions. 
 
I would love to tell your family's story through photos! Contact me for details and to book: info@jenmadigan.com

Miles [Mentor, OH Lifestyle Newborn Photographer]

This session was so much fun - big sister Nora is such a cutie and baby Miles was so sleepy and snuggly for his entire session. I always joke when I've had a few sleepy babies in a row that I'm due for a squirmy, wide awake little one, but my streak stayed alive with Miles!

I love lifestyle sessions for a few reasons - the family is much more comfortable and relaxed in their home environment which translates to a happy newborn. No stress of having to pack up baby and head out to a studio somewhere! Plus, there's the opportunity to utilize items that the family already owns, such as the little rocking chair so Nora could rock her "baby" Claire while Alyssa rocked Miles. So many favorites from this session, which one is yours?

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Jen Madigan Photography is an Ohio and Iowa based newborn photographer. She specializes in capturing the love in life's big and little moments. She is a Cleveland and Northeastern Ohio Photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, and lifestyle sessions. 
 
I would love to tell your family's story through photos! Contact me for details and to book: info@jenmadigan.com

Girl Boss: Jess from Brides by Jessa

Happy Friday all! This post is part 4 in my weekly "girl boss" series (view the others HERE!) and this week I'm proud to feature my friend Jess, owner of Brides by Jessa.

Brides by Jessa is an intimate, upscale bridal store in the Iowa River Landing area of Coralville. She offers a custom experience for brides, so if you're in the market you MUST go check it out.

I really admire Jess for her strength, not only professionally, but personally as well. She is an awesome mama to two beautiful boys, a great friend, an inspiring entrepreneur and makes it all look effortless. While following her passion, she always puts her family first, which I believe is a key to her happiness and success as an entrepreneur. I hope you'll find her answers to my questions inspiring, whatever your personal journey may be!

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Also, thank you to Elizabeth from Girl Wonderful who sent me some shirts after I bought two for myself and was inspired to do this project. Please, check her out - I love what she stands for and her tees would make a great gift for yourself or any awesome girl you know!

Tell me about starting your business, what was your inspiration?

While I was in college, I was working at a jewelry store. We did a lot of custom pieces for brides to wear on their wedding day and I just loved working with them and making their vision come to life. Around the same time, I was taking some entrepreneurship classes and we had to write a business plan. Being just recently engaged, I decided to write a business plan for a Bridal Boutique as it was something I had always thought would be really fun! From there, we graduated from the University and ended up moving away for a couple of years for my husband’s work. When we returned to Iowa City, I was expecting our son Liam, and I wanted to create a career for myself where I truly enjoyed going to work everyday. My husband encouraged me to go for it and here we are, 4 years later!

Advice you would give to future female entrepreneurs: 

Be strong, brave, and trust your gut!

What decisions have you made that you feel have gotten you to where you are with your business right now? 

Always choosing to do what is best for my family, even if that means doing something that others do not agree with, and always asking for advice from other successful bridal boutique and business owners. You learn something new every day!

What are some challenges you've faced along the way? 

So many! Being a small business owner means you get to wear all of the hats. HR, Accountant, Buyer, Designer, Merchandiser, Negotiator. Trying to find the balance and learning to delegate when possible is so important. 

Tips for balancing career and family/personal life? 

Always put your family first! 

Describe your journey so far in three words: 

Empowering, Learning, Joy

What as been the most rewarding part of owning/running your own business? 

Making memories with so many brides by helping them choose the most memorable dress they will ever wear. 

Where do you see your business in 5 years? 

Expanded in terms of the quantity of styles we carry, but still small and intimate for our clients. 




Do you know an awesome Girl Boss you want to see featured? Email me: info@jenmadigan.com!

The C Family [Mentor, Ohio Family Photographer]

I had so much fun photographing the C family on a beautiful spring night recently! This was a Mother's Day gift for Bonnie (love that!!) and it was the first family photo they've had taken in a long time which made it even more of a special gift. Nolan was a hoot, he kept me on my toes and made me consider watching Captain Underpants (if only for the use of conversation during 4 year old boy sessions in the future). Here are some of my favorites from their session!

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Jen Madigan Photography is an Ohio based family photographer. She specializes in capturing the love in life's big and little moments. She is a Cleveland, Ohio Photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, and lifestyle sessions.

I would love to tell your family's story through photos! Contact me for details and to book: info@jenmadigan.com

Girl Boss: Erica from inSpirit Healing Arts

Happy Friday all! This post is part 3 in my weekly "girl boss" series (view the others HERE!) and this week I'm proud to feature my masseuse, spiritual guru and friend Erica, who owns inSpirit Healing Arts in North Liberty, IA.

Erica is one of those people who you just love immediately, her energy is just so wonderful and she radiates love and kindness! I started going to Erica weekly for massages during a really tough personal time in my life, when I was also having some health issues and she was truly a God-send! She helped the healing process both physically with massage and Reiki, but also spiritually with her meditations during the massage. I honestly don't know what I would do without Erica, and am definitely going to miss her after my move (but I'll definitely be bugging her to get in when I am visiting!).

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Also, thank you to Elizabeth from Girl Wonderful who sent me some shirts after I bought two for myself and was inspired to do this project. Please, check her out - I love what she stands for and her tees would make a great gift for yourself or any awesome girl you know!

Tell me about starting your business, what was your inspiration?

For as long as I can remember, I had a great interest in all things Spiritual. My grandmother, Marian, was truly a saint of a woman, and I would have long conversations with her regarding religion and human nature. Her answers were always very meditated upon and introspective. I started meditating and practiced Buddhism at the age of 14. I knew, around that time, that I was interested in medicine or healing.

I began my study in pre-medicine at the University of Iowa in 1996. My personal interest in medicine slanted toward Eastern modalities, so I went to Acupuncture-Acupresse Institute in Miami after three years of undergraduate work at Iowa. As life would have it, I got a divorce while attending Chinese Medical School and returned to Iowa, where as a younger human and given my loose ends, I simply wanted to complete a degree as quickly as I could to get out into the "real world." It was fastest for me to get a degree in business, and I like math, so I got a degree in Finance. While back in school here at Iowa, I worked as a Physical Therapy Aide at Progressive Rehabilitation Associates, utilizing the bodywork skills I had attained at Chinese Medical school. After that I moved to Dallas, and started studying massage therapy, as I knew my passion was not in business. However, during that time, I had an opportunity to move to Bocas del Toro, Panama, a little group of islands off the coast of Costa Rica and Panama, to practice massage (you don't need a license there) and to teach yoga to the clients who stayed at the hotel where I lived. 

When it was time to return to the States, in 2003, I received my first Reiki attunement - an energetic healing work, and I began energetic healing work, while returning to school to get my Master's in Nursing. Again, as life would have it, I got pregnant, with my amazing son, Alexander. As a single mom, I decided that I did not want to spend the time during his early years, working, studying, and being in rotations, so utilize that Finance degree, I did! When Alexander went to Kindergarten, I knew that I needed to return to my passion, full-time. I cashed in my 401K, left the safety net of my corporate job (much to the chagrin of my mother), and went to the Shiatsu Clinic & School to earn my massage therapy license... The rest is history! My work is dedicated to healing through bodywork, meditation, intuitive guidance, and taking care of yourself on all levels- physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. I love what I do, as truly it is a testament to all of my life experiences and studies, and it brings me joy to share with my amazing clients. 


Advice you would give to future female entrepreneurs: 

No matter what life throws at you, you can attain your dream. There is ALWAYS a means; remember the Universe is infinitely abundant. Know this to be true; work hard, and opportunities and the support of your friends, family, your partner, and other female entrepreneurs will rise up to greet you. If you choose the path of motherhood, being a mother is not a block to success. In fact, what better way to teach hard work, dedication, and a sense of being able to achieve your heart's desire, than to do so yourself. There is a wave in the rise of the Divine Feminine right now, so I encourage you to embrace that energy and bring your own inner goddess to global consciousness.

What decisions have you made that you feel have gotten you to where you are with your business right now? 

Taking a leap of faith is typically necessary when embodying your life's path. I have taken risks, and through dedication and hard work, those risks have been greatly rewarded. My heart and sincerest gratitude is in what I do each and every day, and I think that authenticity is a great part of my success.

What are some challenges you've faced along the way? 

Finding the perfect work-life balance has definitely gotten easier as my son has gotten older, but those early years proved a little more challenging where extra time was concerned to dedicate time to my studies- during the time at massage school- and later, to business development outside of my regularly scheduled healing sessions. Health insurance, as an entrepreneur, has always been a concern for myself and for my son. I was very thankful when Obamacare came into play, as it made that aspect more attainable for me.

Tips for balancing career and family/personal life? 

Learn when to say no. One of the joys and, at the same time, the difficulties of owning your own business is the ability to create your own schedule. Particularly, in the beginning, it is difficult to say no to new business, and in fact, probably a necessity. Know that this period can be sculpted as your move through your journey of creating a schedule that truly allows you to live your fullest life in all areas.

Describe your journey so far in three words: 

Miraculous. Joyful. Healing.

What as been the most rewarding part of owning/running your own business? 

Being able to do what I most love, healing body, mind and spirit, every day, whilst being able to be a present and grateful mother by having the flexibility in my schedule and joy in my heart to bring home.

If this is your part time thing, what else do you do for a career? 

This is it! Part of the greatness of being an entrepreneur is being able to fold in any aspect of your life of which you are passionate. The creative outlets are limitless and create new opportunities for dabbling in all areas that you love!

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

Ultimately, I will have a spiritual retreat where clients can stay for a multitude of modalities, classes, or a time to decompress away from our fast-paced lives. This may or may not unfold within that 5 year span... I do know, however, that I will be dedicated to my spiritual yogic practice during that time, teaching yoga when the time is ripe, continuing to see clients for healing session, and sharing the joy of my spiritual path, as well as the path of others, all along the way!



Do you know an awesome Girl Boss you want to see featured? Email me: info@jenmadigan.com!

Girl Boss: Coelle from Coelle Hope

Happy Friday all! This post is part 2 in my weekly "girl boss" series (view the first one HERE!) and this week I'm proud to feature one of my closest friends, Coelle from Coelle Hope.

Fun fact: Coelle and I met when I photographed her first son's newborn photos and then later, she trained as my assistant before moving to Madison about 2 years ago. She is super creative, hilariously funny, and is amazing at interior design. After living in two different homes in the Madison area within the first year, she honed her decorating skills on her own interiors and found that people were drawn to her style and eye for functional yet beautiful family friendly design. Her experience as a mom, living with three busy boys, has also given her an edge in the kid friendly department. ;) She recently was featured as the cover story in Brava Magazine June edition, and just did a fun Instagram playroom tour for the innovative Nugget couch for kids (or fun loving adults I suppose!). Trust me, this girl is one to watch!

Her website is coming soon, but until it's launch you can follow her on instagram HERE.

Also, thank you to Elizabeth from Girl Wonderful who sent me some shirts after I bought two for myself and was inspired to do this project. Please, check her out - I love what she stands for and her tees would make a great gift for yourself or any awesome girl you know!

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Tell me about starting your business, what was your inspiration?

Creating has always been a part of who I am and I have always found a way to incorporate it into my life. I was doing family photography at the time I decided to make the switch to interior design and styling. I enjoy photography but I am passionate about design! My family moved twice in one year and this taught me so much about making your space functional, sourcing home items, and setting up a family friendly home. We did a few projects to our current home after moving in one year ago and I started receiving compliments on the progress we made, and having friends ask for help with their own home projects. I realized that if given the chance I will always chose to look at home design/architecture/style magazines, Instagram feeds etc. And that is about when it hit me that is what I should be doing!

Advice you would give to future female entrepreneurs:

Be brave, never be afraid to promote yourself! Dream big and don’t let anyone discourage your dreams. Be kind and collaborative with other creatives in your community. And know there will be ups and downs while working towards your goals, and riding out the low moments is part of the process.

What decisions have you made that you feel have gotten you to where you are with your business right now?

I’m early in the process but for me it was just taking the jump and telling everyone I was going for it. That opened the doors to a lot of support and my first client opportunities.

What are some challenges you've faced along the way?

So far most challenges have involved balancing business and family life. Such as mom guilt about leaving the kids to work on the business or spending the money on a babysitter.

Tips for balancing career and family/personal life?

Honestly, I’m still figuring this out and probably always will be! One thing I have been noticing lately is that I can fill every moment the kids are gone or asleep with building my business if I’m not careful…  but I need to remember to carve out time for myself and/or my husband as well!

Describe your journey so far in three words:

Just. the. beginning! (of something awesome!) Is that cheating, that’s more than three! ha!

What as been the most rewarding part of owning/running your own business?

I had a really rewarding moment when my oldest son Julian  (5 years old) told me that he wanted to be an artist AND a veterinarian when he grew up because “you are good at so many jobs Momma”. This conversation really drove home that my boys are seeing me pursuing my passion and taking it in.  I want them to know they can do anything they set their minds to. I want them to know that pursuing either creative endeavors or a non-traditional career deserves just as much recognition. And I also want them to know that women are equally capable to achieve!

Big picture though, it is very rewarding to know that I am in control of my own success. Each step of growth feels good because I know that is directly related to what I am putting into it.

If this is your part time thing, what else do you do for a career?

I also work on-call as a Women’s Health Nurse. I love doing this as well. I enjoy the team aspect of health care and the joy involved in helping others through big and difficult moments in their life. I have always needed more hours in the day for my interests!

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

I see a steady stream of projects and fun clients! I see an assistant!




Do you know an awesome Girl Boss you want to see featured? Email me info@jenmadigan.com!

Gwen [Mentor, Ohio Lifestyle Newborn Photographer]

I always joke when I have several super sleepy newborns in a row that I'm due for a more wiggly one, but so far my streak is still going strong! Gwen's session was a dream, and I was so excited to hang out with their kiddos Penelope and Elliot again after their super fun maternity session earlier this spring. It's really hard to choose a favorite, but I really love the one of each kiddo with their new little sister - both images show their personalities perfectly!

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Katie Jo had a fabric piece from a blanket she had as a baby, which I love! We used that to wrap around Gwen in this photo. I love using special touches like that in newborn sessions! gwen-newborn-12

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Jen Madigan Photography is an Iowa and Ohio based newborn photographer. She specializes in capturing the love in life's big and little moments. She is a Cleveland and Northeastern Ohio Photographer and specializes in maternity, newborn, and lifestyle sessions. 
 
I would love to tell your family's story through photos! Contact me for details and to book: info@jenmadigan.com