The age-old saying, “if you've got the money, honey, then I've got the time," will forever hold a grain amount of truth. If you are able to put up the funds then pretty much everything is possible. Let's face it, money opens doors, and in many cases, business success can be behind that lock and key.
But acquiring money to launch the business of your dreams or take your business to the next level can often be tough. Sometimes, it's not even about the money, but about stepping outside of the box, getting creative and even bartering to get the tools you need. After all, your business becomes your baby and you will do anything to see it thrive.
Sometimes, you gotta work where you sleep.
“For the first year of nicepipes, I was working out of my apartment. Anyone who lives in New York or has ever seen NY apartments knows we are not quite blessed with space for extracurricular activities, let alone room for a small business with inventory. I had to get super creative so that I had room for a small desk space, storage, packing and shipping supplies, and more. This involved some major Marie Kondo-ing of my personal things as well as a very supportive and understanding husband. I don't think we saw tabletops for months!" revealed Lisa Binderow, founder of nicepipes.
Other times, you gotta move home.
“I moved home to live with my parents when I first decided I wanted to start Red Velvet NYC. At the time, I was working at Harry Winston, running Global Marketing Partnerships & Events. I knew I wanted to find a way to save money to invest in the company, so I moved home for a year and a half before deciding I had enough of a base to get started. I saved a ton of money in doing so, so it was definitely the right move for me. Additionally, years ago I started a side business where I would sell my friend's purses, scarves, clothing, or electronics. I still do this on the side today to help pay the rent, “ said Agathe Assouline-Lichten, founder of Red Velvet.
Put the glamour aside
“When we were finally able to focus on running our business full-time, we first worked out of our apartments as well as the Reebok Sports Club on the Upper West Side for a few weeks. Then, we called Courtney's family friend who owns a printing company in Midtown and convinced him to give us office space in exchange for us advising him on his social media strategy. After all, print companies needed to evolve with the times as well! We then moved into a tiny back corner of the printing company's office, and we were officially in business. It wasn't glamorous, and yes, we would often see mice run right around our feet, but we finally had an office space and a place to call home," said Stephanie Abrams Cartin and Courtney Spritzer of Socialfly.
And you must always, always put yourself out there.
“At first, I would just wear my pieces into my favorite stores and that's how they started getting picked up. I started really small with just a few stores and would make things to order for musicians I knew or liked. That got the word out and my business has steadily grown since then," explained Samantha Pleet, founder of Samantha Pleet.
Though the road to achieving your dreams can often be a rocky one, the look from atop makes it worth it. You will always look back and wonder how you managed to get through all the sacrifices. The answer lies in the stamina that sets you apart from the rest.