Everybody, meet Matt. Our first full time hire! Any small business owner that has built their business from the ground up knows just how huge of a deal this is for us.
When we started our business, it was a dream to first have one of us be full time. Then both of us. Then get a shop upgrade from the garage. Then have part time help. Then have the opportunity to mentor paid interns. Then if we were lucky, one day maybe we could add a full time employee.
All of these dreams were awesome but they are really difficult to achieve as a small business. So this is a huge deal for us.
Here's how it all went down!
In the beginning of this year we went through a few transitions. We were sharing our space with a fellow maker that moved back home after wanting to scale the business back. Then it was just Tanner and I in the space suddenly. We were feeling a mild sense of burnout after the previous holiday season. We were working an average of 70 hours a week regularly and hit a wall in the beginning of the year and felt like we needed an incredible reset. At this point we isolated ourselves in a cabin in New York in January and sat down and talked for days on end about what we felt the future of our business would look like.
We knew it was going to take an incredible amount of hustle from the two of us to truly get to the goals we just set out. We worried a bit about the reality of getting there while continuing to do everything on our own while trying to not just stay afloat, but grow at the same time.
A few months later we met a business advisor. The cost seemed steep but we saw the value so we decided to pursue working with him. He could sense my mild burnout. So we sat down and made a plan. Then we unplugged and disconnected by spending 2 weeks living out of a van in New Zealand. After these 2 weeks of purely disconnecting, we came back to reality and started executing these plans.
We still felt like even though we had some organization and plans mapped out, we were still going to have to put in an immense amount of work to truly work on this growth strategy. It brought a new form of excitement but stress and nervousness at the same time.
We knew that ecommerce and wholesale were what we were going to focus heavily on for the year. But there's only so much time in a day to execute every aspect of every hat we're wearing as business owners.
Then one day as we were thinking well shit, let's educate ourselves on everything e-commerce. We know about web and digital marketing but we aren't experts by any means. Our skills sit in many different areas that take up our time yet we knew just how important this was to focus on. Then one day as we were sitting and thinking about growing our web presence, something popped up about a new digital marketing business started by one of our former classmates, Shelby. I was instantly impressed and felt like the business she was building was absolutely perfect for what we were trying to achieve. So we reached out on a whim. One part to connect as fellow young business owners but the other part hoping we could make something work working together.
We were instantly a bit nervous adding another person to our payroll but we felt really good about committing to being one of her first clients and holy cow are we glad that we did. We have had such a pleasure of working with Shelby and a new found excitement for all things digital that seemed like such an intimidating beast to us before. This point of realizing that we can't do it all and that we as owners need to pass the torch along to those that do is something that made our growth feel more manageable.
Then a few months later we were witting with Shelby in one of our meetings talking about how the only piece of our puzzle missing was someone naturally good at sales. Someone who can take the time to manage our wholesale accounts and someone who can represent our brand well to customers because we just can't do it all anymore like we used to. We were kind of dreaming at this point but were also hoping someone like this could join our team. She instantly knew the perfect person for the job, her cousin Matthew.
At the time we were in the process of recruiting an intern team for summer so we thought he would be a good fit as a sales intern. He just finished school in Indiana and was coming to Colorado for the summer. He was super excited about the opportunity and it just instantly felt like he was going to be a great fit on our end. The beginning of his internship started off with a BANG! We instantly threw him to the wolves as our first trade show he'd be involved with was quickly approaching.
He crushed it and we knew he was the perfect fit, and the exact piece we were missing. When he started, we had no plans of making a full time hire. We wanted to but realistically we didn't know if we could swing it. It only took 6 weeks for him to change those thoughts, as we offered him a full time position to stay. He was just too good to not keep on our team. We were pleased to offer him a position and were even more pleased to have him be excited to say yes.
Next time you call us up, you will likely have the pleasure of speaking with Matt. If you see us at an event, it will likely be Matt. He is a strong representation of our brand and we are beyond proud to call him a member of our team and are excited to see where the future takes us.
Here's a bit about Matthew:
Matthew is originally from Washington, D.C., and has made stops in Ann Arbor, MI and Bloomington, IN, before landing here in Denver, CO. Matthew graduated from Indiana University this past May with a Sports Management & Marketing degree, and Business & Marketing minors. Some of his hobbies include both playing and watching a slew of sports (baseball, basketball, golf, football, hockey, volleyball, and soccer), being outdoors as much as possible (which is why landing in CO is perfect for him), and traveling. When asked his favorite place he has ever traveled to, he has two answers: Isle Royale National Park in Northern Michigan, and Florence, Italy. He loves nothing more than talking to and meeting new people, so if you ever have the chance to meet him, if he doesn't beat you to the punch, go up and be ready to have awesome conversation!