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I'm the gal behind the lens, and the founder of paige elizabeth photography. 

If I'm not working you can usually find me exploring new towns, eating sushi, or cuddling with my pup and cat. Explore my blog to learn more about me, my couples, and even learn a thing or two!

Hey, there! I'm Paige.

Women In Business: Part 1

In honor of Women’s History Month, today launches a new blog series that I am very excited about. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be featuring local female entrepreneurs from all over the Eastern Shore! Each installment of this series will highlight 3-5 women, each one of them sharing a bit about their journey, their services, and of course- their wisdom and experience as a woman in business. If you know me, or have been following me for any period of time, you know that I LOVE supporting other small business owners, especially women (girls gotta stick together, amirite?)! So I am actually giddy about this new series. I was inspired not only by the incredible women who came before our generation that fought for our right to be here today, but by these very women among us. These women don’t let fears or obstacles hold them back, they take their passions and skills head on and literally run their own companies. My hope is that anyone reading this can learn a little bit about the life of a female #bossbabe, their passions and challenges, the things they overcome, some of their favorite tips for other women, and of course- some new businesses to support! So without further ado, let me introduce you to the first round of CEOs!


Meisha Shockley, Shore Grace Family Wellness

What She Does: Doulas, Lactation Consultation, Counseling Services, Reiki & Health Services

Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum Related Support Groups and Classes

Contact: info@shoregracefamily.org

Women in Business | Female Business Owners
Meisha Shockley of Shore Grace Family Wellness || Photo by Maurice Waters
 
What inspired you to start your business?
“The lack of support for families having children on the Eastern Shore. We lack basic wrap around support to see families thrive in parenthood and I wanted to change that. After being a mother who “slipped through the cracks” due to lack of local resources after having my daughter prematurely at 27 weeks, I knew I had to do something, and I did. I opened a family wellness center that focuses on providing hope, health, and healing to families transitioning into life with their newborns.”
 
What is a big misconception about your business you hear often?
“My Family Wellness Center offers a lot of different services but the one service that seems to have a lot of misconception is our Doulas. A lot of folks think doulas are expensive, not needed if you have family support, and/or that we are crunchy natural-birth-in-rainforest freaks.
 
Not uh! Not here girlfriend! For one, we offer custom payment plans to accommodate any budget. We also are partnering with a nonprofit to be able to service lower income families very soon. As a Doula, my job is never to convince someone to ‘have a natural birth’. For one, all birth is natural. Secondly, my role is to provide nonjudgmental and educational support. We believe through empowerment and education, families will make the best choice for their family and birth. That means bring on all the epidurals, formula feeding, and hospital births. We just want to support you where you are so that you may have a more positive birthing experience. We are trained birth professionals who specialize in supporting families, not just mom, through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. To learn more about why you may want to hire a doula, click here to check out my blog.”
 
What project are you currently working on that you’re most excited about?
“My Postpartum Recovery & Infant Care Workshop has been a HIT! So I’m working on creating the birth counterpart to it and I seriously CAN NOT WAIT TO LAUNCH IT THIS SEPTEMBER! Tell a mom , who knows a mom, to come check it out 😊
 
EMPOWERING YOUR BIRTH: Through insightful conversations, a hands-on approach to coping techniques, and creative exercises intended to strengthen the bond between you and your support team, you will gain the skills, wisdom, and confidence needed to empower your birth experience. This is a high energy interactive workshop focused on evidence-based knowledge to help you feel empowered and confident during your birth experience. Whether you are planning a home or hospital birth, having your first or subsequent child, hoping for a natural labor, or still exploring your options, you will learn: Comfort Measures and Techniques, Protecting Your Birth Space, How To Make Informed Decisions Surrounding Your Labor Birth, How To Communicate Effectively with Your Partner and Birth Team, Create A Birth Plan, and more!
 
What’s one of the most challenging things you’ve faced as a female business owner, and how have you worked to overcome it?
“Being honest here, my challenge has been the cattiness among other women in my industry locally. I really hate to say that, but I feel like someone must shine a light on the darkness that surrounds competition mindsets here. While I’d love to partner with other local professionals in the birth industry here, it feels impossible and that makes me sad. I can’t change people. I can’t make them want better for the community by working together to change the challenges families face here. I can, however, keep showing up. I will keep showing up for families and continue to voice the importance of collaboration for the greater good. I will continue to support other birth professionals locally with love and grace even when it isn’t reciprocated. The families here deserve better. I’m just going to keep striving for that.”
 
What tips do you have for other women looking to start a business?
“MENTORSHIP! Find someone who you admire that you can learn from. Someone who is willing to pour into you and support you through your journey. There are so many amazing business owners who can give guidance and who are willing to show you where to start. I’m one of them. I’m always rooting for women and looking to support any way I can. If you like someone’s work and would like to learn from them, reach out!”


Amanda Arnold, The Shady Sun Tanning Co.

What She Does: Custom naturally-derived spray tanning services + products

Contact: https://www.theshadysun.com/ // info@theshadysun.com

Women in Business | Female Business Owners
Amanda Arnold of The Shady Sun Tanning Co. || Photo by Leah Adkins Photography
 
What inspired you to start your business?
“I love the way I feel with a tan. I’m kinda simple that way, but I also discovered that I loved giving that gift to other people. I had lived on the Shore for a few years and I wanted a way to meet new people and challenge myself in ways that I didn’t feel was happening at my corporate job. I juggled both for some time, but the decision to go full-time was one of the best I have made. I have an incredibly supportive community that helped make the decision and transition easier and I am forever grateful for that.”
 
What is a big misconception about your business you hear often?
“There is an understandable fear of spray tans, the horror stories are out there and the mistakes are easy to spot, but just with anything do your research and you’ll be fine. Seeking a tanning professional with experience and proven work is an easy way to start. Being orange is usually the biggest concern, but your spray tan tech will know how to get you your best look that fits you
naturally.”
 
What is one of your favorite ways to connect with other local business owners?
“Networking and social events are my favorite. I love attending Tuesday’s Together and local charity events where I get to connect and learn about my community.”
 
Your favorite quote?
“Currently it’s been, ‘Done is better than perfect’. As a recovering perfectionist I find my quest for flawlessness can also lead to procrastination or stalling. I am always going to put pressure on myself to turn out amazing content, photo shoots, marketing material, etc, but getting it done and out into the world is now top priority and this keeps me on track.” 
Ami Reist Jachimski, Little Miss Lovely
What She Does: Floral Design & Event Decorating
 
Women in Business | Female Business Owners
Ami Reist Jachimski of Little Miss Lovely || Photo by Leah Adkins Photography
What is your favorite part of being a local small business owner?
“My favorite part about being a small business owner in our community is the freedom my job allows. Owning your own business is hard work and a constant balancing act, but operating my own business means that I have the opportunity to set my own schedule. As a new mom, being able to plan my work day around my daughter’s nap schedule and schedule meetings based on my child-care availability is such a great part of running a small business. I can’t think of many other jobs that would allow for such freedom. I’m so thankful that I am able to run my business around my family’s needs.”
 
What is a big misconception about your business you hear often?
“When I tell people that I own a wedding and event floral business, their first response is usually something like, ‘Oh my gosh. That is so cool. You get to play with flowers every day.’ If I could explain to every single person how big of a misconception that is, I would run out of breath while trying to get all of the words out fast enough before they walked away and thought I was crazy. Yes, I do work with flowers every day, but I would never call it ‘playing’ with flowers. There is so much that goes into every flower arrangement I create. You have to consider the process behind ordering each individual flower from a grower or farmer, communicating with the wholesalers who provide flowers, the time and knowledge behind the ordering process, the knowledge behind knowing the temperament of each individual flower, the storing and processing of each flower, the caressing of finicky flowers, the skill and talent behind creating a stunning arrangement, the hard work spent communicating with a client to bring their vision to life, the bookkeeping and accounting needed to be sure all of my business bills are paid on time and my business is turning a profit, the delivering of all of the finished arrangements, and the intensive labor that it takes to load wedding flowers into a vehicle and drive with splashing water and glass vases, and, last but not least, the pressure of creating and delivering a very important piece to a very important client on one of the biggest, most memorable, days of their life. I feel like that is only half of the job and there are many other items that I could add to that list, but that’s just the grunt of it – but, yes, I do greatly enjoy my work with flowers and helping bring my clients’ visions to life.”
 
What tips do you have for other women looking to start their own business?
“To own your own business, you have to have a go-getter attitude, be willing to work non-stop, be willing to work your butt off, be ready to tackle anything that is thrown you way, be willing to do any grunt work yourself, get ready to have a crash-course in business management, and learn lots of information about accounting, bookkeeping, and taxes. I would say that I spent at least 8 hours a week crunching numbers, counting mileage, sending invoices, processing payments, paying bills, and making sure my business bank account is balanced. I didn’t realize how important it was to keep your finances as strict and neat as possible until I was a few years into my business. One day while meeting with my accountant she said something like, ‘You have to decide if you want this to be an actual business or just a hobby. This next year will make or break you.’ Starting a business is all about numbers. If you aren’t creating revenue, you aren’t a business. You are just a girl with an expensive hobby. I had to analyze all of my spending, up my prices, and make sure each product leaving LML had a certain percentage of profit associated with it. It wasn’t until I factored in ‘a cost of doing business’ into each and every one of my arrangements that I actually turned a profit. Let me tell you how great it was when, 6 months later, my accountant was like ‘Girl, whatever you are doing is working!’ It felt amazing. Figuring out your worth and how to price each creation you produce makes all of the hard work, ambition, and confused moments worth it.”
Heather Hall + Shania Bounds, The Ugly Pie
What They Do: Bakery specializing in homestyle dessert pies – eat in, carry out & catering 
Contact: 443-978-8578 // TheUglyPieSBY@gmail.com // “TheUglyPieSBY” on Facebook & Instagram
Heather Hall + Shania Bounds of The Ugly Pie || Photo by Mary Bell Photography
From Heather:
What inspired you to start your business?
“I was inspired to start a business once I realized how unfulfilled I felt at my office job. No amount of money or stability is worth unhappiness – life is too darn short! And now I make a living creating a product that brings comfort and joy to other people. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
 
What is your favorite part of being a local small business owner?
“My favorite part of owning a small local business is definitely interacting with the community. I’m a natural introvert, but I love customer service. Owning a pie shop gives me the opportunity to have one-on-one exchanges with my customers. I’ve met so many interesting people since we’ve started our business. Also, it makes me feel like I’m a part of something. We have been fortunate enough to gain popularity very quickly, so it still catches me off-guard when I’m out and about and someone knows who I am.”
 
What tips do you have for other women looking to start their own business?
“The best advice I can give to other female start-ups is to just go for it. We follow in the footsteps of so many strong women who have broken down walls and made entrepreneurship attainable for us.  This is our time!” 
 
What is your favorite quote?
“’It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it.’ -Tom Hanks in ‘A League Of Their Own’”.
 
From Shania:
What is a big misconception about your business you hear often?
I hear all the time about how it looks like we don’t eat our own food or how tough it must be to work around it and not eat it all the time. I would just like to say I eat my fair share of pie. I have to actively force myself NOT to eat it everyday. I love what we do. I don’t even know how many times a day I’ll look at something and say ‘Mmm…'”. 
 
What project are you currently working on that you’re most excited about?
Not sure if it’s really a project, but I’ve been making scones and biscuits from time to time. Usually we just enjoy them, but maybe one day they’ll be something that’s available at our shop.
 
What tips do you have for other women looking to start their own business?
Love what you do, stand behind what you do, and don’t give up on yourself. 
What She Does: On site/in studio airbrush makeup, false lashes & in studio light hair styling
Rebecca Ritchie of Airbrush Makeup by Rebecca Ritchie // Photo by Megan Harris Photography
What inspired you to start your business?
“I went from being an on air DJ/producing/voicing commercials every day… to becoming a mom and taking a job at a trucking company as a dispatcher.
 
The plan was to trade the low paying fun job for the high paying not-so-fun job. There was quite a bit of a difference in how I was now spending my work days once I made that change. Three months of trucking company life was all I needed to realize that hating your job, even if it means a higher paycheck, is NOT worth it.
 
So, I worked with a friend at her hair salon, while I tried to figure out my next career move. I wanted to do something that could give me flexibility to spend time with my kids, as well as something that would allow me to be creative. I could still record commercials & station VO from my home studio, which I loved.  But there had to be more! Makeup came in to play because it had always been a constant in my world. From dramatic makeup when I was onstage or in studio with my band to always doing makeup on my friends, it had just always been there in the background. Since working at the salon, I started having clients ask if I could do makeup for their weddings. I would always say yes, but was sort of just winging it… and I REALLY wanted to have confidence in what I was doing.
 
After researching many schools & classes, I flew to California to train with Amy Ward, (Model/Photographer/Makeup Artist in NY, London, Paris) with the hope that my side hustle could turn into my career.  I was scared to death, but I did it anyway…  The days there were long and eye opening, but I returned home with a whole new perspective and got started immediately. I was armed with lots of knowledge and ready to tackle a new chapter in my life.  I practiced on every face that I could and then each wedding lead to another.  Thankfully, so many people were willing to give me a shot and my little business was born in January 2015.”
 
What is a big misconception about your business you hear often?
“I think the world of Instagram and Snapchat filters has people imagining that when your makeup is airbrushed, your wrinkles and your pores magically disappear. That’s definitely not the case. 
 
Makeup artists are artists, but not plastic surgeons. If you have wrinkles before the makeup, you’ll still have wrinkles after the makeup. Certain products can soften the look of these things, but they don’t disappear. I will focus on highlighting your best features so that no one is looking at a few wrinkles anyway. Great skin in the first place is always ideal for the best makeup.
 
Airbrushing is just the way that your foundation is applied. Instead of using a brush or beauty blender, I use a gun to spray on the foundation. I love it because I can apply it heavier on the areas that you need it and lighter where you don’t, without ever touching your skin. It’s the only thing I offer, because in my opinion, I prefer the look of it over traditional application. I have seen many artists apply foundation in many ways and they are all beautiful! So, for me, its just my personal choice when applying foundation and I’m very happy with how it looks on my clients in real life and in photographs.”
 
What is your favorite part of being a local small business owner?
“I love the freedom and flexibility that this job gives me.  Even though sometimes it may feel like I’m always on call, I do have the freedom to decide what I want to do and how I can spend my days.  Every time I get to go on a field trip with my kids or every time they have a snow day, I’m grateful to no longer be working a 9-5.  I work a lot of weekends, but I also have a lot of week days off, which is awesome!”
 
What’s one of the most challenging things you’ve faced as a female business owner, and how have you worked to overcome it?
“The most challenging thing I have faced as a business owner in general, is just knowing my limits and knowing when to say no. When I first started, I traveled anywhere for any amount of people. It meant really long days and lots of exhaustion, but its important to spread the word and I understood that. Now, I have pulled back a little, knowing exactly what I can handle and how far I’m comfortable traveling, to still make this job enjoyable! 
 
I wish I could say yes to every single thing that comes my way. Yet, I’m only one person. Running my own business with no employees means that its up to me to do it all. Everything single thing is up to me to figure out. In a way, I love that because I love organization and knowing that everything will be done as well as it possibly can be. However, it can be exhausting making sure every aspect of running your own business is handled. From advertising and marketing, to sending quotes/info for future jobs, responding to inquiries, cleaning equipment and taking inventory, ordering, staying organized with upcoming weddings, communicating with brides and scheduling upcoming trials, working out timelines, playing therapist if my bride feels overwhelmed, helping my brides find vendors when they get stuck, keeping track of payments, sending and filing contracts…  it literally never ends! But I love it!”
What tips do you have for other women looking to start their own business?
“I have had many people reach out over the years, looking for advice as they get started. One thing that my makeup instructor told us was to be the one that everyone wants to work with. Not because your makeup skills are the best in the world, but because your personality can outshine even the best artist that is difficult to work with. If you make it easy, are well organized and wonderful to be around, you will get the job every single time. Your makeup skills can evolve over time and you should never stop working hard to improve them. But, being kind & helpful definitely goes a long way. I try to make sure that my clients feel confident about choosing me on their wedding day, knowing that they’ll love their makeup look, but that the experience they will have from the time they book me will also leave them feeling just as amazing about their choice.”
 
 
What is your favorite quote?
“From the time I was little, my dad always said, ‘You make your own luck.’ I have lived by that! You can’t just sit around, waiting for something to fall into your lap. You have to be open to where your life may take you and create opportunities along the way.
Being in a band was so scary for me! Every show, getting on stage was so far out of my comfort zone, that to this day, I’m not sure how I did it! Yet, I wouldn’t have gotten the radio job if I hadn’t stepped on a stage and met a DJ, who offered me that job. I wouldn’t have known how much I’d love recording commercials, had I never accepted the position. I wouldn’t have taken the trucking company job, if radio had paid a little better and then I wouldn’t have realized how much I loved being creative, if I never tried working for a trucking company (LOL). Some things in life may turn out to be a fa… but for each failure, there is usually a great lesson & great connections made along the way. Find a path and make your own luck. All of these things have led me to owning my own business and I couldn’t be happier about that!”
 
 
Let’s give a warm round of internet applause for our first group of featured women! (AKA: let’s leave them lots of love and comments!) Come back Friday for a new group of local female entrepreneurs and please share this blog with your friends!
Paige of Paige Elizabeth Photography
 
Thank you to each of the women who are featured today for sharing your talents and wisdom with our local community. We are so lucky to have you.
 
Happy hump day, y’all!
 
XO,
Paige

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- samantha + ryan

"These are the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen in my life. You are a wizard (yes the HP kind) with a camera - it was meant to be in your sweet perfect hands. Thank you so much for yesterday and for everything. We are so so lucky to get to have you and your talents capture the best day of Ryan’s and I’s lives"

"You Are a Wizard"

- HALEY + BRANDON

"OH MY GOD PAIGE YOU F*@%KING KILLED IT...Thank you so much for capturing everything. We are so grateful for you!"

"OH MY GOD"

- EMMA + BRETT

OMFG PAIGE the sneak peek is INCREDIBLE and I’m having so much trouble choosing just a few to post 😂 so so amazed by your talent and artistry girl!!!!

"OMFG"

- Krista, 2020 PEP Senior rep

"Paige is one of the kindest people I've ever met! When it comes to senior pictures, I'm so glad I chose her. She was quick with our photos, always gave us sneak peeks, and hyped us up during our whole shoot! Wish I could be a PEP Senior Rep forever!" 

"I'm so glad I chose her"

- Kelsey + gavin

"Paige made our engagement and wedding photo experience unforgettable. She was professional, fun, and did an amazing job capturing our personalities in our photographs. Great turn around time. I cannot say enough great things about this woman!!!"

"Unforgettable"

- jen and shane

"PAIGE! I just got a chance to completely look through all of the photos. They are absolutely stunning!!! Thank you so much, you captured everything perfectly!"

"Captured Perfectly"

- courtney, 2020 PEP Senior rep

"I genuinely could not be happier with the experience Paige provided me with this year. I was super nervous to be in front of the camera, but my shoots with Paige literally felt like hanging out with your best friend while simultaneously taking photos. Paige sincerely cares about each and every one of her clients, and that is made so evident by the hard work she puts into her craft. I’ve learned so much from watching Paige run her business and I am in awe of how much she loves what she does- and how incredibly talented she is at what she does. Not only did I gain breathtaking photos of my Senior year that I will keep close to my heart forever, I also gained a friend, and to me that is priceless. If you’re thinking about booking a shoot with Paige, do it now- you’ll wonder where she’s been all your life. 💕"

"Could not be happier"

- Gabby + Kyle

"Literally sitting here crying because your pictures are so amazing. I’m absolutely in love they are perfect. I love your style of candid and how you get the perfect shot...The hardest thing for me to choose was our wedding photographer, it took me the longest time. And we 1000% made the right choice. You did amazing. Thank you so much!"

"Absolutely in love"

- Kelly + jared

"Extremely talented, professional, and genuine photographer who loves what she does and loves who she does it for. If she didn’t, would her photos be THIS DAMN GOOD?? Would hire her over and over again."

"Would hire her over and over"

- Baby, 2020 PEP Senior rep

"You're literally the best at what you do...I love them all!"

"The best"

- Tori + aaron

"BEST. PHOTOGRAPHER. EVER...Don't know what we would have done without you!"

"BEST. PHOTOGRAPHER. EVER"

- becca, 2020 PEP Senior rep

"I'M CRYING DRIVING HOME FROM ASSATEAGUE. I'VE ONLY SEEN THE COVER AND I'M DYING....OH MY GOD. You freaking killed the game and outdid yourself. THESE ARE GORGEOUS!"

"THESE ARE GORGEOUS"

- hannah + ross

"Paige is phenomenal. From the very first meet up, I knew that she was going to do everything in her ability to make our day something special. She is so easy to work with, and really plays to the strengths of the couple. My husband and I are awkward and we laugh at everything, and she let us be ourselves and really captured our personalities in the pictures. She truly went the extra mile and brought so much energy to our day."

"Phenomenal."

- Chelsea + seth

"We had a blast with Paige, and have the most amazing photos to show from it. We are blessed beyond belief that we met this wonderful human and that she provided us with photos that will adorn our home for years to come. Through grateful tears, THANK YOU for your work. We are so happy to have a friend in you."

"The very best day."

- Morgan + Matt

"I can't stop staring at my wedding photos!"

"Can't stop staring"

- Keeley, 2020 PEP Senior rep

"Paige is one of the most kindest, hardworking, selfless, people I know. I’m am not a confident person at all, but when I did my shoots with Paige she would make me laugh and feel confident. One of my favorite parts of my senior year was being able to get to know her, and do my senior casuals with her. She is not only a great photographer but a great person💕"

"She would make me laugh and feel CONFIDENT"

- Alicia + Justin

"From personal experience, I can say that Paige is incredible to work with. She was the best photographer we could have asked for! We highly recommend her!" 

"Highly Recommend"

- Tori + otto

“Paige is an outstanding professional with AMAZING photography skills. My husband and I LOVE her, and we were so delighted with our experience using her services on our special wedding day. Paige has a way of making you feel so comfortable in front of the camera and the photography she creates is absolutely top notch. Thank you Paige!”

"So Comfortable"

- morgan + skye

“Paige is just the best. She (sometimes literally) bent over backwards to make our day and everything before our day go absolutely perfect. There aren't enough words to explain how thankful we are for her AND her beautiful work. I can't imagine our wedding day without her and will most definitely be recommending her to everyone in the future.”

"Aren't Enough Words"

love notes.