Patti Hughes, August 2021
Patti Hughes' Story Behind Beauty
You may recognize the Natural Life brand from the bright colors and memorable designs but we wanted to know more about thhe woman behind all the beauty... so we totally reached out to her! You know we love a good entrepreneur but one who is also a badass mama? We're totally crushing! Patti Hughes grew up around a maker, an artist, a mother who showed her the value in beautiful things and embracing your passions. "I grew up with a mother who had a passion for making things! My mom was rarely seen without sawdust in her hair, stain on her fingers, or a paintbrush behind her ear. It was only natural that her love to create eventually evolved into her own little gift business, which she ran in the basement of our home. Her business was a big part of our family's life. Looking back, I realize now that growing up around her passion and business is the deepest root of the Natural Life story."
"In 1996, I discovered that same passion for making things when I began taking black and white photos of things I love like dogs on the beach, Adirondack chairs and words written in the sand. I built my own darkroom and created raw black and white photographs that captured the little things in life that made me happy. I quickly created a floor-to-ceiling wall of all my favorite shots... that motivated me to try to become a photographer! The idea of quitting my unfulfilling job to do something I was passionate about thrilled me. I named my new little company Natural Life Photography."
"Before I could find my first customer to photograph, friends and family began asking to buy the photos off my wall! This inspired me to frame my favorite photos as tiny keepsakes and magnets and sign up for a local arts market. When the keepsakes sold out in an hour, I realized Natural Life could be a different kind of business! Motivated and excited about my new business idea, I found a handful of stores to carry my Natural Life keepsakes and watched from afar how people reacted to them and how quickly they sold."
We asked Patti, what was it like building your business as a mother? "For me it was the perfect work life balance….at times the balance would be off but I worked hard to keep that in check."
"I had found my passion and felt happier than I had ever been before. The gifts my mother quietly passed down to me not only gave me the courage and knowledge to start my own business, but the talent to create things people love! Over the years I have met talented artists and people that I invited to help grow Natural Life. I have fun with every aspect of the company… enjoying the business side as much as the creative side! I still oversee every single detail of every product we make and am proud and lucky to say that everything about Natural Life is still my passion! My motivation to follow this passion and build the business comes from my three amazing daughters who inspire me every day, nostalgic memories of my happy childhood and global artisan markets we love to hunt for treasures in."
We wanted to know if there were any struggles while building Natural Life. We know what it's like to build from the ground up and still have time for our families... and it sounds like Patti feels the same way: "The struggle comes from making sure you don’t work too much and lose enjoying the little things that make you happy as well. I was really good at making sure I didn’t miss out on everything I love to do. The other struggle is hiring the right people who can really help you as your company gets bigger. You just have to keep trying until your dream team is formed! I feel so blessed to have the BEST team right now!"
We know what we find beautiful about Patti (her smile, her passion, her love of family, etc) but Patti, what do you love about yourself and your unique beauty?
I love that I never give up when times get tough…and that I have found a way to inspire people to Live Happy!
You can find Natural Life on their website, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok!
*All imagery courtesy of Patti Hughes and Natural Life. Portions of Patti's story previously appeared on Natural Life's website.
Do you or someone you know have an amazing story that you want to share? Through all of our life struggles, we firmly believe that your beauty shines through it all. If you think you have an interesting story behind your brand of beauty, we're looking for real women, with real life stories, to share with our community. Fill out our survey to share it with us!SUBMIT YOUR STORY HERE