So how do you stay motivated?
Two things motivate us daily. First, the freedom of owning your own business and second, showing our kids that with hard work and passion, you can do anything.
Completely agree – hard work and passion are the keys to entrepreneurship ! Tell me what made you start GOVERRE.
There wasn’t one thing that made us want to start our own business. It was a culmination of events along with timing. As any mom knows, it is a pivotal day when your youngest child starts kindergarten. You suddenly have a little more time on your hands. We were both now at a crossroads in our lives wanting to contribute more to our families’ incomes and have long-term stability. Additionally, we had a strong desire to do something that we loved and knew it wasn’t going to be in corporate America. Creating our own business seemed to fulfill that need.
Corporate America isn’t for everyone so it’s great you two were able to recognize that and invest your time in what’s worthwhile for you. Let’s talk about Shark Tank. What are a few lessons you learned from that experience?
- If it was easy, everyone would do it. There isn’t a secret technique to get incredible sales/success other than grinding and selling every day. We love this quote: “Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you.”
- You have to learn how to turn the negative “what ifs” into positive “what ifs”. When we did Shark Tank, we had a dozen what ifs and they were all negative. What if the Sharks don’t like our product? What if we aren’t good enough? We challenged ourselves to replace all of those negative what ifs with positive ones. What if the Sharks really like our product? What if we are good enough? We still do this today because a positive mindset goes a long way.
- Listening and responding to the customer always comes first. No matter how many orders you have to ship or how short-staffed you are, you have to respond in a timely way to each and every customer inquiry.
I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs fail because of a negative mindset – being able to turn the negatives into positives is very important! What made you want to pursue entrepreneurship?
After our first business brainstorming meeting, we both knew immediately that having our own business was the only thing that we wanted to do. After every setback, failure, and sleepless night, we still wanted to build GOVERRE.
Let’s talk about success – can you tell me what success means to you?
Our definition of success for GOVERRE is constantly evolving. When we first started out, it was to see our product on a store shelf. As our business grew, it was being on Shark Tank. However, we would say the one constant definition of success is having happy customers.
That’s really interesting ! I like that you’ve defined it differently based on the stage you’re at with your business – very smart. We all know that success always comes with a price, so what was yours?
Starting your own business and working your tail off to make it a success does come with sacrifices. The most important sacrifice for us has been time away from our families. Both of us have small children and have had to miss quite a few milestones for them – their first school play, field trips, awards ceremonies, etc. Fortunately, we have extremely supportive husbands who have been able fill in where we can’t. However, with the sacrifice, our kids are still so proud to say their moms ‘make a wine cup’ and were on Shark Tank.
Haha – that’s amazing ! But I agree – a lot of entrepreneurs would have failed if they didn’t have the support of their families. Can you tell me about a time you’ve failed? When was that and what did you learn from that experience?
We remember it all too well. It was our 1st Kickstarter campaign. We failed miserably. After tireless hours of product development and campaign building, we did not reach our monetary goal. It was a punch in the stomach. We had two choices – give up or figure out what we did wrong and try again. Giving up was not an option. We had to swallow our pride, determine how to make the campaign better, and persevere. Our second campaign was a success. The most valuable thing we learned is that with success comes failure. It’s not an easy road but with determination, motivation and a thick skin, you can get there.
“With success comes failure” – absolutely! Couldn’t have said it better myself. What has been your biggest obstacle so far in regard to sales?
At first, our biggest sales hurdle was trying to get GOVERRE in stores! Kickstarter was our proof-of-concept, but going door-to-door to stores was a completely different ballgame. We had sales on our website and slowly built our retail presence to 25 accounts the first year. In January 2016, we attended our first gift tradeshow – NYNOW. This show was a game changer for us! We opened 85 new accounts in 4 days and met the editors of Oprah Magazine. A few months later, GOVERRE was featured in the magazine.
Amazing ! That must have done wonders for your brand presence and sales! One last question – what’s next for GOVERRE?
Growth! We have a 5-year target (from 2017) of $20,000,000 in sales by December 31, 2022 and a detailed, constantly-evolving game plan of how we’re going to get there.
Love it – I have no doubt you can do it !!