Inspirational Women - Maureen Jann

Maureen is the third person I have had the pleasure of interviewing, in this series of Inspirational Women blog posts. You can see my interviews with Angelique Houtkamp and Michelle Ward here.

I blogged randomly about Maureen's business here, suggesting their products for a rockabilly wedding and Maureen got in touch via Twitter. When I discovered that Bon Moment was run by two women I had to find out more!

                                               

Maureen describes Bon Moment as an offbeat wedding stationary company. She is charge is the design, marketing and customer service, as well as managing interns and raising funds. Her business partner Denise Stockman is the 'technical guru' dealing with the website stuff. Maureen is managing to maintain a separate employed position but hopes to go full time over the next three years.

ReeRee Rockette: What appealed to you about running your own business?
Maureen Jann: I've always had some sort of business.  Even in grade school I was selling friendship bracelets on the playground.  As I've gotten older, what I've really cherished about owning my own business is the fact that I have control over my fate and have the ability to do a little bit of everything.  With the wedding stationery business, I get to combine my quirky sense of humour with my love of art and design. 
                                             
ReeRee Rockette: What three pieces of advice would you offer other women looking to start a business?
Maureen Jann: 
1. Be prepared for hard work.  Owning your own business is like having three jobs working for someone else. 
2. Define what you do best both from a creative and an administrative point of view to best be able to choose business partners or contractors that best compliment your skills.  You can't be everything to your business and you really shouldn't be.  It will dilute your time and resources away from what makes your product and company really special.
3. Set a routine that allows you to have a work and life balance.  The people in your life are likely the ones that are making your dream of owning a business possible.  Making time for them to remind them how much you appreciate them and their efforts is key.
ReeRee Rockette: What mistakes did you make along the way?

Maureen Jann: Some of my biggest mistakes are assuming I know more than I do.  Even in areas that I am very skilled, I have learned that getting one or two opinions from people I respect will reduce actual costs as well as the time I spend trying to hash something out.

Early on in our process, we weren't skilled in screening our contractors.  We have worked with some really spectacular contractors that worked their bottoms off for us and we've worked for contractors that really didn't cut the mustard.  A little more screening and a greater understanding of what we were asking them to do would have gone a long way in saving time and money.
                                  
ReeRee Rockette: What are your business hopes for the future? In the next year? In five years?

Maureen Jann: We are just completing our first year of being open for business and we're confident we're going no where but up from here.  We hope to triple our business this year and we see exponential growth from there.  We offer a unique product that allows us to fill a niche that was largely ignored by the wedding industry in the past and we expect that other people will start to recognize that as well. 
 

ReeRee Rockette: How did you fund your business at start up?

Maureen Jann: We boot strapped it.  Out of our pockets and a bit from a paycheck here and a bit from a paycheck there.  We agreed that we wanted to be as debt free as possible, and so far so good.  Because we didn't have a brick and mortar storefront, our overhead is relatively low cost and that was one of the main reasons this was a possibility.

ReeRee Rockette: Has running your own business been like how you'd imagined it?

Maureen Jann: Yup!  It sure is!  It's a whole lot of work and the reward is unquantifiable for the first few years and that can be frustrating.  But if you can get past that, you're likely going to do okay.  I believe there's a saying that mentions that a business is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration and that's not an exaggeration. 

                                

What I find particularly inspiring about Maureen's story is that I believe it. She's working hard, making a great product, and has a clear plan. She has made mistakes but learnt from them, and has systems in place to expand the business. I also completely agree with knowing your own strengths and using other people to complete the other tasks.

Check out Bon Moment if you need quirky, unusual, retro and vintage inspired wedding stationary.

 

 

ReeRee Rockette: