Bold Broads highlights women founders and creative [read: BADASS] small business owners about how they really deal with the ups and downs of running a BOLD business. These women share honest wisdom and tough lessons to support you in collectively making good shit happen in your own women-led startup or small business. Meet Karen Young, founder of Oui Shave.
Let's meet her, shall we?
1. STARTING A BUSINESS IS HARD AND SOMETIMES LONELY. WHAT THE F*CK MOTIVATED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I have always been incredibly curious. Before I knew that my curiosity was the start of entrepreneurship, I would describe myself as "analytical" or a "researcher", and I thought perhaps finding jobs around those traits might give me a sense of fulfillment. I entertained the idea of being a lawyer first and then decided on a degree in Psychology before I realized that I wanted to learn for a lifetime. I certainly took the scenic route here, but my motivations for starting my own business was to create a life in which I'm constantly challenged and always learning.
2. HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED TO KEEP THRIVING IN A CREATIVE SPACE WHERE EVERYONE SEEMS TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER?
Oh this is no easy feat, especially in the age of The Filter. We can very simply crop our lives to look the way we aspire it to look...to ourselves and others watching. It is so important, especially if you're a sole founder, to surround yourself with a tribe of people who have chosen a similar path and WILL be honest about the journey. Years ago I met a designer (now good friend) who I'd seen in multiple magazines and popular blogs, and I was nearly gushing at the idea of meeting her. She invited me over to her home and as I extolled all of her accomplishments, she said "thanks...but girl, this is the other side of it". I've since met a lot of women like that- open, honest, and willing to lose the armor so we can all grow together. I couldn't thrive without the multiple communities of supportive, creative, entrepreneurial women forming around me.
3. SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES ARE OFTEN QUIETLY SUPPORTED BY A COLLECTIVE OF WOMEN MENTORS, FRIENDS AND BUSINESS OWNERS. WHAT COMMUNITIES AND RESOURCES HAVE BEEN MOST PIVOTAL TO YOUR OWN BUSINESS SUCCESS?
I rely on a number of groups in person and online for creative, technology, and ecommerce entrepreneurs, and many specifically for female founders. Groups like Dreamers Doers, Being Boss, and Shopify entrepreneurs are an incredible resource to ask questions and be a resource to others as well.
4. NO BULLSH*T; WHAT'S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS? AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT; HOW ARE YOU WORKING TO OVERCOME THIS?
Being responsible for every aspect of the businesses has been incredibly challenging. However, I'm not a believer in farming everything out from the start. Running an ecommerce company, and offering a product that of our customers had to be educated about, I needed to get very close to them in order to learn what they needed, what we were doing right, and what we could do better. Knowing what to hand off, and of course affording to hand anything off, wasn't easy. Eventually I was able to bring on help with marketing in the form of a data analyst and a content creator which were my two biggest needs at the time, and ones I was struggling to keep up with on my own.
5. SHARE THE MOST HELPFUL PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN.
This doesn't perhaps fall under advice, but I was speaking with a fellow female founder a few months back and she mentioned that she tries to give 3 hours of her time each month to help other women entrepreneurs. I was the recipient of her generosity and continue to pay it forward.
I UNAPOLOGETICALLY OWN MY BOLD BROAD BADASSERY BECAUSE...
Oui Shave is so much more than simply a shaving brand for women. The “Oui” in Oui Shave is meant to convey the sense of the community found among women. We created the name to sound like “we” in addition to being the French word for yes. Our goal is to make Oui Shave not simply a brand but a platform that helps women feel their most beautiful.
BOLD BROAD BONUS***FAVE APP?
My favorite Shopify plugin right now is Shoelace for retargeting. It allows me to develop our customers journey back to the site through a funnel that I designed to be insightful rather than...spammy.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Young is a beauty and fashion industry veteran with a history of building luxury brands. She launched Oui Shave in 2015 to offer women their best shave using high-quality razors, blades, and non-toxic grooming products that actually cater to our needs. Oui Shave creates an experience around shaving that women have traditionally only found in their beauty routines. Since launching, Oui Shave has been featured in Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Real Simple and Town & County.