Woman Wednesday: Katie Cochara

Today's #WomanWednesday is Katie, the owner of Bluebird Paper Company. Surprise surprise, the wedding industry is filled with badass women. It almost seemed silly that I wasn't tapping on the shoulders of some of the boss women in the wedding industry. Every day I am blessed to be a part of this strong and bold community.  Check out all the amazing work she does and her powerful statement below!

“Strength – we all define this differently, and we all find it differently too. For me, being strong emotionally and mentally is a daily challenge. As a stationery designer in the competitive world of luxury weddings in Chicago, it’s SO easy to fall victim to the comparison game. All we need to do is wake up our phones and flip through Instagram for 2 seconds, and our senses are instantly flooded with meticulously manicured feeds; picture perfect wedding after picture perfect wedding. It doesn’t take long to begin analyzing these images that are so readily available to us, and to use those images as our own standards for success.

A quote that I refer to a lot when I’m having a difficult time channeling my own strength and confidence is this:

“Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours burn brighter." - Anon

Basically this is telling us that we’re not going to get any further by shitting on someone else’s success. Especially as women, and women in business, we owe it to each other (and to ourselves) to rise above jealousy or even just nerves, and to celebrate one another. And I don’t go out there and start aimlessly liking someone else’s post on Instagram – yes that’s a start, but I encourage everyone to take it one step further. Reach out to someone who you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to, and give them a little pat on the back. Realize that they didn’t get there overnight, and neither will you. Try bridging the gap and putting your walls down a little bit. It won’t kill you to let them know that you admire them and their work. Everyone likes to hear that they’re killing it. You might find that spreading a little love and some good vibes will help to ease some of your own strains. Another favorite quote of mine is this:

“A rising tide lifts all boats." – JFK

If you find yourself on the other end of the spectrum of success, and you’re really hanging out at the top, take it upon yourself to think back to the times when you were in need of some support. Reach out to someone who might be struggling with their business or their confidence. Encourage them, lift them up, and let them know that they’re doing a great job. Who knows, they might not have heard this from anyone in a while, and your kind words of encouragement might be exactly what they need.

As for me, I find strength in a multitude of ways. My husband is a constant source of strength for me. He always reminds me that I’m tough and talented and successful. My parents are also a huge motivator for me. They’re always telling me that they’re proud of me, and for some reason all it makes me want to say is “Oh yeah? Well you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!" I also feel incredibly fortunate that I’ve been able to surround myself with a badass group of creative female business owners who remind me that we’re all in this thing together.

Lastly, and definitely most importantly, my biggest motivator of strength is the simple desire to succeed. If you want something badly enough, failure simply isn’t an option. Refusal to fail will give you strength that you didn’t realize you even had, and that is what I fall back on in almost any given situation. Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t lose a few battles here and there – I lose battles all the time, but as long as you keep fighting the good fight and don’t call it quits after each setback, then you’ll never lose the war.

So fight like a girl, keep a positive attitude, and spread good vibes wherever you go. The strength will follow."