I had the pleasure of chatting with Mike & Brittni of Station Seven. They have been two of the most influential people on the journey of growing my own business and to have them on the blog is an absolute honor. Not to mention they have a rad design style that you can't help but be influenced and inspired by. Continue reading to learn more about how their story has and continues to evolve.
To kick things off would you mind introducing yourselves and your business to all of us?
We’re Mike and Brittni, a creative couple from Vancouver, Canada and the owners of Station Seven. Station Seven empowers creative entrepreneurs to take the leap in starting their own online blog and business; In addition to our ever growing library of free articles and resources, we offer a curated selection of Photoshop design kits, WordPress themes, and Squarespace templates all designed to give you that professional look on a bootstrapped budget.
What is the meaning behind your business name?
The name Station Seven has both a long explanation and a short one. I’ll start with the long one.
Travel has always played an influential role in the development and growth of our business. After getting married we both quit our jobs and moved to Asia for a year with the intention of building a business. There’s something inspiring about escaping your daily life, routines, bad habits and distractions of home and starting fresh somewhere new. It creates a clean slate and a truly empowering sense of freedom to be somewhere new, and a daily source of inspiration for creative thought. It was while we were living in Japan that we started Station Seven, and the name takes influence from travel. The “Station” is your jumping off point, the place where your next big adventure begins. As for “Seven”, well you have seven continents, seven seas and seven wonders of the world - all powerful themes behind grand adventures.
The short story? We needed a name and thought the alliteration rolled off the tongue reasonably well. While choosing a name can be difficult, we don’t think it should ever be a roadblock to launching an idea, so quickly settling on Station Seven allowed us to get to work on what mattered most.
I have been following you guys for a hot second so I have watched your business evolve in fantastic ways but, for those who don’t know, how long has Station Seven been around and what made you decide to transition from “Creatives in Transit.”
Creatives in Transit was originally our travel blog from when we started our “digital nomad” journey. It was a place to share our experiences and connect with others in the community, but more importantly, it was a sandbox for us to experiment and learn more about web design/development, blogging and internet marketing. As Station Seven continued to grow and become more of a focus for us, the line between the two began blurring to the point where having two entities online was doing more harm than good. There’s something to be said about doing one thing and doing it well vs. trying to support two websites (and their respective social media channels) at once.
You guys are now parents (YAY!) What would you say are the biggest pros and cons of owning your own business and what, if any, transitions have you had to make in your business since having little Adison.
Yay, it’s been a blast! The biggest pro is that we get to spend every single day together as a family - no one has to leave the house to go to work, so we are lucky in being able to spend much more time together than would be possible if we were in traditional roles.
I would be lying if I said it hasn’t made it a bit more challenging to get work done. We have to be much more organized with our time, as Adi’s needs mean we can’t always drop everything to work whenever the inspiration hits. Instead, we plan to get things done during her nap times and also after she goes to bed at night. But this is also a positive, as it frees us up to hang out unconditionally during the day as a family.
I discovered you guys when I was searching for a Wordpress template for my blog (before I learned how to design for the web) and instantly fell in love. You guys now offer Squarespace Templates as well, which is awesome. Were templates & website design always something you were passionate about, or has it evolved from other forms of design into what are now these clean and minimal templates.
Before creating themes and templates, we began as most other solopreneurs do which is by offering services. In our spare time (we were both working full time then) we worked on a number of website projects for local small businesses, friends, family etc. We loved the ability to design and create something that helped others grow their business, but found the client process to be quite draining at times. We’re both quite introverted, so the frequent meetings, Skype calls and long email threads definitely wore us down, so we looked for a way to continue designing and building on our own terms. We experimented with other forms of design templates before finally working up the courage to build a WordPress theme, but are so so glad we did.
I know I have learned so much from you guys along the way and I am truly grateful for your eagerness to share your knowledge but if you had to give just ONE piece of advice to someone hoping to start their own creative business what would it be?
Just start! Seriously, taking that first leap can the hardest part, but you’ll be so glad you did. It’s incredibly easy to make excuses why you shouldn’t do it, and it’s so much easier to sit on the couch and scroll through social media, but you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
How often would you recommend updating one's website for those out there who are looking to purchase your templates OR for those who have already put your templates to use.
Oooh good question. A website is a very personal expression, very similar to fashion. But just like your taste and choice in fashion can make a statement, so too does your website. We find ourselves talking about a major redesign every year or so, but even small changes like some new photos can really freshen up your site in the interim.
I am a huge lover of music so I love to ask everyone if you had to pick one song to represent Station Seven what song would it be?
Gahhh this has to be the hardest question ever. I want to say something silly like “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac. Yes, it’s a song about breakups and messy relationships, but it’s also about taking control over your own life and not letting the negativity of others bring you down. I think we all have things we wish we could change, whether it’s being stuck in an unfulfilling job, having money stresses or just being generally unhappy in our situation. But waiting around for someone else to make it better is a losing strategy - take control of your actions and make change if you want change to happen.
Of course, a huge thank you to both Mike & Brittni for chatting with me. You can find them on their website, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. I hope you enjoyed learning more about Station Seven and be sure and give them a shout down in the comments below.
UNTIL NEXT TIME,