Welcome to Mompreneur Monday, where we introduce you to Mom-Based businesses in Lake County. Today, we are meeting Erika Williams of Just Peachy Photography.
Erika is a stay at home mom to three very spirited boys in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. Williams was a teacher until she had her twin boys in May 2007 and now tutors children on the side.
After years of studying to be a photographer, Erika opened Just Peachy Photography in 2010 as an on-location children and family photographer. She loves making every portrait a work of art and photographs expecting mothers, newborns, babies, toddlers, young children, teens, families and even pets occasionally. Her focus is on children under the age of 5 years old and family portraits. Just Peachy Photography offers traditional and specialty portrait services as well as small event photography services for birthday parties, showers, graduation parties, etc.
What was the catalyst that started your business?
Since I was a child, I always loved the beauty of photography and would play with my dad’s Canon 35mm camera when I was in junior high. In grade school and high school, I snapped a million photos at every event. As this continued through the years, I realized that even though I had an eye for capturing the moment, I didn’t know the technical side of photography.
After my twins were born in 2007, I realized that it was very hard to get good newborn portraits of them. I took them to some chain studios because I felt that was all I could afford at the time and had the most traumatic experience. They were an hour late, the twins were miserable, I was miserable and worst of all the photos were terrible. At that point, I spent 3 full years and every free moment I had (sometimes staying up all night) learning and practicing with my two adorable subjects.
In 2010, a month after my third boy was born, I officially started Just Peachy Photography. It wasn’t the ideal time with twin 2 year olds and a one month old, but I knew if I didn’t do it then, it might never happen.
Has it been difficult to get your business up and running, while being a stay-at-home mom, managing a household, etc?
It has been a huge challenge to get my business up and running while being a stay at home mother. Since I mainly work on the weekends with my clients, I dedicate nap times, while my twins are in school and late evenings to work on marketing, client communication, social media, blogging, etc. In addition, I’m a teacher and work with some students tutoring as a side job and my husband goes to school some evenings. All of these obstacles make it hard for me to really spend the time I need networking and marketing my services. At this point, I’ve mainly used social media and word of mouth to grow my business as well as a wonderful group of people that I’ve met. This group is a network of children’s businesses called the North Suburban Children’s Business Network. We team up and do many events throughout the year.
The best thing about my job is working with all of the beautiful innocent children. I just love babies and young children and love seeing their personalities shine. It is so fun to see the relationships and love in each family that I photograph and know that I’m helping them preserve those memories forever. It is a wonderful feeling.
What do you do to recharge?
Believe it or not I do find time to myself. I love to run on my treadmill, watch TV shows and movies with my husband after the kids are in bed and read. I read a lot of books.
What is your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from my life around me, my children and family and other artists who’s work I admire. I love to set goals for myself and can’t imagine my life without challenges to overcome.
What is the most important thing you want our readers to know about Just Peachy Photography?
I would love your readers to know that Just Peachy Photography is not like the many chains and studios you have gone to. You are dealing with me, Erika, an artist, mother of three young boys, a former teacher and someone who always strives to do her best work.
I prefer to treat my clients as friends and have been known to offer advice or give comfort to those experiencing those first month baby blues. Each session is set up as a custom experience and I do my best to keep each session different from the one before it as well as make sure to accommodate the wishes of my clients. I hope that the experience is one you will want to talk about with everyone you know.
Also Just Peachy Photography offers a variety of specialty sessions such as a First Birthday Cake Smash Session and a Day in the Life of Your Child Session. I provide quality portraiture that families can cherish for years to come and pass on to new generations.
Just Peachy Photography is offering a free mini session (30 minute session with 10-12 proofs uploaded to an private online viewing gallery, all prints and products sold separately) and a free 8×10 print. Session must take place before December 31, 2012 at an outdoors location within 20 miles of Palatine, IL.
Anyone who books a session with Just Peachy Photography within the time of the giveaway, will receive a special discount of $25 off a Collection OR $10 off of our small event photography services if they mention this article. Not valid with any other offers or promotions.
Just Peachy Photography
Follow Just Peachy Photography on Facebook for session sneak peeks and special sales.
Email: Erika @ justpeachyphotog.com
Servicing the NW Suburbs of Chicago, will travel within 20 miles of 60074