I don’t think that there are many who would say that collaboration is a negative thing. Working together and combining your brain power, ideas and personal experiences can create something truly beautiful and completely unique. In my business, I don’t have that many opportunities to naturally collaborate, so I have to seek them out.
For those of you who don’t know, I am a one-woman band. That is to say, I created this business myself. I do the marketing, the website, the sales, the free local delivery - all of it. I imagined this brand for a long time before I made it. I researched and took classes on how to start a business, manage your books, run your social media, etc. You name it, I probably attended a seminar, went to a class or watched a video on Youtube to learn how to do it. Then I gathered my new knowledge and took the leap to create my business.
Even though I work alone doesn’t mean I am alone. I have many smart people in my corner who are helping me at every turn. For example, I recently had coffee with a woman who has been a buyer and product developer for many years and offered her thoughts to me - just to help. I talk my husband's ear off every day and make him tell me his opinion about business decisions, just because he’s a really smart guy. I talk to my parents, who we lovingly call my Board of Directors and talk through new concepts, strategies, and business decisions. I’ve been working with my sister, (who is in the medical field, but loves to explore her creative side) on a new product that is coming to the website really soon. I chat with my girlfriends all the time and they tell me things that they’d like to see, if they like a design and when the website isn’t working properly. I get email messages from friends and acquaintances when my automated email system is acting up and they got an email that doesn’t make sense. I am blessed to work with a dear friend who is an extremely talented graphic designer to create the cool designs you see online and also my branding. I ask my teenagers all the time if this is a cool product or if my posts are really lame.
I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with the Festivals of Cedarburg on this year's merchandise. Over the past eight months, I've been working with the small team of hardworking women that put on all the festivals. I've had to learn what their needs are and their style of communication in order to be successful. We created a collection of Festival apparel that has been really well received by the community. This collaboration has been a great learning opportunity for me as a business owner.
So you see, there are so many people woven into the fiber of Cedarburg Threads. It’s not just Rachel. I am beyond grateful for each and every one of those people in my life. I’m also thankful for you, dear reader. You have read through this little blog because you have interest in my company. I’m also elated when you share my posts, or like it. (Or when you say something nice on a post.) It can get lonely being in business by yourself, but I always try to remember who is behind me….all of you!