Tell us about your greatest challenge and how you overcame it:
Manufacturing overseas would have to be our greatest challenge and it is ongoing. We are too small of a business to really have the leverage we need to prevent many of these issues.
We've received shipments of less than perfect quality that we have had to sell at less than cost to discount stores. We've received shipments that were so poor we had to destroy them. We've received a shipment of smashed goods, a shipment of Christmas products in January, and even had a shipment impounded due to a battle between two vendors that was completely out of our control.
So to overcome these ongoing challenges, we look at each incoming shipment with fresh eyes. We maintain a positive attitude and know that whatever happens, we WILL get through it and we will be stronger for it. And then we document the issue and build the framework to prevent it from ever happening again. And of course, it is a big BONUS every time we receive a PERFECT shipment!
What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs?
- Get a support system. For us, it is our partners. When one of us is burnt out, another can pick up the slack. It could be your family, a small board of directors, or your peers, but you need someone to be there for you when the going gets tough.
- Be flexible because change is inevitable. This economy says it all. Everything we did when we started this business has completely changed.
- Keep your sense of humor. Have a good laugh every day. Your biggest disaster today will be forgotten in no time! Don't take this business so seriously. You started this because it was your passion and it will pay off if you stick with it.
Key take-aways from your experience with the WISE Center or Symposium:
This is a GREAT symposium and we always walk away invigorated and motivated to crank on our business! The Entrepreneurial stories are so inspiring and the networking will last a lifetime. We have met so many entrepreneurs in similar situations who have helped us along the way.
Any other information you want to share:
I am happy to share this entrepreneurial experience with anyone who has questions. Feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. We have an amazing team of vendors and connections that we have made since the launch of our business in 2005 and we are happy to share their contact info. We value the WISE Center and all the opportunities they have given us.
Finally, let me share my favorite quote with you...
"And above all, have a good time!" - Julia Childs
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