I am so excited for you to hear my chat with Katie McNamara today because her big leap from a corporate finance career to founding a children clothing brand reminds me so much of mine! Katie let’s me in on how she made such a drastic change, how starting her business two months before her first child was born was the greatest challenge and asset, as well as how her schedule and role has evolved. She sheds light onto how she leans on other female entrepreneurs for support and guidance — because, as I’ve mentioned before, entrepreneurship can be lonely!! We talk about what her days look like now, as she has added to her family (HELLO 3 kiddos under 3.5!!) and continued to grow the business, and how she battles the pull between spending more time with both! We end by discussing what Little Lentil has become, how her hiccups along the way have made her wiser and what she views for this brands moving forward. I felt myself nodding along to SO MUCH of what Katie was saying about her entrepreneurial journey and I know you will too!
I hope you are able to take some tips and gain some confidence from this conversation with Katie. Make sure to follow her and Little Lentil on Instagram, Facebook and visit their website!
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Dana: Are you dying at the thought of missing a single one of your baby’s first I would have no idea how you’d give up the security that your nine to five job brings? My name is Dana Graham and I had no clue how to escape that vicious 40 Hour Workweek cycle either until I did. As the wife of a traveling husband and mom of two tiny humans, I made the terrifying and totally bizarre leap from health insurance broker to successful newborn and family photographer, all with the amazing craziness of a two year old and newborn into, but I’m not the only one. I’m so glad you’re joining me as I chat with other moms who took the leap into entrepreneurship and created the ultimate best of both worlds life, doing it all amidst the chaos.
Hi everyone, this is Dana Graham and we’re here with another episode of amidst the chaos, I have someone really really interesting today for you all her name is Katie McNamara and she is the founder and CEO of Little Lentil Clothing, and I’m so excited for her to tell her story and give us some insight to her day to day life as a mom and entrepreneur. So Katie welcome thank you so much for being here.
Katie: Hi Dana thanks yeah I’m happy to be here.
Dana: Well, so I kind of like to start every conversation here with you, just even rambling a little bit about your story so give me an idea of where you were before you started your company and how you came to the decision to go ahead and start this and then what your life looks like today a little bit so kind of a broad overview of start to finish.
Katie Yeah, sure. So, as you mentioned, I founded a company called Little lentil clothing, which is a sustainable children’s wear company. And so, the route I took to get here. Definitely, is not very traditional at all for an entrepreneur, I think. So I started off my career after undergraduate as an accountant in New York City, working for a big four accounting firm in international tax. And I did that for about five years, and then I transitioned to more of a financial role at a large investment bank in the city, and so I had a lot of experience in these financial sectors, and about a decade and I realized I wasn’t feeling super fulfilled in the work that I was doing and decided to go back to school and I got a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. I’ve always been really interested in sustainability and have considered myself a lifelong environmentalist, and so I decided to kind of follow my passion, and make a career change and get this master’s degree as a way to make that career change. And then, when I was in grad school. My husband and I found out that we were pregnant, and to do with our first child. Three weeks after graduating from grad school. That was a plot twist in hands. It was during that year you know I was learning a lot, and kind of thinking about what I wanted to do, and then had this added aspect of knowing that I was going to be a new mom upon graduating, and I had always kind of had like entrepreneurial ideas. And I think like an entrepreneurial spirit since I was younger. And so I kind of thought that maybe it would be a good time to pursue something and I had an idea you know as I was kind of researching baby products and also simultaneously becoming more interested in personally just being a more conscious consumer for a more sustainable option for parents to clothe their babies because I hadn’t found that in all of my baby research so I decided to start little lentil and I created the company about two months before my first child was born.
Dana: Wow. And so, coming up with this idea with the timing of obviously having a baby, it’s your first you’re not quite sure how that’s going to go, how were you able to manage, you know actually bringing the slot this launch to action and then keeping the momentum going with having that baby just a couple of months later.
Katie: Yeah, well that I think was, was actually in a strange way; one of the greatest challenges to, you know, launching my business and also one of the benefits. So, I think, you know, Once Upon graduating from graduate school I didn’t have the pressure of that work anymore, and I didn’t have, you know the traditional nine to five job either. So, you know, technically I had more time, but then I also had a little newborn baby and so I was learning how to, you know, be a new mom and also learning how to be an entrepreneur at the same time, which was nice from a flexibility perspective, but also challenging because they’re both two very new rules to me that I was kind of taking on all at once, and so it was a lot of just, you know, figuring out how to manage both and like learning as I went, and a new way to think about time management.
Dana: Yeah, I feel like time management is the kind of underlying and resounding not issue but challenge with any sort of mom and entrepreneur combined into one so I think that’s something that I’ve been hearing the very very most, you know, so walk us through what happened after you know your baby was born, and your company was launched, how did you start to figure out what your schedule was going to look like day to day How did you sort of figure out a routine for managing that time.
Katie: Yeah, so for me it’s a process that’s constantly evolving, And, you know, at first it was in the beginning stages of a business it was a lot of, you know, development and planning, and so there weren’t the immediate operations of the business like I have today because we weren’t launched yet, it was just the planning phase. So in some ways that made it easier because I was kind of just overseeing all the planning and not actually running the operations and I think that gave me some time to kind of plan for the future and figure out, you know what my schedule would be like, but then life happens along the way, and I think you know, once I get into a routine, something comes up and now I have two other children and so for me, I think it’s just really sitting down at the beginning of a month, and setting out realistic realistic expectations for myself, and you know I used to be in these careers where it was rewarded to get a lot done you know efficiently and well quickly. So for me. Time management is a little bit different than what it used to be. And I think I just sit down at the beginning of each month and realistically lay out my expectations for what I want to get done. And if I get them all done, which rarely ever happens, then that’s the thing. But, you know, it might take a lot longer than it used to and I think it’s just like accepting that and being okay with that. Otherwise, you know, on a daily basis it’s, you know, blocking off the time when I have helped with the children, trying to be as productive as possible and some days, productivity is really just more kind of self care and personal organization so that I can be you know a better mom and business owner and then some days it’s, you know, just sitting at my computer and working the entire time. So I think as a CEO and as a mom, I’ve just learned to become more flexible with what’s going to come up, and that helps me in terms of you know my own expectations for managing my time.
Dana: Yeah and I think that’s really important because, you know, managing your expectations, knowing, especially for someone that came from the corporate world and you know you have deadlines that have to be met. And obviously this is still, you know, really important work you’re the CEO of a company, you have to meet certain deadlines at times, but it is really important to realize that you are taking steps forward and doing something that’s productive for both you personally and for your business when you’re getting your mind right I think that, you know a lot of people, myself included, don’t recognize that hey like me getting this house in order and like getting everything organized and set up for my week doesn’t feel like something that’s productive for my business but it is because then when I sit down to work I’m, first off, not in clutter and Second off, able to not have that constant track running in the back of my head of oh the dishes weren’t done today and this cabinet is a disaster and how is the babysitter going to know where to find food and you know all those things that keep happening on the back end, you know, kind of go away when you can actually take the time and get everything sorted out so I do think that, you know, just getting yourself organized and taking a minute to, to kind of prepare for your week even just at home does really help on, You know the business side of things as well.
Katie: Yeah, absolutely.
Dana: I think that’s important for people to recognize and this is kind of me telling myself that as well, which a lot of these episodes end up being, you know a good eye opener for me which I hope, means that is a good eye opener for our listeners as well.
Katie: Yeah, I completely agree.
Dana: So how did your transition into this career obviously your corporate job was significantly different from what you’re doing now and you know you’re getting your masters is in this field, you know at least a little bit but in terms of being like a shop owner you know it’s it’s products it’s, it’s lots of things that you probably didn’t deal with in your previous life. So what were some things that helped you launch into this new side of your business that weren’t around, you know in your previous life.
Katie: Yeah, so it was a lot of figuring things out, and I realized quickly that you know I couldn’t do it all on my own and so I think for me, what was really helpful was reaching out and finding that works for you know other lawn business owners or other female business owners, and then also networks that really align with our mission and our goal of sustainability. So, You know one of the female business owner and networks that I’m in is called the female Founder Collective. It was founded by Rebecca Minkoff, and I just find that to be such a helpful resource, you know other women kind of you know bouncing ideas off of each other, and asking each other for resources. And then I mean another called 1% for the planet, which is an organization that has a group of companies who pledge to donate 1% of their sales to environmental initiatives. And so I’ve found, You know these are examples of groups that I found that, that really helped you in terms of, you know, figuring things out, and also just for some support because I found that entrepreneurship can be quite lonely, particularly when you’re you know small mom owned business and you don’t have a large staff and so you don’t have other people to bounce ideas off of, on a daily so it’s great. And just so important and helpful to have these groups, you know I’m in another group, a monthly call and the women who I’m on the call with are just amazing and supportive, and it’s something that if you don’t seek out I think it’ll be, it can be really hard, you know, to, to feel fulfilled on this journey of entrepreneurship because it can be quite lonely.
Dana: Yeah, I agree that is one of the biggest things I miss about not working for you know a large corporation is that I, it really is pretty lonely, you know, and in my world I don’t, I don’t know about in yours, but in my world there’s, um, you know the saying community over competition which people like to spew off quite a bit because I’m in a pretty saturated market as a photographer and in Northern Virginia, I mean there’s literally 1000s of photographers where I am. But the thing is you know there’s 1000s and 1000s of people that all need photos where we are so there’s plenty of room to go around and I think that, you know, finding a community that you can find like minded individuals who kind of know what they’re talking about. In terms of your, your business is really important and I you know I love to be able to share referrals with people. And I know you know, you have both of the organizations you talked about on your website which I think is, I mean on the main page of your website which is just awesome because, you know, it’s important to be able to share what you’ve learned and what you’re, you know, what’s important to you, with all of your followers and your customer so I think it’s awesome that you found a couple of really cool, you know niche collectives that are, you know, important to you and also speak to your brand. I mean, it’s important to stand up for what you believe in, of course, but to actually follow through and especially with your 1% for the planet. I think that’s just, that’s awesome that you’re doing that and that you’ve, you know, made it such a huge part of your, of your company. So give us a little bit of insight into what your day to day looks like what your week looks like obviously changes, probably changes day to day and in COVID times it’s even more different, but give us an idea of what it looks like to run Little Lentil
Katie: Yeah, well, you know, as I mentioned, we’re still a small, we’re still small mama business and so I do the majority of my work from our home prior to COVID I did have a co working space and I went to, unfortunately, you know that’s no more, hopefully again someday, fingers crossed, so it’s been a challenge being at home, as I’m sure most of us who are now primarily working from home when he had two children, Kevin. So I really just, you know, we’re fortunate to have some, some help, we have a nanny and it’s a lot of just juggling, so my children are three and a half years and younger, and support. Yeah, So it’s hard for even one person to manage them really so you know I’m always around and available to them. I do try and you know, set some boundaries and limits of course for you know when my work time is and in terms of time management. I am blocking off, you know, different aspects of my day now for different things, you know, so I’ll try to do a workout or something for personal time in the morning and then work, and then it’s pickup time from preschool and then it’s you know more work time. And so I tried to remain true to that schedule each day, but also, as we were talking about before, things come up, and you know if someone’s sick or you know someone really is meeting me at a certain point in time, I try to honor and acknowledge that too, so it’s really this job all and you know trying to find a balance and often like the scales are tipped in one direction towards you know the company and then you know maybe something will come up with the children and you know it’s it’s off balance again and so it’s really just kind of like, I’m trying to think of it more as like a dance that I am doing during the day. And you know I’m trying to just perfect it more and more each day and, you know, lean into when something doesn’t go as planned, because I think that’s you know one of the hardest parts of working from home and having your company, you know to children’s clothing company which in many ways, overlaps really well with my life right now, but at the same time when I need to you know get the work done at challenging being at home, but you know also can be very rewarding.
Dana: Yeah and I think, You know, managing those expectations that we talked about earlier is so so important because it can really get heavy. I mean it can get really heavy when you feel like you are, you know you’re saying the ebb and flow of, you know the business and then the kids needs something, there are some times when those overlap, and something has to be done with the kids but also has to be done for work at the same time. And I think that’s what that’s what kind of sends me over the edge. When something sends me over the edge that’s usually what it is is that I feel like I’m being stretched too thin and pulled too many different directions and I usually end up, you know, kind of shutting down a little bit, and that’s probably the one of the harder things for me about doing both of these things at the same time, but on the flip side, we know when both things are running smoothly, which a lot of times, you know, it is a juggle and a dance but a lot of times it’s pretty manageable. It’s so rewarding because I get to see my kids, you know, throughout the day and throughout the week but I also am still, you know, doing my passion and things that I love so I’m excited that somebody else feels the same way a little bit and that you’re having the same issues that I am because I think, I think that’s a pretty resounding problem that we all have going on and even those who are working for a corporate job so I mean, everybody’s home, and a lot of people’s kids are still home, or home at least some of the days, you know, and then if they are a daycare or preschool or wherever they might be during the day, then they’re sent home because of, you know, a possible exposure or snow, or all the things and we’re still doing the struggle every day. So is there something that kind of helps you work through those times when it is, you know you’re being pulled in all different directions. Is there anything particular that you do that kind of makes you feel a little bit more grounded.
Katie: Yeah, so I’ve been really trying to focus more on mindfulness, recently, and just focusing on, you know, the present, a little bit more because a lot I think of entrepreneurship and even motherhood can be really like future tripping and you know, thinking and planning, and I can get so in my head about the future and what should be happening with, you know, my company. And just, just, you know, out of the present, and that never feels great and so I think for me it’s really just thinking about entrepreneurship and motherhood, as a long game, and kind of as we spoke about before, not trying to just like, check all the boxes on the to do list every single day and get these things done that I think I should be getting done, but really focusing on, you know, this is a marathon not a sprint. And in order to keep going. Then you really just have to honor like whatever is going on, and you know whatever is going to make you the strongest in that moment for your family sometimes and sometimes for your business. So I think you know mindfulness and, you know, doing something for myself as much as I can, maybe not daily but you know, at least a few times a week maybe some alone time to exercise or meditate or you know do an online yoga class. Those things really help bring you back to the present and get my mind into like a better place, so being able to just chill like handle it all right and you know it, you’re talking about having it a long game I really liked that because so many you know especially older moms and grandmothers and you know all the people that you hear about on the internet. Are you know all say things like don’t wish the time away you know it goes by so fast. Don’t blink. It’s over, you know, that time is gone and, you know, it is true because I feel like just yesterday my four year old was three months old, I really feel like that was just yesterday but at the same time, I lived my whole life since. But if you really don’t want to wish that time away, even the times that are hard and I feel myself, you know, saying, Oh, if I can just get to blank or if I can, if we can just get to this point then it’ll be easier. And I don’t want to wish that you know I want to be able to sit down and spend the time that I need to to plan and and have the time to myself so that that isn’t my go to strategy you know I don’t want my go to strategy. Strategy to be, you know, we’ll get there. We’ll get there when we get there and, you know, hopefully that’s sooner than later.
Dana: I don’t want to ever have to wish that time away so you know I appreciate the idea of sitting down with yourself and kind of taking that time to appreciate what you do have and be in the in the mind frame of the here and now I think that’s really important especially when our kids are this little I can’t believe you have three that are all younger than my oldest and I only have two that’s just mind blowing. So, you are very impressive.
Katie: Oh thanks well yeah I mean like you said, Time just really, it seems to you know the days seem long, but somehow the year seems so short, and yet my. My middle child is turning to on Friday and I just can’t believe it. And so to your point, you know sometimes it just seems like these moments are so fleeting, and it can be challenging as an entrepreneur to sort of balance like, well, I have, you know, some flexibility in my schedule so maybe I should be, you know, spending more time with the children and vice versa. And so I think that’s just another like practice of figuring out what you need in that particular time frame, And you know, honoring that and remaining true to it, because you don’t want to look back and sort of, at least for me I think about it in terms of like, will I look back and regret not spending enough time with them, or will I look back and regret not like building my company so that I had something that you know for me and more of a legacy. And so it’s that constant, you know, questioning of where you are at that point in time.
Dana: It is and it is that wonder, you know, and for you know a lot of people, myself included, like there is a balance of like hey I have to do this like financially like yes, this is a passion of mine but financially, this work has to get done, you know I have to be able to take this and provide for my family and I think a lot of people are kind of stuck between yes it would be great to get out of my nine to five job and have my own business and be able to control my own time, but I have to be able to you know make this money and contribute financially to my family so I think that that is a whole nother level of, you know, something that you have to really think about before you make a leap like this, and make sure that that pressure isn’t going to be to grate on you or your family, completely. And it’s funny because even without that piece you know all the things that you just talked about of deciding hey do I spend this free time building my business to you know be rewarded for it later, or do I spend this time with my kids to again be able to have those memories for later. It’s so different for everyone. I mean it is so, so different for every single person and we talk, my friends and I talk about this a lot where you know every single birth was every single child and every single mom, there’s something that’s different for everybody, you know, and so you can’t just say oh well this happened maybe it’ll happen with you too, you know, and I think that that applies to business as well because there are so many different things that will happen and even on the day to day how you feel differently is a big change. So I think, is really, really important for everybody that’s listening to know that you need to do what’s right for you in the moment, obviously you are going to be able to change your mind at any time and and change your focus and put more time and time and energy either into the kids, or into the business but you have to figure out what’s right for you and what you can live with. So I think, I think that’s a really good thing to know and a good thing to talk about and to know that what might be right for somebody else, and to pump 10 hours of work into a day, that might be right for them and their business but it might not be right for you and newer so it’s good to recognize that everybody could be really, really different on that spectrum, it’s definitely a wide one.
Katie: Yeah and I think there’s a season for everything too you know I, I hope that in a couple of years when my kids are you know fully in school, that you know I’ll have more time to devote to this but you know it’s not as if I’m not devoting a ton of time to it now. Right, exactly, you know, knowing that, because it could become really stressful if you think that you’re not able to give it enough time, so that’s why I keep reminding myself to take that long term approach so that you know I don’t just say, Oh, it’s all done and give up and you know go back to the nine to five.
Dana: Yes, and I mean that’s tempting at times, it really is, because it’s a heavy weight to have, you know, a whole business on your back and to want it to succeed, you know, but to also know that there’s only you know each kid really is only home for like five years before they’re in school full time, you know, and that then that time is gone.
Katie: Mm hmm.
Dana: Yeah, well I appreciate more of these conversations that I do and have the more I’m empowered a little bit just on the fact that everybody is struggling, the same way with, you know where to spend their time and where to put all their efforts. I’m super appreciative of your, your honesty here so okay so give us some more details about little until as a business, I want to hear I want to hear all the things you want to share about your company in general.
Katie: Yeah so Little Lentil is an ecommerce community for sustainable children’s wear and sustainable parenting. So, as I mentioned I kind of found it to be a pain point when I was searching for baby products and children’s clothing that there wasn’t a truly sustainable option out there for children’s clothing, and so that’s why I created a little lentil, and we have a son back program so all of the clothes that you purchase through our website you can send back and receive discounts on your next order. And then those clothes if they’re still in great condition are resold through our loved again program at up to 70% off the price of new clothes, and the ones that are no longer good enough quality to resell, they make sure that they’re either upcycled or recycled and used, you know, the most sustainable way. Yeah, so those are sustainability initiatives, and outside of that we’re really just creating more of a community, through our blog posts, you know, ways that parents can be more sustainable and we want to, you know, it’s hard, as we’re talking about time management is already an issue for so many parents and so this is just, you know, one way that we hope, As a parent myself, I hope to help other parents on their sustainability journeys to, you know, just come to our website and it’s you know, one place where you know, all the clothes have been vetted and, you know, there’s not much thought that you have to put behind it.
Dana: Its really nice I know that I have kind of been a just a crazy consumer of all the things and have not been super conscious of that and I appreciate that you were number one putting the word out there but also putting the education behind it because now you know after doing research before we started recording now I’m like oh my gosh I need to be paying way more attention to what I’m doing with, with all the clothes that I’m buying you know for the kids but also for me too. So I think, you know what you’re doing is really working and I love that you have something so so cute, but also that’s you know organic and sustainable so I we kind of touched on this earlier but I’m super interested to know, you know, obviously you being pregnant and looking for the clothes and kind of coming up with this but how did you turn, trying to find sustainable and organic clothes for your soon to be baby into hey I should I should do this I should make this a business and have you know kind of a retail online store hear like how did that because that’s a big, it doesn’t sound like a big transition in the sentence I just said but it kind of is a big leap. It’s a big leap of faith for sure but to go from an idea like that to actually bringing it to fruition, what kind of one allows you to do that and to push you over the edge to make make that big job.
Katie: Yeah, well I think the stars kind of aligned in terms of, you know where I was in my life professionally and personally too. So, you know, as I mentioned I was in this kind of unique situation of having a baby. Upon graduating from graduate school. And so, I wasn’t out there looking for traditional jobs because I knew I wanted to take some time off to be with my baby. And so in looking for clothes for him. I just had this idea. I had always kind of had this entrepreneurial spirit and would run ideas by my husband, and this one just kind of struck at the time, like hey I haven’t found a good option for sustainable baby clothes, like maybe I should do this. And fortunately, he’s awesome and so supportive and was like yeah you should do this, go for it. So that’s kind of how I need to leave and I thought, you know, I’ll do this and hopefully it works out and goes well and I can do this for years to come, but if not then it’s a great way for me to just kind of, you know, have something in addition to being a new mom, and be able to feel you know professionally and creatively fulfilled, and so far that’s, you know, continue to be the case. So I think it was just like for me just a combination of things just being in the right place at the right time in terms of, you know, my personal and professional life, and it wasn’t a change where I just said, Okay, I’m leaving my job to go pursue this and do this because I already was sort of out of the workforce at grad school so it was a little bit more of, you know, a gradual change for me then you know that that stark contrast of, you know, quitting my job and starting a business, so I think it was just, it was nice timing.
Dana: Yeah, that is, it is I feel like a lot of times with most entrepreneurs stories that are a kind of either like an aha moment of like hey, I’m doing this right now, or kind of a like wow the stars are really aligning this is really something that I think this could be the right time to do. And I think it’s, it’s funny to see that everybody, even, no matter how you get into it you kind of end up in the same general place of running your business and running your life and trying to make that balance work everybody kind of ends up at the same, the same level there regardless of how it started from the beginning. So how did you physically start, you know, with your products and and finding somebody you know to help you with that. How did you get the shop off the ground, logistically?
Katie: yeah so I worked with some experts in the field who had done this previously because I had no experience so again it was you know some networking and figuring out who to work with who had that expertise, and that was you know really what helps me get the actual physical products, and I think that was one of the hardest things in the beginning because I didn’t have any experience in this area. And so, you know, I’ve learned a lot since that first round of product development, it didn’t always go smoothly. There were a lot of hiccups along the way. But now, looking back, I can say that it was a learning experience, and I’m much wiser, and I have a much better network now. And so, it was just one of those things where I took the leap and if I had known then what I know now, I maybe wouldn’t have done it because it was so hard for a lot of women but I was naive and I did it. So I have a business.
Dana: So, I think the exact same thing about this podcast, I’m like, Oh man, this is a great idea, conceptually, but why not have any idea what I was getting myself.
Katie: Yeah I mean I guess you never do right you you can’t be sure and and so you just have to, you know, have faith in yourself and just keep trying. Sometimes I like to think of myself as a scientist and I’m just like, trying different methods of, you know what works and what doesn’t and throwing ideas against the wall and you know maybe I have 10 ideas only one will work out. And sometimes it’s like really hard to accept that, but I think that’s also the way that you keep going, it’s just like knowing that that’s how it is and there’s going to be a lot of failure along the way and just to keep moving along, you, you have to accept that.
Dana: Well, it’s cool to about entrepreneurship is that, you know, failure looks really different than quote unquote failure in a, in an impulse more an employee role because if you don’t get something done or you fail at whatever you did, that’s kind of the end because you’re not the one that can then make a decision on how to move that failure forward, as an entrepreneur, it’s cool because if I fail, quote unquote failed something, I can just pivot, it’s very easy to just kind of change what we’re working with, and moved on to something else without quite, you know, absorbing that failure as a full blown failure I think obviously everybody’s really hard on themselves and I’m, I’m definitely, you know one to beat myself up for sure about something that you know maybe didn’t go my way but at the same time, it’s a lot easier for me to bounce back because I’m in control of it all, I’m in control of the whole situation so it’s very easy for me to then pivot and kind of turn that failure into something that is actually going to be a positive. So, yeah, that’s important to remember too.
Katie: That’s a great point and I think it is very important to yeah like accept it and actually kind of like as you’re saying, know that failure is just part of the process and, you know, the more that you can accept it and be open to that, then I think, the less last pain, they’ll just cause for herself in the long run. Right.
Dana: And there’s also, you know, you are so kind of absorbed in yourself, I don’t want to say that we’re all selfish but you are, you have to be kind of a little bit self absorbed to be able to keep going and to make everything keep happening. But that also has a flip side, right where, yes, you’re the one that’s thinking about yourself and your business all day long, but you have to remember that not everybody else is so when something happens that maybe didn’t go your way or, you know, sale didn’t happen the way you thought it would. It’s nice to know that in the back of my head I have to remind myself here that like I’m really one of the only people that that’s all consuming for Yeah, somebody may have noticed it and on a flip it, you know, side note, but it wasn’t a whole point in their life, you know, in a whole day in their life that’s been, you know, heavily affected by something that went on, you know it’s not there, it’s not painful being, they’re going to think about it once and then move on, can be super, super, you know, heavy but for the people around us, it’s not quite so consuming.
Katie: Yeah, that’s a great point. I love that I need to remember that more often.
Dana: I know, that is one thing I try not to be selfish and try and take a, take a pullback shot of what’s going on and realize it’s not the end of the world but that’s really hard to do, as well. Yeah. Well thank you so much, Katie, I just want to wrap up here with a couple of things. You know, this podcast ideas to kind of talk about, you know your story and everything you went through and obviously throughout this conversation we’ve talked about a lot of the struggles and the high points and low points of being a mom and an entrepreneur but is there one thing, you know that really was tough for you when you first started, that you would have done differently and that you can recommend on how to kind of shift for any entrepreneurs that are looking to start right now, that we could give them some advice on.
Katie: Yeah, so I think I kind of alluded to it earlier but really for me I didn’t have experience in the product side of things, and I jumped into it, and, you know, looking back, I, I’m glad I did because then I wouldn’t have my company and it’s really evolved into so much more than what it was when I launched, you know, two and a half years ago, but I think just to provide some advice for people starting off with a particularly in a product based business, if they’re not experts in that field, to just be patient and to network, as much as possible, and find the right people whose values align with yours. And who are you know highly vetted and recommended, hopefully by you know someone in your network or someone you trust because I think I was a little bit naive starting off, and, you know, there were a lot of setbacks because of that, and I just wanted to get started because that’s kind of my personality, and I think that’s a lot of entrepreneurial personalities so just take the time to do your research and realize that it doesn’t matter if you know you launch this tomorrow, or a year from now, it’s still your idea it’s true to you, and just take the time to really you know, figure out the best way to do that, and the best resources that will help you get there.
Dana: And so, how did you end up finding those was that more through like a word of mouth if somebody you know knew somebody that was really you know one of those well vetted kind of helpful resources that you had or was it, you know, Googling and, you know, looking through Facebook groups and wasn’t more like an online thing or more a personal connection for you.
Katie: Yeah, so at first I didn’t have a lot of those connections in this space and so it was just kind of like Googling and, you know, online research, and that could be helpful, but I think, you know, something that has been a lot more beneficial for me has been getting into these networks and so I think I, you know, I found a lot of them through, even just you know other mom entrepreneurs who I follow on Instagram, for instance, I found like a lot of these networks, and I like to choose the ones that are primarily you know Lama centric or female centric, because I think there’s just, you know, that’s where I am with my business, and in my life and there’s kind of like a better connection there. And so, once I started to do that and really find these, you know, niche networks of other moms and other women who are supporting each other. As we mentioned earlier it’s more collaboration over competition, and, you know, find those, and then ask questions of people who you meet within those networks, and that always leads me in a better direction than just kind of going into a business relationship cold,
Dana: I think that’s great and having that community, one provides you with all this really important research that you needed to do for your company in general but then it gives you what we talked about in the beginning of having that community and people to bounce things off of so you really can’t go wrong. I know for. I’m not an introvert, necessarily, I’m, I’m very torn on my personality, clearly, but I, it is hard for me to just reach out to strangers and to new people and I think that being an entrepreneur has helped me massively with that I mean I, if you told me four years ago that I was going to start a podcast I would have literally laughed in your face and probably never talked to you again. So I think that there’s a lot of growth that happens when you kind of move into owning your own business but a lot of that comes from these people that you’ve met in your network, and you know if they are professional and you look up to them, you know you can learn a lot from them, you know on the product and education side of things, but also on the personal side of things too and growth as a modern business owner so I think that’s, I think that’s great that you found the community and I again want everybody to go to your website and check out the the communities that you’re part of because I think that’s just such an important part of your story so okay Katie well thank you so so much for joining me. I have loved this conversation, I can’t believe we’ve already been talking for 45 minutes, I’m thrilled to have had you. Will you tell everybody where we can find you on the internet, social media, your website all the good things.
Katie: Yeah, sure. So our website is www.littlelentilclothing.com, and our social media handles on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are @littlelentilclothing. thank you again so much for coming on and
Dana: I cannot wait for everybody to hear this episode.
Katie: Thank you, Dana, I love what you’re doing, it’s so helpful and I can’t wait to listen to your podcasts,
Dana: well thanks so much and we’ll talk to you soon.
Katie: Thanks, Dana, take care. You too.
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