7 Charlotte creatives and their morning routines

7 Charlotte creatives and their morning routines
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Charlotte creatives are an unstoppable force. Their innovative ideas are fueling growth all around this city and it’s pretty freaking awesome.

If you’re like me, you want to know how these people do it. How do they fit everything into the day? Is there a supplement I should be taking? Drinking more Red Bull? Listening to more Beyoncé?

To get a glimpse into the worlds of these rare creatures, I decided to ask a few of them about their morning routines. How you get up and get ready for the day says a lot about you, right? Plus, I’m just nosey.

Here’s the rundown. Get on their level.

(1) Corri Smith, owner of Black Wednesday Social Co. and co-founder of #InstaBeerUpCLT

Corri is the owner of boutique marketing firm, Black Wednesday Social Co., she’s also the co-host of #InstaBeerUpCLT, a monthly meet-up involving cool people and beer. Follow her busy life on Instagram @corriasmith.

corri smith

Her morning:

My mornings are pretty peaceful and laid-back. They start with an alarm to the tune of “Turn Into” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I get up, start brewing Pure Intentions Coffee and go play outside with my dog, Beefcake. I’ll read emails, check all social media channels and make a to-do list for the day, knowing that everything will probably change through the course of the day. I pick out something black to wear, put on some eyeliner and I’m ready to rock.

Sometimes I have meetings early in which case I rush to get out the door; if I don’t, I’ll head over to the Black Wednesday Bat Cave at Industry Coworking. Once I arrive, it’s time to get the team’s Slack (I’m slack-obsessed) to-do lists in order and make sure they’re set up for success. By this time it’s 8 or 9 o’clock and it’s time to get stuff done. Every single day is different and fun in its own way and I love it. 

(2) Scott Wooten, co-owner of the 704 Shop

Scott is the idea man behind the 704 Shop. He’s the guy behind those sick t-shirt designs. He’s also in charge of website maintenance and social media interactions. He is also a DJ and cooler than all of us.

scott wooten 704 shop

His morning:

6:30 a.m. – I get awoken with a tongue bath from my toy Australian Shephard, Calla, telling me she’s ready to go outside. 

6:40 a.m. – After taking her outside, I feed Calla and her sister Lili; she’s a cat so she doesn’t need to go outside 🙂 

6:42 a.m. – Brew coffee for my wife, Shannon and I. Read Axios Charlotte while I wait for Shannon to come downstairs

7:00 a.m. – Answer emails that came in overnight and anything I may not have gotten to the day before.

7:15 a.m. – Sit with Shannon and our fur babies until Shannon starts work at 8:00 am (she works from home).

8:00 a.m. – I am usually either studying design or working on refining a design in progress at this point in the morning. I’ll spend at least an hour on design before meetings and other boring clerical/admin things start to take over my day. 

9:00 a.m. – Shower, get dressed. 

Side note: my morning and the majority of my day are fueled on coffee either from home or a local coffee shop. I drink an unhealthy amount of coffee 🙂 

(3) Carrie Barker, owner of Pink Toast Ink and co-founder of Pink Social

Carrie is the lead designer and creative force behind the graphic design studio, Pink Toast Ink. She also happens to be one half of the female-fueled revolution that is Pink Social, which she runs with Sarah Baucom. She recently became a new mom to a super cute baby boy.

Sarah Baucom & Carrie

Sarah Baucom & Carrie Barker

Her morning:

Alarm clock set to the Legally Blonde theme song to get me pumped for the day (sometimes this works sometimes my husband just rolls his eyes). I wake up with all my jewelry on. I have a baby now so depending on his level of energy, I figure out how many minutes I have to fix my hair and put makeup on. I usually have go-to dresses that I know that I will look great. To finish it off, I typically go with a very strong lip color. I like to call this my power lip!

Then, I run down stairs and grab a coffee and a seltzer. Once I have some coffee, I finally peek at my phone and then start the wheels turning for the day (by then Sarah has called me 2 times). The nanny shows up and I kiss baby bye. I jump in car with pop2k on blast (please be NSYNC) and head to work. If I know it’s going to be a long day, I’ll run by Not Just Coffee for a cold brew. Then, I write down plan for the day and start grooving! Voila. 

(4) Sarah Baucom, co-founder of Pink Social

Sarah is the other fabulous half of Pink Social. She and her business partner (and BFF), Carrie, create hilarious and empowering tees. This Carbs sweatshirt is my jam. If you follow, Sarah on Instagram, you’ll experience cuteness overload, compliments of her daughter, Eliza.  

sarah baucom pink social

Her morning:

Wake up at 3 a.m. (usual time my 2-year-old wakes up), act like I’m still asleep – let husband handle the situation unless serious. Wake back up at 5:30-6 a.m. and ideally go to a yoga class. Otherwise, I cuddle with toddler and check the news for the day while drinking my first of several cups of iced coffee – poured carefully into a mug that has a printed picture of me and Joshua Jackson together from 1999 on the set of Dawson’s Creek.  

Make a to-do list on my phone of a few good ideas and a ton of bad ones. Text Carrie a few of each – no response. I’m the quickest showerer this side of the Mississippi and it takes me about 7 minutes to get ready from start to finish (makeup and all). Put on my jewelry for the day since I have so carefully taken it off and stored it like an adult the night before. Go over the day including my social and work obligations with my loving husband, and feed toddler.

Then, drive kid to school while listening to podcasts interviewing entrepreneurs or TED talks. Finally, I get to my office, review list, make solid to-dos and the games really begin. 10-12, Carrie calls back. 

(5) Austin Light, author of Movie Title Typos and Senior Creative Producer at Red Ventures

Austin is an author-illustrator. He’s also a Senior Creative Producer at Red Ventures. His creations include the book “Movie Title Typos,” a soon to be published novel, and two children. Follow his illustrations (and adorable children) on Instagram @austindlight.

austin light

His morning:

6:15 a.m. – While my wife gets ready for work, I take care of some creative stuff I was too tired to keep working on the night before (that could mean finishing an illustration, or writing another chapter in a novel). I’m much more of a morning person, so I like starting off the day with a bit of creativity.

7:30 a.m. – My kids get up. We eat breakfast together and my wife leaves for work. It’s summer time, so I drink cold brew coffee with my breakfast sandwich. They crush some oatmeal and watch some Bubble Guppies.

8:15 a.m. – I take my 4 and 2-year-old to daycare. We listen to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”…again.

9:00 a.m. – I get to Red Ventures, where I work as a Senior Creative Producer on the corporate communications team. That means I make stuff all day, like that giant banner.

9:15 a.m. – I have some more coffee, because I’ve already been up for three hours.

(6) Emily Chidester, owner of Emily Chidester Photography

Emily is a killer natural light photographer. Her wedding photos have been featured on Green Wedding Shoes, Ruffled and Style Me Pretty. She’s a Charlotte native and has some really cool tattoos that are making me seriously consider some ink of my own.


Her morning:

I wake up around 6am to pick up my sister and we hit up Burn Boot Camp Elizabeth. After an hour or so of getting our butt kicked by our amazing trainers, I head home to take my mini-golden doodle, Murphy, for a short walk in our neighborhood. Then, I normally fix a protein smoothie and take a shower to officially start my working day, around 8:30 a.m.

From there, it’s tackling emailing (except for the break I take on Mondays from emails), culling & editing weddings or other sessions I’m working on, blogging, (and the occasional – okay, let’s be serious – frequent snapchatting) of usual tasks of running my photography business. Getting up and active so early has been crucial in feeling as if I’m able to tackle all of the work in my plate!

(7) Whitley Hamlin, stylist behind The Queen City Style

Whitley is a wardrobe stylist and author. Her work can be found in Our State Magazine, SouthPark Magazine, Carolina Bride Magazine and other publications. Follow along on Instagram @thequeencitystyle.

whitley hamlin queen city style

Her morning:

During the school year, I’m up at 6:30 a.m. to get my oldest son, Hank, off to school.  Lately, I’ve been reading my morning devotional at night, so I brush my teeth and we’re out the door around 7:15. And since I’m an honest girl, I’ll let you know I typically do carpool in my jammies, fresh brew in hand of course! Hank likes to eat breakfast at school, so after dropping him off, I return home to fix breakfast for my youngest son, Worth, at around 7:45. I usually also have a small bite at this time then change into my running clothes.  

I take a quick check at my email, drop Worth off at preschool between 8:45-9, then go for a 5-8 mile run if I don’t have a client or job first thing. About an hour later, I return home to shower and change at which time I’m either meeting with a personal client, on a commercial or editorial job or preparing for one of those three, OR I’m volunteering with one of my boys.

 I consider myself a 3/4 full time mom who juggles a work schedule around her children, so every morning and day is different. I love it!

(Note: This content was co-created with OrthoCarolina.)

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