I’m excited to share with you the next bombshell on the roll call; you won’t want to miss this. Some times after collaborating with her I feel as if she’s my soul mate. Her thirst for life and inspiring others can leave you speechless. I have been lucky to call her a mutual champagne connoisseur, business partner and (irreplaceable) friend. She has been my go-to girl for all things Rad Maverix Brand + photography.
Meet the next Chief of the Teepee: Kaci Jo Bute*
**don’t get too attached, she’s all mine!
Tell us who you are & where you’re from?Hey y’all! I am Kaci Jo Bute. I am from Pawhuska, OK half the time and Stillwater, OK the other half. I am an agricultural communications/animal science senior at Oklahoma State University. However, I am taking a one semester victory lap, just because I’m not quite ready to tell Stillwater goodbye! I am known for excessive amounts of pictures, my love for ice cream, talking with my hands and my funky wardrobe. I am a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, student, and a young entrepreneur who is completely in love with her life.
Tell us about your love for photography; how did it begin?I love this question! Ok so, I helped out at a daycare from age 13 til about 15 before I was offered an actual paid position. My parents had bought me a little Kodak camera to have for when we went on vacations, etc. But I just seemed to use it like any other teenage girl did at the time—for selfies posted straight to MySpace. (I can’t believe I just admitted that.) Anywho, I would snag pictures of the kids at the daycare from time to time and the parents loved them! On my 16th birthday my parents and grandparents bought me a camera. However, I loved taking pictures then, but business-wise things didn’t really take off until about 3 years ago, and every year gets busier and busier!
Do you find living in a rural area to be challenging when chasing your dreams? If so, how do you overcome it?I think being from a rural area definitely has its challenges. There are other photographers in my area, meaning that the town is split between photographers, go us! But I have never felt like being from Pawhuska has held me back from chasing my dreams, if anything it has opened so many doors. I went from only taking pictures of people I knew to getting calls from complete strangers and businesses still from my area, and some of those people have become amazing friends that I now take pictures for once if not twice a year. Also, people from my hometown have recommended me to their family that live other places. One of the things that I take pride in is that my little photography business has been from mostly word of mouth. I owe everything my business is to my little rural town!
What drives you to pursue your passion each day?The thought of waking up and having another day to chase it! My parents and friends are extremely supportive in all that I do, so that definitely helps. As tiring and emotional owning your own business can be, the lows are still highs because I am still doing what I love.
Can you share one trade secret with us?I think the secret that so many people miss out on is loving their customers. I LOVE my customers. My customers get hugs, a hand written note, and I consider them an extended family. I think so many people, no matter what business they are in focus on the “business aspect” and forget why they started, and why they have kept going. My customers are my happy place, I do it because I love to see their smiles.
What is your favorite motivational quote? Why?I have SO many, but the latest that I have come across that I have fallen in love with is, “You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
What is the hardest thing you’ve faced since starting Kaci Jo Bute Photography? How did you overcome it?The hardest thing I have faced since starting Kaci Jo Bute Photography was just learning to balance being a full-time double-major student at OSU and trying to be a full-time photographer. I still struggle with it from time to time, but have learned that my customers understand. They understand that I am not going to finish editing their session during a test week. I have lots of help though, there are so many people working their butt off to help me out behind the scenes!
What is bliss to you?Goodness, that’s hard. I think bliss is when your inside is smiling just as much as your face shows, and vice versa. My mama always reminded me not to just be concerned about being pretty on the outside, but also on the inside. I think it goes the same for being blissful.
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