So in the last year of my creative writing masters program, I decided to do something that seemed a little more “practical” (and grossed out all of my creative cohorts) and I applied for law school.
I got in, but there was just one thing that kinda changed things…
I was seven months pregnant when I got my acceptance letters.
Everyone said I was nuts for going to law school with a newborn. I knew it sounded kinda crazy too, but it was the only thing that seemed right, and I knew I had to trust my gut.
I’m Emma Natter and I was honestly never interested in having a business. That’s why it’s kind of ironic that I’m now a business coach and educator. But it’s not ironic that storytelling is at the heart of everything I do. I mean, if you would’ve asked me five years ago what my career plans were, I would’ve told you my goal was to write novels while my babes napped. I either wanted to write something that was pretty good, or something that was kinda trashy and fun. I wasn’t that picky, I just wanted people to read it.
A few months after Arthur was born, he smiled this sweet little toothless grin at me and that was it for law school. I told them I couldn’t go. Because if I had the choice, there was no way I was going to work myself into the ground for the next few years and miss the one chance I had to be a mom for the first time.
But it wasn’t that simple. Michael was a school teacher and in all honesty, we couldn’t figure out how to support our family on his income. Even to pay for the hospital bills from Arthur’s (very normal) birth, Michael had to take a second job waiting tables after school.
Turned out that like 90% of business is about marketing. Who knew. I always thought the people studying marketing in college seemed kinda slimeball-y.
I spent thousands of dollars on some of the best business and Instagram courses out there right now and I didn’t see a single dollar come in (except my sweet cousin’s wedding. But I feel like that one doesn’t count). It was a very expensive hobby. Especially for a family with no money.
So I had this idea: what if I started a floral design business? I had designed flowers for weddings in the past while I was in college. I just needed to learn the business stuff of it, and it’d be great. You know…bookkeeping and taxes and getting a business license and stuff.
A few months in, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.
Terrified, we invested in a mentor, and things finally started to click. I became obsessed. I worked smarter and harder. All knowing that our family’s livelihood depended on this. I decided I wanted to be an art director, not just a floral designer. I started selling antiques, and hand-made photography backgrounds at a shop I created online called Pilgrim & Co. And then people had questions about business and brand storytelling and I was more than excited to jump on the phone to talk through all of the ideas.
I spent hours and hours every day working on my business and seeing NO money coming from it at all. No inquiries. Nothing. Plus, the stress of moving had taken a toll on me, and Michael’s job turned out to be a complete nightmare. In the span of about 2 months, he had lost around 20 pounds.
We were both terrified. We’d spent thousands of dollars moving across the country for this job without a backup plan.
But it was clear to both of us that Michael couldn’t work there anymore. So he quit.
We started coming up with other solutions. All of which would require us to invest in more education for Michael.
It was then that I suddenly realized something, and I said it. “What if we invested the money we would invest in you, and we invested in me instead?”
Because above everything else in my business, I believe this: if I can put more money and ability to influence into the hands of talented, generous, giving, loving, visionary people, the world will be a better place. Less suffering, more kindness. More empathy, less apathy. I’m fighting for it.
And that’s what I’m here to build.
I do this stuff from my apartment in New York City. We get to build our life filled with what’s most important to us: love, freedom, creativity, travel, culture, art, good books, good conversation, good food, groundedness. We don’t have it all figured out, but we’re constantly working toward living and giving as our very best selves.