We had the good fortune of connecting with Christen Stephens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christen, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe that the most important factor behind the success of my brand is in what I bring to the table as a unique person. Everything that I do for my music and my business grows from my unique personality, interests, and the things I love. On a very practical level, I systematize everything that’s not a personal interaction or creative work so that I can complete those tasks as efficiently as possible. That leaves me with as much time and energy as possible to make genuine connections with people and to continue to explore and create in my music. It’s my goal to go beyond what is familiar and bring something truly special and unique to the table. This kind of authenticity and creativity is inherently filled with risks and my first trials of a new idea are often messy. But the results are so worth it, and the thrill of each new success makes me so excited to start each new day.
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
One thing that sets me apart from others is that I love all aspects of my work. I’m not just a creative musician, but I love the organization and structure of running a business, and the social aspect of connecting with people. Another thing that sets me apart is my versatility musically. I play both flute and cello, which in itself is a very unique combination of instruments. My specialty is the flute, and I have a talent for musical imitation which enables me to copy the sound of different singers and artists. I’ve been classically trained, but can also play pop, rock, folk, and jazz. I love jazz improvisation and I also enjoy making up new songs altogether. It’s my passion to expand my musical voice and expression! The biggest way that I believe I got to where I am today is that I never stop improving. In everything I do, I ask myself – how can I do it a little better next time? Mistakes in particular are the best opportunities for growth! Often, my best innovations have arisen from mistakes. When I make a mistake, I don’t hope to somehow magically become better next time, but I make and execute a plan. Often, the new plans that arise from my mistakes are some of the most creative and inspiring parts of my business. My goal is not perfection, but discovery. Life is messy, so it’s important to accept my imperfect self and imperfect others, and be ready to change course and be flexible and adapt as unexpected things happen. Being accepting of myself and facing my mistakes head on so that I can grow is one of my biggest challenges. I bring so much energy and passion to what I do, and I put my heart into each wedding. No job is “just another job” for me. I love getting to know my clients and I love playing music with my team!
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.
I love gardening, so I’d probably bring my best friend to the Denver Botanic Gardens. If they were up for the drive, I love hanging out at Ace Gilletts for some great food and jazz up in Fort Collins.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband is my biggest cheerleader and we continue to learn together and support each other in our work and personal lives.