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How Suze Dowling Built an Ecosystem of Household Brands in the Direct-to-Consumer Space Ep. 84
Episode 8613th September 2022 • Fascinating Entrepreneurs • Natasha Miller
00:00:00 00:25:18

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Suze Dowling is Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of Pattern, a family of purposeful brands providing the essentials to make, shape, and grow a home—the foundation of daily life.

Suze has built her career in the early stage landscape. Her role is the culmination of a decade of experience at the forefront of the NY start-up community; working hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs from ideation to, now, multiple billion-dollar exits.

Prior to co-founding Pattern, Suze was General Manager and Partner at famed challenger agency, Gin Lane, where she helped to launch over 50 DNVB brands and played a critical role in shaping the founder journey for brands like Harry’s, Hims, Sweetgreen, Quip and more.

Where to find Suze Dowling

Website: www.patternbrands.com

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This episode is sponsored by Entire Productions- Creating events (both in-person and virtual) that don't suck! and Entire Productions Marketing- carefully curated premium gifting and branded promo items. 

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Transcripts

Suze Dowling:

So for us, it's always about how do we create the cohesion?

Suze Dowling:

Where when you look at our brands together, they can do

Suze Dowling:

help create a Pattern Home.

Suze Dowling:

And that's our dream is to people to have a pattern home.

Suze Dowling:

But they each have personality because I think for me, the worst thing would be

Suze Dowling:

to create a brand where it's a one note.

Natasha Miller:

Welcome to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.

Natasha Miller:

How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur?

Natasha Miller:

How do they scale and grow their businesses?

Natasha Miller:

How do they plan for profit?

Natasha Miller:

Are they in it for life or are they building the exit these and a myriad

Natasha Miller:

of other topics will be discussed to pull back the veil on the wizardry of

Natasha Miller:

successful and FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.

Natasha Miller:

My book RELENTLESS is now available.

Natasha Miller:

Everywhere books can be bought online, including Amazon and BarnesAndNoble.com

Natasha Miller:

try your local indie bookstore too.

Natasha Miller:

And if they don't have it, they can order it.

Natasha Miller:

To them, the reviews are streaming in and I'm so thankful for the positive feedback,

Natasha Miller:

as well as hearing from people that my memoir has impacted them positively.

Natasha Miller:

It is not enough to be resilient.

Natasha Miller:

You have to be RELENTLESS.

Natasha Miller:

You can go to the relentless book.com for more information.

Natasha Miller:

Thank you so much.

Natasha Miller:

During her tenure at Jen lane, Suze Dowling helped to launch over

Natasha Miller:

50 brands like Smile Direct Club, Hymns, Sweet Green, and Quip eager

Natasha Miller:

to create her own consumer brand.

Natasha Miller:

She, and co-founders started Pattern brands.

Natasha Miller:

We talk about the various brands they have in their portfolio, how

Natasha Miller:

they build their portfolio and her role in the company today.

Natasha Miller:

Now let's get right into it.

Suze Dowling:

So Gin Lane itself was around for a number of years.

Suze Dowling:

And for those that aren't familiar with, it was really a brand and marketing agency

Suze Dowling:

that was born out of really working with entrepreneurs and learning how to bring

Suze Dowling:

them to market in a really thoughtful way.

Suze Dowling:

And for us, our specialty was really in direct to consumer.

Suze Dowling:

So our work was known for really disrupting the space and

Suze Dowling:

humanizing the brands behind it.

Suze Dowling:

So worked with like a number of really incredible entrepreneurs and

Suze Dowling:

created some really incredible brands.

Suze Dowling:

I have two co-founders.

Suze Dowling:

We were all at Gin Lane together and we really led that company together.

Suze Dowling:

And it was almost like after all these years of working with entrepreneurs

Suze Dowling:

to launch them to market, that we kind of felt it was naturally time

Suze Dowling:

for us to take that step and really become entrepreneurs ourselves.

Suze Dowling:

It's almost like it gives you that little taste of it where

Suze Dowling:

you go, wow, wait one sec.

Suze Dowling:

I wanna do this too.

Suze Dowling:

I always really think that one of the most motivating things you can

Suze Dowling:

really do in life is really create something that matters to you.

Suze Dowling:

And for us, that was Pattern.

Suze Dowling:

We were able to, as a co-founding team, take a moment and really reflect how did

Suze Dowling:

we wanna spend the next decade together.

Suze Dowling:

Having spent nearly a decade already building an agency business.

Suze Dowling:

And I think Pattern for us was really born from that reflection.

Suze Dowling:

For us, we saw this opportunity to create a multi-brand family

Suze Dowling:

of brands that all work together.

Suze Dowling:

And we always say internally, how do you make one plus one equal three.

Suze Dowling:

And that's really how we think about pattern in our ecosystem of brands.

Suze Dowling:

So with Pattern, we are this family of brands that's focused on a home.

Suze Dowling:

And we have six brands in the family currently, but what we find

Suze Dowling:

really special is that we have this one team, one cap table model.

Suze Dowling:

So what that means is even though we have six brands in the family and are adding to

Suze Dowling:

the family by the day, our team actually worked across the entirety of our brands.

Suze Dowling:

Yeah, it's been really amazing to be able to offer brands that wouldn't

Suze Dowling:

necessarily be able to have all these specialist resources, amazing

Suze Dowling:

specialist resources to help them scale.

Natasha Miller:

Why do you have so many brands within pattern and not just call it

Natasha Miller:

Pattern and make it easier on yourselves?

Suze Dowling:

I think a couple of reasons there, I think for us, we had

Suze Dowling:

seen the trend in the D to C world, right of really scaling brands to

Suze Dowling:

tens, if not hundreds of millions.

Suze Dowling:

But in a way that wasn't sustainable or profitable, because I think you can easily

Suze Dowling:

fall into the trap of really scaling a business, but purely off of paid media

Suze Dowling:

versus really building a brand and kind of a core organic following in community.

Suze Dowling:

And so I think for us, the vision behind Pattern was always.

Suze Dowling:

Why not have a portfolio of brands that work together to still get to that level

Suze Dowling:

of scale, but aren't kind of throwing paid media to kind of artificially

Suze Dowling:

reach a level of scale, but rather have these very loyal communities.

Suze Dowling:

Similarly, I think we really view the brands and the family as siblings.

Suze Dowling:

And that's very special to us in that we want them to have their own distinctive

Suze Dowling:

personalities and that to like really play through the products and kind of

Suze Dowling:

categories that each of them play in.

Suze Dowling:

So for us, it's always about how do we create the cohesion, where when

Suze Dowling:

you look at our brands together, they do help create a Pattern Home.

Suze Dowling:

And that's our dream is to people to have a Pattern Home.

Suze Dowling:

But they each have personality because I think for me, the worst thing would be

Suze Dowling:

to creative brand where it's a one note.

Suze Dowling:

And when we think about how do we craft it and curate a home, right

Suze Dowling:

there is that level of curation.

Suze Dowling:

You want it to be multidimensional and have personality.

Suze Dowling:

And I think by having multiple brands, it allows us to offer that to the

Suze Dowling:

consumer in a really compelling way.

Suze Dowling:

And then on the back end for us, there's really interesting way of

Suze Dowling:

operationalizing these brands with our.

Natasha Miller:

I haven't checked, but I'm wondering if each of

Natasha Miller:

your brands has its own social media, you know, profile and wow.

Natasha Miller:

How much work is that to I'm assuming this is a big part of reaching your consumer.

Natasha Miller:

And so every time you create a new brand, it's a mini, well, it's not even

Natasha Miller:

mini it's a business within a business.

Suze Dowling:

It's a business within a business.

Suze Dowling:

And I think certainly there are some areas that are more high touch than others.

Suze Dowling:

I think some of the more operational components you're able to really

Suze Dowling:

find efficiencies of scale across.

Suze Dowling:

The businesses.

Suze Dowling:

And how you think about perhaps your supply chain, how you think

Suze Dowling:

about perhaps some of your more wholesale relationships, et cetera.

Suze Dowling:

And then there's also, of course, as you've noted, like the consumer first

Suze Dowling:

components where it is very much, how do we make sure that each brand has

Suze Dowling:

its kind of special moment in the sun?

Suze Dowling:

And I think that's really for us though.

Suze Dowling:

Where we choose to invest time and energy.

Suze Dowling:

Like we always really think about the direct with consumer model.

Suze Dowling:

I think people always say direct to consumer, but for us it's about, no,

Suze Dowling:

this does need to be a two way dialogue.

Suze Dowling:

And how do we build a relationship with the consumer?

Suze Dowling:

And that means things like having its own social media handle is actually

Suze Dowling:

a really important component and touchpoint for how we reach these brands.

Suze Dowling:

Also, the other thing for us is while we have incubated a number of brands

Suze Dowling:

in the family, the way that we grow our family is actually via acquisition.

Suze Dowling:

So we actually add brands to the family via this acquisition model.

Suze Dowling:

And a big reason that we did that is really.

Suze Dowling:

We feel like really strongly that there needs to be a new business model for

Suze Dowling:

the growing community of eCommerce brands, because you look at kind of

Suze Dowling:

what are those exit opportunities or liquidity opportunities and there's

Suze Dowling:

IPO exits and then really no exit.

Suze Dowling:

And there's not that much in between.

Suze Dowling:

And so for us, Our other passion area, being entrepreneurs ourselves though,

Suze Dowling:

is helping other entrepreneurs to kind of close one chapter of their

Suze Dowling:

journey and move on to the next.

Suze Dowling:

So for us, really, how do we complete really thoughtful acquisitions and

Suze Dowling:

when brands join our family, they have kind of that benefit of having our

Suze Dowling:

unique ability to provide them with, you know, amazing marketing, brand

Suze Dowling:

building the in-house operational like elements, because what we've seen is.

Suze Dowling:

It's easier than ever to start a brand these days, right?

Suze Dowling:

It, you can launch a website on Shopify and reach the masses, but after you

Suze Dowling:

reach certain scale, you really do need to have expertise at everything, right?

Suze Dowling:

From email marketing to paid to supply chain and everything in between that and

Suze Dowling:

what we're able to do is kind of offer these brands that, and one of the first

Suze Dowling:

acquisitions we did put it so nicely.

Suze Dowling:

She said, "I feel like my brand is graduating to Pattern," and that was, I

Suze Dowling:

thought a really cool way of putting it.

Suze Dowling:

And then a couple of the fact that we're actually able to then give these

Suze Dowling:

entrepreneurs the exits that they deserve.

Suze Dowling:

And that's something that personally really makes me so excited and happy.

Natasha Miller:

So of all the brands and I know of two specifically equal

Natasha Miller:

parts and open spaces, but of all the brands that you mentioned, what is the

Natasha Miller:

one that's really leading the way as far as people really sticking to it?

Suze Dowling:

I think honestly, each of them have their own special moment in

Suze Dowling:

terms of an Instagram community that's Letterfolk, which is our home day C Bryan.

Natasha Miller:

Yes, I want that mat.

Natasha Miller:

I'm going to be buying.

Suze Dowling:

It's so fun.

Suze Dowling:

I mean, for everyone who isn't familiar with it, it's like this tile

Suze Dowling:

map product that basically is an old purpose mat that you can use anywhere.

Suze Dowling:

But what's really cool is it has these little tiles that you can

Suze Dowling:

basically put on or off to basically create your own personalized

Suze Dowling:

messaging as much as you want.

Suze Dowling:

And so that community on Instagram honestly just is so amazing.

Suze Dowling:

I personally DM with a lot of them, myself because I just love getting their

Suze Dowling:

insights and energy about that brand.

Natasha Miller:

I'll do a picture of what I design on mine.

Natasha Miller:

Yes.

Natasha Miller:

But I'm wondering of all the brands.

Natasha Miller:

Is there one that is really driving revenue and helping out the rest

Natasha Miller:

is one really rising to the top?

Suze Dowling:

No, I mean, look, I think the beauty of our model

Suze Dowling:

is that it is an ecosystem and big reason that we've structured.

Suze Dowling:

This is one pattern team is to ensure that those learnings are

Suze Dowling:

shared across the brands and you know, a rising tide list all votes.

Suze Dowling:

And I think that's really in each of the brands while each of

Suze Dowling:

them have areas that they Excel.

Suze Dowling:

Quite frankly, they all are incredible at the role that they play in the portfolio.

Suze Dowling:

And again are really self sustaining each business in how we look at

Suze Dowling:

it needs to be able to stand alone as though it wasn't part of the

Suze Dowling:

portfolio, then also has the vital role to play in the portfolio itself.

Natasha Miller:

And how are you weaving them together?

Natasha Miller:

So if I'm going to buy, let's say the map, which is happening.

Natasha Miller:

How will I learn as a consumer of that one product about your

Natasha Miller:

other products, or will I?

Suze Dowling:

You will.

Suze Dowling:

We believe in being transparent?

Suze Dowling:

I think a big way that you really build a relationship with someone is by having

Suze Dowling:

that authentic, transparent communication.

Suze Dowling:

And so we are very upfront that these brands are part of a family of brands

Suze Dowling:

and that family is called Pattern.

Suze Dowling:

And here's our mission at Pattern.

Suze Dowling:

Our mission at Pattern is really to help people enjoy daily life at home.

Suze Dowling:

That's like our number one goal.

Suze Dowling:

How do we bring a smile to your face during those little, every day?

Suze Dowling:

Not particularly glamorous moments, but make them just a little bit better because

Suze Dowling:

it's those micro moments of your day that really make up your experience of that

Suze Dowling:

feeling of comfort and of control and where you feel your most authentic self.

Suze Dowling:

And so I think if you go and buy a map.

Suze Dowling:

For example, you'd be seeing in the confirmation email even, Hey, this is

Suze Dowling:

part of a pattern family of brands.

Suze Dowling:

Here's our brands.

Suze Dowling:

And then we do kind of story tell throughout the relationship, our consumer

Suze Dowling:

about the other brands in the family and why we're excited about them, but

Suze Dowling:

also about what it means to be a pattern family brand to us pattern really is.

Suze Dowling:

A stamp of approval on a brand of saying this is a quality product.

Suze Dowling:

This is made in a responsible way.

Suze Dowling:

And this also is something that we feel is really marrying form and function.

Suze Dowling:

So it's a very practical, everyday use item, but made just

Suze Dowling:

a little bit better and certainly more aesthetically appealing.

Natasha Miller:

Have you ever thought that you should write a book that you should

Natasha Miller:

write the story of your life to help other people learn from your experience?

Natasha Miller:

Please go to MemoirSherpa.com and learn how I can help you write, figure out your

Natasha Miller:

publishing path and market your story, your memoir to a best seller status.

Natasha Miller:

I understand you are acquiring some of these businesses, but

Natasha Miller:

did you start any from scratch?

Suze Dowling:

We did.

Suze Dowling:

Yes, though.

Suze Dowling:

Actually, a number that you'd mentioned earlier of equal pods and open spaces,

Suze Dowling:

we incubated ourselves internally.

Suze Dowling:

And that was a really incredible experience.

Suze Dowling:

We launched both right before COVID hit actually.

Suze Dowling:

So it was great.

Suze Dowling:

We were able to go walk the factory floor and really develop them.

Suze Dowling:

I think equal bots is kitchenware line open spaces is a home

Suze Dowling:

organization line for us.

Suze Dowling:

Both of those categories really spoke to areas that we felt were

Suze Dowling:

really vital in creating your home.

Suze Dowling:

I think your kitchen is your heart of your home quite often.

Suze Dowling:

And so that was an area that we really felt strongly about playing in.

Suze Dowling:

Similarly for home organization.

Suze Dowling:

I think we felt that there was a really acute need in the

Suze Dowling:

market for really beautiful long lasting home organization items.

Suze Dowling:

Our founding team are all based out of New York.

Suze Dowling:

And so we have small apartments and our challenge to ourself was how do you create

Suze Dowling:

something that you're proud to display, like out in the open and then the market

Suze Dowling:

research we did supported both those categories being our first launches.

Suze Dowling:

I think for us, honestly, the turning point was living in a post COVID era

Suze Dowling:

and really thinking about expanding the family of brands and actually

Suze Dowling:

looking at what was happening in the business market elsewhere.

Suze Dowling:

And seeing that there was actually perhaps a bigger opportunity for us to fulfill our

Suze Dowling:

mission in moving into acquiring brands.

Suze Dowling:

And that was really a bit of an aha moment for us where we thought, wait, one sec,

Suze Dowling:

we can expand our family with brands that were really, really excited about

Suze Dowling:

who built in incredible communities and also really celebrate the entrepreneurs

Suze Dowling:

in their journey and kind of help set them up success on whatever their next

Suze Dowling:

entrepreneurial kind of endeavor is.

Suze Dowling:

And so it was a moment for us where we said, okay, we're

Suze Dowling:

going to really explore this.

Suze Dowling:

And then it's been very impactful.

Suze Dowling:

And I think it, to me, as a learning of, I believe as an entrepreneur, you need to

Suze Dowling:

be really, really clear on that end goal.

Suze Dowling:

And what's your vision, but you also need to be really

Suze Dowling:

flexible in how you get there.

Suze Dowling:

And to me, that kind of move from incubating to now acquiring was a

Suze Dowling:

great example of living by that mantra.

Natasha Miller:

When you were creating your own products, did you have a

Natasha Miller:

design team and you were sourcing the parts, or did you ever go to someone

Natasha Miller:

who is making the one thing and took that into your supply and sold that?

Natasha Miller:

How did you work that out?

Suze Dowling:

No for us, it really was from the ground stop coming from a

Suze Dowling:

brand building and creative background.

Suze Dowling:

We really felt very strongly about ensuring that we had control over

Suze Dowling:

what we were bringing out into the market and that it was something

Suze Dowling:

we could be really proud of.

Suze Dowling:

We worked was really close friends of ours, which are an industrial firm named

Suze Dowling:

Brun on the actual core industrial design and like the technical components of that.

Suze Dowling:

But really for us, it was from high level macro concepting.

Suze Dowling:

What do we want this brand to feel and be like, then how does that translate

Suze Dowling:

to literally the curve on the product?

Suze Dowling:

The materiality of the product and really fun, little playful details

Suze Dowling:

that we felt were important to add, to also bring that element of joy

Suze Dowling:

to each of the products we offer.

Suze Dowling:

So for us, it was really very much a ground up endeavor.

Natasha Miller:

Yes, I'm imagining that incubating and creating your

Natasha Miller:

own line has its own huge set of challenges and wonderful feelings.

Natasha Miller:

And then I was thinking, well, acquiring a company is so much easier, but it's

Natasha Miller:

only easier in one part of the timeline.

Natasha Miller:

So will you continue to do both?

Suze Dowling:

I think right now we're really focused on growing the

Suze Dowling:

family via acquisition, but we always say, never say never if there's a

Suze Dowling:

category in or an opportunity, will we think that doesn't exist and we can

Suze Dowling:

really take it one step beyond then never say never there, but I think.

Suze Dowling:

Really the brands that we're finding have developed these

Suze Dowling:

really incredible products.

Suze Dowling:

And we really feel that they deserve to be continued to be elevated

Suze Dowling:

and brought to a wider audience.

Suze Dowling:

And we have the capability to do that.

Suze Dowling:

I also think just because we are acquiring a brand, doesn't mean that

Suze Dowling:

the brand remains stagnant nor that product catalog remains stagnant.

Suze Dowling:

A big part of really growing a brand is also continuing to grow your overall

Suze Dowling:

assortment and think about your product innovation and how you're going to be

Suze Dowling:

continuing to meet your consumers, where they are, and really offer them a need.

Suze Dowling:

So there's still a big part of our process that is about the creation and the

Suze Dowling:

innovation within the brand that exists.

Natasha Miller:

Tell us about your role with your co-founders and Pattern.

Natasha Miller:

What is your role and what are you doing most of?

Suze Dowling:

So I'm our chief business officer and really what that means to

Suze Dowling:

us is operationalizing the business.

Suze Dowling:

So I really span the gamut from overseeing diligence and integration

Suze Dowling:

of the businesses that we acquire to ongoing brand management and growth.

Suze Dowling:

So it's really working.

Suze Dowling:

Very closely across the entirety of the team to look at where

Suze Dowling:

are the business opportunities.

Suze Dowling:

And then honestly, to break it into bite size, achievable pieces and

Suze Dowling:

figure out, "Okay, what are the stepping stones for how we get there?"

Suze Dowling:

My co-founders and I have worked together for a very long time.

Suze Dowling:

And I think the reason that we have is really just because we have such

Suze Dowling:

complimentary skill sets in that we're very different from one another.

Suze Dowling:

But those kind of pieces together are really stronger than any one individual.

Suze Dowling:

And I think that's really the dynamic you want in a co-founding team.

Natasha Miller:

I love that you have a very healthy,

Natasha Miller:

successful co-founding grouping.

Natasha Miller:

I hear from so many entrepreneurs that have partnered either

Natasha Miller:

with one partner or more.

Natasha Miller:

I actually hear more stories of devastation rather than harmony.

Natasha Miller:

So good for you or good on you.

Natasha Miller:

That's how you would say it, right?

Suze Dowling:

I exactly, I think it's like any relationship, right?

Suze Dowling:

It takes work.

Suze Dowling:

It takes communication skills.

Suze Dowling:

It takes learning how to argue in a productive way.

Suze Dowling:

And I think we're fortunate in that.

Suze Dowling:

Because we worked together for so many years in our agency business,

Suze Dowling:

we learned each other's ins and outs, and it meant that when we were able to

Suze Dowling:

co-found Pattern together, we already had that really solid foundation

Suze Dowling:

in which to take the journey on.

Natasha Miller:

What is something that you're really focusing on for the rest of

Natasha Miller:

the year to grow and scale your business?

Suze Dowling:

For us, it's really interesting how kind of bread and

Suze Dowling:

butter and origin has always been really grounded in direct to consumer

Suze Dowling:

or, you know, as we like to say direct with consumer, and while that still

Suze Dowling:

remains a really core cornerstone of our business, we've had some really exciting

Suze Dowling:

opportunities expanding omnichannel.

Suze Dowling:

And so I think that's something that.

Suze Dowling:

It's a new endeavor and a new challenge and something that really is exciting to

Suze Dowling:

me at the moment as we look at where our portfolio is, we still have this kind of

Suze Dowling:

core of D TOC, but have also opened up.

Suze Dowling:

Amazon have opened up wholesale relationships with, from specialty

Suze Dowling:

to big box, major retailers.

Suze Dowling:

And actually without-

Natasha Miller:

What's one of the realtors that you can find Pattern at?

Suze Dowling:

So we have a number of relationships.

Suze Dowling:

Nod has been a really important partner for us, Bloomingdale's,

Suze Dowling:

and it's really been exciting.

Suze Dowling:

It's for me, it was one of those moments where I had like

Suze Dowling:

a pinch myself moment of going.

Natasha Miller:

What is that?

Suze Dowling:

Our products in store.

Suze Dowling:

I think it's especially as a growing up as a kid in Australia.

Suze Dowling:

I never imagined that our products that A, that I would have a company B that

Suze Dowling:

I'd be living in America and C that my product would be in Nordstrom, you know?

Natasha Miller:

Right.

Suze Dowling:

And then actually without most recent acquisition,

Suze Dowling:

the Keto, they actually have a Brick and Mortar store in LA.

Suze Dowling:

So that's a new, exciting.

Natasha Miller:

I think I've been to that in, is it in Venice?

Natasha Miller:

No.

Natasha Miller:

Culver city.

Suze Dowling:

So pre COVID, there was a number of locations.

Suze Dowling:

And so obviously acting in a really conservative way during COVID.

Suze Dowling:

They now have their Maki location in little Tokyo.

Suze Dowling:

Okay.

Suze Dowling:

But for us, we're excited to really understand.

Suze Dowling:

What could Brick and Mortar mean not only for that brand,

Suze Dowling:

but also for us as a portfolio.

Suze Dowling:

And then I think on the D to C side for us, it's really about those core

Suze Dowling:

fundamentals of continued brand building.

Suze Dowling:

And so I think that's an area where really focusing on community, building organic

Suze Dowling:

social, as much as I'm still not good at TikTok, TikTok is where it's at as well.

Suze Dowling:

So, our team are luckily much more adept to that than me.

Natasha Miller:

And so on the flip side, as a successful business,

Natasha Miller:

you are going to have challenges.

Natasha Miller:

It's just the way of the world.

Natasha Miller:

What is a challenge that you're really having to overcome right now?

Suze Dowling:

I think there's a kind of larger challenge, which

Suze Dowling:

I feel like is also just being in a remote first environment.

Suze Dowling:

Candidly, that's been something that we've had to really.

Suze Dowling:

Put a lot of care and thought into navigating through.

Suze Dowling:

And I think we're doing a pretty good job of, but certainly is

Suze Dowling:

still that ongoing challenge.

Suze Dowling:

Because when you think about our business, the majority of time that our

Suze Dowling:

business has been in existence has been in this era of COVID and remote first.

Natasha Miller:

And you look like you're talking to me from home.

Natasha Miller:

Is that correct?

Suze Dowling:

Exactly.

Suze Dowling:

I'm from home.

Suze Dowling:

Our company is remote first.

Suze Dowling:

We have small creative studios still that does have a number of folks that go in

Suze Dowling:

for our photo shoots and video shoots.

Suze Dowling:

But really our team is spread out across the US and.

Suze Dowling:

I think that's been a challenge, both for us as a company, but also for

Suze Dowling:

me as a leader to really understand how do I give clarity and direction?

Suze Dowling:

How do I create a sense of connection in our team?

Suze Dowling:

There's also some things that I think you just don't realize how easy it is.

Suze Dowling:

Sometimes in a physical office to go up to someone and say, "oh, Where's this at?

Suze Dowling:

Or how's this going?

Suze Dowling:

And so really being careful to think about workflows and how

Suze Dowling:

to remove silos of information.

Suze Dowling:

And then I think culturally, how we create that sense of connectivity.

Suze Dowling:

It's been something that we haven't a hundred percent cracked if any

Suze Dowling:

company has, I would love to hear from them and learn from them.

Natasha Miller:

But how big is your company today?

Suze Dowling:

So we are just over 50 full-time employees.

Suze Dowling:

So it's still a small business, but for us has really scaled from where we first

Suze Dowling:

started out, you know, co-founding team.

Suze Dowling:

So it's been a good experience.

Suze Dowling:

I'd say one of the big lessons that we've learned is just you can't try

Suze Dowling:

and replicate the culture that you have in an in-office environment in a

Suze Dowling:

remote environment, it doesn't one to one translate and nor should it.

Suze Dowling:

So it needs to be about redefining.

Suze Dowling:

What do you want your culture to be?

Suze Dowling:

And I think for us, as soon as we had that aha moment, we were able

Suze Dowling:

to then really start to think about how to then go and create that.

Natasha Miller:

For more information, go to the show notes where

Natasha Miller:

you're listening to this podcast.

Natasha Miller:

Wanna know more about me go to my website, OfficialNatashaMiller.com.

Natasha Miller:

Thank you so much for listening.

Natasha Miller:

I hope you loved the show.

Natasha Miller:

If you did, please subscribe also, if you haven't done so yet,

Natasha Miller:

please leave a review where you're listening to this podcast now.

Natasha Miller:

I'm Natasha Miller and you've been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.

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