We had the good fortune of connecting with Grace Pritchett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Grace, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“It’s not my job to teach people lessons, it’s my job to learn mine.” As a producer and a human being, I’m frequently looking for ways to make things better, faster, stronger, shinier – and sometimes it becomes a bit of a control problem. When I’m leaning in too much on someone else’s job or I can feel myself taking a work situation personally – I step back and tell myself that I’m learning my lesson in life and everyone else is learning theirs. People will work how they want to and I will work how I want to – sometimes it’s a grand slam and sometimes it’s not. All I can do is control how I’m reacting to the situation. And *honestly*, if you’re showing up ready to learn, you’re already getting further than if you’re showing up ready to teach.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I first got out of college, the main goal was figuring out how doable it was to make a living as a photographer because quite frankly, there are a lot of skeptics out there. People buy into the stereotype that creatives are starving artists or have to be struggling to make the art worth it. I’m fortunate to have parents who encouraged me to go to school for photography and avoid the naysayers. My mom told me that I would be better off doing whatever I wanted at college for four years because I would find my way to the right job with whatever skills I graduate with. College is not necessarily required anymore in the creative field but if you do choose to spend the time and money, I would give the exact same advice my mom did. And maybe take a Business class or two.
Once I completed the first goal of earning money and had it coming in at a livable rate, the next goal was figuring out what I wanted to actually do with my skills. I leaned into photography, copywriting, and social media management for a few years at an agency but was ultimately attracted to the freelance life by way of production. Production lit a fire in me and has always kept me coming back for more. I also realized I was much happier being behind the scenes than being the photographer. By the time I celebrated my first year of freelance, I was something of a Producer/Copywriter/Social Media Manager blend.
From there, my goals have transitioned to fit my hard-to-define job title. Am I being a good leader to my team? Am I challenging myself enough to help create new work? Do I feel like my work environment is conducive to learning and growth? I will say my story is not much to glean from but my lessons have come from a desire to keep moving forward. Make sure you’re constantly going somewhere on your path, whether it be career or life, that makes you want to keep going. Know that you can change direction whenever you want. You’re the one driving the car. My success has come from looking for relationships that I want to cultivate as opposed to doing what my degree or previous job positions suggest I should do.
Even further, I take stock of how I’m feeling in the ups and downs to know if they’re still worth it. Driving the car of your career path is a lot like driving a real car – you will have maintenance to do, you will take wrong turns, you will need to pull over on the side of the road to get your bearings. I’m a little kinder to myself these days when it comes to work/life balance and burnout and I encourage everyone else to be too.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the chance to show people around Kansas City because I grew up in the suburbs nearby and have resided in the city myself since 2016. It’s a wonderful community that I’ve enjoyed seeing grow and evolve even over the past twenty years.
Most people know Kansas City for the sports, the bbq, or the odd celebrity/notable member of society being linked to KC. I favor the food and history part of the city so my recs involve a lot of restaurant hopping and city strolling. Some favorite places to start the day are Succotash, French Market, Cafe Sebastienne (come for the bloody mary, stay for the Kemper Art Museum), Messenger Coffee, and Blip Roasters.
By the afternoon, we’re ready for estate sales and antique shops, like River Market Antiques or Urban Mining, before we likely get another snack or grab a beer from one of the awesome brew stops in town, like Bier Station, Alma Mader, Torn Label, Brewery Emperial, or Boulevard Brewing’s Beer Hall. Kansas City has quite a few historical spots and museums to check out that I think are really neat – like the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the National WWI Museum and Memorial. Hit up smaller shopping areas in the Crossroads or the West Bottoms for some awesome local creatives and makers – there is always a pop-up full of local love happening!
Because we can always eat and drink more – a few other restaurants or bars to include in your trip would be Poi-o, Fox & Pearl, Percheron, The Campground, Lucky Boys, Parlor, Cupini’s, and Town Topic.
Throw in a baseball game to see the Royals or take a slide down the J. Rieger Co. Distillery slide and you’ve got nearly a week’s full of ways to have a good time in KC.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh jeez, I’m already wondering how many people I can include. Far too many for me to think of right now but off the top of my head….My parents, for encouraging a creative education and career path. My grandparents, for always always always telling me how proud they are and how big they dream for me. My best friend, Kaitlin, for showing me what the world looks like when you stand up for yourself. My boyfriend, Colby, for having unceasing optimism and belief in what I do. My work besties, Lauren and Natalie, for creating a work environment that allows for play and self-expression and straight weirdness (which is the true meaning of authenticity).
Other: Check out this personal project I launched in 2020 with my real nice work ladies: arealnicelady.com
All photos are credited to Lauren Pusateri.