I've run a few businesses over the years, including a leather goods company called Forage & Bloom, a web design business called Build It Society, and now I co-own a bakery outside Chicago called Spilt Milk with my sister Molly, and an online coaching/consulting biz called Your First Shop!
I've always been interested in entrepreneurship and love starting new projects. Up until about 2 years ago, I was all over the place... Starting new projects all the time, and had very little focus. After partnering up with my sister to open our bakery, I really got serious about making it happen and building a successful, profitable business instead of just a hobby business. Our dad has basically been an entrepreneur all his life and is a huge source of inspiration to us... He ran a freelance photography business when we were kids, and now he owns a framing shop and art gallery. Our mother is also boss AF... She is the most hardworking woman I know, and I really want our businesses to be successful because I want to make her proud, ha!
I realized that while the creative side of owning a handmade/local business is really fun, it takes a whooooollllle lot more than that to make a profitable, successful business that supports a family. I hear a lot of my friends getting excited about their business ideas and handmade businesses, but don't necessarily set themselves up operationally to sustain their business long-term. This is what inspired me to start Your First Shop earlier this year. I realized that while my sister Molly is the creative force in our bakery, I am more focused on the operations side. That's what is missing for a lot of people who are really creative and really passionate about their craft... They don't have the patience or skills to build a business that's truly profitable and sustainable. I want to kind of demystify that whole process for people and make it easier to run a profitable business, even if you don't have a background in that type of stuff.
We're all about bold boss moments, tell us about one of yours!:
I still work a full-time 9-5 job as a software product manager, so I only get to be at Spilt Milk on the weekends. This isn't anything profound or huge, but I feel so proud when I'm working the counter at the bakery or bussing tables and I hear people "ooohhh" and "awwww" over our shop and they don't realize I'm the owner. It's one thing to hear a compliment or kind words about your business when people KNOW it's your business, it's another thing to overhear someone say they love what you've created when they don't know you're the creator. I feel so proud when I overhear stuff like that.... It's like, YEAH!! We did it! People like it!!
What advice or words of encouragement do you have for the Bold Boss Tribe?:
Don't give up. There are many nights I recall when I was working on getting our business up and running where I couldn't sleep, and felt totally sick and overwhelmed thinking "how am I going to do this???". You have to keep going...at a certain point it's like a boulder rolling down the hill. You will pick up momentum and it'll get easier and easier to keep moving forward. But until that happens, you have to just keep rolling along and slogging through and doing the tough work. It will be worth it. Be consistent and show up, and don't give up on it.
P.S. Exciting news! We launched a free #BoldBossTribe Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!