Goal-Setting as a Business Owner with Kara from the Barn of Chapel Hill

One of our favorite things about our PowerSheets Goal Planners is how versatile they are! Whether you're a stay-at-home momma, a student, or an entrepreneur, the PowerSheets are for anyone who needs a grace-filled system that works.

That's why we're thrilled to introduce you to someone who has become a dear friend of the Cultivate team this year! Kara Brewer, Owner of the Barn at Chapel Hill, has welcomed us into her space with open arms and warm hospitality. When filling out our team's 2018 PowerSheets, we realized two of our favorite memories took place at the Barn: Lara's Cultivate Book Launch Party and the PowerSheets Photo Shoot! One of the reasons those two events shot to the top of our list was because of the beautiful and welcoming space Kara and her team have created.

I'm thrilled to have her share a bit more about how she got to where she is now, what her day-to-day looks like, and some of her goals for 2018! -Jess

Did you always want to own an event venue/farm?

Starting a small family farm has been a dream of mine for quite some time–my husband and I wanted to start a business that our kids (ages 8 and 10) could really be involved in. We wanted to get them away from computers, TVs, games, and have them spend most of their time outside, getting dirty, working hard, and learning about agriculture and basic business principals such as how to package, market and sell our products (we specialize in flowers, chestnuts, and honey). They do a little bit of everything: planting seeds and bulbs, weeding and harvesting, creating market bouquets, mowing the grass, roasting chestnuts and checking on our bees. It’s always all hands on deck, all the time!

What types of events do you host at the barn?

We host on-farm weddings, floral workshops, and children's educational programs, and I absolutely love interacting with all of our visitors. Nothing makes me happier than helping a child dig in the dirt to learn about the importance of healthy soil, or watching the joy of a bride on her wedding day, carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowers that we grew specifically for her.

Cultivate Book Launch 0167

Tell us about your team:

My team is incredible, and I don't know what I would do without them! Jenn is our Creative Director and Florist, and her floral designs are simply stunning. She's been a floral designer for over 10 years, and she's just so incredibly talented. Gretchen is our Director of Agritourism and Educational Activities. She's a former elementary school teacher, and she's creating outstanding farm programs for kids from preschool through fourth grade–fun, innovative farm-based activities that you won't find anywhere else. Kelli is our Director of Operations (and my sister!), and she truly does it all. From spearheading our preschool story times with Gretchen, to taking care of our pumpkin patch, to helping me package our honey with her beautiful hand-lettered labels, Kelli keeps everything running smoothly. These three women inspire me daily with their talent and creativity, and I'm blessed to have the opportunity to work with them each day.

But I honestly couldn't do any of this without my husband, Chris. He operates all the heavy machinery, digs the trenches, hammers in the T-posts, spreads the compost, builds the deer fencing (and much, much more). Without a doubt, he's the glue the holds our little farm (and family!) together!


Photo of Jenn, Gretchen, Kelli, and Kara by Danell Beede Photography

What was the most challenging lesson you learned as you started? How do you deal with setbacks?

When I first started out, I quickly learned that everything takes time and that it's ok to start small and grow things little by little. You don't have to farm 50 acres of crops to be successful–bigger is not always better. Don't let yourself become overwhelmed. Just get out there and do your best. I started our apiary with two hives in the spring of 2016, and I planted my first few flower beds soon after. It wasn't much, but it got me started. There's always going to be setbacks, but you just have to keep moving forward. Believe in yourself!

What has been your proudest moment as a business owner?

My proudest moment was when I started selling that first crop of flowers in 2016. The well hadn't been drilled yet, so for months, Chris and I would fill up a water tank and bring it over to the farm on the back of his truck, and we would water everything by hand. I was determined that those flowers would thrive, and I was so proud when they actually did!

How do you start organized? 

I know this is completely old-school, but in order to stay organized, I write things down in planners and notebooks. I'm always making notes and drawing diagrams, which helps keep me focused and on-track (which is why I love PowerSheets!).

I'm a very visual person, so back in 2015, I had an artist sketch out my vision for the barn, and about a year later I had someone else do a rendering of the farm layout. The illustrations beautifully captured what I was trying to achieve, and I put them on a bulletin board in my house as a daily reminder of my dreams and goals. Fast forward to this year, 2017. As I was going through actual photos of weddings that had taken place in our barn, I realized that my visions, those sketches, had become a reality!



Photo by Kasey Poly Photography

What are big goals you have for 2018?

This is the time of the year when I start planning what we are going to grow for next season, and we have big plans for 2018! We just planted a large field of peonies, and we're getting ready to plant our tulips, ranunculus and anemones. I would really like to expand our u-pick offerings to include a larger selection of flowers, as well as blueberries and pumpkins. I'd also like to put up a high tunnel in 2018 so we can extend our growing season. And we are planning on having monthly flower workshops starting in April of next year.

What does a typical day look like for you as a business owner?

Each of my days are completely different, which is why I love what I do! Today we're digging up our dahlia tubers and storing them in crates, and in the spring we'll divide them and replant. In a few days, we'll clean up the barn, set up tables and chairs, and create flower arrangements for a holiday event. Being able to spread joy and happiness through our flowers and our on-farm events is the best part of my day!


If you could go back and tell yourself starting out anything, what would it be?

I didn't realize that by stepping outside the box of what is seen as traditional farming---I grow flowers instead of vegetables, my farm is small and new, I don't come from a farming background, I open the farm up to visitors and special events, and I'm a woman in what is primarily viewed as a man's profession--that I would I face a barrage of hurtful criticism and backlash. My farm has been vandalized, I've been trolled on social media, and a county official told me that as a mom, I wouldn't have time to farm because I would be too busy taking my kids to and from soccer practice.

If I could, I would go back and warn myself to be better prepared for this, and to just keep moving forward, that it will all work out in the end. And, that yes, I can successfully run a farm, and still be able to take my kids to soccer practice! :)

Are you a business owner looking to set goals for your company? Join our Business Owners Cultivating What Matters Facebook group, and download our PowerSheets Business Owners Guide to use alongside your PowerSheets Goal Planner.

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Introducing the Cultivate Series

When we changed the name of our shop, one of our biggest motivators was to create a new home in which to tell other people's stories-YOUR stories. We wanted to simplify, live well, give big, cultivate what matters, and help you do the same. The Cultivate team have been long-time lovers of podcasts, and we kept toying with the idea of creating a podcast for Lara and the rest of our team to interview women and invite them to share their stories.

But creating a podcast takes a lot of work. We didn't have any podcast experience, and we realized that adding something new to our plates would take time, energy and resources away from our current projects and shift it to this new endeavor. That would be okay if we were a big team, but we're a small team of women, and we believe in the power of small! Podcasting also wouldn't give us the ability for each of you to interact live with any guest on the show, which was a big draw for these interviews to begin with! We wanted you to be able to ask questions to each of these guests ahead of time!

Get inspired for an intentional 2017, as Lara Casey interviews three women who are cultivating what matters in their own lives in The Cultivate Interviews. Get practical advice and inspiration, as well as the opportunity to ask these ladies your questions during our Q & A time. If you aren't able to join at the time of these live broadcasts, you can still register and have access to the replay. Sign up for one or all three!

Thursday, December 8th at 11am EST with Sally Clarkson

Sally Clarkson is the best-selling author of The Life-Giving Home, a book about creating a place of belonging and becoming in your home. Register here for free!

Thursday, December 15th at 11am EST with Renee Swope

Renee Swope is the best-selling author of A Confident Heart, a book that gives voice to the questions, doubts, struggles, and hopes so many women have. Register here for free!

Wednesday, December 21 at noon EST with Erin Benzakein

Erin Benzakein is a farmer-florist at Floret Farms, author of a new book releasing in March 2017, and floral workshop teacher. Register here for free!

We'd love to hear any other guests you'd like to see hosted in future Cultivate Interviews! Feel free to leave a comment, or email Jess!

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Bailey’s PowerSheets – Fall Goal Refresh

One of our favorite part in the PowerSheets is our Goal Refresh section every three months that allows you to either recommit to your initial goals or redefine them! Goals change, and that's okay! This is about grace-filled goal-setting. Grab your set of 2017 PowerSheets today! 

Our goal for this community is to create a safe place for PowerSheets users to share their intentional goal-setting journeys. We're excited to share a PowerSheets Goal Refresh update from our contributor, Bailey Robert. If you haven't yet, be sure to read Bailey's introduction here. Thank you for sharing, Bailey! - Jess

Fall, glorious fall. It may not quite feel like fall down in Texas, but let me tell you I’m ready for it. After living in the Pacific Northwest for a while, I know what fall looks like. The bright reds and yellows, the crisp leave crunching under foot (some as big as your face!), coffee shop corners with cinnamon or pumpkin everything, slowing down before ramping up for the holidays. Fall is one of my favorites.


I’ve also been looking forward to the fall refresh for QUITE some time! The end of summer brought a new job in a new city, a crazy quick turn-around as I launched into my first year of teaching. To be honest, I’ve been in survival mode, and I’m ready to THRIVE instead.

When I look back, survival mode was allowed to happen because I lost my focus. I let my priorities fall to the wayside, and my goals got packed away. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s so so true.

But now that I’ve unpacked my apartment and made it through the first eight weeks of school, I’m finding a new routine. My PowerSheets have a new home on a cookbook stand on the bar that separates my living room and kitchen. I have to walk past them every day on my way out the door, and it’s such a great reminder.


My fall goal refresh for the last stretch of 2016:

  1. Get in the Word daily + pray with purpose.
  2. Celebrate others well!
  3. Cultivate contentment + simplify.
  4. Fulfill all teaching duties with JOY.
  5. Create life-giving habits.
  6. Continue 52 books in 52 weeks.
  7. Become more financially responsible.
  8. Savor singleness during festivities.
  9. Prioritize self care + create boundaries.
  10. Choose joy.

Some of these are pretty broad, but it’s on my monthly tending list that I make them more specific, and the action steps change every month and every week. Some of these have also carried over in every refresh since the beginning of the year. For example, it was my goal to read 52 books in 52 weeks, and I’m on book #49! Every month I add “Read 5+ books” to my tending list. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t, but I add that goal without fail.


The fall/winter also holds several weddings and holiday celebrations, and I want to celebrate others with joy and generous giving while also tending to the tender places of my heart. Relationships are changing and transitions have happened, so this season is going to look different than last year and the year before, but I cannot wait to see what is actually in store!

What are you making happen in these next few months, friends? How are YOU going to finish the year strong?

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My Word of the Year – Diana Kerr

We're excited to share the next edition of "My Word of the Year" featuring PowerSheets user Diana Kerr! Diana has been sharing her PowerSheets journey on the blog this year, but we realized we never shared her "Word of the Year" with each of you! Read below about how Diana has implemented the phrase, "Intentional Foundation-Laying" into her life this year and how she's continuing to make what matters happen in the remaining months. -Jess 

Tell us who you are and what fires you up:

Hey, friends! I’m Diana Kerr, a Certified Professional Life Coach for overwhelmed, go-getter Christian chicks. I’m a wife to my best friend Kyle, a warrior against rheumatoid arthritis since age 12, and, most importantly, a chosen, redeemed daughter of the King.

What fires me up:

  • Undeserved grace
  • Living sold-out for Jesus (Which is always an imperfect work in progress!)
  • Building relationships with our neighbors
  • Wisconsin summers
  • IF:Gathering
  • Dance parties—With my foster sister K, in the kitchen with my husband, or by myself!
  • Fighting sex trafficking in my city
  • Seeing my husband succeed or get excited about something
  • Passionate conversations about Jesus with my sisters
  • Having my whole family together
  • Personal growth books
  • Beaches, oceans, water, boating
  • Running
  • Entrepreneurship! (I have almost constantly had businesses since I was 8 years old, starting with Beanie Baby accessories! Haha)
  • Decluttering/getting rid of stuff/simplicity
  • My coaching clients’ successes and breakthroughs
  • My values (below!)

PowerSheets_Diana Kerr

What do you value the most?

Beyond the common values of faith, marriage, and relationships, I also really value stewardship. I cannot escape the truth that everything in my life exists because God gave it to me—my marriage, my relationships, my home, my possessions, my business, my time, my health. Using all those things to God’s glory is what stewardship means to me, and it majorly fires me up, even though I’m certainly not perfect at it.

If you could envision your most fulfilling year yet, what would it look like?

Running boldly, intentionally, and free to the tune of Hebrews 12:1-2, throwing off everything that holds me back and running with eyes fixed on Jesus. Nothing’s more fulfilling than that, right?!

What is your word for this year? 

I chose a phrase this year instead of a word: Intentional foundation-laying.

PowerSheets_Diana Kerr 1

How have you implemented this phrase into your life so far this year?

I want to lay a strong foundation in both my business and personal life, stewarding my time well in this season I’m in until God blesses us with children. I’m focusing on one specific thing this year for each major category of life, such as:

  • Drawing even closer to God through more quality and quantity time spent with him
  • Praying more often with my husband
  • Journaling prayer each day about relationships and focusing on loving others like Jesus did
  • Ramping up my Sabbath days and resting more throughout the week as well
  • Strength training at least 3 times a week
  • Paring down our belongings so I can hold loosely to the world and to possessions
  • Implementing tons of systems in my business and hiring even more help

What are you saying yes to this year?

  • Surrendering my agenda to God’s perfect plan
  • Lots of Sabbath and intentional rest
  • Communing with God all throughout the day instead of just during morning quiet time
  • Contentment
  • Fun and joy

PowerSheets_Diana Kerr 2

And, what are you saying no to this year?

  • Distraction
  • Using anything except God to fill me—food, Instagram, affirmation, etc. (Can I get an Amen?)
  • Shrinking back (Hebrews 10:36-39)
  • Stuff that doesn’t matter in light of eternity
  • Fear of what others think

Where do you want to be when you're 80?

I want to be that wise old woman who’s tight like spandex with God. I picture myself as the kind of 80-year-old who has a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face when she talks about God, who acknowledges the hardships she’s endured but praises God’s faithfulness in the storms. With rheumatoid arthritis, I don’t know what God’s plan is for my health at age 80, but my husband and I hope to still be active and serving the Lord, as well as radically, wildly generous. I envision spending tons of time with family and friends, and getting away to warmer weather each winter. I would really love to acquire a bit of a Southern accent in my lifetime. ;)

Where can we find you online?


Thanks for sharing, Diana! This post was written a few months ago, and we're excited to share that Diana and her husband are now expecting! We can't wait to see what this next season has in store for her family! Join us in congratulating the Kerr family below! -Jess


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My Word of the Year – Ashley Landry

We're excited to introduce the next edition of "My Word of the Year" featuring Ashley Landry! Read below about how Ashley is implementing ABUNDANCE into her life this year and how she's making what matters happen.

Tell us who you are and what fires you up:

Hi! I’m Ashley Landry, a photographer from the beautiful state of Louisiana. I work in a financial position by day and spend my spare time photographing motherhood and family moments by night. I am blessed to spend each day beside the man I love alongside two spoiled puppies who have stolen our hearts.

PowerSheets_Ashley Landry

What fires me up:

  • Black and white photographs
  • Fresh flowers
  • Saturday morning walks with our puppies
  • Sunday mornings in church and breakfast dates
  • Quiet time and writing
  • Yoga
  • Budgeting, accomplishing savings goals, and spending wisely
  • Traveling and experiencing new things
  • Cooking for others and trying new recipes
  • Reading a good book

What do you value the most?

Family. Growing up in a small town, I was raised on family and spending quality time together. My family relationships are very close to my heart, and we make it a priority to spend time together as often as we can.

Challenging myself to continue to learn. I believe that there is always something to learn. This is what drives me to grow into a better individual. Because of that mindset, I continue to challenge myself and be open to new experiences in life.

PowerSheets_Ashley Landry 3

If you could envision your most fulfilling year yet, what would it look like?

If I could envision my most fulfilling year yet, it would include more purposeful living and less tiresome and busy days. It would include more days where I use my gifts and talents for meaningful work and helping others. It would include more exercise and fresh food and home cooked meals and less putting my health secondary. It would include more purposeful spending and saving and less splurging on clothing or "sale" items. It would have more travel and family and memories.

What is your word for this year?

Abundance. To give abundantly. To receive abundantly. To bless and be blessed abundantly. To love abundantly.

How have you implemented ABUNDANCE into your life so far this year?

Abundance for me this year was a way for me to remind myself to continuously give and bless throughout the year. I want to focus on more consistent action and less on the size of the action. So, whether that is offering more of my time and knowledge to help a friend with financials or cooking a big family meal to feed those that I love or helping a coworker write beautiful words to kudos staff, I want to do each action with a giving heart.

PowerSheets_Ashley Landry 2

What are you saying yes to this year?

  • Budgeting and being smart with finances
  • Photographing more everyday, honest moments
  • Writing, blogging and sharing more of my story
  • Exercising, yoga, breathing, and less anxiety
  • Home-cooked meals
  • Traveling
  • Days filled with gratitude
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Ungratefulness
  • Spending on unnecessary items
  • Procrastinating 
  • Taking on too much and not finding time to do what I love

And, what are you saying no to this year?

  • Anxiety and worry
  • Ungratefulness
  • Spending on unnecessary items
  • Procrastinating 
  • Taking on too much and not finding time to do what I love

Where do you want to be when you're 80?

When I am 80, I hope to be filled with plenty of good stories and wise words to pass down to my family and loved ones. I want to share how I approached life with a hard-working attitude and faith knowing that anything was possible with those two concepts. I hope to be healthy, happy, and still constantly laughing with the one I love.

Where can we find you online?


Instagram: @missashleylandry

Pinterest: @missashlandry

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