When I started making Bolder Bands at my dining room table in the summer of 2013, I was focused on fixing my own frustration of not being able to find a headband that would stay on my head during Crossfit workouts and runs with friends. After celebrating our second anniversary, I have found that my purpose for this business serves a bigger purpose. I am a busy mom of three kids that has found running and workouts at the gym to be a great, healthy outlet. (Wine and chocolate are close second!) I enjoy the friendly competition at my Crossfit-style gym where the workouts are timed so the annoyance of having to stop and put my headband back mid-workout was frustrating and wasted valuable time on the clock. I also was annoyed by the sweat dripping in my eyes on weekly runs with my running buddies. After running the Bolder Boulder in 2013, I became inspired to create a headband that would not come off and would keep the perspiration from running in my face.
My friend, Debbie and I decided to dust off our sewing machines and make a trip to the local fabric store to see what we could come up with. The result was a crude version of what we now call Bolder Band Headbands. After experimenting with the design and the fabric and enlisting an expert seamstress, we launched our site on September 12, 2013. What has transpired in these last two years has been nothing short of a miracle to see an amazing team of people come together to design, make, brand and market our lines which have expanded into Cold Weather Products, Fancy Bands, Palazzo Pants and Skirts and Leggings.
I am truly blessed to be a part of this company and to watch it grow into something way bigger than I ever could have imagined. At times I feel so inadequate to give any advice on how to run a business, because so many of our pieces have inexplicably fallen into place and so many of our team members are so much more qualified to give business advice than I am. However, if I could inspire other women who have a desire to build a business there are three tips I would give:
1. Surround yourself with people who are strong where you are not. My husband and I run the company together. We have different strengths that we bring to the table. Although working with your spouse is a challenge in itself (and a whole separate blog post!), we know how to work together and we know where the other one is strong. We complement each other and see things that would go unseen if it were just one of us at the helm. Also, we have been so blessed to hire people that love what they do and work so well in their element. We aren’t afraid to say we can’t do something and when we can’t, we find someone who can!! I am not tech savvy at all and can barely respond to emails but we have a web developer who is fantastic and makes our site look amazing. Our photographer specializes in active photography and he completely understands our demographic so he can get the best looks at all of our shoots. I am a sub-standard seamstress so I found the best seamstress I could to help me design and manufacture our products.
2. Be passionate and share it! Our tagline is “Be the Bold, Beautiful You!” I believe that every woman is bold and beautiful and that they need to hear it from other women. Our demographic is an amazing group of active ladies, a lot of them moms. I strongly believe in health and wellness and in helping women be the most bold, beautiful version of themselves. I also believe that we are stronger when we are together so I am passionate about encouraging woman to be active, healthy and encouraging of each other. Love people. My grandfather was an amazing business man and people person. I learned so much from him about business and life. He would always tell me how important it is to love people and to cherish them. I hope to never take one customer, one Facebook follower, or one employee for granted. People really are amazing and when you appreciate them and show them, you can really bring out the best in them. I hope that the people around me always know how I feel about them and
3. Don’t let the challenges slow you down. Owning your own business is not easy…it requires grit, leadership, thick skin and determination. I have grown a lot these past two years and I am optimistic that I will change and grow even more in the years to come! People don’t always like what you do or how you do it. My husband has thick skin and I learn so much from him. He is not easily offended and when someone offers us feedback or criticism, he filters through it to keep what is relevant and discard what it isn’t. That is a process I am working on….It doesn’t serve anyone well if you walk around with your feelings hurt all the time and can’t take it when people disagree with you.
About the author:
Amy Crouse, founder of Bolder Band headbands, is from Canon City, Colorado. To learn more about her company go to http://www.bbolder.com/.
Vela Adventures is partnering with Women's Wilderness to bring you an awesome day of rock climbing October 4th! Women's Wilderness is a fantastic program because our instructors are...you guessed it...all professional women with years of experience climbing and teaching!
On top of that, proceeds from our courses go to support our Girls' Wilderness Program, which includes an extensive scholarship program. So, when you go out and have fun with us, you can know you are also helping low-income teen girls gain access to the great outdoors.
From Women's Wilderness, here are FIVE THINGS you should know about ROCK CLIMBING:
1) Climbing is all about your FEET. People often think that you need to have amazing upper body strength to climb. The truth is, overly relying on your arms can hold you back! The muscles in your arms tire out long before the bigger muscles in your legs ever will.
2) A big part of climbing is OBSERVATION. Before you are on the rock watch how other climbers move up the climb. While you are on the rock look down to find footholds, and carefully place your feet on them.
3) You can climb EVEN IF you are SCARED of heights. You can practice going up a few feet and then hang on the rope and come down, and slowly build up to climbing higher and higher. You also can try climbs that are less exposed - climbs that are in a corner often feel a lot "safer" because you can't see as much below you.
4) Climbing is a great way to develop TRUST - in yourself and in other people. You learn to trust your belayer - the person holding the other end of the rope - and you learn to trust yourself as you figure out ways to move up the rock.
5) A major piece of climbing is FRIENDSHIP - making friends that will stick by you patiently while you are trying something challenging, friends that will root for you when you are not sure you can do it, and friends that you just love "hanging" out with after a great day outside.
Can't wait to see you out there on the rock with us!
About the Author:
Emily, Executive Director, Women's Wilderness
Learn more at www.womenswilderness.org
Vela is all about fun and adventure!