Shelby Fannin – Vow Collective Studio

Shelby Fannin - Vow Collective Studio

What’s the origin story of your business? 

We met through the wedding industry and immediately knew we had a lot in common. It’s rare that you meet someone as like-minded as we are so we started doing wedding photography together. We were working on branding and establishing ourselves when the studio fell into our laps. It was during April, our busiest month, that we took over the lease. The space was perfect and we always dreamed of opening a studio, so in 2021 we got ourselves started.

What’s an obstacle that you’ve had to overcome to build your business?

I’ve been in Murfreesboro for 11 years. I’ve been slowly building my business and my family. I struggled to find good work and life balance. When Elizabeth came into my life she helped me to balance myself out and opened a new realm of collaboration. We built our business on a relationship of trust and communication. 

What is unique about owning and running a business in Murfreesboro?

Murfreesboro’s community is entirely unique. Both the clients and the business owners are welcoming and genuinely want to help people. We’re a service business so it’s nice to have a space to invite people in and collaborate with other businesses.

As a business owner, what keeps you up at night? 

I am a worrier. I worry about the silliest thing sometimes, but mostly I worry about whether or not our clients are taken care of. I’ve found that being prepared and having a plan to follow can help me to alleviate some of my worries and keep myself going.

If you could travel back in time to the day you started your business, what advice would you give yourself?

I would show myself more grace than I did. Things don’t have to happen the second you plan them. I used to sacrifice myself and those in my circle for the sake of my business in some cases. So, I’d tell myself to have patience, give it time, and be flexible. Things aren’t going to match your timeline but that doesn’t mean they’re not happening. 

What time of the day are you most productive?

I have kids and they’re in school from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm. I am typically productive while they’re at school. Elizabeth is more productive at night but we tend to overlap some around midday.

What’s one thing you’d say to a person starting a new business?

I would say to make friends in the industry. I would try to get everyone’s advice. Everyone is trying to learn and perfect their processes so having connections that can teach you what they know can help. It’s community over competition.

What’s one thing you’d say to a person who’d owned a business for a long time?

Be humble. Ask for help when you need it. You can outsource life-sucking things when you need to. Take a birds-ey view of things from time to time and get rid of the things that aren’t working. Don’t be afraid of changing to meet the very changing market.

Learn more about Vow Collective Studio by visiting their website!

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