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Celebrating a Milestone: Reflections on the Past Five Years

Today Honeycomb turns five, a milestone I’m humbled to reach. However, unlike previous years I’m not celebrating this one as a solopreneur as our team grew from one to three in the past year. Chris and Audrey, thanks for being along for the ride and helping propel Honeycomb forward every day.

Over the past few weeks I’ve gathered my thoughts around this milestone and what it means for the future of Honeycomb. Before we dive into those, I want to thank our clients past and present. You are the reason Honeycomb exists and I’m honored to be a small part of your business story. Thank you for trusting me with your stories, dreams and goals. So many times you’ve come to Honeycomb burned out, nervous, or burned by bad experiences. I hope you’ve left feeling more confident about your business and brand. Telling your stories, creating meaningful brands, and watching you grow lights me up. You have a lot of choices when it comes to who you work with and trust with your business, thank you for choosing and trusting Honeycomb.

Five years ago, I sat across from one of my business professors just a few months shy of graduation in the standard post-college career meeting. Something you should know about me is that I usually have a plan for everything and this was no different. I detailed the work experience and skills I’d accrued from the past four years and how I wasn’t sure whether to stay in Abilene or go off to Austin. That’s when he suggested something that turned out to be the domino that changed everything.

“Have you ever considered consulting?”

Consulting. I hadn’t considered consulting because didn’t you need experience for that? Connections? Some sort of savings to fall back on? I left that meeting brushing off the idea and concerted in my plan to get a “real job”.

But then I found myself in an interview for what would become my first (and last) full-time job after college asking a bold but honest question, “Do you mind if I have a side hustle?”. The words literally fell out of my mouth before my brain could catch up to hold them back, but even crazier than the question was what came after…”Yes”. There I was one month from graduating with a full-time job and a new side hustle I didn’t even know about yet.

You see, I’ve known I wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was 4. It was just something I was so sure of, like a nudge pushing me in that direction at every turn. The business ideas were always flowing (ask my parents) and they never discouraged my dreaming.

It was the same nudge that led me to major in marketing when I always thought culinary school was my path. And nudged yet again in my interview which cleared the way for me to start and grow my side hustle into Honeycomb. I’ve always had faith that those nudges had my best interest in mind and followed them despite being able to see where they would lead.

Five years ago, I looked around and didn’t see many marketing agencies doing high quality work with a personal touch at a price point that most growing businesses could afford. So I set out to be the best branding and creative partner possible for companies that are either just getting started, or are in a growth phase. Just one month into my new job in Austin, I filed my first DBA for C. Kerbo Creative Studio and signed my first client on June 13, 2016.

June 2016 | I didn’t know anyone in Austin at this point so my parent’s were the first people I told

Along the way I’ve been fortunate to meet so many amazing humans who believed in me and the work I wanted to put out into the world. They provided opportunities, advice and tough love. They’ve not only cheered me on but become Honeycomb’s number one fans. It’s this community of people who I’m honored to know and work alongside that make today not just a milestone but a celebration.

There are far too many people to specifically thank here, but I would be remiss not to call out a few who have been instrumental in Honeycomb’s growth. I believe every entrepreneur needs these four types of people and if you’ll stick with me, I’d like to share some stories about each.

The One Who Helps You Step into Your Power

Every day for a few months I would pass Lauren Johnston on my way to work. She would always be in the community area of our condo complex with her dog Zoe at the same time I would be heading out. After months of “Hi”, we finally spoke and in some divine timing she was moving her business online while I desperately needed a life coach. That conversation turned into a lifelong friendship and more than three impactful years working closely together where she grew from a solopreneur to fully online with a small team of people helping her grow. We joke that our stories almost always work in parallel and I’ll never be able to fully express my gratitude for the universe bringing us together. Lauren forever changed me and helped me make monumental shifts in my life (seriously, if you want to level up your life, GO SEE LAUREN).

The One(s) Who Model Leadership

One of the first people I met after moving to Austin and getting involved in the community was Matt Glazer. Over time I would eventually meet Nate Ryan and Tim Seaton who collectively form Blue Sky Partners. These three have not only been encouraging and supportive of Honeycomb, we’ve developed a partnership that’s allowed me to stretch and hone my skills in new ways. They each bring something unique to their work and I’m grateful to glean their insights and learnings. Never have I met someone as organized as Tim. I’ve learned so many incredible project management strategies and insights from him along the way. Matt has inspired my own journey with boundaries and his honesty around his work is something I truly admire. Nate is one of the most passionate and kind leaders you’ll ever meet. He leads with humility and I’ve noted so many leadership lessons from him over the years working together. I’m honored to support Blue Sky’s work and grateful they saw the potential in me well before I could fully see it myself.

The One Who Changes Your Perspective

You know what’s fun? When a client turns into a lasting friendship. That couldn’t be truer for Mandie Murphree. Mandie and I met and the connection was instantaneous, we were going to be friends for a long time. It may sound dramatic, but Mandie changed my life. She has a special way of showing you what could be and then helping you step into that through the way you dress each day. When I started showing up as the truest version of myself, things started shifting: career opportunities opened up, I met my partner, and I felt aligned to myself every time I walked out the door. The best part is seeing her impact others in the same way. When we started working together she was playing small, not acknowledging the power in her work and now she’s completely shifted that perspective. I can’t wait to see all of the lives she will impact over the next few years who will also share stories like mine.

The One(s) Who Stay

If you’ve hung out on my Instagram page for very long you’ve probably seen Taylor and Sara. When I think back on the past five years, I couldn’t have made it without these two.

Taylor and I met at a mutual friend’s birthday and while I can’t quite remember what got us talking it was likely either food, relationships or true crime. We’ve not only become best friends but had the ultimate privilege of working together on many, many shoots. She’s the fiercest supporter, most understanding and empathetic person I know and always available to listen, usually over some good food. I can’t imagine doing life or business without her.

Sara and I met through AYC and while neither of us are really sure how exactly we became friends, she’s truly a sister to me. If you look up loyal in the dictionary, I’m fairly certain there’s a picture of Sara. She’s heard it all, given me tough love when I needed it most and loves any chance to celebrate the wins (usually with champagne). This post and milestone wouldn’t be complete without her.

I realize that having support when chasing your dreams is a privilege. I have a big team who helped me along the way. Friends and parents who cheer me on, a partner who is willing to do this work alongside me, clients who trust me and allow me to partner with them so we can crush their goals. In a single word I am lucky.

Five years into this wild journey we’ve grown the team from one to three, worked on over 100 projects with clients spanning 15 states and two countries. We’ve grown, learned, and shifted our fair share and I truly believe there’s so much goodness ahead. In so many way we are just getting started and it’s because of our incredible clients taht we can keep showing up and creating.

There is still so much work to do and stories to tell. I’m as excited as ever to get to work and support our Hive. Thank you for five amazing years, let’s keep it going shall we?

Celebrating a Milestone: Reflections on the Past Five Years

Meet the Author

Callie Kerbo is an award winning solopreneur based in Austin, Texas. She is the Founder of Honeycomb, and specialises in branding your business to make you unforgettable. You can find her here. http://honeycombcreates.com/

Honeycomb is a full service boutique brand partner, offering concept-to-launch marketing services for startups and growth-stage businesses. Founded on the belief that beautiful design is only as powerful as the business strategy behind it, Callie works to find what makes your business irreplaceable and then develop a creative branding strategy to help share it with the world. By the time your customers find you, they will have only one thing to say: “Wow.” 

From napkin drawings of a concept to long-standing businesses, Honeycomb helps businesses of every scale reach their goals and grow their businesses.

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