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INSPIRING HEARTS AROUND THE WORLD // CMC INTERVIEW SERIES PART 1

Give yourself permission to live a big life. Step into who you are meant to be. Stop playing small. You’re meant for greater things.” – Anon

Here at Wild Hearts, we have always had the vision to inspire our industry to do great things, to start our own trends, to inspire people to dream a little more, explore a little more, and to work alongside businesses that really want to add that little bit of magic to your event day. ⁠

Last year when everything was falling around us during a worldwide pandemic, we did a bit of a crazy thing… ⁠
We worked for hours, weeks, months, and rallied some incredible industry friends together to create an incredible online business course for business owners, creatives, freelancers, and anyone dreaming of having their own business one day.

The Creative Master Class by Wild Hearts has been in the works for some time now. Our soft launch into workshops was a huge success and when COVID-19 suddenly hit, we responded by fast-tracking the CMC to ensure the people in our community could benefit from it at a time when they needed it most.⁠

We are both proud and humbled to be part of such a supportive creative community, one that celebrates love and empowers others to do great things, especially in such uncertain times. We are also incredibly grateful for the main girls that contribute each week Michelle Fowler from Half Light Studio, Sabrina Weber, and Laura Tuck from Tide Studio. And they wonderful Industry Leaders that shared their stories with us.

This week we wanted to share some new stories… from legends that have been through our 2020 CMC and are doing great things in their business. Our CMC Members are the ones changing the game, the ones who stepped up, showed up, learned, grew, connected, and started to shine!

Check out Part One of our CMC Member Interview Series.

“I went through the process of evaluating my brand, what my values are, my intentions, and what I want out of my business. I understood the value of investing in your business with strategy/coaching sessions and I went on to do a complete rebrand with a new website which I’m in the final stages of and will be launching soon.”

SAMANTHA DONALDSON PHOTOGRAPHY – AUCKLAND, NZ

Tell us about your business and what you do? 

I’m a photographer – I shoot weddings, families and commercial – specifically branding and content for small businesses. I have a very real, honest approach to my photography across all specialities. My passion is telling a story authentically whether it’s a love story or a brand story. 

How were you feeling in business before joining the CMC? 

A little lost to tell the truth. Things were going really well but I grew my business very organically around having my children and I’m embarrassed to say I’d never really taken the time to drill down to what my brand values were, who my ideal client was, what my goals were or anything like that. I was just cruising. I felt my branding was no longer reflecting what my brand was actually about – probably because I’d never really had any branding done besides a logo – which I learnt in CMC that branding is much much more than a logo!

What changes have you made to your business after the CMC? 

A lot! I went through the process of evaluating my brand, what my values are, my intentions, and what I want out of my business. I understood the value of investing in your business with strategy/coaching sessions and I went on to do a complete rebrand with a new website which I’m in the final stages of and will be launching soon which is very exciting! It’s much more me and reflects everything I’ve worked on my brand in the past year. I’ve invested in some wonderful people on this journey including CMC’s Michelle and Laura – I highly recommend these ladies!

How likely are you to recommend the CMC to other creative business owners? 

Highly likely! Lot’s of inspiring chat and useful resources.

Are you joining us this year? 

I’m hoping to! Looks like a great course this year!


⁠You can find Samantha at www.samanthadonaldson.com and follow on Instagram at @samanthadonaldsonphotography

“Prior to the course, my business was naturally slow with indefinite wedding postponements so the prospect of joining a course with like-minded people in the same industry couldn’t have landed in my socials at a more perfect time! “

LILIA CASS – SYDNEY, AUS

Tell us about your business and what you do?

Lilia Cass Ceremonial is nontraditional bridal or ceremonial wear designed to mix, match, wear your way on your day and intended to be restyled again after. All materials used are natural (Silk mostly, some viscose) to be as luxurious and eco as possible. My designs are minimalist with features that can be styled in a ‘wow’ way and also players down later.

How were you feeling in business before joining the CMC?

I have been very lucky with my business and its timing and have unintentionally been met with the bride needing an elopement or micro wedding which suits my design focus with brides wanting minimal, re-wearable for multiple small celebrations (rather than one big one) So as we started to come out of covid, my business growth has been organic in this direction. Prior to the course, my business was naturally slow with indefinite wedding postponements so the prospect of joining a course with like-minded people in the same industry couldn’t have landed in my socials at a more perfect time! 

What changes have you made to your business after the CMC?

After the course, I have been more intentional with social planning, colours, and feel. And putting more effort into my social media presence. Although I am based in Australia, the budgeting guide has also been incredibly helpful and I still use the template from Luke at NextAdvisory.

How likely are you to recommend the CMC to other creative business owners?

I’d highly recommend, I joined for a sense of community when we were all locked inside during the pandemic but this interaction is priceless at any time or stage of business in this industry. I found the conversations helpful and valuable just to get my mind in the game and understand obstacles I am facing arent just mine!

You can find Lilia Cass at www.liliacass.com and follow on Instagram at @liliacassceremonial

” I am a firm believer in Oscar Wilde’s saying “You can never be overdressed or over educated” (well backed up by my wardrobe). When you work for someone else, there’s generally training and/or personal development, why should being self-employed be any different?”

KIMBERLEY McCONE – SMITTEN WITH LOVE – CENTRAL OTAGO, NZ

Tell us about your business and what you do?

Smitten With Love specialises in bespoke and semi-custom wedding stationery, sometimes flirty, sometimes classic, but always beautiful and made with love. I offer branding and collateral to other like-minded businesses and most recently launched a line of children’s stationery. I have an appreciation for luxury paper goods and personally hand pick card stocks, printing techniques, coloured envelopes, and embellishments for the most fabulous finish. Sharing in the happiness of my couples, getting them and their guests excited in anticipation, is definitely my business why. It’s my goal to create work that your nana shows off to every visiting guest, makes your guests go ‘oooo’ on opening, and secures prime real estate on the fridge or in their treasure box – stationery lovers I see you and love you even more!

I started Smitten With Love after offering to create stationery for a couple of special friends, I loved it so much I set myself a month deadline for launch date. Four years later and I’m designing and illustrating for couples worldwide and feel very lucky to be collaborating with some serious New Zealand talents. As a business owner, I take on all roles, from designing, illustrating, innovating and hand crafting the work, to running the admin, budgeting, marketing, branding, and art direction. Sometimes it can be overwhelming but 98% of the time it’s the reality of living and working my dream.

How were you feeling in business before joining the CMC?

I was feeling really good, momentum was high, after just over three years in business I truly felt like I had found my feet and had finally shaken the imposter syndrome, I was working on some exciting briefs and getting great feedback and word and mouth from my couples. Then COVID hit, as with the majority of the wedding and event industry I too was effected, that momentum almost came to a halt and I found myself questioning what I was doing. I let in too many doubts and just felt like I’d lost my fire, I needed to do something to clear my mind, realign my focus and feed my inspiration. The CMC’s timing couldn’t have been better.

From the CMC what was the biggest game-changer for you?

There were a multitude of game changers but if I had to pick one, tried and tested apps and podcasts recommended by inspiring speakers was huge. Coming out the other side of Covid and as a small business, I couldn’t afford to take on staff, but I was also running out of time and it was costing me productivity. I was physically keeping notebooks just to keep track of last point of contact, notes on projects and milestones with suppliers. At any one time I could be catering for 10-15 clients at different stages in their design process and I was constantly double and triple checking my notes to ensure I never missed a client or print deadline. I now have stress free automated checklists and reminders in place to ensure that behind the scenes, every project moves smoothly and the best customer service is experienced at all times.

Do you feel that online training is more effective?

We all learn in different ways, for some that might be by doing and others by reading etc, I don’t necessarily think it’s more effective but I do think it’s a privilege that we’re lucky to have, especially in today’s climate. Online training means we can learn on-the-go or as we find time, be it from the couch, in the shower or on a walk,  it’s great for those with changing schedules and in essence, certainly more accessible.

Are you joining us this year?  

Yes! I am a firm believer in Oscar Wilde’s saying “You can never be overdressed or overeducated” (well backed up by my wardrobe). When you work for someone else, there’s generally training and/or personal development, why should being self-employed be any different? I can’t wait to see what’s in store this year.

You can find Kimberley’s work at www.smittenwithlove.com and follow on Instagram at @_smittenwithlove


JOIN US THIS YEAR ~ As we headed to the end of 2020, a new obstacle struck as we moved into a new season of busy, overwhelm, and burnout. “There must be a better way to do business?!” we said! ⁠

And this is where the Creative Master Class was reinvented. We have learned a lot in the last 12 months can not wait to share all of this and so much more with our 2021 CMC Members… How to Slow Down to Speed Up, Core Values, Automation, Money Mindset, Nutrition, Brand Strategy, Productivity, Balance, SEO, Team Management, Reducing Stress, Getting Intimate with Numbers, Attracting your Dream Clients, Creating Content, Commercial Work, Getting work Published, Email Lists, Simplifying your Inbox, and soooo much more! ⁠

PLUS for 8 WEEKS, along with your modules, workbooks, downloads, exclusive discounts and so much more… we will have a chat either via audio podcast or written interviews with hand-picked Industry Leaders & Experts from all over the country! (head to our CMC Page to see who we will be chatting to) ⁠

So what are you waiting for?! Head to over now to sign up now and join us on May 31st! ⁠

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