25 May, 2017 · · Comments
WM Friends: Jess / Ven Agency
25 May, 2017 · · Comments
+ Tell us about your path to owning your own business? How did you get your start and when did you decide you wanted to venture out on your own?
It all happened very organically for me. I had just left my previous job and really had no idea what the next step was for my career. A few weeks later I met the CEO of Ganni and the rest is history. I opened the agency not too shortly thereafter and never looked back
+ What was the biggest surprise of opening & running your own business?
How 24/7 it is, literally a second baby! Keeping up with the business and maintaining it all is like having a second home and you can never step away or at least I have not learned how to as of yet. Still working on not answering emails at all hours of the night!
+ You’ve had your showroom, Ven Agency, for three years now. How has it evolved from when you started it?
The biggest evolution has probably been the size of the agency. Year after year we have grown and moved into a bigger space and brought on more employees. In the past year I’ve also expanded into consulting which is now a large part of the agency and feels like a natural progression, this addition to the business is something I’m really proud of.
+ How do you define success?
Being able to say no. In the beginning months and first year or two I was such a yes man-- trying to make it and succeed that you never want to turn down any opportunity or say no to anyone. I would never even reschedule a meeting or call time if I was swamped, I’d just work out a way to fit it in and the stress of it all was overwhelming. Now we are in such a great flow and place that it feels really good to say no to some things or even opportunities or doors that don’t seem like they would be the most enjoyable of partnerships.
+ You recently had a baby (congrats!!)- How did you prepare for that change both personally and professionally? What was your process like for getting back into work post-baby?
Thank you!! Oh goodness, we did not prepare AT ALL!! No books, no classes, nothing. We had no idea what we were doing heading to the hospital and still don’t haha!! Honestly the only preparations I made were extra hires at the agency for the month I was expecting and we converted our home office into a tiny nursery.
As mentioned previously I have not learned to step away from the business so I took a few days off of emails and returned to work after 2 weeks. There was no set day or schedule for me to get back to work it was just what I needed and wanted. Going back to work helped me get out of a horrible postpartum funk. I’m really fortunate to be able to take the little man with me to work and we have a great set up at the agency!
+ What’s one thing no one told you about having a baby?
How painful breastfeeding can be in those beginning days!! I wont go into details but it was by far some of the toughest few days I’ve ever experienced.
+ What does a (week)day in the life look like for you now?
Really not much different than before but a much earlier wake up call! Usually up by 7am. Feed and dress the babe and myself and try to get out the door by 830. We ride the subway into the city with my husband and get started with emails by 9am. Dependent on the time of year we are usually in market appointments and most of the time just hoping the little guy will go down for a long nap so I can power through emails. We head out around 6/630 and try to put him down for bed by 8pm so we can catch up on our day and have a quiet dinner..all of which never happens!
+ How do you like to unwind after a long day?
I thoroughly enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail after a long day! We are also big on having friends over for dinner, which is sometimes a nice way to break up the workweek.
+ What are a few of your favorite neighborhood spots to eat/shop/drink?
While at work Smile To Go and Sweet Green are our go to’s for lunch and at home it’s Lucali’s and Wilma Jean. The Totokaelo, Rachel Comey and Acne stores are just a few blocks from the agency and probably the only shops we visit. More of an online shopper these days! Black Mountain, Lavender Lake, Standard East Village and Ear Inn are going to be frequent stops for drinks this summer.
+ What does your perfect Sunday look like?
Sleeping in as late as possible with both my boys and then getting to Buttermilk Channel at opening for pancakes. Spending the rest of the day at Prospect Park with friends on the lawn drinking wine and home for a meal cooked by my husband.
+ What brands are you really excited about right now?
All of the brands at the agency of course! Ganni is having a huge movement in the US right now and I’m extremely proud to be a part of that team. We also just launched a new shoe line, Reike Nen, that I’m really excited about and Claudia Li is a brand I’ve been watching and excited about personally.
+ Where do you hope to be in five years?
That’s a tough one! I’m so happy with where I am right now in all aspects of life. In regards to the agency though I hope to expand our services and open a full-blown distribution center and potentially offer more with our press initiatives.