Macey and Meredith are sister-in-law business owners of Be Bold Design Studio and Meeting Meredith Creative, respectively. But they’re also Nonahood residents building a female-focused networking group together called SheHustles. Check out our conversation with them below!
Nonahood News: What is your job?
Meredith: My job is a copywriter for my business, Meeting Meredith Creative, and I also do some work for a consulting firm.
Macey: My job is a full-time website and brand designer. I make logos and websites for female creative entrepreneurs. We both, on the side, have SheHustles, which is a networking group local to Lake Nona.
NHN: What does your day-to-day schedule look like?
Macey: My ideal schedule is a workout in the morning before I start my day, around 10 a.m. Usually, I’ll work on my business, writing blogs, or maintaining my social media, doing marketing, admin and more. Wednesday through Friday, I am creating websites, building out and developing those, as well as creating logos, brand proposals, and meeting with clients to do revisions.
Meredith: My day-to-day schedule is different every day. I’m all over Orlando and beyond for clients. I drive a lot of the time and, like Macey, work on behalf of my clients but also try to invest in my own business to make sure that it is growing. And I am a dog mom to four fur-balls, so that keeps me busy. I also try to maintain good relationships with family and my fiancé!
Macey: And most Fridays, we work on SheHustles, doing social media strategy or coordinating sponsorships and planning out speakers and events.
Meredith: Basically, the answer is: work [laughs]. We’re working on something all the time.
NHN: What would you say are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Macey: I think it would be balancing everything. I really love my job, I love being creative, and I love the day-to-day items. I love all the tasks, but sometimes it can get overwhelming and the websites can get pretty big, so it takes a lot of strategy and patience to develop them.
Meredith: Yeah, I would say I’m not so good with the balance. A lot of nights I’m working until 1 a.m. I’m focusing on managing the workload better and building in more time for relationships and health and wellness – just enjoying the area a little bit more. I love Lake Nona, and all the stuff that’s going on, but most often I’m like, “Oh, I was so close to making it this time,” instead of actually being there.
NHN: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Meredith: I love working with clients. I have clients that are brand-new business owners all the way up to Fortune 500 companies, and people in their 80s who want to write their memoir. So, whether I’m writing brand strategy materials like blogs, marketing materials, or a memoir, I always feel really honored when people give you something and trust you with it.
Whether it’s your personal story or your business, it’s your baby. When clients let me in to craft their words and tell the world about their story, that always makes me happy; it’s the best part.
Macey: I would say mine is very similar to that, just on the website design and brand design part. The business owners that I take on have usually been running their own business for a couple of years, so it really is their baby. It’s rewarding to see how much they trust me to take it to the next level with branding and website design and to give them a polished and beautiful look. When I see the light in their eyes when they see what I’ve created, it’s great. They either jump for happiness or say they finally feel like they’re confident with their brand and website.
With the new website design, we really focus on strategy and conversions so that they can book more clients and charge a higher price point, and so, overall, it really impacts their lives. That’s one of the most rewarding aspects; seeing a client six months down the road whose business has been impacted greatly because of a website design.
With SheHustles, I would say it’s about building the community and connecting local creatives in Lake Nona because Lake Nona is known as mostly “Medical City.” When we first started it, we were like, “Where are the creative people?” We knew they were here and just seeing them all in one room together, so many women who are hustling on the side or trying to run two businesses as a single mom, that’s really rewarding.
Meredith: It’s really cool at SheHustles events because all the women have such great energy, and it’s about giving them the opportunity to get that all in one room. You hear from these great speakers and from people that share their stories at the breakout panels, but the energy in the room is what’s really rewarding because everybody had this feeling like we did before. Like, we know there are people to connect with, we know there are people who will support us, but where are they? It’s just about creating that opportunity so people can enjoy it and connect beyond that single event.
NHN: What kind of speakers do you usually bring in?
Meredith: Usually, business owners or business coaches. They’re typically from Orlando, and they are female-owned or operated businesses. They’re very specific about how they can help our community because they are business coaches or they’re running their own companies. Whether it’s an influencer or whether they own a brick-and-mortar store, it’s people that actually have the experience and can speak to where the women in our group want to go. You get to see people that are more advanced in what they do and that helps us at all levels, whether you’re just getting started or whether you also have a very successful business.
NHN: What got you interested in doing your current job in this area?
Macey: It’s where we live [laughs]? I don’t know; I would have done it living in any area.
Meredith: For me, I love living in Lake Nona and I love participating, like I said earlier, in the activities here. But, I felt like that part of my life was missing. I had to go somewhere else and drive across town to have that work component. So, I wanted to have all three in the area that I value the most, which is Lake Nona.
NHN: Do you have any interesting hobbies, collections or interests?
Meredith: I have a collection of rescue dogs that is growing [laughs]. Hobbies? Not terribly interesting, just the general ones like going to the gym. My fiancé and I are super involved in animal rescue. So, if you see us around here on the side of the road, it’s probably because we’re rescuing a turtle or an injured possum or something.
Macey: My husband and I really love to see movies. So, I would say we’re always seeing the latest movie, and if there aren’t any good movies in the area, we’re probably watching some kind of sci-fi movie or Netflix film or “B” sci-fi movie at home.
NHN: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Meredith: Lake Nona! So, we’re really excited. Obviously, we have individual goals for our businesses, but we are really, really excited at the outpouring that came from launching SheHustles. We have a long-term strategy that we’d really like to implement in growing that community here in Lake Nona and providing more opportunities beyond just the events – to not only connect but to really support each other.
We want to provide a place here for creatives in Lake Nona, not just Medical City or that side of it. We can’t share all the details just yet, but we have a lot coming for really building our community along with our own plans for growing our businesses.
Macey: We’d really like to build the brand to become the go-to for female entrepreneurs to know how to build a business and to get the resources and the mentors that they need to start whatever they want to start, whether it’s a side hustle or a full-time business.
NHN: What brought you to Lake Nona and when did you move here?
Meredith: My family brought me to Lake Nona! In 2010, my parents were living here, and I had moved from up north. I was looking at areas to buy my first home, and even though I didn’t have a family of my own, I felt safe here as a single woman. I had had some bad experiences in the city where I lived, and Lake Nona felt like a very family-centric environment.
When I started hanging out in Lake Nona, it was because my brother was in soccer and always played at the YMCA. I noticed that there were a lot of big plans for this area, and it got me really excited about the future of not only the area, but the real estate and what was going on. There was really nothing but Tijuana Flats then. You know, a lot of times you hear about these great plans, but then you never see them! It’s been a long time coming, but it’s really, really exciting to see this area take off. I’m so happy that I got into Lake Nona when I did, and I really believe in where it’s going.
Macey: My husband and I mainly moved to be close to Meredith [laughs]. So, not as creative.
Meredith: Which is hilarious because I moved because Blake, which is her [Macey’s] husband and my brother, was in this area playing soccer and then she moved here because I had settled in!
Macey: Yeah, so she lives in NorthLake Park, and I live in East Park, just across Narcoossee. We’ve tested it, and it’s actually about an eight-mile run there and back.
Meredith: We were training for a half-marathon together, so the longest run we did was like eight or 10 miles, and we’d run from one door to the other and back. We have not run anything since that race [laughs].
NHN: Where are you from originally?
Macey: I’m originally from the Palm Beach area. Palm Beach Gardens, specifically, and then I came up to Orlando to go to UCF. After I graduated, I moved to Lake Nona.
Meredith: I’m from a lot of different places. I was born in Texas and grew up mostly in Chicago and then bounced around a little bit up north before coming to Florida.
NHN: What would you say is your favorite part about Lake Nona?
Meredith: I love the energy of Lake Nona. I feel like the people here are amazing, and the concept is amazing, and the businesses that are coming in are really cool. All that combines to create this energy of progress and anticipation.
Everybody’s always excited anytime something new comes in, so I just think there’s a really great energy where people are looking forward here. I’ve lived in areas where it was very stagnant, or it was like, “Oh, it used to be great here, now we’re slowing down,” but I just love that everybody’s really excited together about where Lake Nona’s going.
Macey: …I was going to say yoga. The free yoga [laughs]. I love that it’s a lot of new and innovative concepts. I got married at Canvas in front of the “Glass House” just because we felt really at-home in Lake Nona.
NHN: What would you say to anyone who is considering a move to Lake Nona?
Meredith: Do it already! If anybody’s considering Lake Nona, they should really jump into the culture and the activities here because Lake Nona isn’t just a neighborhood, it’s a community.
Macey: I think it’s easy when you’re in Lake Nona to enjoy it but still have the option to travel to Orlando or go to work and then come back home. I’d say to really just invest in the area. Get to know your neighbors, and continue to foster an open, honest and authentic community.
Want to nominate YOUR neighbor (or yourself) to be featured? Follow this link: nonahood.to/nonaneighbor.