Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenn Lyons.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jenn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Filled With Joy was actually born out of a Bible verse and a “Gotcha Day” party to celebrate the finalization of our daughter’s adoption in late 2014. The verse, which we clung to throughout our adoption process, is found in Psalm 126:3 and says “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are FILLED WITH JOY.” Little did I know that God would soon bring that scripture to life in more ways than one!
I knew the day we brought Joy Katherine home that I wanted to pull out all the stops with an over-the-top Wizard of Oz themed party. The movie’s most memorable line – “There’s No Place Like Home” – perfectly captured the love and completeness we felt as this sweet girl became part of our forever family.
As friends and family strolled down our Yellow Brick Road for a snuggle with our little “Dorothy,” they gave me a hearty congratulations and insisted I offer this as a service to others who either weren’t creative or didn’t have the time to pull it together. With some Cowardly Lion courage, I dove head first into the world of design and event planning. Joy’s memorable celebration ended up being the launching pad of a business that has rapidly grown to thousands of social media followers and a raving fan base!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Building this business has definitely had its share of curveballs and obstacles to overcome. I knew nothing about graphic design when I began, so that was my steepest learning curve. It took a lot of trial and error, and I spent many a midnight researching with my old pal, Google! I recently stumbled across an old design from my first year and cringed, wondering why in the world anyone paid me for that hot mess. Then I took some time to tweak the design and bring it up to my present-day standards, which are infinitely higher than when I started out. It’s now one of my favorites!
* Advice Nugget #1: Never stop learning and growing!
As a one-woman operation, I also have to stay current on party trends, bookkeeping, copyright and trademark laws, social media marketing, web design, and wholesale purchasing. Add to that the personal challenges of working from home with a busy preschooler, parenting two young kids while Daddy travels almost weekly, juggling school and sports schedules, etc. and it has been a total whirlwind over the last four years! I can’t say I’ve mastered that elusive work-life balance. At the end of every day, I need to lay my head down at night knowing I’ve honored my God with the 24 hours He’s just given me. Sometimes that happens at 10 pm; other nights it’s closer to 3 am, but my family – especially my Saint Husband – is amazing and extends to me an abundance of grace while I work toward living the best of both worlds!
* Advice Nugget #2: Embrace the chaos!
A struggle I think every business owner eventually faces is coming up short in a client’s eyes, even if you did everything right. I am 100% human, so I’d be lying if I said I’ve never made a mistake or disappointed a customer, but the truest test of a real professional is how we respond regardless of the circumstances. As a perfectionist and chronic approval addict, I had to quickly learn not to wallow in self-deprication, but instead reframe a rare “mistake moment” as a learning experience and adjust how I operate going forward in order to avoid similar pitfalls. Because of this, my client feedback is 99% positive, and my customer retention rate is exceptional. People return to Filled With Joy because they know I’ll move mountains to give them the very best of myself and my products and do whatever it takes to provide them with top-notch service.
* Advice Nugget #3: The Golden Rule is “golden” for a reason!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Filled With Joy’s story. Tell us more about the business.
Filled With Joy is a one-stop shop for all of your special event needs. I design and create personalized invitations, handmade party decorations, and custom gifts, ensuring every item and design weaves together into one cohesive theme that really pops! With an eye for detail and creativity to boot, I will customize your order to fit not only your vision, but your budget as well, and you don’t have to lift a single non-crafty finger. You get all of the festive fabulousness with none of the frazzle!
While I treasure every product I design, my prized creation to date is the Teacher Box! I’ve always been the epitome of a Pinterest Mom, but in 2016 I got so busy building my business, I completely neglected to send a single gift to my son’s teacher. I knew there had to be an easier way than heaping gobs of random presents into a gift bag on the last day of school to make up for my forgetfulness! That summer, I created a literal box that holds ten crafty, pre-made gifts with custom tags to celebrate all of those big occasions throughout the school year. So when it’s Christmas, for example, you simply grab your designated gift from the box, have your cutie pie kiddo sign the tag, and you’re all set! No running around town at the last minute to buy a coffee mug they don’t need or an apple-themed product they don’t want (I’m a former teacher, so just trust me on this). I’m still blown away at how this product line has been received. It’s been fun to put dots on a map to see just how many places we’ve now shipped them – it’s around 15 states AND all over Texas, from Amarillo to Houston. My clients tell me it’s a lifesaver, and I can testify to the same sentiment because I use them for my own kids, too!
Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
Oh wow… Well, if I’m totally honest, I had a pretty tumultuous childhood. I grew up in an abusive home where money was tight, so most of my special occasion memories were far from Hallmark moments. The creative world served as a great escape for me, and I often took the initiative to hang streamers, wrap gifts in newspaper and make handmade cards to try and bring some semblance of joy into our home, even if it was just for one day.
Fast forward to my teen years. One of my favorite classes in high school was Mrs. Haltom’s Economics class. About halfway through the semester, she tasked us with forming a business concept and presenting an ad campaign complete with marketing materials. I partnered with a friend and delighted in designing business cards and brochures for our in-home daycare program. Not only did this project make learning business ownership incredibly fun, but it also ignited an entrepreneurial pilot light that, twenty years later, would flourish into a roaring bonfire.
I found a quote not long after I launched Filled With Joy that still resonates with me today, and I hope it will encourage and bless someone who is reading: “The creative adult is the child who survived.” I truly believe the strength and tenacity it took to survive my childhood is the same force that drives me today to provide people with the happiest, most joyful celebration their hearts desire. Every person has a place and a purpose in this world. Every person is special, and they deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated, whether they’re six years old or sixty. If Filled With Joy gets to play a small role in making sure you and your loved ones feel celebrated, that is the greatest gift I could ever receive.
- Digital Printable Files: $6-35 based on design work requested
- Invitations: $25 per dozen with a 10% discount on orders of 24+
- Retail & Handmade Gifts: wide selection of items from $5-75 and up
- Handmade Party Decorations: ranges from $8-75 based on items selected; package discounts available
- Full Party Planning & Setup: $50/hr plus cost of decorations purchased/created
- Website: filledwithjoy.net
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/filledwithjoytx
- Facebook: facebook.com/filledwithjoytx
- Twitter: twitter.com/filledwithjoytx
Mallory Kee Photography