Welcome to Chicks We Love! Here at Chip Chick, we love inspiring women to follow their business dreams while giving them the tools they need to make it happen.
Chicks We Love is our new series showcasing, well, chicks we can’t help but just love! Get ready to meet some of our favorite exciting female entrepreneurs and hear all about their wisdom for helping you to succeed too. If you want to subscribe so you can stay up to date on all our Chicks We Love interviews, click here.
In this article, I caught up with Sarah Kooiker of Cloaked Box. Here is Sarah’s inspiring story and her words of wisdom for you!
Photo courtesy of Sarah
What was your inspiration behind starting your company?
Family. My parents own a small business and over the years, I’ve watched them work extremely hard and make sacrifices.
At the same time, I’ve watched them enjoy their work and freedom; a key part of what pushed me into being an entrepreneur today.
I have an opportunity now with Cloak, to not only build my own business but add great value to people’s lives by making it easier for them to give gifts!
What is your favorite aspect of the brand or product line?
The simplicity of it all! As a last-minute gift-giver, I love the fact that I can grab a Cloaked Box, have everything I need, and make it look like I put a ton of thought and work into wrapping a gift! (but shhh, that’s our secret!!)
What do you aim to accomplish in the next year?
I want to grow as an entrepreneur and face new challenges. The most exciting aspect of entrepreneurship is that there is no endpoint.
Even though I’ve learned a lot from my past failures, I know there’s still so much more to tackle. By the end of 2019, I want to have Cloaked Box be in several large retail chains, be the best gift wrap add-on option for e-commerce shoppers, and the go-to way to wrap gifts for any occasion!
Photo courtesy of Sarah
What’s the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur?
Patience. As an entrepreneur, you want to bring your ideas to the world today! In reality, it doesn’t happen overnight. There are many parts that have to align behind the scenes; so, you have to trust that every day you’re getting closer to your goal.
The most difficult part of being an entrepreneur is to learn to have that type of patience.
What advice do you have for other women that would like to start their own company?
Don’t spend time doubting yourself. If you have an idea (and you’ve done your research), GO-FOR-IT! However, one thing I’d advise young entrepreneurs is to get a partner and get involved.
It’s much easier and effective to learn by doing vs spending too much time in research and planning.
Why and how did you end up an entrepreneur? Was it a path you always envisioned pursuing?
I come from a family of small business owners. I looked up to what they were able to do but didn’t think I had the skills to do the same.
While I didn’t always envision that it was the right path, I took a leap and started my own small business that wasn’t successful at generating revenue but taught me a great deal about my strengths and weaknesses.
I later met someone who shared the same interests, we developed an idea, got it into the hands of customers, went to a national trade show to showcase our product, and before I knew it, Cloaked Box was going to be carried by one of the biggest retail chains in the world!
What tools do you recommend for other women who would like to be entrepreneurs?
SAAS (software as a service) and a secret weapon! Get familiar with all the online software services that are available to you.
These tools can help you run your business tremendously. For example, Canva is a great tool that allows me to create all types of documents on the fly — my secret weapon I love to utilize on a daily basis.
Photo courtesy of Sarah
How do you overcome failure or fear?
You embrace it. Once you realize that you’re not made of glass, that you can bounce back and try again, then you learn to let success drive you instead of letting fear control you.
Everyone makes mistakes, the best way is to breakdown what happened, learn from past events, seek advice, pivot and do it again.
What habits contribute to your success?
I wake up early, grab a cup of coffee, and do my most important work first. My partner and I set time away from our computers and phones to have an open free-flowing discussion; we find that we come up with the best ideas during these sessions.
I also make sure I go to the gym throughout the week to help keep my energy up for long work days. I find these habits are key to staying active, creative, and productive.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Wait, you can have both!? It’s difficult, but I find that it’s easier when I’m organized. I utilize a planner and follow that to the ends of the earth.
If I accomplish a majority of my goals, I feel free to spend time with family and friends or just to turn on a movie & relax for an hour or two.
What does your typical day look like?
Coffee, work, gym, repeat. Well, that’s always the plan at least! In reality, my typical day is me switching hats.
As a startup, you have to be prepared to accomplish many tasks in-house — from graphic design to sales, to technical. This can be quite demanding and takes up a majority of my time.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My notebook! It’s where I keep all my ideas, sketches, and goals.
There’s something about that pencil-to-paper feeling that I can’t live without!
Bre is a female millennial go getter residing in New York. One part entrepreneur, one part geek, she obtained her degree in Textile/Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology.
She has held some exciting roles in both fashion as a designer working for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Henri Bendel, as well as in ad tech working for publishers like Ziff Davis.
Today she operates her own luxury label Bre Avery, along with Chip Chick Media which reaches millions of women each month.
Bre is passionate about teaching women how to build a business and be an entrepreneur, in addition to keeping her readers informed of the latest technology trends and exciting products to improve their lifestyles.
You can send Bre a message here.