Busy Bee Meets Boss Babes Part 16. Shop Evolve

We often go through life looking for a purpose, and ultimately, who we are meant to be. We grow, we face struggles, and we learn, but eventually, we evolve into the most beautiful versions of ourselves, with no apologies.

Evolve is here to grow alongside our customers through the seasons of change, and to remind women everywhere that no matter what life plants you, to bloom and to evolve, because nothing can grow without a little bit of dirt, and a whole lot of sunshine.
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Hey busy bees,

I'm so excited to feature a Boss Babe duo on the blog this week! Emma and Colleen are owners of Shop Evolve in RVA! They are absolutely beautiful and ambitious women with an inspiring story to tell! 

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First up is Colleen!

I connected with Colleen through our mutual friend and boss babe, Remy Thompson! Colleen also owns a photography business! Colleen grew up in Midlothian VA and attended Cosby High School.

She says, "I always loved looking through old photographs and seeing how the styles and trends changed over time, as well as the style of photography, specifically because the women in the photos were evidently so strong and confident. I started out taking photography classes in high school, and eventually turned it into a personal business of mine, making it my sole purpose to take and create images that would translate as pieces of art for all of my clients.

Now that I am able to combine my photography passion with my passion for style, I feel like I am living my dream every day.

In my spare time, you’ll catch me jamming to some old school rap; always ready for whatever life throws at me!" 

A girl after my own heart with the old school rap! <3

Now it's time to meet Emma!

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Emma is also from Midlo and is a Cosby HS Grad! She says, "I originally attended the Virginia Military Institute on a soccer scholarship on a pre-med track for the Army, but I soon found out that my heart wasn’t in it, so I decided to chase after something that I had always loved, and that something was fashion."

She then went on to VCU’s Fashion Merchandising program where she learned everything from Textiles, to Photoshop, to Line Development, and eventually Entrepreneurship, which is where she found her true love and mission within the fashion industry.

She currently lives with her boyfriend and 6 month old golden retriever puppy! 

Now that you've learned more about them, let's dive into Shop Evolve.


Tell us about your background and What led you to pursue your passions and launch your business! 

Colleen and I both grew up in Midlothian, VA where we first met in 9th grade at Cosby High School. We were always acquaintances and friendly with each other, but we never really took the time to get to know each other well or hang out all that often, so after we both graduated, we went our separate ways until 5 years later when our paths crossed again.

I had just graduated from VCU’s Fashion program when Colleen reached out to me about her photography business and asked if I would be interested in shooting with her when she saw that I had taken on an influencer role for brands on my social media platforms, so of course I said yes!

Her work was so inspiring and I could tell how talented she was right from the start. I noticed that Colleen saw things behind the camera lens that no one else could see, and we bonded over creating that art together immediately. One day we were shooting, and she asked me what I would think about creating something new and different in the fashion industry that had never been done before, and of course that sparked my interest. We took the rest of the day to bounce ideas off of each other, and before we knew it, we had created evolve.

In order to continue with this idea of revolutionizing the fashion industry, we wanted evolve to be something unlike any other retailer before it’s time.
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What do you feel is your biggest responsibility as a female business owner? 

We feel that the biggest responsibility we have as female entrepreneurs is to give women everywhere a voice. So often women and their ideas are swept aside, so this is finally our opportunity to give those women back their voices, and enable them and give them the power and the tools necessary to do whatever it is they are passionate about. Whether it is being a doctor, or a lawyer, or even the next President of the United States, women everywhere ARE starting a revolution, and we want to do everything we can to empower these women of all ages so that their voices can be heard.
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There are many women reading this blog who have a passion or business they want to pursue, but feel held back from their full time job or other responsibilities. I know you both can relate to this because Emma, you work full time at a menswear company (50 hours a week) and Colleen, you run your own photography business.

I think hearing about your routines to stay productive would be helpful for our readers. There are so many times we feel completely overwhelmed with everything we have to do! How do you manage to do it all?!

The best part about evolve for us though, is that it never feels like work. We have so much fun getting together and getting to combine our two passions to create something so different and so unique that it never feels like a job. It’s something that we both love and are passionate about, so each day really does feel like you are living your dream. There are definitely days where we struggle more than others, but those struggles and frustrations are what will help us grow and learn and become everything that evolve was meant to be. The most important thing to remember in those struggles is why we started in the first place: to revolutionize the industry and give the beauty and power back to those women who feel like they had lost it in the past.
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One of my biggest pieces of advice for boss babes is to find a tribe, and like-minded women to support them. It's so much better to have someone to talk business with. It can be lonely, especially if you work your business at home.

You guys seem so close, and I know how much you value one another. Tell us more about that! How do you support one another? 

We couldn’t be luckier with the partnership that we have. We are talking constantly all day every day, sometimes even when we should probably be asleep! We have been extremely fortunate to become best friends, and practically family, through this experience. We are always there for each other, no matter what is needed, whether it is work related, or we just want to make each other laugh. Lately we’ve gotten so close that it’s like we read each other’s minds we’re so in sync, it never fails to crack us up when we say the same thing at the same exact time! The kind of support and true friendship we have does not come around often, and that is such a big piece in what has kept us so positive and focused throughout this entire journey.
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What else keeps you motivated during the tough times?  

Aside from the love of our partnership, the love of our customers and the happiness we bring to them is something that doesn’t compare to any other feeling. There really is nothing like getting on Instagram or Facebook and seeing your customers smiling from ear to ear wearing a piece of yours, showing that they feel confident and beautiful, and most importantly, themselves.

How do you prevent burnout or manage a positive work/life balance? 

It’s not always easy, but we do have to take a step back sometimes and remind ourselves and each other that while we are business owners, we are also human, and everyone needs a little down time! The biggest lesson that we have learned is that you can’t have a business running on all cylinders if you’re not running on all cylinders. Taking time for yourself and self care is one of the best things anyone can do to maintain a balance and the juggling act with all the crazy things life throws at you.

So amazing! Thank you Colleen and Emma for being part of the Busy Bee Blog! Your story is an inspiration to so many others. I know this is just the beginning for both of you and can't wait to see your new website launch! 

You can follow Shop Evolve at: 

Shopevolve.co - sign up for the update of the website launch...coming soon!

Instagram - @shopevolve

Facebook - Shop Evolve

Thanks for being part of the Busy Bee blog, girls! 

 

To learn more about my services click here!

To schedule a consultation with me and take a step towards your big dream, click here. 

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