Hello, Working Girls: Callie and Christyn of We Tie The Knots
Meet Callie and Christyn, two sisters who are taking the wedding industry by storm with their national business – We Tie The Knots. If you're interested in taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, learn more about how these siblings perfected their growing business. Oh, and another thing? They're both expecting!
Q: When did you both consider wedding planning as a career, and what were the biggest challenges and rewards that you faced when launching We Tie The Knots?
A: We both found ourselves at pivotal moments in our careers that left us dissatisfied when we realized that the success and trajectory of our careers was largely in the hands of other people. We were waiting for that boss to give us the chance we were working so hard for and though we did everything in our power to excel and get the next gig, ultimately it was out of our control. We had been talking to each other a lot during this time and finally said...I want to be be the boss so I can take control over my career and opportunities. So we analyzed the market, analyzed our skill set and decided we would love to tackle the wedding industry! So WTTK was born.
Of course there were major challenges in the beginning It's fun being the boss, but it’s also hard to be the boss. We wanted to take a fresh approach, so we didn't spend a ton of time shadowing others in the industry. This left us scratching our heads a lot, shrugging and saying, "well let's try this!" Thankfully a lot of those instincts worked well for us!
The biggest reward continues to be the "time freedom" and career flexibility that we've been able to create. Now don't be fooled...when you own your own business there is no such thing as time off. The success of your company and your employees is always consuming your thoughts. But we can choose to entertain those thoughts while getting my nails done vs sitting in a cubicle. We like that we're the ones who carry that weight and make those decisions, because at the end of the day, this is ours, we created it and we get to decide where it goes. I love working hard for something that I have ownership of, versus waiting on a boss to notice the skills I'm ready to use and give me opportunity to do so.
Q: What’s the best part about working with your sibling?
A: The best part of working together is definitely the fact that we get to talk almost every single day, and we see each other at least once a month, if not more. We also balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses perfectly, which makes us a great team because we can often read each other’s minds.
Q: We Tie The Knots services are currently available in an array of states and cities – Georgia, Colorado, Nashville, Charlotte, Charleston and Orlando. What drew you to these particular markets?
A: We did a lot of market research and truly believe these are the key areas to saturate. Georgia and Colorado were opened first, mainly because that’s where each of us were and are currently located, so we can be more hands-on as we launch new planners. We then wanted to start in the Southeast and make our way West.
Q: On top of your business, you’re both expecting! Any big changes for your work schedule or business after your babies arrive?
A: There will certainly be some changes to our work schedule, as the two of us are due only two weeks apart! We have a fabulous team of women behind us who we have equipped with all of the skills needed to help out when the babies arrive. We’re confident this will allow our business to continue running smoothly so that we can take the appropriate time off. We have both decided we do not want to put a specific time limit on our maternity leave, as we feel like we won’t know exactly how we are feeling until the time comes. There is obviously still a business to run and we expect to be available a few hours per week, after the first four weeks, but we also want to be sure we get the appropriate time off. The two of us have decided to be flexible depending on each of our needs.
Q: What would your best piece of advice be for young women looking to take the leap into entrepreneurship for the first time?
A: Be sure you have an excellent mentor who is willing help you along the way. You will be amazed at some of the hurdles you will be faced with. With every great business, comes many challenges, but being able to conquer those challenges and never give up is what will make you successful. Put all of your effort into starting your business, don’t take short cuts. If you treat it like a hobby, it will pay you like a hobby; if you treat it like a career, it will pay you like a career.