A match made in business heaven…
What is better than starting a business? Starting a business with your best friend! After many years of boutique shopping and scouring daily deal sites for the cutest accessories for the best prices, Leigh Ellen said, “Let’s start a jewelry business! It can’t be that hard.” We couldn’t have been more wrong!
With our to-do list in hand we started our business venture with doe-eyed confidence. Quickly, we realized that we would have to be photographers, marketers, accountants, web designers, and several other professions we knew absolutely nothing about. With each day came learning a new aspect of the business. There have been several occasions where we have said, “Well, you live and learn.” or “Oops, won’t do that again!” such as forgetting to include the link to our website in our first email blast, or ordering product packaging that was half the size that we needed.
One of our least favorite days of each month is dreaded “tax day”. A glass of wine is required, and there may or may not have been tears on a few occasions, however, with each month the process gets easier. But through these tribulations comes pride in that we are learning new things and improving our company. Through articles, blogs, information sessions (thanks Vend Raleigh), very helpful husbands, and plain old trial and error we grow a little each day professionally and personally.
We have both agreed that there is no way we could run this business without one another. Starting a business is hard enough and for two naive teachers who had no idea what we were getting into, there is no way we would have been able to set up our LLC, let alone reach over 150 sales without the support of each other. There are many positives to running a business as a partnership as opposed to going it alone, and this has proved to be true on many occasions in the 5 short months since launching Katie Leigh Boutique. For those thinking about starting a business, here are a few reasons why a partnership works for us:
1. We are complete opposites. “How is this a strength?” you say. Well, like any good relationship, you have to balance one another. Where I am weak, she is strong and vice versa. While one of us is the “creative” brain, the other focuses on numbers and logistics. One is a planner and the other spontaneous. We have embraced those differences and have become comfortable in our respective roles.
2. Our styles are different which helps bring in different perspectives in everything from our products to the design of our business card. While one of us is more conservative with fashion choices, the other is bold. This collaboration of style differences gives us the ability to attract a wider variety of customers.
3. By far, the biggest positive of our partnership is working with my best friend every day. When one of us is frustrated, tired, or unmotivated the other is there to pick up the slack. After 12 years of friendship we know what the other is thinking before she says it. This helps us to be a support system on the tough days and someone to high five on the good days. She makes one of the hardest things I’ve ever done bearable, and even (gasp) fun!
What we have learned from starting our business has been invaluable and we are excited about a bright future and a successful business!