Boss Lady - Natalie Freeman

Several months ago, ok, maybe a year ago, I was inspired to start a blog series called "Boss Lady". The mission behind Boss Lady is to inspire young women (and men) to follow their instinct/talent/passion and become entrepreneurs. 
My team and I are reaching out to all the woman owned businesses that inspire and amaze us on a daily basis. We will start with a brief background, then dive in to the nitty gritty of running a business, what keeps them inspired, and everything else in between. 

 

Hi, I’m Natalie! I live on a small hobby farm with my husband, Luke, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

I still can’t quite believe this is my story. And of course, my story wouldn’t be what it is without my life partner. I met my husband in a local park the third day of college. We both came to the University of Missouri from Arkansas & quickly became friends. That friendship grew into a lifelong admiration for one another & soon enough, we were hitched! We were 19 & 20 at the time, but we had a lifetime of shared goals & dreams.

Throughout our dating & early years of marriage, I blogged. At first this was just a simple way of sharing my life with family & friends from my hometown of Cabot, Arkansas. Eventually this knack for writing & photographing our life grew into a lifestyle blog, Natalie Creates (www.nataliecreates.com).

Once we graduated from college, we moved back to our home state & quickly found a plot of land we could call home. We lovingly called this place Freckled Hen Farm. With a small savings account, we slowly began renovating our ranch-style house into a cozy farmhouse (#freckledhenfarmhouse).

As we renovated, I shared the process on my blog & Instagram (@nataliecreates). Folks began falling in love with our simple, approachable style & charming farm life. We decided to launch a new business, Freckled Hen Farmhouse, inspired by our life on the farm.

Now we own & operate an online general store (www.freckledhenfarmhouse.com) and full-time brick & mortar shop in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It’s such a gift to wake up each morning & inspire folks to cultivate a richer, more meaningful life within their own homes.

 

  1. Give us your elevator pitch. Freckled Hen Farmhouse is a modern day general store brimming with refined home provisions & quality farm supplies.

  2. What is your business? Freckled Hen Farmhouse

  3. When did you start your business? In 2016, but it’s been a business in the making for many years before that.

  4. What inspired you to make the leap? I knew this was my life’s work. I had always wanted to own a shop that created a sense of community. And that’s what I am now doing.



  5. What helps you get started each morning? I cannot function without coffee & my to-do list.

  6. Tell us about a day in the life of running your business. I do a whole lot of everything. From shipping online orders to scrubbing the bathroom floor at the shop, there’s nothing I do not have my hands in. On my best days, you’ll find me balancing online commitments - creating newsletters, connecting with influencers - & responsibilities at the shop - helping customers & managing our small staff.

  7. What keeps you motivated? I love that there’s always a mistake to learn from & more work to do. While that might sound exhausting, I find it exhilarating. My work doesn’t just pay the bills. It refines me & teaches me daily. I also love the freedom of being my own boss. I’ve learned over time that I lead well.

  8. Describe your dream day. My dream day would always involve a beach.



  9. What is your greatest strength/super power? I can often see the good in just about any situation. My cup is always half full.

  10. Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat? Instagram forever. I’m a very visual person & I love capturing the beauty around me.

  11. What do you do in your free time? I love to travel with my husband. It keeps me inspired & broadens my world. We go on 2-3 large trips a year. We’re headed to Puerto Rico in May!

  12. If an investor gave you 1 million dollars to use toward your business, how would you spend it? I’d hire my husband full-time, start an artisanal bakery & build a barn to house our little general store & bakery duo.



  13. What’s the biggest risk you ever took; how did it go? We took out a small business loan to launch Freckled Hen Farmhouse. For months, I barely slept a wink, worrying that we made the biggest mistake of our lives. Thankfully, I’ve now learned that the risk of not acting on your dreams is far greater than the risk of failing.

  14. Name something you hate doing but have to do for the good of your business. How do you make it tolerable? I am not tech savvy & I would rather die than manage our finances. Thankfully, my husband & I are complete opposites. He loves numbers & is a whiz at problem-solving. He picks up my slack daily.

  15. How do you handle discouragement? Discouragement is just part of it. Keep moving forward, friend.

  16. Which iconic person inspires you? Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve read every book she’s ever written & I loved her podcast, “Magic Lessons.” She’s brilliant.



  17. Do you have a favorite, inspiring quote? “Everybody needs beauty, as well as bread, places to play in & pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” - John Muir

  18. Who are you in your next life? Lorelai Gilmore. Stars Hollow, sign me up!

  19. Any secrets on how you balance the ins and outs of running a small business? Take time off for you & your family. I am a better boss, business owner & human when I’ve had time to rest & really live outside of my work life.

  20. What’s the best advice you have for other women wanting to be entrepreneurs? Ask lots of questions, don’t ever assume you know everything. Connect yourself with a community of fellow entrepreneurs, don’t go it alone.

 

All photos by Nikki Toth

 

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