Publisher’s note: Inspired Woman magazine collaborates with women entrepreneurs in many ways. Some serve on the advisory board, some are writers. Many have partnered with us because we share similar missions. The Inspired Woman creative team includes three business owners who are instrumental in the artistic design of the publication.
INSPIRED WOMAN PHOTOGRAPHER
Photos by Jacy
Jacy Jo Voglewede hails from Buchanan, North Dakota (population 100 counting cats and dogs). She has enjoyed 13 blissful years of marriage to her husband, Jerad, and is the proud mother of two boys, 11 year old William and 9 year old Cooper. Jacy is a captain in the North Dakota Air National Guard and holds a license to drive military vehicles. Jacy started her professional photography business more than 10 years ago, but she has always had a camera in her hand and makes people smile with ease.
Who have been your greatest supporters and/or mentors? My mom has been my mentor and best supporter. She taught me how to use a Canon 35mm camera in elementary school. She’s the first one to offer praise and feedback of my work.
What is one of the biggest obstacles in your work? Finding the time to do the work behind the scenes. The back office “stuff” with photography takes a lot of time that most people do not realize.
What is the best part of your work and what gives you the most sense of accomplishment? I love meeting people! If I can make someone’s experience with me enjoyable, relaxing, and fun, that makes me so happy.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure?” I once spilled a liquid on my laptop that hadn’t been backed up AND had over 1K edited images on it. I have an amazing tech dude who was able to recover all the edited work I’d done, but that was a super great lesson.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world?” Be confident! Be strong! But remember that it’s OK to make mistakes; that’s how we learn!
INSPIRED WOMAN MAGAZINE DESIGNER
Elegant Designs, Inc. & We Can Make That!
ww.elegantdesignsinc.net | www.wecanmakethat.me
Chelly Ontis is originally from New Rockford, North Dakota. She lives in Bismarck with her husband, Steve, her son, Austin, and daughter, Aunika. She’s also the stepmother to Jake, Holly, and Ben. Chelly worked at a local print shop for two-and-a-half years before moving on to a furniture store advertising department, which closed 30 days later. “So, BAM — I became an entrepreneur,” Chelly says. She launched Elegant Designs in October 1997 and began collaborating with Inspired Woman magazine in March 2019.
Describe what you do: I’m a branding and marketing guru using my graphic design skills for local clients. Online I inspire you to create — either with your Cricut® using the SVG files I sell in my shop at We Can Make That, or in my coaching group helping you grow your business online. I also have designed and published a Entrepreneur Planner to help others manage the overwhelm of entrepreneurship.
Who have been your greatest supporters and/or mentors?
It’s a toss up here. My customers have been my longest supporters, many have been with me since I started. Also, every day my husband is more supportive than I could have imagined a husband could be. His belief in me and my business is probably what has helped fuel my recent growth.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? I have recently discovered business growth comes from failure! Pushing yourself to try things you didn’t think you could do, pushing past your comfort zone, implementing things you don’t know ONE thing about, and seeing how far you go creates more failure than playing it safe, but more times out of not, it helps you GROW. I now tell myself: Failure is better than fear.
If you could have a billboard anywhere with anything on it, delivering a message to masses of people, what would it say and why? I’m probably going to request a Facebook or Pinterest ad instead — because that’s where my market would be — but to answer your question it would probably say: Love what you do, Do what you love (in a really cute font).
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world?” Make a list of what you love to do. Make a list of things you are good at. Where they overlap is what will make you happy to get out of bed for each day.
What advice should they ignore? What others are doing — comparison is the thief of joy!
INSPIRED WOMAN PHOTOGRAPHER
Rachael Neva Photo
Rachael is the owner of Rachael Neva Photo and says one of the most important things to her as an artist is to tell an authentic story about her client. Rachael is from Bismarck, is married to Matt Neva, and is the proud mother to four children who were the inspiration behind Rachael becoming a photographer. Once she learned how to use her DSLR camera at a photography workshop, she couldn’t put it down. Rachel has been shooting photos for Inspired Woman since June 2018.
Who have been your greatest supporters and/or mentors? My husband has been a huge supporter, looking for opportunities for me to use my skills.
What is one of the biggest obstacles in your work? Getting people, women in particular, to see the beauty in the images of themselves. I’ve learned quickly that girls take on that same negative self talk that maybe their moms or friends say. I’ve made it my mission to teach people to look at themselves through the lens of children and those that love them and want these memories and moments today and forever.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and how would it help your career? I would love to live in someplace like New Zealand or Ireland. I’m a mountains girl.
What don’t your customers or clients know that would surprise or shock them to learn about you? I literally have like eight hours of professional training in photography. The rest has been self taught or skills I learned from online mentoring and photography/film courses.
If you could have a billboard anywhere with anything on it delivering a message to masses of people, what would it say and why? “This season matters. Photograph it well!”
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? Staying home with my children while they were little. It built a beautiful foundation to our lives together.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world?” Work hard. Look for mentors that call out your talents and stretch your skills and imagination! Save, pay down debt, repeat.
What advice should they ignore? If you’re passionate about something and no one in your circle can imagine the potential in your dreams, find like-minded people who do.