We started the business because we wanted to empower women to love how they look and feel without breaking the bank on new trends. We opened our first store in June of 2006 and have a unique business model known as an “occasional” store; open only 5 days a month! We were both busy moms and we loved the idea of creating an event of “getting in early is getting what you want!” After the 5 day event we close down, shop for the newest fashions, and get the store ready for the next event with an array of new trends. We also host private parties and Shop for a Cause charity events in the stores while we are closed to the public.
Why did you decide to franchise your business?
Initially we never thought about franchising. After opening our first store in June 2006, things went so well we opened 2 additional stores by December 2006. We were busy! After hearing numerous times “I want to own a store like this…I’m a busy mom but would love to do something that is flexible and fun, what do I need to do?” we decided to open it up to franchising.
You are both moms. How do you find time to work? How has it been working while having kids at home?
We have 2 days a week that our kids have dedicated child care. This allows time set aside with no distraction for meetings and conference calls. During the other days, we talk in the morning to set up what that day is going to look like and to keep on task. We also work a lot in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed. We feel very fortunate of having a flexible schedule and time with our families.
What has been your greatest success with your business?
Empowering women to own their own business that has a flexible schedule for family and giving back to the community. We are as much of a socializing store as we are about our product. Women gather because they love the feeling of Camy Couture. Our franchises are involved members of their communities and strive to help support various causes and assist local charities. Each month we also honor a women in each store with a Camy Spotlight Award. Women are nominated for remarkable contributions they have made in someone’s life or their community. The chosen honoree receives a $50 gift certificate and “special spoiling” at Camy Couture.
What does an average day look like for both of you?
We typically start our mornings out with checking over emails and then have a call together to discuss important issues. There is always a long to-do list to get through to each day. From supporting our franchisees, marketing the stores, merchandise research and purchasing, franchise sales and daily operations of our franchise.
What has been your biggest source of inspiration? What keeps you going?
Our franchisees and customers. We love hearing from our franchisees that they love the work they are doing, having fun with it, and making a difference in their community. Often times we hear from our customers how Camy Couture is their “happy place” each month. They find that it’s a place where they not only shop but meet and make friends. The coffee if always brewing and a treat awaits each customer. And of course our children….they keep us motivated to make them proud and inspire them to follow their dreams and do great things in the future.
What is the most rewarding thing about being your own boss?
Having the flexible schedule and deciding how your day is going to look. Not missing important events or appointments with our kids and family and also seeing other women succeed owning their own business as a part of Camy Couture.
What is the biggest obstacle you had to overcome as a mom business owner?
Finding the right balance with juggling work and family Having consistent, loving and reliable child care has made it much easier.
What is the best advice you can give a mom who wants to start a business, or a mom who already has one, and needs to hear from moms like you?
To follow your passion and not give up. Remember to take one day at a time and that there will be obstacles and hurdles, but if you have it in your heart, you will succeed and it’s very rewarding!
Cindy and Amy remind us that “if you have it in your heart, you will succeed”!
Thank you both for inspiring us all.