Francine Clouden, founder of Callaloo Soup, lives in Privas, France.
Note: This interview occurred several weeks before the bombings in Paris. Ms. Clouden is safe.
Describe your business (work, passion) in 3 to 5 sentences.
My mission is to inspire and help busy and creative women to craft a simply beautiful life & create projects that truly reflect their values through the use of simple ideas and products like printables. On the flip side I encourage women to notice and capture the beautiful everyday moments, and to find a way to document them simply. My mantra is creative simplicity, and I emphasize slow and simple living.
How did you get started in your business?
It all started with my love for scrapbooking, which then morphed into a love for all things crafty. Due to a combination of budget restraints, plus unavailability of many crafting supplies in my area (France), I started making lots of my own home decor items, and creating my own paper craft supplies. Once I noticed that many creative women like me were tired of being overwhelmed by all the stuff that’s out there, I started offering my printables for sale.
What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
Lack of self-confidence. It was hard to put myself out there, especially trying to compete against the big names, and the mainstream way of doing things.
How has this hurdle made you better?
I’ve learned that women out there do appreciate what I have to offer, and this has made me more willing to take risks and try new things.
Top 3 books for personal and business growth?
Oh you’re speaking my language now! I’m a huge book nerd. Only three though?……
- Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Dr. Stuart Brown (affiliate link) – this book opened me to the possibilities of being more myself, and taking time to do things just because
- This I Know: Notes On Unraveling The Heart by Susannah Conway – I love Susannah’s blog, her photos and her classes. She has a way of making me feel like we’re having a good girlfriends chat.
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Stephen Pressfield – This is the book that got me to stop faffing about and get working!
I talk about even more books like these in this blog post.
What does gratitude mean to you?
It means being aware, and taking the time to stop and notice the good things, even in the midst of the busiest day.
Who do you appreciate? Why?
My parents for instilling in me the love of learning. My husband for doing most of the cooking. And my son for his bright-eyed approach to living life.
Anything else you’d like to add or include?
I love connecting with other creative women who crave a simple life. My favourite way to do this is on Instagram and in my Creative Simplicity group on Facebook.
Follow Francine Clouden
- Website: http://www.callaloosoup.com
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/callaloosoup
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/callaloosoup
- Blog: http://www.callaloosoup.com/journal
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/francinecallaloosoup
- Facebook Group: http://facebook.com/groups/CreativeSimplicity