Who are you and What do you do?
My name is Kali Schlemmer and I am a family and newborn photographer. I was born and raised in Indiana and after graduation my high school sweetheart and I found ourselves with everything we owned in the backseats of our cars, heading south to the sunshine state. A few years into our new adventure we were expecting the most beautiful blessing life has to offer. Our sweet little girl – Kyndel Rae’. Although nowadays she is better described as wild, sometimes dramatic, but yet still oh so sweet. Shortly after her birth, we thought we wanted a slower-paced life and decided to try out the west coast and soon decided south Florida wasn’t the ideal place for us to raise a family; therefore, we opted to trade our white, sandy beaches for Murfreesboro, Tennessee. About a year into our new home we found out we were expecting a baby boy – Kaia Drew. Now having the best of both worlds he has completed our family. As for me, I am passionate about life and having two little ones of my own makes what I do that much closer to my heart. I find so much joy in being the one to pause that beautiful moment in time. That very day you will look back on and remember exactly how you felt, how you lived – loving, chaotic, and joyful. Capturing this moment of your soul is my passion, my love. It’s what I do.
How did you get the idea for your business?
I was tired of looking at what other people were doing and thought that I could capture moments and create memories in a unique way. I always loved photography and capturing my children’s moments. I came to the conclusion that I can be successful at capturing newborns and taking family pictures.
How did you make your first sale?
My first sale happened when I started getting into the community and networking with other people. I was in a couple of Facebook groups that involved photography and I mostly did a lot of my sales by word of mouth so that’s really how I made my first sale.
What is unique about owning and running a business in Murfreesboro?
I love that it has a small-town feel. I feel like the community is closer than you would see in a big city. Leaving Florida to Murfreesboro was a big culture shock. This transition was the best for my family and for my business.
How do you advertise your business?
I advertise my business by word of mouth and Facebook groups. I usually try to join Facebook groups with new moms or just parents in general. My photography is mostly newborns and I feel like that’s a great way to advertise my business.
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
All the behind-the-scenes for my business such as finances, keeping up with the schedules, and just overall business stuff. I want to make sure I do everything the right way and that’s important to me and my clients!
What is one way you’ve had to pivot or change course to grow your business? What led to you making that decision?
Working around covid was a challenge I had to face in my business because everybody was on lockdown. It was a hard struggle but once everything started to open up again, things started to go back to normal,
If you could wave a magic wand and make one problem go away in your business, what would it be?
Remodeling the studio would be something that I wish was easier. There are a lot of steps, time, and money that go into it so I wish it was a smoother process.
If you could time travel back to the day you started your business, what advice would you give yourself?
I would say don’t be scared of growth. When looking at the future it can be a scary thing. Everything in a business takes time to develop. I would say take things slow but also don’t be scared to fail because failure turns to growth!
Where do you want to go with your business?
I would love to expand my business by hiring employees with different styles. This will allow me to offer my customers a variety of different options for their photoshoots. It’s always good to have another opinion and style.
What’s the one thing you’re doing right now from a marketing perspective that’s getting you more customers? (We’re looking for ideas that other business owners could borrow)
I would say to make sure your website is updated and is unique to your style. That is one thing that has helped me from a marketing perspective!
What’s one business lesson you’ve learned that you’d be willing to share?
I would say find value in what you do. I ask myself what do I bring to the table and is it unique to other competitors. This has helped me grow my business not only financially but I have more information on what is important to run a business.
What’s a podcast, book, or website you’d recommend that has inspired you to grow your business?
A book I would recommend is Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone!
What do you use for your daily to-do list?
I write a to-do list on pen and paper. This is the most effective method I used to get things done.
What social media tools do you use that other business owners could use? (For posting, for graphics, phone apps, etc.)
Unscripted is a good media tool that I use on a daily basis!
Learn more about Kali Rae Photography by visiting their website!