Olivia Crowder: Starting A Business While In College

Hey y'all! This week's INSPIREguest shares so much good advice about college, creative outlets, faith, and so much more.

She is attending pharmacy school, just started her own business, AND has even published her own children's book! She literally does it all!

I could keep blabbering, or you could just hear from Miss Olivia Crowder yourself :)

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I’m Olivia Crowder! I am from a small town, Cayuga, IN, and graduated from North Vermillion High School. I’m currently enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Butler University. I have four years of schooling complete and will start my 5th year this fall, followed by my 6th and final year of rotations. Getting closeee!

2. What is at the top of your bucket list?

I am a HUGE Dancing with the Stars fan. I attend the live tour each year and it is my absolute favorite show. My friends can vouch that I always joke that I WILL someday get on the show even if it is just as an audience member!

3. What are some of your hobbies that aren’t related to school or work?

I was a 10 year 4-Her and also raised/showed pygmy goats at National shows around the country spanning from Georgia to California. It has now come full circle and I have had the opportunity to judge county fairs during the summer. Working with young 4-Hers is my favorite! I also wrote and Illustrated a rhyming children’s book, “O Helps Her Dad” that I got self-published on Amazon as a Christmas gift for my dad!

4. Explain your journey of starting Love Lane Proposals while attending pharmacy school at the same time (like W-O-W!!!)

My senior year of high school I literally had NO idea what I wanted to do and applied to 10 different schools. I was accepted into Butler Pharmacy so I decided to take a college tour and I job shadowed a pharmacist who worked in the hospital cancer center. She truly loved her career and was able to make a difference in people’s lives during such a difficult time. I realized that it was where my grandma (& bestie), who died of cancer when I was in the 8th grade, received her treatment. She always spoke so highly of the workers who provided care for her so I decided to close my eyes and attend Butler for Pharmacy!

Freshman year wasn’t a walk in the park. Although I felt SO blessed to be able to attend Butler, I missed home and my old friends and still wasn’t 100% sure if I chose the correct major. Doubts crept in my mind from those who told me “you will be so unprepared compared to classmates from larger schools.” Although there was some truth to this, I am actually very thankful because this resulted in me having to work more and develop good study skills! This past year I even won my school’s Patient Counseling Competition & was named as a “Top 50” Butler Student. That time in my life was the first time I truly had to COMPLETELY lean God and trust His plan for me. Looking back, I see that often God knows the desires of your heart before you’re really totally sure. College got much better and I am excited to serve my patients as their drug expert…but on my study breaks I saw people on social media doing creative projects and I just felt like I lost my imaginative side. I desired a creative outlet!

5. Did you always know you wanted to start your own business while attending school, and what was it like adding something else to your busy schedule?

Since both of my parents, grandparents, my uncle, and cousins have their own businesses, I somewhat struggled with the idea of a college major that would likely be a career for a corporation. I shared my concerns with my parents, but they were so supportive and said you don’t have to start out owning a business. It doesn’t make sense to start a business just to start it. I needed something I was passionate about and I could always use my salary from being a pharmacist to fund any business idea I may someday have.

Christmas break of my Freshman year of college, I helped plan a proposal for my friend. I fell in love with the element of surprise, a grand gesture, and creating picturesque scenery. I’ve always loved making videos and taking photos so I brought up the idea to my parents of planning proposals for couples. They were justifiably hesitant and encouraged me to focus on adjusting to college for the time being. Flash forward to last summer and my sister’s boyfriend asked me to help him plan her proposal in New York City. I found Proposal 007, and they helped him plan a private rooftop proposal overlooking the Empire State Building! (Insert heart eyes) I talked for a while about creating something similar in Indiana/Illinois but it wasn’t until this spring that I took the necessary steps to do it! Due to COVID-19, the hospital rotation I had set for this summer was postponed to a later date. With so much free time in May, I decided that after I finished finals I was going to go for it! I ordered a new camera and have been working on content for my social media pages and website since! Unexpectedly, I recently photographed a wedding! My 2nd grade teacher had to cancel her beach wedding last minute due to the virus and move it to the local church. She contacted me a few days before and asked me to be her photographer. Go after your dreams! If you would have told me 3 months ago that I’d be photographing a wedding, I would not have believed it!

6. What has been the hardest part of your journey so far?

I heard a great sermon sophomore year about having “Faith for the Middle.” It is easier to have faith when the journey is new and at the end when you can see your plans coming to fruition. It’s difficult to have faith in the middle when you can’t see the end and you don’t know how things will work out. You often hear, “College is the best four years of your life” and “You’ll find your best friends welcome week of school.” It is okay if that is not your story! Although I eventually found close friends and enjoy school much more now, I once felt like I was the only one in the world who didn’t like college as a freshman. I’ve since found out that SOO many people felt the same way as me! I grew in my faith in God during that “middle” period and gained the confidence to do both Pharmacy & Love Lane Proposals!

7. If you could give one piece of advice to girls in their twenties, what would it be?

I would tell them that they are not one dimensional! You can wear more than one hat! You can be a science major but also have a creative side. You can have a degree in something but also spend your time working on projects unrelated to your degree! You don’t have to be defined by just one thing! I would also tell them to not let a temporary period of being uncomfortable keep you from a blessing that is permanent. Studying for hours on end for pharmacy is obviously not my favorite thing to do but looking back I am so thankful my parents, sister, mentors, and friends encouraged me to power through! I heard a quote that said, “The pain of discipline is minuscule compared to the pain of regret.” Be disciplined in achieving your goals but also leave room for fun (such as starting your own creative venture!) I am thankful that I was able to get to a point where I can do both pharmacy school and Love Lane Proposals. Just remember...God has you, & you have him!

8. Where can people find you and Love Lane Proposals?

Personal Instagram: @crowdero

Business Instagram: @lovelaneproposals

BusinessFacebook: Love Lane Proposals

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Olivia talks about not being one dimensional. Don't ever feel like you have to put yourself in one box and stay there. You are allowed to be in as many different boxes as you want to be.

If you know anyone planning a proposal soon (or want to drop a little hint to your man😉 ), make sure to check out Love Lane Proposals!

This unfortunately is the last interview for my INSPIRE project :( I wish I could interview so many more amazing girls I know, but I just don't have the room for it on my plate once school starts.

I want to thank you all SO much for supporting this project and these awesome girls. I knew you would love them all! ♥️