OFFICE TOUR: BONNIE BAKHTIARI OF B IS FOR BONNIE

bonnie
From a small interest in graphic design while in college to a full-fledged design shop, Bonnie Bakhtiari has certainly built her online shop B is for Bonnie from the ground up! With a great sense of determination, an absolute love for what she does, and a great support system, Bonnie has worked hard to create a name for herself in the design industry and as an entrepreneurial coach, and, ultimately, to live her dream. We were thrilled to get a sneak peek at Bonnie’s office, exclusively photographed by Courtney Dox Photography, and to chat to her about how she achieves goals, and what’s coming next for her brand and her shop!
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How did you get your start in designing? What made you decide to go full-force and start your business? 

 I actually fell into graphic design quite accidentally during my sophomore year in college. I was a journalism major and part of my program involved learning basic design principles and laying out broadsheets. It all came to me quite easily and I found that I really enjoyed laying out and designing print materials! A few years later while I was designing the save the dates for my wedding, I realized this was a skill set I could turn into a viable business opportunity and so b is for bonnie design was born. Originally, I opened up an Etsy store selling customizable wedding stationery but soon noticed a niche where I could utilize my knowledge of communications and PR to work on a one-on-one basis with small businesses looking to take their brands to the next level. What originally started out as a part-time Etsy store grew into a boutique branding studio and inspirational print shop! My husband serves in the Air Force so I knew we would move quite a bit during his career. As soon as I realized that I could turn my business into a profitable, full-time endeavor, I decided to invest tons of time and energy into making it a viable option that I could take with us wherever my husband’s service called us.

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Who has been a major influence or a major help along the way as you followed your passion?

As cliche as it might sound, I couldn’t have done any of this without my sweet husband’s unwavering support and encouragement. From the very beginning he has been totally invested in this crazy dream of mine, helping me balance finances, carrying giant boxes of shipping supplies and celebrating my business’s successes, both big and small. My entire family has been so supportive of my journey into small business ownership and they serve as a great sounding board for big ideas, a cheer team when things get tough and are some of my most loyal customers to date. Big dreams call for even bigger support systems, and I feel so blessed to have such a wildly loving bunch behind me!

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What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started you business?

If I could go back in time, I’d let myself know that balance is key to running a healthy and sustainable business. As a budding entrepreneur, I thought that if I threw all of my time and all of my energy into making my business successful, it would be. And while that mentality works in some instances, it ultimately ensures that you will waste weeks and months of your life working instead of fully living with those you love most. I’d encourage myself to build a life, not an entrepreneurial legacy. Life is too short to chase after dollar bills and miss out on sharing your days with those you cherish.
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My absolute favorite item in your shop is your “Be You, Bravely” print. Seriously simple, yet inspirational! Do you have a favorite product in your shop? What do you hang on your own wall for inspiration? 

Right now, I really can’t get enough of a little print trio I created that carry my own family’s mantra, “Live joyfully, give grace freely and love fiercely.” My husband and I wholeheartedly believe in pursuing an authentic life built on joy, a whole bunch of love and abundant grace. It’s such a joy to share those three prints with others and see how it encourages other families to focus on what truly matters most in life.

 

I created a little gallery wall in my office made up of typographic prints and watercolor paintings that really inspire me. I’m drawn to bold, vibrant hues and prints that share encourage, cheery mantras. Some of my current favorites are from Paper & Honey, Leigh Viner and Lindsay Letters. It’s so nice to have this vibrant wall of prints and canvases directly in front of my desk so I can take a break from emails or managing orders to get a little visual breath of fresh air.

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What’s your favorite part of working with other brands? How do you help other entrepreneurs with passionate visions?

I absolutely love being able to partner with creative entrepreneurs and help them create a unique visual brand identity that is a heartfelt representation of who they are and what their brand stands for. Brand design is so much more than a pretty color palette or fancy business cards. Together, my clients and I dig deep into the heart of their brands, focusing on the big dreams, beliefs and values that fuel their businesses. We then take those big, beautiful dreams, beliefs and values and translate them visually into beautiful brand collateral and a one-of-a-kind client experience that could only come from them. Whether it’s through a one-on-one business consult or a full branding project, it’s absolutely invigorating to help such passionate business owners breathe new life into their brands.

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What’s your biggest piece of advice to someone thinking about starting their own business? 

Be courageous! Starting a business takes gumption, hard work and a huge helping of bravery. It can be terrifying to put it all out on the line and dive headfirst into making your dreams happen. But your dreams are so worth the risk. Insecurity and fear will only keep you at a standstill. Big dreams require big risks and, at some point, you’ll have to put all of your market research and analytical thinking aside and take action. The fear of failure is no excuse to keep you from bringing your big goals and dreams to life, so take the leap and see how high you can soar.
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You thrive off of positive encouragement for others. What is your all-time favorite inspirational quote? 

Maybe it’s my life-long love of the written word, but I believe how we use our words can inspire, encourage and breathe truth into even the most hopeless of situations. “Will this matter a year from now?” as quoted by psychotherapist Richard Carlson is one reminder that I find myself returning to time and time again. With so many things vying for our time, it’s shockingly easy to get caught up in trivial tasks that aren’t getting us any closer to who or where we want to be at the end of our days. When I’m feeling pulled in too many directions or I know deep down that my priorities are out of whack, asking myself this question is a sure-fire way to redirect my energy into what truly matters most.

gorgeous planner

What can we expect from you in the future? Any major projects you’re working on that you can’t wait to share?

I’m actually working on a sweet custom project with Rhiannon Bosse of Hey Gorgeous Events and Laura Hooper of LH Calligraphy that I cannot wait to share! We’ve designed a limited edition notebook that simply oozes encouragement and truth. This project was such a labor of love from all involved and I cannot wait for these gorgeous notebooks to debut in my shop in early October!

 

Photography exclusively for Best Friends For Frosting by Courtney Dox Photography

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    1. Emily

      Would love to know where that desk is from! Also, I’ve been on the hunt for boxes like those. Can you share where they are from? Thanks!

      Reply
    2. Christy Gorman

      Wonderful post! Can you share where you found the tiny white/metallic gold bowls? Love those for tacks, paper clips etc! Thanks so much!

      Reply
    3. Anna

      Hi, I really love your office! Could you tell me where you got your desk chair? I have been looking for one just like it. =)

      Reply
    4. Fast loans Wyoming

      Hey there! I’ve been following your site for some time now and
      finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout
      out from Humble Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!|

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    5. Maria

      Hello! Your office is so beautiful and inspiring! Where did you find your filing cabinet and bookshelf?

      Reply
    6. Aun Taing

      Hi! I was looking on Pinterest for inspiration for my diy office space and stumbled upon your post. I absolutely love you work space!! I have been searching for the right wall color to paint my room and I finally found it! The color on your walls is perfect. Can you please share the name of the paint you used? Thank you so much for the inspiration!

      Reply
    7. Alyssa

      Hi. I’ve been looking for the right shelving unit and when I saw yours I thought that would be similar to what I would need. Can you tell me where you purchased the white book case.

      Reply
    8. Claudy

      Hi! I came across your blog and it’s the perfect inspiration that I needed! Completely in love with everything. What is the paint brand and colour you used here? It’s exactly what I’m looking for to add to one of my rooms! Thank you!

      Reply
    9. caskia

      Hi! Where did you find those white and gold storage boxes and binders?! I have been searching all over for them!! Thank you!

      Reply
    10. Paula

      I would love to know where you got your white boxes with gold trim, the magazine boxes & your Follow your Bliss binder? I looked on Ikea because I saw a post that said you got them there(the boxes) but I can’t find them. Thank you for your time

      Reply
    11. Toni

      Love this look ?. It screams me…
      I have been searching for the perfect white filing cabinet and (Eek) you have it!! I would love to know where to purchase. Thank you for all the inspiration.

      Reply
    12. Portia Brooks

      I love the glass top desk where can I find it? I am decorating my office and would love to purchase this exact desk, please help!!!

      Reply