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WWL (Women We Love): Megan + Moria Flynn of M.Flynn Jewelry

Hi everyone! We're back with more #content, and we could not be more excited to feature this amazing duo in our WWL (Women We Love) series.

Megan and Moria Flynn are two of my favorite people, and they are incredibly successful entrepreneurs. They own M.Flynn Jewelry in the South End, and let's just say, it's my personal version of heaven. I could rave about them for pages and pages - but let's just let this interview speak for itself: 

Entrepreneur: Megan + Moria Flynn of M.Flynn Jewelry

 

How I met them: People used to always talk about the M.Flynn girls and to be totally honest, I was a little bit intimidated. Their store is fancy, high-end, cool, and shiny. In typical Christina fashion, I decided to face my fears and email them with some weird intro like, “I feel like I should know you…” We scheduled a time to meet up at their store for coffee... I stayed for 2 hours. It was like the best first date ever.

My take on the M.Flynn Sisters: Megan and Moria draw you in. They are magnetic. They ask all of the right questions and make you feel like the funniest, most important person in the room. They are insanely smart, have great gut-instincts, and have created a cult following in Boston. Not only do they sell gorgeous jewelry by high-end designers like David Webb, they also do custom work - making wedding bands (like mine!), engagement rings, remakes of antique jewelry. You name it, they do it. They also understand the importance of experiential retail. For starters, their shop is beautiful and smells delicious. Their staff is welcoming and knowledgeable. Plus, they host lots of great events that involve champagne!!

Here are their thoughtful answers to the VERY quick questions I’ve been asking female entrepreneurs I love:

  1. What is one piece of advice you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Moria: Surround yourself with other people who are starting businesses. Find people who are doing similar things so you can get ideas and ask questions. It doesn't matter what kind of businesses you all have, you will all have similar worries and goals. We shared our space with many businesses as we grew...now we have our own space, but it was so helpful and continues to be beneficial to get new ideas and run problems by someone who knows what having a business is like. We get together with business owners all the time and we have a network of owners . (Christina, you're one of those people)

Megan: Have serious conversations with your partner (if you have one). Moria and I are sisters and one of the best things we did was meet with a lawyer in the beginning who was also a friend. He asked a lot of tough questions of what would happen to our relationship if things didn't work out with the business, one of us wanted to leave the business and how much time we were willing to spend working. Partnerships are hard but not having a partner is hard too. I think it's just really important to be honest because I can tell you that things will not be easy.

  1. What is one not-so-sexy (sh*ttiest) part of working for yourself that people don't typically see on social media?

Moria: No maternity leave (each of my 3 children spent lots of time at our business and going to tradeshows) and you do not ever completely go on vacation. There's no one to cover for you so you better respond. Having said that, as a mom I have incredible flexibility that allows me to be with my kids a lot.

Megan: I would say putting myself out there is always hard.  We've become a lot more confident as we've gotten older (look forward to being over 40 ladies!), but it's hard to be "on" all the time. I am also a very social person so I also love working with people and learning from our customers, so it's great that when I go home, I can be calm and anti-social.

  1. If there are things that are "shitty" about starting your own thing, what keeps you going? What's one of the best parts of your "job"?

​Moria:  It's an honor to be a part of people's special moments. The industry is constantly evolving and I love seeing the new designers and coming up with new pieces for the store.

Megan: The gemstones and being part of a industry that's incredibly cool. I am always learning, and I just love being a part of our customer's special moments. I love sitting down with a client and sorting out jewelry that's so meaningful and figuring out the next step for the pieces. It can be really emotional for people. Jewelry holds a true connection to the people we love.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out M.Flynn Jewelry in the South End. We even linked directions for you :)

XO

Christina

A Day in the Life of Kandi

Hello! Allow me to introduce myself - I’m Kandi, and I’m the Sales & Events Manager for STIK. I recently moved back to Boston from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, so I am still getting into the swing of a routine that now involves thinking about traffic patterns. I’ve learned very quickly that listening to a podcast or book will help me to avoid a heart attack at the wheel. Here is my work week routine. If it were a weekend, this story would have a donut somewhere.

6:30-7:10am: I putz around a lot in the mornings. I need at least two hours to get my life together before work.

  • I wake up somewhere in this time frame. Sometimes I just lay there. Sometimes I get right up.
  • I splash my face with cold water first thing. Use a serum and then my Drunken Elephant Whipped Cream. I pop my contacts in ASAP because I am very, very blind.
  • Since I’ve been reading the book “The Artist’s Way”, I try to start the day by writing for 10-20 minutes. I feel very basic even admitting this…but it’s kind of meditative to skim everything from the top of my brain and clear it out. Sometimes I write silly things like, “I am really hungry and just want to eat but I need to write at least another page. Let’s see where this goes.” I finish my practice by writing down three things I am grateful for.

7:10-8:30am: I pack a lot into these 50 minutes...

  • 2 shots of espresso from my nespresso with almond milk, cinnamon and collagen.
  • I cook a full breakfast which usually includes a combination of eggs, sweet potato toast with almond butter, sliced avocado, bacon and/or greens with olive oil (I am a freak. I know this).
  • I “watch” the Today Show while eating, checking email and scrolling through social media.
  • Brush my teeth. Put seven pounds of dry shampoo (this is a non-aerosol option and I love it!) in my hair. Throw on a couple of products. Get dressed.
  • Pack my lunch and work bag. Double check that I have my computer cord and my Airpods because I’ve forgotten these too many times.

8:30-8:45am: Get out the door! I commute through Harvard Square every day where the people watching is great and the drivers are terrible. Also, dodging pedestrians is like a game of frogger.

9-9:15am: Arrive at the office. I talk to everyone as soon as I walk in the door. I likely have a story to tell to whoever is around. Today we discussed how Tory DID NOT like “A Star is Born.” We’re all still very confused about this. I still haven’t bounced back from her confession.

9:15am-Noon: All of the things. We all wear many hats here and no two days are alike. I feel like everyone says that but when working for a small business- it’s very much the truth.

  • First, I make a list of what I know needs to get done. And as things come up throughout the day, I add them to the list. Making a list, checking it twice.
  • Make calls and write emails to shops and stores. All day. I have a spreadsheet (yawn) that is getting kind of out of control. (PLEASE KEEP SENDING US IDEAS. We loveeeee them!)
  • Research and Plan Events. I really want to go on tour and show our giant hat tent to everyone and sling our goods. Maybe we’ll be coming to a city near you soon?!
  • Make sure our current wholesale accounts are happy! This includes but is not limited to- packing reorders, checking inventory, answering questions, making plans with stores, discussing new products, making them happy by any means necessary, etc.
  • Random list of ideas that pop up. I keep this next to me all day.

Noon: Eat. At exactly noon I am eating.

1pm-5:20 (ish): Repeat first half of the day. I’m still working off my list and jumping on anything that pops up during the day. If we are planning to be at a show, there is a lot of back and forth communication with all kinds of kinks that we run in to. Like… we want to bring a margarita maker to New York and serve people drinks while they consider buying our stuff but this might be against the rules and we’re not trying to get banned from anything. LET ME LIVE!

If I need a little break, I like to take a little walk and get an oat milk latte from Kohi.

6:00pm: Most days I go to the gym. Sometimes I go to a spin class instead. I’m just trying to live my best life. I’m also signed up for Classpass to try and motivate myself to do new things. TRY is the key word here.

7:00-8:00pm: Shower and then I cook dinner! Scott usually makes us a cocktail to go with dinner. I really just keep him around to be my live in bartender. It’s great! Then we sit at the table and eat. No phones. No TV. We’ll put a record on and have dinner together. I realize this makes us sounds like we are straight from 1955.

8:00pm: We relocate to the couch and find a movie to watch. This is also when I check email and social media until Scott glares at me to get off of my phone.

9:30-10:30pm: Bedtime routine. Take contacts out. Wash face. Moisturize. Brush teeth. Drink a glass of water and magnesium powder. Climb into bed. Read for 20 minutes or so. The moment I feel drowsy, I turn the lights off. No time can be wasted.

10:30pm: I better be asleep.

WWL (Women We Love): Cate Brinch of Recycle Studio

Hey again, it's me, Christina!! Blogger extraordinaire. 

So one thing that makes blogging easier (in my professional experience), is having a few themes to follow. So here's the first theme that I'll be harping on: Female Entrepreneurship. When I'm not blogging, I'm female entrepreneuring...

Sort of by accident, I became an entrepreneur and turns out, I really love it. I love being one and I love learning about other female entrepreneurs. It's amazing how I've met women with SUCH different businesses than Sh*t That I Knit, and yet, we seem to have very similar challenges to overcome. We always have endless things to talk about when we meet up for lunch (or drinks), from customer service to workflow apps to hiring people to sourcing materials to finding time to turn off, we are all in a similar ~crazy~ boat.

So for this blog, I did all of my entrepreneur-friends a huge favor and added something to their to-do list... I asked them three questions for my blog!! Here you go!: 

Entrepreneur: Cate Brinch - Recycle Studio

How we met: Cate and I grew up in the same town (our parents are friends!), but I didn’t meet Cate until I started STIK. I actually lived down the street from Recycle's first studio on Tremont Street my first year out of college. I would go to the class and then “brag” to my friends that I sort of knew Cate because she grew up in Weston too… it was very cool of me. When I started out, Cate was insanely welcoming and invited me to host a trunk show at their studio. Ever since then, I've connected with Cate on a personal and professional level - going to her for advice and just to catch up! 

My take on Cate: Cate legit started the first spin studio in Boston. Long before we ever caught wind of SoulCycle or Turnstyle or anything like that, Cate introduced us to booty tapping the bike and dying from lifting 2-pound weights - the pain is real and the toning is effective. Cate’s energy is infectious. She’s the ultimate cool girl and when you meet her, you want to be her. She’s created a spin studio, yes, but more than that, she’s really created a community. People who spin at Recycle have completely drunk the organic kool-aid. They are all-in and are supportive, wonderful people. Basically, I think I love Cate?


Here are her answers to the VERY quick questions I’ve been asking female entrepreneurs I love:

  1. What is one piece of advice you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Create a really solid and dynamic team of people who compliment your strengths and weaknesses. You cannot do it all. You should not do it all.

  1. What is one not-so-sexy (sh*ttiest) part of working for yourself that people don't typically see on social media?

The roller coaster ride that we live/work on 365 days a year.    

  1. If there are things that are "shitty" about starting your own thing, what keeps you going? What's one of the best parts of your "job”?

I get to surround myself with people who are running their own businesses - and quite frankly, doing cool shit for the city and beyond.  Their friendships, stories, originality, inspiration and empathy keeps me going. I started Recycle because boutique fitness was something I wished existed in Boston. The community of people creating things (big and small) they wish existed is very cool.  They are making the city a more interesting place to live. These relationships Recycle has given me is the best part of my job.

 

PS. How awesome are these custom hats we made for Recycle this year?! Check out Recycle on Instagram and obvi - go ride there!! 

Where do the proceeds go?

Hey guys, another day, another blog post. This topic has been on my mind for a while now, especially after I got the same question multiple times over the holiday season…

“So where do the proceeds go?”

I will be totally honest, I have actually answered this question by saying, “Ummm, they go to the company bank account...” Any PR firm would tell me that is not a good answer to this question - in fact, it’s pretty rude and usually coming from a very tired business owner. But the fact is, Sh*t That I Knit is not a non-profit, and guess what - neither is our team in Lima. In fact, our team in Lima (where I’m assuming people think the proceeds go), is a sophisticated, hard-working group of entrepreneurs.  

As customers, many of us hear about a company "giving back", and we're trained to think that the company operates on a one-for-one model (like TOMS or Warby Parker). We love the way these companies, and we're very supportive of their missions. But, at STIK, we are giving back by simply doing business the right way. We are employing people and paying them a fair wage for the work that they do. Plus, we are using sustainable materials that are good for the earth. Pretty straightforward, huh?

But before you X out of this thinking we aren’t doing enough, let me explain how the way we’ve chosen to do business is making a difference, without it being a charity.

  • The product creation process starts in Arequipa, Peru, where all of our yarn is made. That yarn is made especially for STIK with 100% Merino Wool (or for wraps - 100% Baby Alpaca). It’s super chunky, warm, and 100% real. That yarn is then distributed to our team of knitters, which is comprised of lots of different groups of women.
  • Each group has a Knitting Leader - she trains and manages anywhere from 10 to 80 knitters in her group.
  • The Knitting Leader owns her own business. With our help, she learns how to calculate the cost of each garment PLUS the overhead she incurs by running a business (cell phone bills, accountant, rent, transportation - you name it). On top of the costs, she also factors in her profit and the taxes associated with running a biz. Who needs Business School?! It’s complex, sophisticated and a lot of work.
  • Each knitter is paid a fair wage based on the hourly standards of the Peruvian Work Ministry - the Knitting Leader determines the hours associated with each garment and pays accordingly.
    • Many of the women working in our groups have only worked informally, on a cash basis for other brands. In our case, they all have bank accounts, direct deposits, and pay taxes.
  • Peru is considered a chauvinistic society. It’s rare for women to find work outside of the home, especially when they have children. The work they do for us provides financial independence, plus the flexibility to work from or close to home. Many of the women who run our knitting groups have lived lives far different than I have - moving to Lima at a young age to find work in a home, getting pregnant quite young, or not completing Secondary School. We’re providing unique opportunities that truly make a difference in their lives and in their children’s lives.

So, sparknotes version: we pay our team in Lima the same way we pay our team in Boston - fairly and for the work that they do.

Speaking anecdotally from my first visit to our team in Lima, the knitting groups mean far more than just an occupation to many of these women. We went around and listened to stories of friendship, support, and fulfillment - how this job, for many of the women, creates greater meaning in their lives.

What does this mean for you?? By supporting Sh*t That I Knit, you are supporting this wonderful supply chain. You are choosing to support a group of artisans over mass-produced, fast fashion brands. We care about our team and work together collaboratively. 

We’ll write a separate blog post about how the Give-A-Sh*t Knit Kits came to be - it was organic and authentic and simply a wonderful way to use our platform to give back to our community of young adults. But for the time being, I hope you can appreciate how a small business like Sh*t That I Knit is making a difference in women’s lives in Peru by being fair, honest business people. 

Shows to watch now by Christina

“Knitflix and Chill” Semi-Current Shows

The weather this long weekend is supposed to be pretty snowy and cold or rainy or IDK maybe it’s going to be nice out, I honestly only heard my mom say it was going to be gross out. So chances are (if she’s right) you might need some TV recs from yours truly.

This list is in no particular order of my favoritism. I am a TV binger… it’s embarrassing and I should probably talk to a therapist about it, but I need background noise always and love TV. Will say though, that my favorite show ever is Breaking Bad. You cannot change my mind. I’ve watched it in totality like 7 times. Okay moving on. Because I would be at work all night if I listed EVERY show that I liked, I am either picking shows that are semi-current or that were nominated at the Golden Globes. This is just a way to organize my thoughts and make it home by dinner.

  • Schitt’s Creek
        • How to Watch: Netflix
        • Why I Loved It: It is SO funny. Very smart, but at the same time, very silly humor. The first episode you’re going to think “this is dumb.” Just trust me, it’s not. You’re going to love it. I love how after I watch it for a while I start to talk and use my hands like Alexis and David - it definitely makes me look smarter.
        • Golden Globe Result: Okay this was not nominated, but you need to watch it.
  • Killing Eve
        • How to watch: Amazon Prime/Hulu
        • Why I Loved It: Semi-scary, very exciting, funny, different, looove Sandra Oh and Jodi Comer (her lips!!). Okay TBH I kind of forget why I love it but my sister just started watching it and now I want to rewatch. I almost binged it too fast, I need a refresh.
        • Golden Globe Result: Sandra Oh won for Best Actress in a Drama!!
  • High Maintenance:
        • How to watch: HBO
        • Why I Loved It: Okay, wait - first episode is VERY raunchy. You’ve been warned. Maybe the first two are- might be a shock the system thing. But then, ugh it’s so good. My friend Jill Rosenwald told me about it and I was like, sure, I’ll give it a shot! Thank you, Jill! Great 30 minute episodes that are loosely tied together by one pot dealer on his bike. V good.
        • Golden Globe Result: Also not nominated, but it is current.
  • Friends from College
        • How to Watch: Netflix
        • Why I Loved It: I just finished the second season - it took me all a whopping day and a half. It’s so funny. Definitely underrated in the mainstream world. You basically end up wanting to be in their friend group. It’s easy to watch, everyone is very attractive and it’s just f.u.n.  
        • Wow, I’m realizing that none of my shows were nominated!!!
  • Bodyguard
        • How to Watch: Netflix
        • Why I Loved It: I binged this while knitting a sweater for Alex. Idk what I was more addicted to - the colorwork on his sweater or the show! LOL! Jokes aside, I was literally waking up at 6 to knit and watch it in bed while we were on vacation. Heaven. Pretty scary and definitely a thriller. Don’t watch this if you have to walk around in the dark by yourself.
        • I thought I was ahead of the times, but I guess I wasn’t - this was nominated for Best Drama!
  • The Night Manager:
        • How to Watch: Amazon Prime
        • Why I Loved It: Tom Hiddleston!! SO HOT. It’s a very smart show and you need to pay attention. No diddling on your phone while you watch. It’s about
        • Admittedly not current but more people need to see it!
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel:
        • How to Watch: Amazon Prime
        • Why I loved (liked) it: I might be the only person who only liked this show… let the haters commence! My girlfriends from Skidmore are going to exile me for saying that. I think you just have to buy into Amy Sherman-Paladino’s pace and unrealistic dialogue. My mom also watched the first episode with me and thought that Mrs. Maisel was “pathetic” and I always agree with my mom!!
        • Nominated for Best TV Comedy!
  • Homecoming:
      • How to Watch: Amazon Prime
      • Why I Loved it (liked) it: Pretty weird but pretty good. Okay, I didn’t love it but it’s like “in” right now and I like to be able to talk TV. I'm not even sure that I saw the last episode. OKAY!
      • This was nominated for Best Drama!

    Shows I’m working on:

    • The new True Detective is good after the first episode!
    • BIG LITTLE LIES!!!!! It’s back so soon!!!

    Okay, that’s all for now, let me know if you watch any of these!! Also, let me add say that watching these shows with our Pardy Poncho on is so much cozier!! Just sayin.

    XOXO

    Chritina 

    GIVEAWAY! Erin McDermott x Sh*t That I Knit

    Hey people. Let’s talk accessories. Since the age of 14, I have been an earring obsessed weirdo. I’ve made some terrible earring decisions between then and now (I actually recently did a purge of my jewelry that I was “saving for my daughter” lol, and discovered some really frightening chandelier earrings of my past) but I’d say, I’ve got a solid base now.

    The thing is, most mornings, I find myself reaching for Erin McDermott’s pieces. They are easy, fun, and LIGHT (like your ear doesn’t fall off by 4 pm). Not to mention, they don't break the bank (especially when your mom buys them for you at Runway for Recovery)!! I wear these white fringey ones almost every day.

    I met Erin through Runway for Recovery - she has been doing trunk shows at the event since the very beginning and her designs are always a total hit. She and I hit it off - or more like it, my girl crush began - the second I met her. She is:

    • Insanely nice and outgoing
    • Insanely beautiful
    • Insanely talented
    • Insanely successful
    • Insanely busy but under control with three daughters under the age of four

     

    I’m in awe of her and am so excited to bring some of her designs to you!!

     

    Starting today (1/16/19) at 12 pm EST, we are doing an Instagram giveaway!! Winner gets a $125 Gift Card to STIK and a $125 Gift Card to Erin McDermott Jewelry!! All you have to do is like both of our accounts and tag two friends in the comments section. The winner will be announced at 12pm EST on 1/18 - so GET GOING!! 

    Also, you're welcome for telling you to follow Erin on Instagram. If you love behind the scenes honesty, you will love her too. 

    Here are some of my Erin McDermott Faves: