What you’ll learn in this interview:
- How to not lose your sh*t when you start a business.
- Tips on how to stay young and gorgeous throughout it all 😉
- Best tools to help you get started and maintain a sustainable startup.
- Some damn good advice, no matter what you do for a profession.
- Who is behind Softwear!
1. What do you do? Who do you help?
Craig and I each have specific jobs within the company, but we tend to make decisions together for the most part.
I handle all visuals, social, sales, customer service and Craig is in charge of production and ensuring everything is running smoothly behind the scenes.
At the end of the day, Craig and I hand-pack every order, sit together through hours of production meetings and fittings, and attend major sales calls together.
I love being able to bring my ideas and then collaborate with others to come up with even more creative projects. And finding time to kiss my dog in between it all!
2. List your favorite business tools.
- ConvertKit – The easiest email marketing platform I’ve used. They provide templates and allow us to integrate website email sign-ups into our campaigns.
- Unsplash.com – I use Unsplash to find unique imagery for our social or email blasts. We are a tiny company and can’t exactly climb the Rockies on the weekend to get a gorgeous nature photo for Instagram. Unsplash helps.
- Modelmayhem.com – I’ve been using this for years to source amazing models and photographers, and most that I have worked with have come through this site! There is a ton of not-so-great people on there but with the right eye it can pay off.
- Quickbooks – Hands down my favorite accounting system. I can easily access all past orders, create new invoices and receive payments within a matter of minutes. As a small business, cash flow is incredibly important and so is receiving it quickly. We keep all receipts and track every financial component of the business as well as past sales and client behavior.
- Stripe – They make the processing as seamless as possible and take their fees directly from the deposit, so you never have to worry!
3. What is a good course, website or book you would recommend and why?
- Lookupthestars.com – I am crunchy and love astrology and tarot; if you’re like me then Julia is your girl. She has a true gift and was SPOT ON with so many things it actually gave me the chills. She cares and it shows.
- Betterhelp.com – Being in therapy has to be the best decision I have ever made. I like most others have childhood traumas that went unresolved and reared their ugly heads into my adult life. Better help has a flat monthly fee and offers the user unlimited skype, phone or email therapy anytime you want. I was fortunate enough to be matched with my current therapist and value our weekly sessions above all else. My mental state is the key to my future; I have to take care of it every step of the way.
- Insight Timer – The best meditation app I have ever used! I listen to one every morning before I get out of bed and every night to ease into a peaceful sleep. There are a plethora of options which makes every day a new and unique experience!
- Getting Back To Happy – I read this over New Years when I was going through an incredibly rough personal experience. It helped me realize the power of my thoughts and how shifting them truly played a large part in my success. This helped get my journaling going and allowed me to have an outlet to challenge my thoughts and get to the root of my issues. Things don’t always work out but if you take ownership of your part and commit to the growth, you’ll be amazed at what doors begin to open when others close.
- You Are A F*ing Badass – Who doesn’t need this constant reminder? Bad stuff happens and we are faced with confronting our inner demons and figuring out why were triggered. Affirmations and meditation are keys to healing and this book helped kick some unwanted thinking to the curb.
- The Four Agreements – I received this book as a gift and it was the beginning of my healing journey. The four concepts are simple but powerful, with practice you can truly master how you react to situations and interact with others.
4. What is the best piece of advice you have received?
- ‘Don’t be penny wise to be dollar stupid.’ My partner says this to me constantly. Like any small business we have damages, unforeseen costs and issues that arise daily, we make a conscious decision to value the relationship over the (up to now) minute monetary set back it has caused. Think about things thoroughly before acting, especially when money is involved, freaking out over one damaged hoodie could tarnish the entire relationship you have built.
- ‘Have some f*ing confidence in your product, you can’t please everyone so stop trying.’ Another gem my partner has instilled upon me. I take everything personally and the minute a client says they don’t like our fabric or want to change something, I feel crushed. I have learned that I created Softwear for a reason and I believe in what we’ve created. It’s ok if your product doesn’t work for someone, take their advice and see if you can implement it and reach out down the road if you see value.
- ‘Its all about relationships and networking.’ I can’t stress this one enough. Without my network of incredible people I have met over the last 10 years in NY, I would not have been able to launch the brand and achieve incredible sales within 1 month of our first run. My clients have become some of my closest and most valued friends. It’s about authenticity, transparency and a true passion in what you’re doing, people can tell if you’re genuine and will WANT to help you succeed.
5. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
- Breathe. Bad stuff is going to happen, your plans will not work out and you will break down and wonder why you are doing this, all of that is totally normal. Remember to take a minute to challenge your thoughts and question, “Will me losing it help the situation?” Doubtful.
- Listen to what others say but take it with a grain of salt. Everyone has an opinion and will want to tell you how you ‘should’ be doing things. Some of these are valid and when coming from a more established and successful entrepreneur it can hold weight, but if your neighbors’ cousins mothers uncle doesn’t like the way your hoodie fits and gives you tips on how to change it, you can thank them nicely and keep going.
- Don’t try to walk before you can crawl. When we started Softwear we had limited resources and relied heavily on favors and very very nice friends who helped us achieve our goals. You don’t need $20,000 for a huge photo shoot when you are first launching and have $100 to spend. Be crafty and remember that you are not a multi-billion dollar business, it will all come in time. Rejection, tears, panic attacks, its all par for the course and will test your limits to the max, just take it beat by beat and stay present as you grow.
6. What is your beauty and/or fitness routine?
- Cleanse, Tone and ALWAYS Moisturize – I use Ursa Major and I am obsessed. They are all natural and have kept my combination skin glowing. I love their Vitamin C serum layered under their hydrating face cream. Don’t forget to finish with a hydrating eye cream!
- Jade/Rose Quarts Roller – You can get one of these pretty much anywhere but I keep mine in the fridge and roll it over my face AM and PM to close my pores and lock in the serums. Plus it helps reduce swelling and perks your under eyes up!
- Aquaphor – Sounds strange I know but after I apply my serums at night I finish with a thin layer of Aquaphor under my eyes, my lips, nose and T zone area. Aquaphor locks in your serums and helps get you more out of what you’re putting on your face overnight.
- Boxing – I am addicted! I love to get my frustrations out on the bag and release what is no longer serving me. I hit EverybodyFights a couple of times a week.
- Yoga – Great to refocus and stretch that sh*t out. A nice meditation at the end is icing on the cake for me.
- My sister’s Flywheel Class – Jaimie is a badass fitness instructor and loves what she does whole-heartedly. She makes every class amazing and has a passion for fitness and her nutrition counseling.
7. List the products or items that are indispensable in your life.
- CBD Oil – I can’t live without the stuff honestly! I love Tonic or Beam CBD, both are amazing companies that truly care about transparency and high quality.
- Palo Santo/Citrine – I carry a crystal in every pocket or bag that I carry. Anytime I am feeling overwhelmed I light some palo santo and meditate with my crystal. Feeling the energy of the crystal helps me stay present and intentional about my practice.
- Collagen Powder – I want to stay young forever, it’s in every coffee I drink! I buy the grass-fed powder from Bubs Naturals, I love supporting another small company with a great story!
8. Which female entrepreneur(s) do you look up to and why?
- Payal Kadakia – As a user of classpass since it launched, I have been in awe of what Payal has built from the ground up in NYC. She is a constant inspiration to strive for more and take risks to give the consumer a better fitness experience. Payal changed boutique fitness and gave full worldwide access to studios in every country and now streaming live on your laptop.
- Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel – I adore these bags and love that the two founders had a vision for a better product at a better price and went and achieved it. You can have a higher quality product without the matching price point and the ladies of Mansur Gavriel agree with me on that.
- Coco Chanel – Cliché perhaps, but growing up my mom always used Chanel as an example. Chanel never listened when people criticized her designs or how she envisioned the future of fashion. She changed the fashion industry and followed her gut, never taking no for an answer and created an empire that has become a pillar in the fashion community.
9. List your social media platforms.
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