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Happy Galentine's Day: On Grit, Growth, and Sisterhood

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Happy Galentine's Day: On Grit, Growth, and Sisterhood

To me, Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love of any kind–romantic, self-love, or love for your people. So here I am with mine.

I also want to take this moment to give a shoutout "galentine" to a special gal who has helped me on my path of creative entrepreneurship. 

Last year was definitely my year.

But only if we’re talking about the growth that comes from asphalt-in-the-mouth kind of grit from playing injured when you’ve got skin the game. I know so many jewelry makers will understand that. I’ve seen them work until their fingers bleed to get their products into the right hands before the end of the season.

My family and I cleaned up for the camera, but the truth is I had just made a rash decision in the span of time it took my son to brush his teeth to chop off six inches of my hair without watching a single how-to video because I was starting to seriously cave under the stress of the holiday market season.             

I’ve been investing in this dream for six years, and mid-way through the year I lost half of my freelance editing income virtually overnight. (Thanks, internet!) With my back against the wall, I knew I had to level up to find my efficiencies, and I just did not have time for my tresses.

Thankfully, longtime pal, adoring mother of two young children, and talented photographer Kristina Parks, was able to work her photographic magic in the scarce time we could find last fall to get my family in one frame—on drizzly Election Day, no less.

I won’t soon forget the difficulty of 2018 for us as a family, but looking at her pictures of this shoot, I don’t see any of the stress I was going through. Kristina’s lens is always so loving and gentle, and her photos make me feel way more wholesome than I am.

 AND, I’m thrilled to say she’s now for hire in the Greater Knoxville region!

One of my passions is female empowerment through entrepreneurship. I personally know the challenge of juggling motherhood while turning a side hustle into a viable business, so it brings me great joy to celebrate her first fashion cover—a beautiful photo for Knoxville Style Magazine, which is hitting newsstands soon.

Kristina is not only a skilled photographer of people, including rambunctious children, she’s also got an eye for fashion and product photography as well. In fact, she took my first product photos, which now live on in my gallery, and for which I am forever grateful.

Bonus: she’s got a great personality and is super fun to work with! Y’all keep her busy, now. For booking inquiries, contact her at parks.kristina [at]

Happy V-Day, loves! Tell me how you are celebrating.