This month’s Mompreuner Series post is brought to you by the lovely and wonderful Colby at The Coop Marketing. Colby and I became fast friends over a Starbucks meeting and now, we share a studio space and business! Her story is awesome, and she has some great advice…
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family:
I’m married to my best friend and soul mate, Dan and together we have three little “chicks”- Saylor (4yrs) and twins Everly and Finley (2yrs). We live on a small farm complete with a few chickens, a one eyed Shih-Tzu named Louie, and our newest addition, Butterscotch, a little palomino pony. I’m obsessed with all things HGTV’s Fixer Upper, coffee (just about anytime, anywhere…I do have three little girls under four…it’s just a necessity now), and spending lazy summer evenings on the front porch.
What prompted you to start a business?
I always knew I had the entrepreneurial bug. My first “job” was my own petsitting business in high school, Nanny Pawpins Pet Sitting. From there I always looked for ways to be my own boss. I guess I fear the idea of someone else managing my time. It hits me hard every time I think of the quote by Tony Gaskins, “If You Don’t Build Your Dream Someone Will Hire You To Help Build Theirs.” My passion for digital marketing and social media led to a natural progression to open Colby Stellhorn Marketing, which would eventually turn into The Coop Marketing.
How did you decide on the name of your business?
I knew I wanted to name my business something different, but also something that had a lot of meaning to it as well. The Coop comes from the idea of a henhouse, yes, but more so the idea of women working together under one roof. I knew I wanted to hire fellow women to work along side me, especially because The Coop specializes in marketing for women by women. It only made sense to call it The Coop. It also didn’t hurt that I call my three little girls, “chicks”.
Tell us more about your product/business and your role:
The Coop Marketing is a boutique marketing agency that specializes in social media consulting and management. We also craft fabulous websites, design amazing logos, and just about anything else you can imagine in the digital sphere. Although our niché is marketing for businesses whose core client, product or service is tailored for women, we work with a variety of small to midlevel businesses in many different fields. As a mompreneur, I wear more hats than I care to admit, but my main role is making sure we exceed our client’s expectations.
Do you have a storefront or do you work from home?
I recently moved into an adorable office space in Cornelius with Chrissy Winchester (the owner of this amazing blog) and Lindsey Enander Hedin of Lovely by Lindsey Professional MUA. Together with my studio sistahs as we call each other, we have aptly named the studio Hello Lovely Branding Boutique. We hope to make this creative space not only a place to do our everyday work, but a space for budding entrepreneurs to get everything from head shots to a web site for their first endeavor.
How do you balance all of the roles that you have?
I’ve finally realized that I don’t have balance, and I probably never will. I chased that elusive work/life balance ideal for way too long. I came to the point that there will be days that I am a rock star mom and my business may be on the back burner that day. The next day I might be killing it in the office, but might not be that amazing mom I woke up planning to be that day. I spent so much time worrying about where this whole idea left my clients or maybe even more importantly where it left my kids. I finally realized that what my clients get is so much more than an experience with a typical agency. I treat their goals as my own, and therefore I do pretty much whatever it takes to not just get the job done, but go beyond what my client might expect. My kids on the other hand will grow up seeing a mom who showed them that even though life isn’t always perfect, it’s important to work towards reaching your dreams. The last part that I want to add is that any type of balance I do have in my life is thanks in part to my wonderful family. It takes a village people. It takes a damn village.
What is the best aspect of having your own business?
The best aspect of owning my own business is that I have control over my day. So many times I have found myself so thankful for the blessing of being my own boss.
What is the hardest part about owning your own business?
The hardest part about owning your own business is that you will never have a typical 8-5 workday or even work week for that matter. I might work 50 hours one week or work till 3am three nights in a row, and you rarely ever clock out. The end result is your responsibility so it’s on your shoulders to make sure you make it happen.
What are some long-term or future goals you have for your business?
The future goals for The Coop would be to continue growing our team of fearless women (many of whom are mompreneurs themselves) as well as utilizing our Hello Lovely Branding Boutique to help inspire and promote creative endeavors for entrepreneurs.
What do you do when you’re not being supermom?
I laughed at this question. Being supermom would be nice. I’m going to tell my kids to just call me supermom from now on. No more momma. It’s supermom to you.
In all honesty, when I get a moment alone I just want to hit up all the stores I never get a chance to go to without having littles along with me. I can seriously spend two hours in Target. No lie. If I’m not aimlessly walking around Target at 9pm, I love to spend time with my hubby just sitting on the couch watching a Netflix marathon.
What is your favorite household product?
I love candles so I would say my “favorite” household product would be candles. A great smell puts everyone in a good mood.
What wardrobe staple can you not live without?
Hmmm… I’m not much of a fashion girl. I’ve been trying for years to figure out my style, so I’m not sure I really have a wardrobe staple. If I had to pick I might say my Tory Burch shoes? They go with everything.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a petsitter. I distinctly remember watching an incontinent Lab named Honey. Good times.
What celebrity would you love to have dinner with, and why?
I would love to have dinner with Gary Vaynerchuck. I consider him a celebrity I guess. GaryV as many people know him took over his parent’s wine business, growing it from a $3million to $50 million dollar company. He now runs a large digital marketing agency in New York and creates incredibly inspirational videos. I admire his “hustle”, but more so I admire how he can speak truth and influence so many people.
What was the last book you read?
I’m currently reading the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. It’s all about how to enhance your productivity.
What is one piece of advice that you can give to a mom starting a business?
If I could give one piece of advice to a new mompreneur it would be to surround yourself with people (especially women since you will be able to relate to them more) who are smarter than you. And read. Read every Inc., Fast Company, and every New York Best Sellers List book on growing a company. Your time is limited as a mom, and since you don’t learn how to actually run a business in school, take advantage of all the knowledge that is out there.
Be sure to check her out at all the places below: