We truly believe the best things in life are shared, should be shared, and are made even better shared. I mean, really, is anything amazing ever better experienced alone? Even those things you might think you’d rather indulge in by yourself are better together. Wait, don’t touch my ice cream, you say - but without having shared that incredible experience with someone, you wouldn’t have a soul to celebrate all of the immensity with. Not even someone to share that simple, oh gosh, remember that time when we ate/saw/did the best thing of life?? And that’s a pretty lonely thought.
A big reason that the past six months have been so exhilarating for us is that we’ve been able to dream up, scheme about, and execute every project as a team - and you guys, the synergy that comes from working alongside other strong, intelligent, creative women is real. If you’ve been following along on Our Heiday’s journey for the past year and a half, you might have gathered that our founder, Patricia, was juggling all of the creative and business aspects of the company prior to NSS. Read: sketching, painting, designing, planning, communicating, collaborating, troubleshooting, packing, shipping, and managing every detail of the brand - with tons of sideline support from her wonderful guy, Clarence. Throughout the summer, our team quickly grew from one to four, and no one is doing the happy dance more than Pat!
Today, we’re chatting with Patricia about what it was like to run Our Heiday solo (out of her living room, no less!), the company’s biggest changes since exhibiting at the show, and her favorite things about having a team!
Q: Hi, Pat! Can you describe what a typical day was like when you were running Our Heiday on your own?
Hi! Gosh, it’s crazy to think about how different things were just a year ago. Running a business was an entirely new change of pace from the rigidity of law school and I had to stay really diligent about setting my daily and weekly schedule so that my deadlines were met and projects were moving along. I tried to keep a consistent 8 am - 6 pm schedule so that work could be work and then I could shut off when Clarence got home, but honestly, the most difficult part of not having a separate space is that work is always there and you’ll always find something to do without realizing that you’re working. There are always cards to be sleeved, that last letter to be edited. It was like I needed an official “We’re Closed” sign because it was a challenge to close the door on all of the things that needed to get done.
Q: What has most changed about the company since its NSS debut? Is there anything that has generally stayed the same?
Definitely the fact that I’m not handling all aspects of the company on my own. It’s been such an amazing experience to be able to grow our team and focus solely on creative and big picture concepts. Freeing up my time by delegating responsibilities has been one of the best ways to streamline the business. I’m still in charge of creative, of the direction of the company, and I’m painting and lettering all of our designs, but the day-to-day feels so different because we’re now running as a unit.
Q: Do you miss anything about the company’s early days?
The customer interaction! Now that I’m not handling any of the orders and email communication, it’s really a bummer that I’m not the one corresponding with the people who are receiving our packages. I used to know every order that came in and when they were heading out, which really made me so happy. But communication and customer service is really an entire department of its own and I feel so blessed that I have a team who really knows how to handle that.
Q: How and when did you know that it was time to bring a team on board?
After NSS, I knew it would be impossible to handle all of the orders and new accounts by myself. A few months prior to NSS, I had hired someone to help package orders because even that was getting to be too difficult to do on my own so post-NSS, the sheer volume of orders was enough to gauge that I needed extra hands and a new space. Our living room was in complete shambles and it looked like we were getting ready to move. We were stepping around boxes and our dog Remy couldn’t even get from one side of the room to another without navigating a maze. Hiring a team was a natural progression from the fact that there was a big need.
Q: What has been your favorite part about having an Our Heiday team?
Efficiency! We are SO efficient and I love it. I also love having a team who feels invested in the brand because really, they’re helping us to set the tone for the new round of people who will hopefully come on board at some point. Being a new company, we’re always in flux and seeing certain patterns solidified and others that simply didn’t work for us has been a great learning experience.
Q: What part of your job do you love most now that you’re not wearing quite so many hats?
I started this company because I knew I needed a creative career and I’m so thankful that I can create daily, whether it’s conceptualizing new designs or preparing for a new release. I also really love team building, seeing the grander vision for our brand and cultivating the right kinds of products and team members to help us get there.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on building the Our Heiday team, Pat!