entrepreneurship

KNOTEWORTHY: Chantal Boxer, Fini Concierge

about-chantal.jpg

Never having dreamed of owning a business and now with three children, Chantal relishes each opportunity to help clients have an easier day because she gets the struggle. Having worked in the non-profit world for years before founding Fini Concierge, her heart has always been inspired by making life better for people. As the word “no” doesn’t come easily to her, she’s just as happy organizing someone’s closet as she is coordinating a client event or wrapping gifts. When she’s not working on a Fini project, she loves to over commit herself to volunteer school committees, entertaining friends at her home, and never misses an opportunity to spend time on the beach with her family.

We talked to Chantal about where she finds inspiration to stay motivated in business, and here’s what she shared…

What is your mission statement and overall goal for your business?

Rooted in the belief that we shouldn’t feel the guilt of having to “do it all”, Fini Concierge comes from a desire to help people focus on what is important to them – family, work, friends and having the time and energy to do the things they enjoy. Our motto, “consider it done”, reflects our commitment to providing a simpler way of life.

How did you get your idea or concept for your business?

Fini Concierge started because we wanted to help people that faced the same daily challenges that we encountered in own own lives. I run Fini Concierge with my husband, and with three children and a business to manage, we know the feeling of never having enough time all too well. In 2004, we created Fini Concierge so that busy families and individuals would have a resource they could call upon when they needed help. We wanted to offer a no-judgement, easily accessible team of highly qualified problem solvers that would be available to people when they needed help with most aspects of life – a team that can run your errands, hire your nanny, plan your next vacation and donate your old ski equipment.

Where do you find inspiration to stay motivated?

Our inspiration comes from our clients. Over our nearly 15 years in business we have had the opportunity to work with such amazing people, interact with really interesting businesses and learn from our fascinating clients and through complex projects. Discretion is always a high priority for us and our clients know that they can rely on us to help them with daily life tasks to personal, challenging projects. We love seeing projects through to completion and making a difference, even if it’s a small one, in people’s lives. Our clients aren’t constantly having to start from scratch when they use us and we love being a piece in their puzzle that allows for an easier, more successful life.

CONNECT WITH CHANTAL:

Website: https://finiconcierge.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/finiconcierge
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/finiconcierge/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/finiconcierge/

KNOTEWORTHY: Kerry Railey, Irish Eyes Photography

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Kerry Railey owns Irish Eyes Photography, a boutique portrait photography studio located in Downtown Hingham, MA.  Kerry's goal as a photographer is to capture her subjects as themselves, cheese-filled smiles be damned.  She is also known to be spreading kindness in the world through her summertime kindness challenges or teaching beginner photography to anyone who wants to take their camera off the auto setting.  When Kerry's not behind the camera you can find her trying very earnestly not to yell at her two kids (and often failing) while simultaneously loving them fiercely.  And if she's not doing any of the above things, she's probably performing on stage somewhere.  Seriously if she goes missing that's probably the first place you should check.  

We asked her to share some insight into her journey to entrepreneurship, and here’s what she said…

How do you define success?

Success is obviously different to everyone.  There are people out there working their behinds off to become the next “it” photographer or to have huge amounts of followers on social media.  I realized a long time ago that’s not my style. Naturally, I want to have a large following because not only is it more fun to engage with lots of people, but I’m also a Leo, and deep in my core I need all the attention.  All of it!

But, truthfully, as I get older anyway, I’d rather have the attention and respect of a small group of people that engage with me and care about what I’m doing, versus thousands of followers who don’t.  My approach to life, and therefore my business, is very organic. Do I feel like posting something to social media right now? Yes? Than I post it. I don’t generally schedule things for peak times or try to do all sorts of flashy things. If I feel like it, I add some hashtags.  If I don’t, I don’t. Sometimes, dare I say it, I even post to Facebook without a picture. Just words! Not even a link! Because that’s all I have to say in that moment. It’s real. It’s authentic. Even if it doesn’t give me a boost in followers. I’m fine with that. I’m talking about social media here but it’s a great analogy for all parts of my business.  

I try to truly connect with my clients - and even other business owners and community members.  I meet with clients in person to guide them through the ordering process instead of just emailing them a gallery link.  I leave my studio door open when it’s warm out and I put out signs that start conversations with passersby.

Success to me is when Judy, a woman who walks by every day, knocks on the window to wave to me because I didn’t happen to notice her that day.  Success to me is when my clients reach out and ask me to capture family portraits for a young mother who was given a very scary diagnosis and may not live to see the end of the month. Success to me is when I get an autistic child who is terrified of Santa, to sit, talk, and calmly play with The Big Guy.  I will probably never buy a yacht with the money I make as a photographer. I will probably never win any photography awards (if for no other reason than I never submit anything to any contests!), and I will probably never have thousands of followers in the world of social media (or any other world for that matter).  But when I get real, authentic smiles from my clients, and when they come back time after time after time….That’s my definition of success. And when my own kids tell me they’re proud of me. That of course, beats all.

Where do you find inspiration to stay motivated?

When it comes to being motivated as a business owner, I am driven by my desire to be treated well.  If *I* have high expectations when I work with a business, I can only expect my clients to have the same expectations.  And just like I don’t like to be let down, I don’t ever want to let my clients down. I strive to always be open and honest with my clients so they always know what to expect and give them my very best.  

I get my motivation both from experiences I have that show me what greatness can be - and what the opposite can be. When I have an amazing experience, I process all the reasons why it was amazing, and vow to do the same for my own clients.  When I have a bad experience, it motivates me to make sure I never do whatever it is that caused the issue. So I suppose it's my own expectations in life that drive my need to run a business that people can rely on and enjoy.

Of course, creative motivation is an entirely different thing.  As a creative, I will flop and fail completely if I am not inspired and motivated.  I definitely have times when I flounder - either from burnout or from just needing to add a new twist to keep things different.  Luckily what inspires me most is people, and that’s why I photograph them.

I am a horrible landscape photographer. While I can see and love and appreciate a beautiful scene, I can never capture it in an interesting way, because that’s not what gets my boat floating.  For me, I’ve always been in love with the stories people tell - of who they are. It stems from my career in theatre. I love telling stories. And now I love telling the stories of my clients through images and portraits. I try to come up with new ways of capturing my clients to keep things interesting, but what’s truly captivating to me are the images that don’t have any frills and props - they’re simply portraits that show WHO that person is. And that keeps me going.

How do you achieve work-life balance as a business owner?

This is a great question because I recognize that so many of us struggle with the concept of balance. My personal goal this year is to find more tranquility in all that I do - which just goes to show that balance is something I’m still trying to perfect (currently working on this interview at 2am!).

Tip #1: Segregate Your Work & Your Personal Life.

In the beginning, I ran Irish Eyes Photography out of my home while working an insurance job, so I myself could have insurance, which meant evening and weekend hours.   When I married my husband and was able to leverage his benefits, I gave my notice. Then I worked full time on the business until our daughter was born 9 months later. From that point on, I was working both as a mother and a photographer, and both full time.  

Because I worked out of my home, there was no escaping either role, and thus was barely accomplishing anything. Still, I plugged along tirelessly working late nights, then had my second child, while still running a growing business. As my family and brand grew simultaneously, it became clear that it was time for me to move the business out of my home and into a storefront studio location.

Even if you can’t manage to have a separate space that’s outside of your home, give your work a designated place and when your work hours are done, shut the door. At my studio, I purposely have all my editing software on my desktop computer and not my laptop so that I CANNOT edit at home. I allow myself time to answer emails and take phone calls outside of my studio hours, but everything else stays within those hours.  It has made ALL the difference. So shut the door to your office - lock it if you need to feel like it’s really closed off - and make sure you get as much sleep as possible. Do your best to adhere to your schedule so you can feel good about your time away from work being YOUR time, but if life happens, then it’s okay to break that rule every so often.  

TIP #2: ENJOY YOUR LIFE!

Make sure your life is worth living and taking time away from your job. Sometimes I never want to leave the studio because it makes me so happy to be here doing what I love in my gorgeous and cozy space.  But then I think about what I’m leaving the studio to do and it brings me joy (most days anyway; let’s be realistic and remember I have two kids) and so I’m happy to walk away from my work to enjoy my personal life.  So fill your life with the people, activities, and things you love, and you’ll reap the benefits on the daily.

CONNECT WITH IRISH EYES PHOTOGRAPHY







KNOTEWORTHY: Kristen Phelps, Owner/Designer of Fishy Face Creations

Kristen Phelps is the owner and designer behind Fishy Face Creations - a boutique featuring 100% handmade hair accessories, bow ties and custom shirts for children and adults. Kristen has a background in dance and grew up surrounded by crafters. 

 After earning a masters degree in education and then spending half a decade as a stay at home mom, she decided to embrace her creative side once again and dive head first into all things Etsy. When Kristen isn't experimenting with the latest in fabrics and designs, you can find her at the gym or cheering her kids on at one of their many activities.

We asked Kristen about motivation, work-life balance and more. Here's what she shared... 

Where do you find inspiration to stay motivated?

My family has always been and will always be my inspiration and motivation. I am a stay at home mom, but I never intended to be one. I love being able to stay at home with my children and wouldn’t change it for the world, but I also enjoy working and having something to do outside of parenting. My small business allows me to do both of those things. I love that I get to show my children that you can be successful in a non-traditional field and that they actually get to see me work and be creative. I think it inspires their creativity, which is so motivating because the arts are so important and  remind me of the best parts of my childhood.

How do you achieve work-life balance as a business owner?

That’s always a struggle. I have two young children - a kindergartner and a two year old and a husband who works full time in Boston. I am primarily a stay at home mom, so my kids’ needs have always and will always come first, but I still manage to make time for work.  Because creating inventory takes so much focus and attention to detail, I tend to design and build inventory when my children are sleeping. But, I don’t let myself work past 9 pm. It helps me ensure that I get to spend time with my husband, relax a little and make sure I get to bed at a normal hour. 

When my children are awake, I’m usually doing mom and wife things - school drop off and pick up, gymnastics, dance and music classes, play dates, grocery stopping, etc. Sometimes we may sit in the car a few extra minutes so I can answer a customer’s inquiry on Etsy, or we may have to swing by the post office or make an extra stop at the craft store or I may be posting to social media during gymnastics classes, but it all works out. Juggling so much can be difficult and the mental load is no joke, but I really love what I do and it’s nice to be able to provide my family a little extra money for fun activities together.

How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?

I come from a really long line of crafty and artistic types. I always knew I’d end up in a creative field. My mother sewed most of my clothing for me when I was young and my grandmother knitted me hats but my Nana was probably the biggest influence on me. She taught me to sew when I was young. She used to sew all the time. I loved sitting in her craft room at her house, playing with her pincushions and just watching her do her thing. I remember visiting her at craft fairs too. She made me a teddy bear when I was born that I have since passed on to my five year old. (There’s another one from college graduation in queue to pass down to my daughter!) Nana also sewed me endless quilts and the most beautiful wedding quilt I’ve ever seen. We even decorated a dollhouse together with real tile and wallpaper.

I took dance lessons as a child and that was my biggest creative outlet. When I stopped dancing in my twenties there was definitely a void. That creative void didn’t get filled until after my daughter was born. I was searching high and low for the perfect headband to match her first birthday outfit and I just couldn’t find it. My sister in law (a very crafty woman herself)  encouraged me to make my own, so I went for it! The joy I felt creating and color matching and coming up with new designs was instantly satisfying. My husband has also been a huge help. He’s very supportive and is an extremely talented artist with a degree in illustration from Mass Art. He’s great with giving me design advice and helping me color match. I couldn’t do it without him.

CONNECT WITH KRISTEN PHELPS:

Etsyhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/FishyFaceShop

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/fishyfacecreations/ 

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/fishyfacecreations/

 

KNOTEWORTHY: Boston Women's Market

We had the wonderful opportunity to interview the amazing ladies who are leading the charge at the Boston Women's Market, with questions regarding their journey to entrepreneurship, who they are as a brand, who they serve, and how they spread the good news around town...here's what they shared!

What is your mission statement and overall goal for your business?

We promote the work of and preserve a space for Womxn entrepreneurs and artists in the New England area.

We foster an environment of support and innovation for our community by hosting Marketplaces throughout the Boston area, telling the stories of inspirational Womxn, and providing tools to help Womxn-owned businesses succeed. In doing so, we endeavor to build and knit closer the community around us; fostering a celebration of shopping and supporting local.

How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?

Boston Women’s Market is organized by a team of four women all with different backgrounds and personal experiences that have inspired and strengthened the vision of Boston Women’s Market.

Molly Leger, Founder
“Over the last year, our steady and sustainable growth has been a function of the incredible team that helms BWM, and the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response of the community around us.”

Taylor Borowiec, Organizer & Editorial Lead

“I am very lucky to have had such a strong support system growing up. My parents gave me every opportunity and helped to show me how to work hard and keep going, no matter the obstacles or failures in my way.”

Africa Rubio, Organizer & Social Media Guru

“The team of Boston Women’s Market has allowed me to meet amazing women from all around the New England area and to be part of something that I believe in. I moved to Boston four years ago from Madrid, Spain. I was looking to be part of the community and to meet great people. I ended up meeting Molly soon after the first Market in September, 2017, and since then have been working together with Molly, Taylor, and Cara.”

Cara Loffredo, Organizer & Marketing and Website Go-To

“I always say I have entrepreneurship in my blood. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs on both my mother’s and father’s side. This engrained a passion for small business in me from the start. I’m a huge advocate for starting your career in small business or non-profit. I’ve gotten to do things and grow professionally in ways I never would have been able to in a traditional corporate environment. I also love mentoring and passing that knowledge onto the Boston Women’s Market network.” 

How do you use social media for growth? 

Boston Women’s Market uses social media to foster a greater awareness for the many local small businesses in the New England area. We promote and support our incredible vendors and their businesses throughout our online channels, in addition to promoting our events. Our goal is to always create an environment that people love to be a part of.  

Social media can be a very positive way to spread ideas and is something that, when used correctly, can have a positive impact on a person's day.

KNOTEWORTHY: Naomi Westwater, Singer & Songwriter

Naomi Westwater is a powerhouse, indie singer-songwriter, and producer from MA, USA. Mixing organic Americana and electronic indie, her imaginative stage presence, intimate lyrics, and emotive voice inspire and provoke audiences. Like a rose with many petals, Naomi’s music is layered, striking, and tender, mixing organic Americana and electronic indie. 

Naomi is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with her Master’s degree in Contemporary Performance Production Concentration, and has been working in entertainment and music industry since 2011. She started as a program coordinator at The Gopher Hole in Baltimore, MD she then worked for The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, MA on their Summer Concert Series, Pops in The Park, and Pop's by The Sea, which is Cape Cod's largest cultural event.

In 2013, Naomi released the Americana EP, Coyote Love, about love and pining in a long distance relationship. Starting in 2015, Naomi was an Associate Producer at the comedy production company Pretty Good Friends. She produced live shows, podcasts, and festivals including the comedy stage at Wilco’s Solid Sound, StarTalk Live! with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye The Science Guy, the annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, and Modern Love Live for 90.9 WBUR (Boston’s NPR Station) and The New York Times. 

She has produced sold out shows at famous theaters and festivals around the US including The Apollo Theatre (NYC), The Bellhouse (Brooklyn), The Beacon Theatre (NYC), Fun, Fun, Fun Fest (Austin), Sketchfest (San Francisco), and she's had the honor of working with great bands, comedians, and public figures like Sen. Cory Booker, Michelle Buteau, Michael Che, David Harbour, Hari Kondabolu, Lucius, John Mulaney, Aparna Nancherla, Roy Wood Jr., and many more!

As a queer, woman of color and a modern day mystic, Naomi incorporates empowerment, nature, and magic into her music and artistry. 

We asked Naomi about her journey to entrepreneurship, and here's what she shared...

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business?

People don’t convey to artists that being a musician is 50% talent and music skills and 50% business and networking. For most of my life, my teachers really focused on the talent side and me working on my voice and my artistry. 

 But, being a successful musician is so much more than that. You need to have a good network and community behind you to help and you need to understand business. Because as soon as you start selling music, tickets, or merch, you become a sole proprietor, whether your realize it or not.

How do you use social media for growth?

A lot of artists I know are still hesitant to use social media, but I love it! It’s a great way for me to interact with my fans in a formal or casual way. I’ve been able to grow my socials with the following rules I made for myself:

1. I’m consistent: I post often and I post content that is relevant to my brand and to my followers. I’m an artist, I am the brand, so I post a lot of pictures of myself and music clips. And when I have something off brand, like a cute dog photo or a joke, I post that in my Insta Stories or on Twitter.

2. I use hashtags that are relevant to me. Hashtags help me connect to new followers. I’ve even made friends via hashtags!

3. I post high quality content. What I post it is thoughtful and intentional. When I’m taking or selecting a picture to post, I always want it to be visually pleasing: good lighting, interesting concept, some kind of emotions. There’s nothing worse than a blurry picture that’s boring. Social media is inherently visual, everyone wants to see beauty in their feed.

4. I use advertisements sparingly. Nothing is better than organic growth, but sometimes when I have a new release, I do like to use ads. So I always make sure my social ads are good quality, but not too flashy, or it will look like an ad. I also never throw down too much money on an ad. With FB Business, if an ad is doing well, I can always add more money too it.

How do you achieve work-life balance as a business owner?

I schedule everything. Between being a graduate fellow, being a wife, owning my own business, and being a super social person, my life would be very unbalanced if I didn’t schedule things on my Google Calendar. 

 I use scheduling not just for important meetings or lunches with friends, but I use it like a budget. I know I need at least 10 hours a week to practice my voice, another 10 hours for homework, 25 hours to dedicate to my fellowship, etc. so I carve out chunks of time to make sure I’m getting everything I need done. There’s even a calendar event for Friday night dates with my husband.

 CONNECT WITH NAOMI:

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Naomi-Westwater-908106642663736/

  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/naomiwestwater/

  • Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4pQ6EIVS2gOPLR5yx3bt6f

  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/naomiwestwater

  • Website: https://www.naomiwestwater.com

KNOTEWORTHY: Ashley Clay, Eventfully Yours

Originally from Vermont, Ashley Clay is the owner and lead planner of Eventfully Yours, a local event company that offers full hospitality service for any size event. After spending over a decade working in the hospitality industry, this softball star turned event planner comes fully equipped with all the necessary tools for any situation. 

Not only is Ashley dedicated on and off the field, she is also an award winning artist, bringing both vision and craft to play together. In her (limited!) downtime, Ashley likes to travel throughout New England, watch horror movies and and enjoys sleeping in!

Where did your business concept of Eventfully Yours originate from?

I have always known I was meant to work with people in a creative way.  Watching my mom regularly engage and entertain the community as Recreation Director, I gathered my sense of hospitality from home.  

I knew food and smiles were connected, and that I enjoyed everything good that came from sharing it. But how did that tie to how I would make money? All the hospitality related jobs I had along the way allowed to me have a diverse range of knowledge, from making coffee to management style, and I took notes along the way.  

Now I am able to coach our staff from a hands-on perspective that one wouldn't have without professional industry experience. It took the years of learning to really direct me into my goals, that now I could describe my event planning style as energetic & creative with an emphasis on taking care of each and every guest.

What sacrifices have you made that have led to your success thus far as an Entrepreneur?   

For many years, I have had to sacrifice nights, weekends and holidays to make sure that my clients are being cared for.  

I wanted to be the face behind the name, to really put a personal touch on every event we are a part of. I am very lucky to have a spouse who is also in business, and understands when the phone rings in the middle of dinner, that I get up to take a call.  It is a two-way street in our household, and I am very lucky for that level of understanding and support.

Where do you seek and find inspiration as a business owner?

I know the classic answer of "everywhere" is very overused, but it is so true! I really like to learn about my clients as people before I am able to deliver top notch service to them.  From the normal coffee date to cocktail meeting, I am able to gather the knowledge and inspiration I need to operate at a high level. 

I feel like asking the right questions via open conversation is extremely important.  After truly listen to the responses, I allow my inner child to run free. Creativity is something I have always enjoyed and have been encouraged to explore.  

Where there is a vision, there is an event planner with a trick up her sleeve! 

CONNECT WITH EVENTFULLY YOURS:

  • Website: https://www.eventfullyyoursnh.com

  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eventfullyyoursnh/

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eventfullyyoursNH/

KNOTEWORTHY: Sonya Highfield, Real World Creatives

Sonya Highfield is a Boston born and bred entrepreneur dedicated to helping artists and creative  entrepreneurs lead successful lives and build profitable businesses.

She started her commercial and fine art photography business in 2012 than in 2015 founded Real World Creatives, which provides business and mindset coaching for women as well as virtual communities and in-person workshops. 

Sonya also provides inspirational speaking on money mindset at conferences, retreats, and other empowering events! When she’s not working Sonya loves to travel, expand her spiritual practice, watch her hubby cook, and search for the perfect margarita.

Can you tell me your mission statement and overall goal for your business?

I started my business with the mission to give artists the business savvy and professional support necessary to thrive in today's economy. However, over the last three years it's evolved to helping creative, entrepreneurial women craft lives they're proud of doing what they love and cultivating healthy, loving relationships with money and their minds. More powerful women doing good work in the world & living abundantly is the goal!

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

I've tried a lot of things over the last few years, put out a ton of different offers, and a lot of them didn't pan out, or didn't get as much engagement as I'd hoped, and some were major flops. For me, it was essential to redefine what failure was, because I was so stuck on all the things that hadn't worked out that I couldn't fully appreciate my successes big or small. Once I was able to say, "What does failure actually mean to me?" I came up with the answer that failure only happens when I stop pursuing my purpose and inspiration. That made a world of difference, and now I view everything as a learning experience, and the things that don't work out are guiding lights to the next thing that will work out. And now I don't feel like I'm continually failing, just following my inspiration and intuition and seeing where it leads! 

Can you share with us any information about your business that you would want other entrepreneurs to know?

You have to make your business fit your life, not your life fit your business. I know I struggled with this when starting out, and it's easy when you're passionate about your work to let it overrule other areas of your life. And it can be scary to say I'm not working 40 hours a week, I'm going to charge more than my competitors, I'm going to unplug and take vacations, I'm not going to get up at 5 am if it doesn't suit me, and I'm still going to be successful completely on MY terms. Entrepreneurship is a really personal thing, and it makes you confront every part of yourself (over and over!), so if you're trying to just "do business" and ignoring the bigger picture of your life, it's going to be hard. Choose easy! Choose spaciousness. Choose your own path. Get to know yourself and find people like me who support YOUR truth and will help you build your dream from there.

CONNECT WITH SONYA:

Website: http://www.realworldcreatives.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/realworldcreatives/

KNOTEWORTHY: Her Data Method

Shannon Ware and Melody Jennings Bowers, Co-Founders of the Virtual Collective, created Her Data Method to educate business owners on the value of data, and more importantly, how to collect it. 

Her Data Method is a series of online courses that teach business owners how to build a data collection framework to help them make smart, data-driven decisions tailored to their business. 

We asked these lovely ladies to share some insight into how they launched their business and here's what they shared with us... 

Tell us, what is your mission statement and overall goal for Her Data Method?

Melody: We teach women business owners how to collect data that will help them make smart, data-driven decisions and grow their business with confidence.

How did you come up with the initial launch concept of Her Data Method?

Shannon: We were seeing the same issues time and again with our clients. They wanted to spend money on marketing without having any data to base a strategy on. We were spending hours reconstructing their sites after walking them through the process of creating customer profiles and researching how to best position them in their industry.

Melody: We created a thorough intake process to walk these clients through so our team would have the information they needed in order to do their jobs well. After we created this process, we kept saying how nice it would have been to have had this for our business when were starting out! That got our wheels turning about how we could use this knowledge to help other female business owners. And now we are ready to launch the “Intro to Data Collection” course and are hopefully going to have the opportunity to help a lot of women get a head start on understanding data collection as they start their businesses.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business? 

Melody: Every single thing in this course! We teach that which we need to learn most, right? And we have learned it the hard way. We really want this information to help other women avoid some of the startup pains that can be avoided with minimal effort invested on the front-end. While knowledge IS power, you still have to learn which questions to ask...and that can be a minefield for anyone starting a business. 

Shannon: I definitely wish we would have learned how to define our customer personas and the importance of financial planning before we started.

What are some things you're doing as a team to achieve work-life balance?

Shannon: Um, is that even a thing? Haha. Melody and I lead two very different lives outside of our work partnership. She has two teenagers, while I have a 2-and a 6-year-old. I tend to take the “day shift” and try to rush the clock to get as much done as I can before 3:00 pm (when I have to pick my littles up from school). Since Melody’s mom duties start later in the day and she’s a night owl, she takes the “evening shift” and will sometimes stay up working until 5:00 am closing out what I have started.

Melody: One of the reasons we’ve never explored investors for our company is because we never wanted to feel like we needed to apologize for being moms. If my family needs me, I pass the baton to Shannon and she keeps things moving in order for me to disengage and tend to their needs. The same goes for her. Our partnership works so well primarily because of our shared agreement to put motherhood first. It might not qualify as “balanced”, but we’ve figured out to make it work for us.

What sacrifices have you had to make to be successful entrepreneurs?

Shannon: A stable income. Being a self-funded company makes for some financial ups and downs. If you’re looking for stability, entrepreneurship,at least in the first few years, is probably not the best option. 

Melody: And sleep. A lot of sleep has been sacrificed.

CONNECT WITH HER DATA METHOD:

  • Website: http://www.herdatamethod.com

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/herdatamethod

  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/herdatamethod/

  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/herdatamethod