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WWL (WOMEN WE LOVE): Cassie Abel of Wild Rye

Here we are again with another amazing female entrepreneur to introduce! Super excited to introduce Cassie Abel of Wild Rye. She’s the ultimate #girlboss and just an all-around AWESOME person. Let's jump right in and get to know Cassie!

Entrepreneur: Cassie Abel of Wild Rye

How I met them: Well, I happened to be in Sun Valley on a trip with my mom. Some of the events we had planned didn’t pan out as expected, so one night after 2 glasses of wine (at High Altitude!!), I Instagrammed that we were doing a trunk show at our hotel lobby the next night. No, I did not ask our hotel for permission, I just said I had some friends coming over for drinks! Cassie happened to follow us on Instagram, and she helped spread the word about our event! We’ve stayed in touch ever since :)

My bio on them: Cassie is a total connector. She is passionate about fostering growth amongst female entrepreneurs and is never shy to reach out and come up with a fun collab idea. She is also quite the entrepreneur and self-starter herself - just look at her Instagram bio: “co-founder & CEO @wild_rye_, owner @whitecloudcommunication, launcher @womenledwednesday, and board @visitsunvalley ” so she is just kinda busy. This year, she combined her skill set of brand owner and PR maven to create Women Led Wednesday, which launched to shed light on supporting women run businesses over the holidays. It’s really cool to see women helping women!!

Okay, now onto Cassie’s answers!!

What is one piece of advice you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
JUST START!  It may not be perfect, it might be terrifying or it might not seem “big” enough, but at some point you just have to trust that you’ve done the best you can with the resources at hand. If you don’t just start, you’re never going to move forward.

What is one not-so-sexy (sh*ttiest) part of working for yourself that people don't typically see on social media?
In addition to all the business strategy, product design and marketing, I’m the one on my hands and knees counting and organizing inventory – and when you’re working with apparel, women’s apparel in particular, that’s a LOT of sizes/SKUS – labeling when our factories don’t get it right (which is often) and printing shipping labels and driving every package to the post office.  At 35, with years of big business experience and an economics degree, I never imagined I’d be doing any of the above, but in starting a business you quickly learn that you can’t be “above” any aspect of the business. Also, running a second business (White Cloud Communication) full-time to fuel Wild Rye and afford my mortgage – I love the business – but feeling stretched thin, that’s pretty damn shitty (and exhausting).    

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"?
Hearing from our Wild Rye customers – women – that they finally found a {short, shirt, base layer} that fits their bodies and works for them in a way that no other bike short or base layer has before. The simple idea that I can play a small part in making women more comfortable in their own skin (and clothes) in the outdoors, inspiring them to get out there, longer, gives me all the feels.

Be sure to check out Cassie on Instagram @cassieabel and visit Wild Rye online!

XO,

Christina

A Day in the Life of Tory

Hi Everyone! So Christina asked us to write out our daily routines - I was like “Great! So awesome!”, but then I realized all of you know Christina...like, really well. She’s so open and honest with all of you, and I, personally, think it’s why STIK has been so successful. But none of you really know me - so, why would you care what I do on a daily basis? Well - here’s a little bit about me, and if you’re intrigued, you can read on. And if not - as Serena Wolf would say - “we good”.

5 things about Tory before she shares personal, intimate details about her daily life:

  1. I’m a 29 (and a half) year old Virgo who loves to run, make spreadsheets, drink margs (#balance), and talk about TV shows.
  2. I'm married to an amazing guy named Andy who, amongst other things, cooks me dinner basically every night. I’m a spoiled wife, and I know it.
  3. As of May 2018, Andy became my second fav person on the planet to our daughter, Kennedy. Everything that ScaryMommy says about motherhood is 100% accurate - it’s amazing and beautiful and also hard AF. I’m definitely a work-in-progress.
  4. I joined STIK in October on a part-time basis to help Christina with fulfillment and customer service. (Christina and I go WAY back...to high school. V amazing but also awkward times.) I’ve now joined the team full-time to lead marketing. Yay!
  5. I grew up in the Boston area, but I consider Kennebunk, Maine to be my real “home”.

Okay so  - if you think I sound “cool” I’m honored and feel free to keep reading. If not, please buy a hat on your way out?

6am: Someday when I grow up, I’m going to be able to wake up at 6am and get so much done before Andy and Kennedy wake up; but right now that’s just a pipe dream *Snooze*

6:40am: This is when I actually pry myself out of bed. I try to wake up a little earlier than the rest of the house to get stupid sh*t out of the way. I make Kennedy her bottles for the day, empty the dishwasher, and complete my morning Self journal (if you don’t know about this, you need to know - thanks for the tip, Mom!).

7am: Kennedy’s wakes up at 7am on. the. dot. every morning. Once she’s up, my morning is basically a mix of the following:

  • Today show goes on - like Christina, I’m obsessed with the entire Today show team, and it’s always on right at 7am.
  • Make breakfast for K - either banana pancakes (her fav) or scrambled eggs. She’s 8 months so we’re still working on really soft foods. I eat a bite of whatever she’s eating, even though I have real teeth and could eat normal food...it’s just easier!
  • Lots of coffee
  • Enjoy some playtime - I try to spend at least 10-15 minutes playing with K; at this point, it basically consists of me rolling around on the floor with and making a LOT of weird noises to try to make her laugh
  • Shower - As most Momma's out there know, showering can be a luxury. But somehow I’m able to squeeze in a shower. I don't have a ton of time, so I rely on my long list of skin and hair products to help me stay on my game. Currently loving this Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator 

8:30am: Our amazing nanny arrives, and I’m out the door. I like to get to work by 9am - I work best in the morning; I start to lose steam after 2pm (Christina - if you’re reading this, I never stop working...work is my middle name).

9am - 12pm: Get to work and all bets are off. Weirdly enough, my time with Kennedy is way more predictable than any day at STIK. But I LOVE it that way. I work best in environments that change a lot - I find it exciting and refreshing. TBH - I’m still learning about what I’m supposed to be doing every day since I’ve taken on marketing, but right now I’m been focused on:

  • THE WEBSITE!!!! (more updates to come later this year)
  • 2019 planning - The role change kind of delayed my planning, but we’re getting there - lots of fun exciting things to come
  • Building my desk - #startuplife
  • Customer Service - even though I switched over to marketing, I’m still answering your emails when you have questions/concerns/want to share fun pics of you in your sh*t! Sarah and I split these duties, and we both love it when our customers are happy :)
  • Talking with Kandi, Christina, and Sarah about literally anything. Some hot topics lately have been A Star is Born, workout routines, Faux-30 (fake whole 30), and how to organize the office

12pm: Lunch. Usually at my desk. Usually leftovers of whatever Andy cooked the night before. Always delish. 

1pm - 4pm: More talking; more planning; more marketing hats and wraps and ponchos to all of you. What could be better?!?

4pm - 4:30pm: I try to be out the door by 4pm, so I can get home in time to play with Kennedy. I live in Charlestown, so it usually takes 20-30 minutes to get home. My car ride home is a REALLY important part of my day...I always call my mom. We are super close, and I always need my mom-time to catch up, gossip, vent, etc. When I miss a day of talking to my mom in the car, I usually feel lost and generally confused about how to be a human.

4:30pm - 7pm: This is what I’ve been calling “family time”. I’ve really, really been trying to put my phone away and focus on spending quality time with Kennedy and Andy. I’m not perfect at it, but I’m working on it. Here’s how things usually go:

  • Playtime: more rolling on the floor; more weird noises; LOTS of scenery changes to keep K entertained
  • Dinner: We make and feed K dinner - we just started subscribing to Raised Real and so far so good
  • Bathtime: Literally Kennedy’s fav time of day. She’s loved baths since day 1, and she’s just so happy to be slashing around.
  • Dancing to avoid crying: We’ll listen to anything - Tom Petty, Maggie Rogers, Grateful Dead (+Dead & Company), Baby Shark, Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons - you know, the classics. 

7pm - 8pm: K goes down for the night at 7pm. She’s a REALLY good sleeper - and will sleep from 7pm-7am. Baby sleep is a really touchy subject - so all I will say is that we got REALLY lucky with Kennedy’s sleep habits. After she goes down, I workout in our basement/playroom. I’ve always loved working out - I’m just a better, nicer person when I do. Pregnancy def took its toll on my body, so it’s been a journey to get back to my normal self. I’ve been addicted to Obe workout classes recently - quick, challenging on-demand classes that are perf for those w/crazy schedules.

8pm - 10pm: A variety of activities:

  • Andy cooks dinner (usually something from Skinnytaste or Dude Diet), and we eat together. Another great part of my day - it’s nice to share a little time together during the chaos that is the rest of the day.
  • I clean - I figured this would make you all realize I’m not a total brat
  • I finish up work for the day (see, Christina - always working)
  • Andy and I catch on our TV Show du jour. I could write like 15 blog posts on our fav shows...so I’ll save that for more #content!!!!

10pm: Brush teeth and lights out for me!

There you go - hope I didn’t scare anyone!

XO - Tory

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