Tell us about your business and how you ladies became the successful business women you are today.
When we purchased the business, we did it because it was an exciting adventure that we thought was a great opportunity. Melissa and I are both previous teachers that became stay at home moms when our girls were born. We love the aspect of empowering women and making them feel confident about themselves. One of our favorite bible verses is, "She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future." We felt that taking this business on is exactly that. We have definitely spent many long days and nights working on getting each season ready, but the success of having women feel confident and loving how they look keeps us motivated to make ourselves better. One of our favorite aspects of running the business is having customers tell us that they get so many compliments when wearing our clothing and how fabulous it makes them feel.
Describe yourselves in three words:
Melissa and I are passionate, caring and supportive in all aspects of our lives. Whether it is being a mom or being a business woman, we try to put our hearts into every detail.
What do you both consider is your greatest professional achievement?
Our greatest professional achievement is making the decision to buy EllieCole and continuing to help it grow and be successful. Both Melissa and I have three girls each, and they are the light of our lives. We love that they see their moms being successful female entrepreneurs. We get to set an example showing it's ok to take a risk on something completely new. The way our little company continues to grow every day is exciting, and we cannot wait for what the future holds!
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
We hope to continue expanding our business and gain new customers. We are constantly trying to make ourselves and the company better. Our goal would be to continue empowering women by making them feel better about themselves. All of this has been a learning experience and we hope to continue growing ourselves personally and professionally to make us better moms and the best fashion mommas out there!
What profession other than your own would you gals like to attempt?
We would love to design our own personal line of tees. It would be so fun to incorporate the designing process to our boutique and sell our own things.
How do you ladies maintain a work/life balance?
What we do is so fun! My husband has joked in the past how my working is really just shopping. Our families are so close that it helps us have "work meetings" and our kids will just playing together. With our business, we are able for the most part to set our own hours, so we can schedule times to work that fit our families' schedules.
What websites do you both visit everyday?
We love to keep up with the trends and what's new in the fashion industry! We are especially interested in incorporating fashion in a mom's life. Here are some of our favorites:
What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things to do in your city?
Claudia loves south Congress street and eating at one of the many great restaurants, then walking to Big Top Candy Shop. Melissa loves grabbing a margarita and sitting outside on a nice sunny day at Shady Grove. We both agree Zilker Park is a must do for outdoor fun.
What are your goals for retirement?
Claudia's dream is to have her own beach house on the coast somewhere, enjoying the sun and sand with a drink in her hand. Melissa loves to travel, so her dream is to collect stamps in her passport.
Do you ladies have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company?
You can do anything you put your mind to. It's important to find a support system and rely on them. We have met some great people through the process and everyone is willing to help a fellow small business owner. If you don't know something, ask, ask, ask. The path will sometimes be difficult, but perseverance is key. Never give up!
Any final comments?
A journey that takes you out of your comfort zone can turn into an amazing adventure!