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Owner Spotlight: Kennedy Harris

Owner Spotlight: Kennedy Harris

If there was only one word to describe me, it would absolutely have to be passion. For anyone who knows me (or even those who even know me as an acquaintance), you know how much my heart sets on fire for thing things I'm passionate about. I'm never scared to dream big dreams and I never let anything hold me back to make them happen. Which is why the story behind how Live Inspired started will come as no surprise.

I've been creative my whole life. I didn't categorize myself as a creative person until my senior year of college, but I can think back to moments of my childhood where my brain was always creatively solving problems and imagining things differently. When I was in first grade, I remember my teacher telling me I had handwriting that looked as good as typed out print. Me, being a sucker for words of affirmation, kept perfecting my lettering from that day forward (without even knowing that's what I was doing). Fast forward to my senior year of college at Butler University when I decided to do some self-care in the version of making my own bullet journal. For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept of bullet journals, it's basically using dotted paper to create your own designs. I decided to create weekly planner pages so I could plan out my classes, work schedule, and other extracurricular activities while keeping track of how I was feeling mentally and physically. In that same year, I was serving as the Co-President of an organization on campus that raised money and awareness for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - Indiana Chapter. Remember when I said I like to dream big? Yeah, well - I sure did that. I made it a personal goal to raise $5,000 that year to end the stigma associated with mental health and reduce suicide rates. As I was sitting in the living room of my sorority house, planning away in my bullet journal of ways I could possibly raise that much money, I remember some of my friends started commenting on my bullet journal. They certainly weren't the first people to hint at me making them a planner of their own, but they were the first ones to say outright, "Hey, you're, like, really good at this. You should start a business". Before they could even finish their thought, I pulled out my phone and started looking up how to start a business. And thus, Live Inspired was born.

I really started this business for one reason, and one reason only: raise money and awareness for suicide prevention and mental health. Like seriously - that's all my intentions were when I began this business. I thought to myself, this will be fun! It'll create a few planners, sell them to some friends, raise my $5,000 goal, and call it a day! First of all, I had noooo idea how to create a product, let alone a whole business. I had always hand-drawn my pages, so I really wasn't sure how I would get a hand-drawn copy to print in bulk. I didn't know the first thing about paper types that are best to use, what kind of cover is the best cover for durability, how to register my business with the government, how to pay taxes on a business (still confused on this one, to be honest), or really ANYTHING related to starting a business. But if you remember what I said before, I don't let anything stand in my way of my big dreams.

The key to starting a business is simple: just start. 

And trust me, it isn't easy. There are MANY days where I tell myself I can't do this; that it's too hard. But then I remind myself of why I started: to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention and mental health. And suddenly, the overwhelming feeling of not being good enough fades away, and I put my head down and overcome whatever obstacle that is in my way. The overwhelming support and love I get from people like you is what keeps me going. It's what reminds me of why this business is so important, and why I HAVE to give it my all. So shoutout to you all for making this all happen. You all are the real MVPs.

So where has this business gone since it started in 2019? Well, like I mentioned earlier, my intentions were to raise enough money to meet my fundraising goal and that would be the end of that. I really wasn't sure how many to start out with, but I felt like I had enough interest to sell 200 planners. And then came launch day, and you all blew me away. Within 4 days, all 200 planners were SOLD OUT. I seriously still cannot believe that stat to this day. While I had reached my fundraising goal, I knew I could keep pushing, so I sold a total of 500 planners and still had people begging for more. It was in that moment that I knew I had to continue this business on. Never in a m i l l i o n years did I think I'd own my own business, but I knew this was something I could commit to because I was so passionate about the cause behind it. With one year under my belt, I decided to create another line of planners for 2020. And then again this year with the launch of 2021 planners. I am SO THANKFUL for this community who has fallen in love with all things Live Inspired, and I absolutely love creating and tweaking my products to be the absolute best they can be for each customer.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for supporting this small business and the dreams it has to make an impact on the mental health community. <3

In support,
Kenn
Owner + Designer

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