by Stacy Hayden | Featured Contributors
As mentioned in our first blog post Turning Your Idea Into a Business, my business partner and I had to teach ourselves the ins and outs of running our business. By learning to run the business together, we were able to set the direction of our company and define clear roles.
As our business grew, we realized that we needed to be able to work independently on specific tasks so that we could pull the company together as a whole. While there are many tasks that we work on together, such as events and photo shoots; we also have specific day-to-day tasks that we are each individually responsible for. Today, I run the day-to-day operations, marketing, sales and business development; while my partner, Carrie, focuses mainly on buying, creating and repurposing our pieces and maintaining our blog.
It is very important to access each partner’s strength and weakness and then give out responsibility and decision-making authority based on your assessment. Shortly after launching our business, we realized that Carrie is the more creative/artistic one and I am more business focused. I don’t have a creative bone in my body. Carrie, however, shines in that area. I prefer to stick to the paperwork and measuring statistics. Identifying our strengths and talents allowed us to apply them to the specific needs of our company.
We also share responsibilities in some daunting tasks. We try to stay very active on social media, which includes responding to all comments, commenting on influential blogs and taking part in Facebook and other blogging groups. Keeping up can be very time consuming so we like the “you take this week, I’ll take next week” approach.
Staying connected with each other is also essential. Not only does meeting regularly allow us to bounce ideas off each other; it also gives us clear direction of what each partner is currently working on. We like to meet at least once a week so we both have a complete picture of what is going on with every aspect of our business. We believe having honest and open communication is key. Sharing ideas and concerns openly makes for a happy work environment and trust between partners is what keeps a partnership strong.
Carrie Andreas and Stacy Hayden are the co-owners of the on-line vintage jewelry boutique, CS Gems. They scour the Midwest and handpick beautiful vintage jewelry at estate sales, yard sales, flea markets and auctions. Their motto is to “make vintage modern” by mixing their vintage pieces with today’s latest fashion trends. They use their fashion blog and social media accounts to highlight their vintage finds with hot new trends.
They have been friends since junior high and decided to go into business together in 2013. Neither Carrie nor Stacy come from a marketing or business background, therefore, they have researched all avenues to teach themselves the ins and outs of running a business. They are learning to navigate the business world while juggling being moms to two young children each. They are committed to learning and love the opportunity they have been given to share their experience in starting up a small business with others.