I have been extremely excited about some recent projects I’ve been working on- including partnering up with other creatives to produce some things I’m pretty smitten over.
Recently, I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Hannah from Cottonwood Road on some styled photo shoots. It has been so fun to team up with another woman who has a similar creative dream and have the freedom to make our visions for business and art a working reality. So, she was a natural candidate for a new bi-weekly segment that I am starting called “Woman Crush Wednesday”, where I will be interviewing women from all walks of life that have a skill, advice or passion that inspires me. And I believe their words are worth passing on. I am hoping to help women (and men!) find advice and inspiration from other women and promote the vital need for us to be a gender that encourages each other (and not to be jealous or backstabbing of other women’s accomplishments). These women will be everything from entrepreneurs to public speakers to the makers of the most delicious pies who are ready to share their sugary secrets. May you find the strength to follow your dreams from these warriors.
Hannah Hagaman | Shop Owner | Photographer | Creative Partner
Photography by yours truly.
K: What was the inspiration for the name of your blog?
H: The house my hubby and I live in was once Preston’s grandparents home. They built the house on a beautiful piece of land when there weren’t many other homes yet in the area. The street was originally named Cottonwood Road. I’m not sure why I fell in love with it when I heard the name but I knew I had to use it. It reminds me of old times, beautiful trees, dirt roads, and new beginnings.
K: So I know that you sell handmade goods on an etsy shop. Mind telling me a little about it, and what led you to start it?
H: In June of 2012, American Flag shorts were all the rage, so I decided to make myself a pair. My sister actually loved them and insisted that I make her some and suggested that I sell them. At that, I just jumped in! I made and sold over a dozen pair in only two weeks. It was hard work and I learned a lot that summer but it created in me a new desire for making things with my hands and selling to folks who loved my work.
K: What advice would you give to people trying to sell their own handmade products?
H: To those trying to sell handmade things: QUALITY. That’s the one word I will leave you with. Do things the right way, with integrity and make a fantastic product. Make it well, don’t skimp on materials or time making it. Make sure you price it according to the work you’ve put in too. If what you make has great quality, it will be worth every penny.
K: So, you’re not the only Hagaman that loves making things with their hands. Tell me a bit about your hubby, Preston’s, hobby/business in woodworking and how he started in that.
H: My sweet hubby has a new found love for building things. Right now it is just a hobby, though he has a few things featured on my etsy shop. He’s made me some wonderful things for our home! What started this love was my asking him to build me a wooden canvas made of pallet boards for me to paint Texas flags on. From that time forward, he is always thinking of new things to build, for himself, for me or for our home. He’s made me a kitchen island, benches to create a breakfast nook, a bath caddy and a huge outdoor party table complete with ice buckets for drinks. He’s extremely talented.
K: Okay, you know my love affair with reading, so I must ask: what are your favorite books?
H: My favorite books. That’s a tough one. I used to be an avid reader and now I rarely have a book in my hand. Someone get me hooked again, give me a great book to read! No judging allowed, but my favorite book series will always be the Harry Potter series. Adventure, fantasy, drama and magic. Another one of my favorite books is Redeeming Love. Everyone needs to read this book. The perfect love story.
K: I will always shamelessly love Harry Potter. Outside of your growing business, what are your hobbies?
H: I really enjoy photography. Though this is slowly becoming my job, it will always be a hobby as well and I rarely am seen without my camera. I love being behind a camera, capturing the world around me and the people I encounter. It truly brings me a sense of joy like nothing else. It allows me to see God’s creation in new light!
K: What was the last project you worked on, or currently have your hands dirty with?
H: Thanks to you, my sweet friend, I now have the new A Beautiful Mess book and I am looking forward to diving in and experimenting with photography in new ways. I am also looking forward to collaborating with Kensfolk to give young women new style ideas and hopefully a sense of confidence that goes beyond what they wear. As for my etsy shop, well, it’s almost fall here in Texas and I am hoping to get two new lines of gorgeous linen scarves out there soon!
K: I actually own one of the scarves you made for last fall/winter and always get compliments on it. As for you, how would you describe your personal style?
H: My personal style is an eclectic mess. I honestly wear what fits my body type well and the way I’m feeling that day. If I’m feeling carefree I’ll grab my floral skirt and silk top for a boho look. If I’m feeling up for casual dressy, I’ll immediately grab my dark skinnies and a blazer. My go to clothing item might be my little black romper for days when I just don’t have a clue what to wear. I have a lot of vintage and many garage sale treasures and I rarely go out and buy clothes from a store. Because of this I have a wide variety of styles and staples to choose from and get to experiment with style every day.
K: What have been your favorite pieces of advice or inspirational quotes you’ve loved?
H: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Pablo Picasso
“Embrace the current season of your life” – Gabrielle Blair
“All I need today is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus” – UNKNOWN (this is one for every single day)
I also really love words. I love finding new words, I’ve never heard before and finding their meaning. There are some really beautiful words out there.
My favorites today are: “meraki (v.) to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work” and “redamancy (n.) the act of loving the one who loves you; a love returned in full.”
K: What is your dream job?
H: I would love to be a full time photographer.
K: What do you find to be the most challenging part of being an artist? Blogger?
For me, the answer to this question is a lack of confidence. There are many times when I simply don’t have confidence in myself or in my work and this tends to lead to less work rather than trying harder. Sometimes all it takes is one person’s kind words about my work and other times I have to suck it up, fake confidence, and continue practicing and putting myself out there by myself. The only way that I will ever improve and do things with excellence is by doing what I love a little bit every day. Thankfully I have an awesome hubby who supports me and encourages me daily!
K: What/where do you go to find inspiration for your work?
H: Thanks to Pinterest, inspiration is pretty easy to come by. Reading and viewing fellow photographer’s/blogger’s work is also extremely helpful and gets my creative juices flowing. But sometimes, I just get so sick of looking at a computer screen and that’s when I go on adventures. I like road trips and taking long walks in the woods. Even simple, gorgeous morning light and the smell of good coffee is enough to inspire me for the day. Seeing God’s beautiful creation, especially at the golden hour entices me and excites me.
K: What’s your advice to new aspiring photographers?
H: I still see myself as a new aspiring photographer, so this advice is for myself as well. Take photos every day. Try out every kind of photography (couples, seniors, landscapes, food, etc) before choosing what direction you’d like to take. Try new things and see what works for you. Make yourself get up early and take photos at sunrise, then test your knowledge of your camera and try to shoot at night with a single lamp or even the moon as your light source. Remember that it takes time, don’t get frustrated with yourself because you’re not Richard Avedon overnight. The more you shoot, the more you will learn and the better you will be.
K: Favorite blogs?
H: Chalk White Arrow, Kensfolk (duh), Local Milk, The Wiegands, The Daylee Journal, The Day Book , Kelli Murray, Treasures and Travels
K: Thank you! If you could conquer any talent you don’t already have, what would it be? (ex: being a surfer, able to cook really well, be a marathon runner, etc.)
H: Oh goodness, there are lots of talents I wish I had, but almost my whole family has some kind of musical talented, except me. I can carry a tune, but my sister has the pipes (aka she’s moving to New York to pursue a career on Broadway). I think I’d like to be able to play the guitar and sing. (cliché? Maybe.)
K: Learning how to play the guitar has been on my bucket list for over 10 years, so I relate.
What is your advice for newly married couples from your own experience?
H: Yea marriage!! Oh my, I have lots of advice. I’ll try to stick to just a few things.
1) Learn how to resolve conflict well. Figure out what your conflict language is and conquer that sucker. Timing is everything. Don’t argue if you’re hungry, angry, lonely (or lost, in my case), or tired (HALT).
2) Be in community. Have other young married friends to live life with. Not just for the bbq on Saturday but really being in each other’s lives. Digging in, getting your hands dirty, asking the really tough questions and allowing accountability in your life.
3) Last one, GO ON DATES! Make one night a week date night and go have a sit down dinner and some kind of fun. Talk, laugh, cry, whatever but just make spending time one on one a priority. My hubby and I, once a month, challenge each other with our dates. We give the other person a word, color, phrase, numbers, anything and they have to come up with a date night surrounding the topic. See HERE on my blog for ideas!!
K: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me! Is there anything else you would like to add or say about yourself?
H: I have a slight addiction to coffee and popcorn. I love me some Jesus and get excited His creation and His people. I have a passion for light. Not just the light from a gorgeous sunrise that touches the earth in the morning or the soft, dreamy light that comes only after a heavy rain but a light that is within people. The kind of light that brings smiles to faces and joy to the bones.
How great is she?! A huge thank you to you, Hannah, so spending the time to interview with me and for picking me to photograph some head shots for your blog! You are truly beautifully stunning, inside and out.
Check out Hannah’s photography blog HERE tomorrow for the unveiling of the bohemian bridal styled shoot that we collaborated on!