Happy Fourth of July weekend, boss! Let's lazily close out the week, chat with your co-workers (aka your pets) about your weekend plans, and hopefully close up shop juuuust a little early so that we can spend some time at the lake, on the river, or in the mountains.
Each Friday, we'll be doing a feature on an amazing creative business owner in the Big Sky State, so that we can all learn a little bit more about the struggle and the awesomeness of being a business owner. Click here to read other interviews with amazing women from around the state!
Hey girl hey! Introduce yourself and tell us about your biz!
I'm Kathy Lockie from Lockie Photography. My husband Josh and I own and run a local photography business. We specialize in weddings, and split our time between Arizona and Montana (where we're from) so we can photograph them all year 'round!
How did you start your boss lady journey?
You know, my husband began Lockie Photography in 1999, so it's been around awhile. However, I started helping him run the business side of things in 2009, and joined him full-time in 2010. We now own and run Lockie Photography jointly, and both photograph all of our weddings together. He's the true creative and entrepreneurial visionary, I'm more of the get-things-done lady, so we make a great team!
Have you gone full-time with your business?
Yes, 100% full-time. It was a bit scary at first because I quit my other job two weeks before we got married, so it really was a sink or swim type of situation. However, I think taking that step from the very beginning of our partnership was important. It meant that we had a few very lean years, but it also forced us to get our act together and learn how to run our business in a sustainable way.
Okay, let's talk about the DNA behind Lockie Photography. Were you one of those women with entrepreneurship basically in your blood that we always hear about?
When I was in high school trying to decide what to study in college, my parents encouraged me to pursue an entrepreneurship degree. I told them I never wanted to own my own business, I'd prefer to work for other people. That didn't work out so well for me! In all honesty, my husband is the one with real entrepreneurial genes (every one of his immediate family members owns and runs their own business). I think I have just enough to be ok with the craziness of it all, but not enough that I would have wanted to start my own business without him as a partner.
How do you build an income and a life through Lockie Photography?
We truly do specialize in weddings, so they make up about 90% of our yearly income. We also do some commercial work around Bozeman (real estate, homes, headshots).
What do you LOVE about being your own boss?
Flexibility. It's a wonderful beast. A beast because there aren't too many set-in-stone plans, so the schedule tends to change more than I'd like, but wonderful because it allows Josh and I to truly enjoy our life and maximize our time and experiences together as a couple.
What was your most expensive mistake?
We've been pretty fortunate to not have high overhead, but have definitely made some advertising decisions that cost a LOT of money for very little return. However, I don't necessarily regret those decisions because they've taught us a lot, and even if you can't see direct monetary results, advertising regularly means that you continue to push your name in front of people.
What's the biggest misconception that women have around business ownership?
That there is a magic bullet. There is no magic bullet, there is only hard work, thinking outside the box, and taking advantage of opportunities instead of being afraid of them.
Where would you like to be in the next year? The next five years?
It's a little difficult to manage and balance two separate marketplaces, so I'd really like to continue how to best organize and run our business in that area.
How would you define a Boss Lady?
A gal who is hard-working, teachable, confident, sees the best in those around her, and is willing to work past fear and take risks in order to move forward.
What one piece of advice would you give yourself in your first year as a biz owner?
YEAR 1: It's ok to charge money.
YEAR 3: Clients will be happier if you don't try to just tell them what you think they want to hear up front and shoot yourself in the foot later.
Want to get in touch with Kathy? Check her out on her website. Send her an email and tell her how you found out about her (*cough* The #MontanaBoss feature *cough*)
(P.S. Want to share your story with other Montana business owners? Click here.)