Sarah Petty: Jenn White is a maternity and newborn photographer with 13 years of experience. But without consistent sales, she knew she had to make her business profitable or walk away for good. After some huge aha moments. She made 13K in her first month.
Jenn, were you doing digitals? Tell us how photography fit into your life.
Jenn White: I have four girls at home and we homeschool. I am super busy, and so trying to go all in on photography really gave us a huge hit on family time. I definitely did shoot and burn in the beginning, and then I kind of learned about IPS (in person sales) maybe six years ago. I tried to do that and my sales were higher, but they were not amazing or consistent.
Sarah Petty: So about six years you started doing IPS where you sit with your client in person and you show them their images and you take their order. That was through the pandemic, so were you working from home?
Jenn White: I am also an RN, so I did that a bit and had a preemie during the pandemic. We took about three years off. One of my daughters has a medical condition, so that was my time at home. My husband’s in law enforcement, so he still had to work. It kind of was a good reset time for me to really realize what I wanted going forward. I had fallen in love with products and I’m a super sappy sentimental human and I thrive on the connection and growing with families over time. I had no idea how to make that actually work in real life. My goal is yes, to do photography and be able to feed my family, but the ultimate goal is to be a mom and to be able to have that quality time and those memories and that important stuff that really matters.
Sarah Petty: And especially being an RN, I mean, you’re gone long hours and you don’t have any flexibility to hop out and go see your girls at their dance recital or whatever. So it makes it trickier. So did you come to a challenge or how did you get involved with Boutique Breakthrough?
Jenn: I left nursing, so I needed something that brought in some income. So I hopped back in on a whim to photography, and a lot of my clients came back. I was doing the same old thing again, working for pennies, basically, taken away from my family again. And my husband sat me down and was like, “Look, this isn’t going to work for me. We’re either going to find a way to make this work or we’re not.” And I came across you, and decided I was going all in.
Sarah Petty: So what happened when you made that investment in yourself?
Jenn: It was terrifying and I wanted to throw up, but I decided that I was going all in. I remember going through the process and the things that you were telling me to do in my business and I thought there’s no way this is going to work. These people around me don’t have this money. But I did it anyway and I changed everything about my business, and it was a light switch really.
Sarah Petty: I always say that in the first couple weeks of Boutique Breakthrough, everybody has this skepticism. And I keep reminding you to trust the process.
Jenn: I heard what you were saying, but I was like, she’s still wrong. I was so resistant. It’s hilarious to me now looking back. The support I think is what did it for me. I found a group of girls and we just hit it off, and we went through everything together. If I had something bad happening or good happening, it didn’t matter. We just came to each other and lifted one another up.
Sarah Petty: When everybody’s doing the same thing, it makes it easier. Looking back, are you like, oh, could I have not had this group sooner?
Jenn: Absolutely. There’s no way that I would be where I am without them.
Sarah Petty: Talk us through your first Julie, $1k or more client order. You’re still kind of skeptical but you’re trusting the process and you find yourself in front of a client. You photographed their session and do you remember what their order was?
Jenn: I actually had two in the same day, and they were right around $1,200 each.
Sarah Petty: That is amazing. Making some money.
Jenn: Yeah, I closed out that whole month around $13K, and my mind was blown. I had really big goals going in. I still have a $100K goal for this year, and I thought there was no way I was going to make it because I kind of started off slow, but I am almost halfway there.
Sarah Petty: Dude, if you’re halfway there and we’re not even to July 1st, you’re going to get there and we’re going to celebrate you. That is so exciting. What does your husband think now?
Jenn: He’s on board. He can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the family time is coming back. We are really on the right track.
Sarah Petty: I love it. And how do you feel personally?
Jenn: I don’t think I realized I needed such a specific plan but now I have one and it’s working. On a personal level I am a totally different person than when I started. I would’ve never talked to people. This year was amazing. I have so many new friends and a lot more confidence. I’m really liking where I’m headed. I think we sometimes as moms get stuck kind of in a funk, being a mom, and we forget how to be a grownup. And I’m coming back to life.
Sarah Petty: I love that. Thank you so much for being here and sharing your story.