So.....I have officially run out of entrepreneurs (I am a tad short, but when I get the interviews from them I will post, I have two left), and um my husband said he would be interviewed. Okay I did not run out, but I am a tad short of twelve. At first I thought he was kidding when he suggested I interview him, and then I thought it would be educational to see how he views my life. And for the record these are not the exressed views of JPD Mom, or me, just my husband - so be kind, just in case he is not....
He gives an interesting perspective on what it is like to be married to one of "us". I was afraid to read his and answers when he first did this for me, I am relieved that though he is honest, I do not come out looking too crazy, or anal or uh, too stressed.
I do have ten, maybe more - winners for the Martini "we are totally mocking you Jamie" coasters - I think I have twelve sets....so I will anounce the winners tomorrow. I apologize for not doing it sooner, but I was on a vacation (sort of) and did not have the best coverage.
My husband, My backbone
My initial thought when you started Jamie's Painting & Design was that you were crazy - our daughter was only about 5 months old and our son was barely out of diapers. Knowing how you do not like to feel out of control, and that you believe that you need to be personally see every task to completion, I was not sure that you would be able to handle it mentally, physically, and emotionally.
The challenge early was trying to get your business of the ground, while bringing our kids through those early development stages. For any business to succeed you need to give all your available time and energy to ensure the success. As our children have gotten older, and are now firmly established in Elementary School, your available mind share towards the business has grown. In addition, you made a commitment to establish the infrastructure for a successful business (structure, processes, and a commitment to the customer).
You are in a better position today for expansion of your business lines. An example of this is your current drive to build a licensing portfolio*. While you are actively working on this, the rest of your production continues with out skipping a beat. Your brand is running on it's own by picking up more stores. Your existing channels are coming back to you for more products, themes, and exclusives. And your direct customers are coming back to you for repeat business.
Your Role in the Business
When you started the business, I was the accountant, shipping clerk, production, sales and cheerleader. Or course I had full-time job, so these tasks were my late evenings, and weekends. This was tough because as your channels grew, so did your orders, making my "work days" (and yours) longer.
As your business started to grow, your father started to become more involved, learning the production side, and reducing my workload. In addition, you were able to hire people to do the shipping while you developed your sales skills ( you have done a great job learning a process that is not just related to art). finally, I was about a year late in asking your mother (she is an accountant by trade) to take over accounting. After 3 years of managing your business financials, I was fast becoming a fish out of water.
Today I am still your biggest fan and cheerleader. However, my contribution to JPD is in the background as your editor (sometimes), and your non-emotional voice of reason. I do back fill on production, and shipping when needed. Now, I am completely removed, as it should be, from the accounting side.
The Worst Part of My Job
My least favorite part of your job is seeing you deal with channel partners who have no idea what they are doing as a business. When I see them think that their orders are the priority, rush to judge who is at fault for an error and then don't say thank you when they realize you had nothing to do with the problem.
The Affects on Our Home Life
Early on the business was our home life. All business functions were conducted from our home. Fed Ex came every day for pickups and deliveries. We had employees coming through the front door of our home, the side garage door into the studio. Let's face when you work out of the home, you never leave the office. Now, with your business in an industrial park for over two years, our home life is home life and family time means spending time together and with with our children. We have that needed separation, so that kids do not grow to resent your business - because it is overwhelming to the family as a whole.
The Importance of a Supportive Husband
Supporting your decision to start your own business came naturally (not sure why a husband would not be supportive at the beginning. You had always said that you did not want to be a full-time stay at home mom, who could possibly lose her identity in her children. What made it easier for me as time went on was your commitment to building your business for the long-term, and to try and make a "quick buck". You had a vision, and you wanted to apply your talent to bring joy to children.
Phew, he did not make me sound too crazy. This is him, um ya to the right - we are STILL in the snow. I would not be where I am today with out his unconditional support. It looks like someone is enjoying himself.....
*Well, guess the cat is sort of out of the bag, I had not mentioned licensing yet. I will let keep you posted on this - we have (as in ME have) begun working on expanding this part of the business. Our first products will be available....next week! And you know I can not keep a secret, so I will keep you posted.