Feature Friday: Hannah Carroll of Willow & Ink Designs

Hello friends!

I am super excited to kick off one of my favorite series again - and I've got some really incredible makers lined up this year to share with you.

To kick things off, I'm sharing one of my newest Instagram Friends! Hannah and I have been following each other for only about the last 6-9ish months or so (maybe a little longer) and I love her heart, style and delightful personality! She has grown a lot over the last few months, expanding in both her work and media's (she just launched a YouTube channel) and I'm excited for you to get to know her a little better today!

So let's dig into some fun questions and get to know this darling gem, Hannah Carroll of Willow and Ink Designs! 

Willow & Co | Handlettering | Hannah Carroll | Modern Wedding Calligraphy | Hey Y'all Door Mat
So tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Texas girl who just moved to Brooklyn, New York! My husband and I moved here earlier this year as missionaries to join with a new church plant, Graffiti Ministries - Brooklyn, in Coney Island. We serve the community here by meeting the needs of the people, which are incredibly basic ones seeing as how Coney Island is the poorest neighborhood in all of NYC.

What's the story behind Willow & Ink, and how did it start?

I started my company as a side hustle 2015 after my husband and I got married that summer. I had always loved doodling and making signs + crafts growing up and so when it came time to plan our wedding, I decided to take it on myself (it was a lot and at many times, stressful haha). With help from my husband, we created our own Save the Dates, entire invitation suite, I addressed them all in dip pen calligraphy, and many various signage for the wedding, as well as the guest book. After that, I was hooked! I knew I wanted to turn this passion into a business and most importantly use it as a platform to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

A typical work day includes lots of coffee, listing my to-do's in my planner, working on various orders, coffee, snuggles with my kitty cat, working out, post office runs, oh and coffee.

Willow & Co | Hannah Carroll | Handlettering & Modern Calligraphy | Shine On T-shirt | Maker | Shop Small | Modern Wedding

What's your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur? What keeps you going during the difficult days?

A few of my fave things about being an entrepreneur would have to be how flexible I can make my work hours, freeing up time for visitors and adventures with the hubby, as well as being able to openly share my faith in the way that I feel the Lord is leading me. My faith, husband, family, and my besties really keep me going on difficult days. I know that sounds cliche, but it is the honest truth! When I feel like I am not good enough and will never have a huge successful business like the way I dream it to be, my besties always know how to say the exact right thing to put my mind right.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? If you had one piece of advice to share with someone just starting out, what would it be?

I wish I knew more about taxes and all the legal things that come with owning your own business before I started mine up. I would highly suggest looking into your state laws to make sure you are legal in every aspect. But, the most important advice I would to someone just starting out would simply be to be yourself. No one else is you. You are unique and original and people want to see that! So use you to your advantage!

Where do you find inspiration?

I like to think that I have a bohemian style of inspiration, in respect that I find inspiration from all over and layer it on top of each other to create my own style. I love to admire other artists that I follow on insta or Pinterest. When drawing inspiration from other artists, however, it's vitally important to remember to make it your own, so as you're not copying their work.

How do you stay productive in your work and stay organized when you're juggling a ton of big projects at once?

My planner definitely helps keep me on task and productive throughout the day. I LOVE lists and crossing things off, so I have an entire list for almost every little thing throughout the day and it gives me a lot of satisfaction to be able to cross things off my list. I am careful to put the tasks with the greatest importance at the top of my list and I make sure to complete those first.

What's one business tool that has been a game changer in your business?

One app that I use for my business that has been a game changer would definitely be my QuickBooks Self Employed app! I am TERRIBLE with keeping records, and this app syncs up with my Etsy shop, making it super easy to keep up with everything. They also have a feature where you can take a quick picture of your receipt and categorized it accordingly!

Willow & Co | Hannah Carroll | Handlettering & Modern Calligraphy | Shine On T-shirt | Maker | Shop Small | Modern Wedding

Tell us about your adorable family!

My family is made up of my hubby, kitty cat, and myself! My husband is the spiritual and calm leader I need. He is level-headed, compassionate, silly, kind, and has the biggest servant-heart and I am beyond grateful to call him mine. He also plays guitar, sings, and is tall (which is amazing because I am super tall)! And then there's our fur baby. Her name is Gladys and she is the laziest, weirdest, cutest cat. She has brindle coloring and I have never seen another cat like her! She can also be the most annoying thing of my life when she is hungry. But then again, I'm the same way when I'm hungry.

What's a big goal that you have for the upcoming year?

Two huge goals for me for this year are to complete my website (AHH!) and finish my hand lettering workbook.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? 

I always wanted to be a pop singer growing up (hello, Britney Spears).

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading through the Harry Potter series for at least the 5th time. Besides the Bible, these are the only books I really read. I'm not much of a reader, but wish I was! I do enjoy listening to the Goal Digger and The Influencer podcasts.

How do you drink your coffee (or tea)?

Whether I am drinking hot or iced coffee, I love to have it with hazelnut creamer and a package of stevia.

What's your favorite product from the (RL) shop?

"But First, Gilmore Girls" mug! I am a huge GG fan!

Willow & Co | Hannah Carroll | Handlettering & Modern Calligraphy | Shine On T-shirt | Maker | Shop Small | Modern Wedding

What are you currently binging? 

I just finished binge watching The Staircase on Netflix. Any sort of murder mystery and I am hooked! And of course, if I am not binging anything, then you can probably find me watching The Office, Parks & Rec, or GG. What can I say, I'm a creature of habit.

What's your favorite quote?

"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all." - Helen Keller

Where or what’s your favorite vacation spot? Or dream place to travel next?

My current fave vacation spot is Mexico (I love love love the beach), but really want to travel around Europe!

What's one thing currently on your bucket list?

Two things that have been on my bucket list for a while now are touring through Israel and visiting Harry Potter World.

Willow & Ink - Hannah Carroll - Handlettering & Design - Modern Wedding Calligrapher

Hannah, thanks so much for your time and sharing part of your heart on the blog!

If you want to follow Hannah and/or support her shop, visit the links below:

Shop | Instagram | YouTube

July 13, 2018 by Rosalynne Fluty

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