We had the good fortune of connecting with Alicia Potter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alicia, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Striking a balance is probably one of the most difficult challenges for anyone. And as a parent, it’s just compounded. As a mom, business owner and wife, I get pulled in so many directions. For a while, a daily workout was enough. It was more for my mental wellbeing than physical, but definitely did both. Quality time with my close friends, especially in COVID, is extra important. If I do not get to hike, lunch, or something with a close friend almost every week, I get grumpy. And, while all of this helped me find balance, something was missing.
I realize what that thing is now, but at the time I could not define it. Working out is good for my physical being, relationships are good for my heart, but I needed something good for my soul. That was the missing piece. I grew up playing piano, but had gotten rusty having not played for a decade (at least). I started taking lessons again about 2 years ago. Piano has become a meditative place for me. I do my best to touch the piano everyday–feed my soul– if only for 5 minutes.
I guess “balance” is fluid and you need to be open to recognizing what you need. It’s ok to be a little selfish at times. I have a super supportive family where we give one another the space we each need. I’ve also cut myself some slack. There are no rules, just do what feels good for you. It will only make you better for others.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started Faven Creative in 2013 after spending months diligently planning the launch. Not. At. All. Yes, I did start Faven in March of 2013, but the story goes more like this.
My son was about 4 months old and my daughter had just turned 2. I had an amazing steady job with good pay. I was running on little sleep and during one middle-of-the-night feeding session with my son and thought “I’m going to quit my job and start my own business.” I mean, come on, the timing could not be better. Right?!
Though it does seem rather strange to pile more on my plate at the time, I’m really proud I made the move then. It was not some careless whim. I did think things through and had 3 key elements to my thought process:
1. I wanted flexibility and control. If I was not busy with work, then I want to be with my kids.
2. At that point in my career, I had 12 years of experience and had worked at multiple agencies in Chicago, Los Angeles and Boulder (and mostly on food CPG brands). I felt confident in my network that I would be able to get clients. I also think one of my superpowers is my ability to not worry. I can be stressed, but worry is not worth my energy. I had faith it would work out.
3. Lastly, I had overcome some health issues through a massive change in my diet. I was so in awe of food and what it can do for our health.
Given my experience in CPG, my love of design, and my now deeper passion for food–it was only natural that these 3 aspects come together. Thus, Faven was born. Faven = Favorite + Haven.
Today, Faven continues to focus on branding for the natural food, beverage and restaurant industries. Our team is small and seasoned. We take on a limited number of clients at a time so we can provide personalized attention to every aspect. Design is inherently subjective so a solid strategic foundation is core to how we work. We help identify and articulate a reason for being and an ownable way to bring it to life. This foundation allows us, and our clients, to be aligned and objective about our decisions. We roll up our sleeves and get into the weeds. For me, the relationships we make along the way is the icing on the beautifully designed cake.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
7am: Make a hearty breakfast at home and pack up for a 4-hour hike.
8am: Hike Bear Peak. I love this one because there is a lot of vertical gain so you get a great workout, but it’s not as crowded as some of the other hikes. Plus, it’s about 4 hours round trip which gives us a lot of time to talk about life.
Noon: Head to downtown Boulder and hit up Rosetta Hall for lunch. Eat on the rooftop and kick up our feet.
1:30pm: Walk around Pearl Street and head over to the Farmers Market
4:00pm: Relax at my home before going out for the evening
6pm: Dinner at Oak. Cocktail: Across the Atlantic. Can’t pass on their kale salad. And, their specials are always fantastic.
8pm: E-town show: Walk to e-town hall for a live recording of their show. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I’ve seen incredible artists interviewed and perform there. Their mission is to educate and entertain through music and conversation in order to create a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable world. Yes, please!
10pm: Night cap at Steakhouse No. 316. They have an amazing smoked whiskey drink.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many influential people in my life and career. I have to be expected and thank my parents first and foremost. They gave me my drive and belief that anything is possible. Next, my awesome husband who is the yin to my yang and my kids who are my light. Craig Joiner for being a rockstar mentor for me. He helped shape the way I think conceptually. And, last, but not least– Robert Sedlack – my design professor and mentor at Notre Dame. He passed away several years ago from ALS at a far too young of age. With patience and purpose, he opened my eyes to the many aspects and roles of design in our lives. His impact on myself and countless others is immeasurable.