episode 09: How declaring your value and following your passion leads to revenue with Mary Kaufman

By: Rachael Seda
mary kaufman, bluebirds garage
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Mary Kaufman is a self-proclaimed perfectionist. And it makes sense – it’s an eye for the details that makes her such an incredible stylist and art director (who Mix+Shine personally loves to hire for our own client photoshoots.) Mary has also learned flexibility is key when you own a business – especially when you’re creating a new category in a small market.

Mary built her business, Bluebird’s Garage, from scratch again and again. Her vintage rentals shop opened when the term was hot in L.A., but virtually unknown in Virginia Beach. She built her category again when she became a stylist, and yet again when she shifted her role to art direction.

Even now, some people call Mary to cut their hair or procure a painting. That’s okay because Mary is clear about her value with the photography community locally – and the clients that need her services most.

Mary talks about feeding your creative spirit, even when it doesn’t impact your revenue directly. Years ago, she and photographer and friend Zoe Grant knew they wanted a specific photo styled and shot. It wasn’t for a client, just a portfolio wish-list. So they put on a small dinner to get the ONE shot. That dinner was such a hit, everyone asked when they would do it again… as a result, Creative Union was born. Now in its 3rd year, it’s a can’t-miss quarterly gathering for creative minds.

In this episode, we learn from Mary:

  • Why a stylist or art director is a must-have for your photoshoot
  • How to communicate your value
  • Letting go of things you love in order to grow. (See photo of a plush vintage pink sofa – a Mary signature piece that she finally decided to part with as her business evolved)
  • Why pursuing ONE shot turned into an annual quarterly event series on its 3rd year
  • How to connect without leaving for a 3-day conference
  • Why your social feed is bogging you down (and what to do about it)
  • How to style yourself every day
  • How to get better photos of your kids (which may include bribing them with sweets)
  • Three steps Mary uses to edits her Instagram photos for a signature look

Follow along with Mary Kaufman:

About Mary Kaufman:

Mary is a wife, mom of three, and a freelance creative director in Hampton Roads, Virginia. She specializes in creative visual concepts for her clients, providing on brand content for them to put out to their customers.

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