I am not sure how many people know this, but I am a HUGE letter writer. I have always written letters back and forth with friends around the world. It makes my day to see a handwritten envelope in the mail. As you can imagine, I am in love with stationary and cards. I can't get enough of them. 

When I first moved to New York, I came across some especially gorgeous cards with little animals and glitter on the front with cute sayings. When I turned the cards over, I saw that they were made in Vancouver by a company called FLAUNT. My home town. Cool cards. I was in love. And I think I probably bought the store out right then and there!

Meet Shannon, the founder of FLAUNT cards, my favorite cards in the world. I was super excited to meet Shannon and find out more about her incredible company. We met in Vancouver on the beach early in the morning to talk cards and to enjoy the incredible scenery. Shannon is amazing; she is bubbly, kind, fun, passionate, and creative. The moment I met her, I knew she was special.

LINDSEYBELLE: FLAUNT is very unique from other cards. How did you get the idea to start FLAUNT?
Shannon Barnes: I fell into it really. I was working in Marketing/Consulting and I started making a few card designs. A shop in Vancouver took a look at my cards and started carrying them. Within a week I was picked up by a distributor, and then I got some neat press in InStyle and Martha Stewart magazines.

LB: What advice would you give to business owners to be successful?
SB: Stay true to what it is that you are selling and to yourself. And treat people well. I think being able to delegate to great people that you can trust makes such an impact. Focus on what you do best and delegate the rest.

LB: What is the biggest risk you have taken with your business?
SB: At one point, I decided to branch out a little and add gift bags to the FLAUNT business. I ordered the bags and invested money, and they really didn't sell well. I learned so much from that. Don't fix it if it isn't broken. And focus on the one thing that you are good at. Sometimes there is no need to keep branching out. Taking risks is often great education.

LB: With FLAUNT's whirlwind success, how do you feel? 
SB: Excited! Suprised! I came from a very corporate world and people always think that it is impossible to make money doing art (and something that you love). I love being able to combine my business and artistic sides.

LB: Where do you get the inspiration for the adorable animals, designs, and saying on your cards?
SB: Hanging out with my kids. And children's books. The illustrations in the books give me a lot of inspiration. And of course magazines. I love fashion and I use the colors that I see in fashion on my cards. 

LB: What is your favorite kids book?
SB: The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

LB: What kind of qualities do you admire most in other people?
SB: I admire people who do what they say they are going to do. And I love people that don't sweat the small stuff. And people that think outside the box.

LB: How would you say you live your life?
SB: If you don't do it and enjoy it, someone else will. I really put my heart into things and am so lucky to be doing something I love. I love taking care of people. And I believe that if you are a good person, good things come back to you.

LB: I know you have two little girls and a husband. How do you balance being a mom, a wife, and an entrepreneur?
SB: I love working and showing my girls that I still have my own identity. I think it is very important to do something you love and balance it with family life. I work four mornings a week and have a nanny come then. And often the girls will sit and watch me work and play with the glitter and the glue. I like to get them involved. My husband makes his own hours with his job too so we can really be flexible. We love to work hard and we love to travel!

LB: What is your favorite place to travel with your family?
SB: Our favorite place is Villefranche in France. We also love Monaco and Nice. We really love to travel, so we make time to travel with the family.

LB: I love nailpolish, so I have to ask this question. What is your go to polish color?
SB: Bright red.

LB: What is your favorite card?
SB: My cards with the owls on them. Those were some of my first designs and my best sellers. Owls are so wise, sophisticated, and cute.

LB: Guilty pleasure?
SB: Red wine and chocolate!!

Go check out FLAUNT cards, they are seriously the coolest! Thank you so much Shannon!!

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