On this episode of Indy Wine Chats, we talk about what it really takes to open a brick-and-mortar. We are having a conversation with Libby S- owner of state of grace boutique in Fishers. Libby has a background in marketing, worked 15 years in a corporate industry and now is a successful business owner. We dive into the honest hardship and all that really goes in to opening a brick-and-mortar.
State of Grace opened in September 2017. Libby is a wife and a mother to three boys. She has a background in marketing, she went to grad school and undergrad for marketing. About 6 months ago she realized she didn’t want to keep climbing the corporate ladder. She is also passionate about health and fitness. Starting a boutique wasn’t even on Libby’s radar until she continuously drove passed an open location on her way to where she trained. And then sparked a fire for her passion to start a business.
“A lot of people think it looks easy, but it’s my duty to really represent a real story of what it’s like to own your own business.” -Libby
Libby said it’s been SO much better than she expected but also harder than she expected too. Financially, her and her husband saved money and side-hustled to make this work. The truth of the matter for when you start your own business and that if you’re doing this full time, you have to kind of go in:
1. Expecting to invest your own money
2. You don’t know if you’re going to be profitable right off the bat even if you are, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be making a lot of money.
Libby has big growth goals in hopes of opening in another location.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to make their passion full-time, and how do they financially prepare for that?
1. Create a business plan
If you want to try and get a loan, you’re going to HAVE to have a business plan. Drill down to the numbers and plan this way ahead of time.
2. Talk to other business owners in this business industry
Helps you get an idea of expected finances.
3. For your expected expenses: Multiply that by 2.
Your expected expenses are likely to be much higher.
4. Include your monthly expenses into your plan.
Also, look at your own personal budget to make it work.
“If you don’t have the finances that doesn’t mean don’t follow your dream, it just means it might look a little different.” -Libby
“No one is going to be as passionate about your business as you are, so be prepared to put in A LOT of work for it.” -Ericka
Libby at State of Grace
At the beginning, Libby and her business partner were there almost every day. A lot of advice they received was that they should not be working the floor as a business owner, but with that being said Libby thought it was super important to meet the customers and learn about who her target audience is. One day a week, Libby helps on the retail floor, but she is always a part of the everyday processes. She is at State of Grace on a daily basis getting office work done, helping where needed and more. There are many late nights and many other things people don’t realize, at the end of the day it all falls on her shoulders.
“Business owners have SO MANY hats to wear.” -Steph
What tools and resources have helped you grow State of Grace?
1. Marketing and Business background
Even though both of those experiences have helped, she still had a lot to learn in the retail business.
2. Reading books about the financial end of things
3. Bouncing ideas off of other business owners
4. Watching webinars and seminars
“When you’re getting ready to start your own business, really sit down and talk with these people BEFORE you open your doors.” -Libby
5. Even if your accountant is doing the majority of the work for you, you still HAVE TO make numbers and finances your thing.
6. Reach out to venders and people you can learn from
“You have to be willing to continue to learn and grow…You might think you have it figured out but it’s likely things are going to change.” -Ericka
“Every industry changes over time so you are going to have to commit to being a life-long learner.” -Libby
What is one thing you wish you would have known before you started this business?
When you run your own business, it’s not just your own business, it’s a family business. You have to make sure everyone is on the same page because you have to respect the fact that it affects everyone in your life. You have to be willing to communicate and compromise. The hardest time for Libby was the first three months when she was preparing to open, and having support from her family was so crucial.
Libby’s dream and one step she is taking to get there:
Libby loves writing, she has a blog she updates 1-2 times a month, but her dream is to write a book one day.
Find Libby on social media!
FACEBOOK: State of Grace Boutique