Featured Daring Spirits: Jan & Erin Johnson of Prairie Girl Outpost
This week, we got to connect with Jan and Erin Johnson, mother and daughter, best friends, idea transformers, and unconventional gritty Prairie Girls. They have been in business together since 1999 - riding out the ups and downs of entrepreneurship on their journey to craft a remarkable business and lives they love. What a treat for us!
Eleven years into their business, feeling frustrated and unfocused, they decided to re-invent
themselves. In 2010 they made a pivotal new move that literally changed their lives. In the midst of gaining clarity and bringing to life a new business offering and brand, they created what they call The Createbook Process(TM). For 17 years now they have been providing the guidance, tools and step-by-step processes for helping gutsy women become pioneers in their own lives as they discover that their potential lies in uncharted territory.
Let's not hold you in suspense any longer as we delve right in and a learn more about these two amazing women!
Daring Spirits: Tell us about a decision that felt really bold.
Jan and Erin: We have never been strangers to risk taking, but the boldest decision we have ever made was 17 years ago when we decided to go into business together as a mother/daughter team.
We set ourselves on a path to collaborate and join our minds and hands together. We decided to develop a business that allowed us to use our talents in ways that were meaningful to us. The two main skills we would draw from: 1) creativity and 2) an insatiable curiosity to learn and experiment. It sounded pretty straight-forward to us. Create it and then sell it! We weren't afraid of the risks we were about to take. We believed it would lead us to our big dreams and our best lives.
Well, it's a good thing that optimism is a great initiator. We were about to learn some tough lessons and be tested in ways we hadn't anticipated. Today, Prairie Girl Outpost is our dream business. It has grown out of the process we call Createbooking, that we actually discovered and created after we drew a line in the sand in 2010 and said "We WILL discover our own unique path."
Daring Spirits: Describe a time when things went "wrong" and then the Universe
Jan and Erin: In 1999 we launched ourselves with a line of art-based greeting cards, printing an initial run of 10,000 cards to get a good price. Within six months, we were in deep trouble because we actually didn't know how to market them properly and were ill-prepared financially for what that would really take. In shock, embarrassed, and feeling like failures, we had to pivot
quickly. The learning curve was about to get serious.
Over the next ten years we developed and provided custom design projects, custom art-based workshops, journal kits for spas...and we even took on house painting - all to stay afloat. We were learning and developing our skills, all the while honing what we were becoming great at - even though we didn't consciously realize it. In hindsight - the universe was opening doors that allowed us to hone and develop the current skills we use now - the skills that we use everyday to run our business.
Daring Spirits: What’s one thing you really want people to know?
Jan & Erin: Never underestimate the power of a woman with a great idea, aligned with her authentic skills, and the belief that she can create the unseen. If a determined woman can shake things up around her - what can YOU make of your life?
Daring Spirits: Beach or Mountains? Sweet or spicy? Window or aisle?
Jan & Erin: Prairies! All the way! Living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada we are surrounded by prairies – the vast, see-forever kind of landscape.The prairies have always stood as a symbol of freedom and possibility. Only the hardy and the gutsy survived and thrived during the magnificent movement to settle the ‘new territory’ a hundred years ago. Early prairie women left us a legacy of trailblazing stories, values, and character traits that we can use as inspiration today. The ‘new territory’ today is the Idea Economy and it is reshaping how we navigate our modern world. Early pioneering women broke trail for us years ago … and now we’re aiming to awaken and light the free-spirited natures of women everywhere with how to find a path of substance in today’s world.
SWEET! Every day! We both have an obnoxious sweet tooth, which we satisfy with
homemade paleo fudge. We keep it in the freezer, as to portion ourselves, however, this
backfires, since it tastes even better frozen!
Window - the best view! The feeling of floating in the clouds, in a whole other world never
Daring Spirits: Thank you, Jan & Erin, for informing and inspiring us! A great idea is so powerful and we love the image of "pivoting quickly," as so much of success is being able to flex when necessary. You both have proved that point and we appreciate the daring you are sharing in the world!
If you would like to connect directly with Jan & Erin or find out more about their trademarked Createbook Process (we are pretty sure you will dig it as much as we do), please visit them on their website!