Working towards growing your business is hard work, as almost every single entrepreneur can attest. The idea of "being your own boss therefore working less" is a big fallacy if one's goal is to make your business a meaningful enterprise continuously producing quality products and steady, fairly paid work to everyone involved. That's why it is so important that we, as small business owners and women, support each other!
Within my journey I have been blessed to meet like minded individuals with the same work ethic and sense of ethical responsibility. We partnered up together to make something amazing following the idea of THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN ITS INDIVIDUAL PARTS. Enter: The Guild.
Laura Mcmahon, Emily Janson and Nicci Pain-Weitz, The Guild founders
Like with everything else in life, I needed to find the right partners, who understood the need for a place in which the conscious consumer could shop with their mind at ease, knowing that every product was carefully selected for their craftsmanship, quality and made with sustainable and Fair Trade Practices. The right partners, hard working and reliable, with the skills that I don't have.
I still can't believe I found those partners in Emily from Rue de Emily Bijoux and Nicci from Koluntu. With amazing products within their respective brands, these two very talented women not only shared my dream of making this concept a reality but they also have the skills I've been lacking to do it on my own:
Emily is an incredible jewelry and interior designer, with her own home being featured several times on Better Homes and Gardens.
Emily and Skip Janson's Outdoor Lounge
When I meet Emily we both thought "wouldn't it be great if we open a store together?" Our products and styles go so well together, we partnered up a lot, showcased each other pieces and supported one another for years. Very high work standards, incredible style and an eye for all things beautiful, Emily also cares deeply for how everything is made and practices sustainability.
Nicci is a South African expat from Johannesburg, with a deep love of ostrich feathers and a huge passion for all things sustainable in her home country. With Koluntu, Nicci brings a fashionable and sustainable take to leather and feather products, using scraps from the meat industry to make artful pieces.
Springbok Hide and Leather Clutch from Koluntu
Nicci's no-nonsense attitude, reliability and wit made me think right the way "this is who we were waiting for!". Talk about getting it done! Nicci was right on board with the idea of opening our own space, tired of the "rent your booth" places who don't place any extra interest in your products, other than collecting a fee. Knowing that she has a quality product that needs to be featured in the correct setting to thrive, Nicci knew that together, since it didn't exist yet, we would create it.
And then, there was me. A Colombian Electrical Engineer with a great passion for all things Wayúu, growing SUSU Accessories, a Fair Trade business along my partners, with around 350 Wayúu artisans depending on a steady stream of work from us, looking for the right place and project in which to give our handbags and accessories the platform they need to be really seen in person.
SUSU Maraa Tote from the WÜI Collection
Sometimes being good with numbers, devices and organizational skills isn't enough, specially when Emily tells you she has the idea of making bright pink beach ball lamps for the store! (didn't see it in my mind girl but I learned not to doubt you ever again!)
Shot of Beach Balls fixture at The Guild
The three of us got together, brainstormed over coffee, tea and good food, put the word out to some amazing Brands we knew and the rest is history!
The Guild opened on June 1st with an incredible launch party on June 6th and we couldn't be happier! Women helping women isn't only a slogan; it is a mantra with which we live and work by, helping each other while helping the communities of artisans who make all of our products. It is a place of gathering where we host many amazing events, partnering up with great charities and social causes, creating a collective environment of beauty and style.
Rue de Emily Bojoux at The Guild
Come and visit us at The Guild! A nomadic retail experience...