Member Monday: Meet Denise Keegan

It’s member Monday and we’re giving a shout out to Ormond Beach resident Denise Keegan, owner of the stationary and gift shop Nine Seven Co. Follow her on Instagram at @shopninesevenco and check out her website ninesevenco.com

What is your business/career and/or side hustle?

I am the owner and designer behind Nine Seven Co., an online stationery and gift shop, know for its sassy and sometimes brutally honest greeting cards. 

Why did you start your business? 

My business actually came from a difficult transition in my life. I went to college to become a teacher. I taught for four years and loved every minute of it. After getting married and having our daughter, Anna, we moved out of state for my husband's job. I had a rough time adjusting to so many changes at once. I decided to explore my creative side since I have past experience with design--and poof! It turned into a business! I honestly did not expect to be where I am today and with the goals that I have set for myself. After figuring out where I want to take my business, I rebranded last year under the name 'Nine Seven Co.' as my daughter was born on September 7, 2013. If it weren't for her, I may not be doing what I am doing today. I strive to be a positive role model for her. I want her to see that with embracing change, adding a little hustle and heart, you can do anything you set out to. 

What’s one thing you’ve accomplished this year that made you feel boss?

Rebranding! I think just the fact that I finally took a risk and followed my heart and figured out who I am as a designer. I am no longer afraid to create designs that are sassy and fun! I held back when I initially started, and now that I've been true to my style, I feel like a total boss! It's those very designs that landed me features on BuzzFeed and Huffington Post! 

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share with other boss ladies who are pursuing their passions?

Own your mistakes because they are proof that you are trying. The best thing you can do is find a community of people who can support you and help guide you, because you can't do everything alone. Make sure that you pay it forward. If someone offers their time to help you, make sure you have their back when they need you too!

What do you want to be known for? 

I want to be known as a person who genuinely puts my heart into my work. I really value my connections with others and I constantly push myself to make sure that I can create designs that people will want to be part of their memories. 

What books or resources have inspired or helped you the most?

I constantly read blogs and stories of how other shops in the stationery industry made it big. I've also grown fond of the 'How I Built This' podcast from NPR. But honestly, the best resources are the amazing women that I have connected with through The Boss Lady Community. Even though we all work in different fields, there is so much we learn from one another. I love the fact that the women I've met aren't afraid to share their challenges. I think when people come from different work backgrounds and can offer a solution that I may not have explored, it's a pretty powerful thing. 

Lacey McLaughlin