We had the good fortune of connecting with Chanel Cook and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chanel, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
As someone who operates their business outside of my typical 9-5 job, it’s really easy to let your own business just become your life. When I first started Chanel Creates, I would spend my nights and weekends working on my business. I put all my free time towards building what I have now. I don’t regret that, but it’s certainly not how I operate now. Before I start any new project, I ask myself, “Do I want to work on this over the weekends or after a full day of work?”. If that answer isn’t a yes, then it’s a NO. Whether that’s for a wedding or a product launch, I need to be excited about what I’m working on if it’s during my free time. Those boundaries can be difficult to set at first because you want to do it all, but once you do, it will transform your time and how you manage your passion.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve worked really hard over the last few years to not only maintain my career, but also run a small business. I’m proud at how much I’ve worked towards both during that time. It certainly wasn’t easy to do both, have a social life, and do other fun things, but I’m very excited for where it’s all led me.
I think the thing that I want people know about my brand/story is that you don’t have to only run a small business. You can have a full time job that you love and a side business that gives you more creative freedom.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love living in North Park so we would probably walk, eat, and drink our way around the neighborhood. I love eating out and trying new places so I’d probably visit somewhere I haven’t been before either! I’m also a sucker for playing tourist in my own city. I always have so much fun down in Liberty Station and by the beach — San Diego just has too many pretty places! Then we’d probably end the week doing something relaxing like a picnic in the park with other friends, just hanging out outside.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without my parents, hands down. My dad helped me build and create all of my first wedding signage pieces. He not only help me source, cut, and prep materials on his weekends, but he taught me how to do it myself too. My mom is always one of the first people I bring new products to. She’s always ready to visit me at a market and display my new products in their home. Plus she let me do most of my first year of work on her dining room table where I would clean off calligraphy ink in secret.
Sierra Solis Photography, Desert Born Studios, Let’s Frolic Together, Amanda Noel Photography, and Chanel Cook.