In just one year, Eva and I have gone from being students and trying to balance homework with our family life; to entrepreneurs. We have had our ups and downs, but we have learned so much and I feel that this has made us better friends. The one thing I took from my education was told to my class by my marketing teacher. He said to us, “do not go into business with a partner who has the exact same skill as you.” At first I didn’t understand this. How can two people with completely different backgrounds ever make a successful business? Then Eva and I started down this road of discovery, and lo and behold we do not have the same skills!! I have found out that there are many pros and cons to not having the same skills as your partner.
The ability to have more done at one time
Most people know that Eva is the genius behind our fashion line, but most people do not know that I am the beauty behind the bath and body collection. This is where the partnership came in handy. As Eva is working on our amazing clothing, I am able to focus on the refreshing bath bombs, sugar scrubs and other deliciously addictive bath products that make my house smell amazing!! If there was only one of us to do both collections, we would have to have 50 hour days.
More brainstorming power
When starting a new business, you have to think creatively outside the box because you are not only competing against other small businesses like yours, but larger companies that are well known. The best part of having a business partner is that you are always able to have great ideas that you maybe didn’t think about. There are many times where Eva will have an amazing idea, and I will say, “why didn’t I think of that!!!”, and vice versa. It helps to have someone as a partner who isn’t just like you, otherwise you could get stuck in a certain way of thinking, and never succeed.
Responsibility is divided
When Eva and I started Peyton + Alex, I had no idea what role I would be playing in the business. I have very little knowledge about the fashion world, and I have to admit that I was scared to make this jump into something that I didn’t know. That being said, I have learned a lot about not only fashion, but presentation of our business and ourselves. Because of this, Eva and I are able to divide up the responsibility based off of what we can do, and we are each learning about skills necessary for what the other person does. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I would ever be able to have the skill to make the beautiful pieces that Eva does (believe me I have tried!!!!), but I am learning new skills to better our company. At the end of the day, the more work that can be divided between partners, the more that can be accomplished.
Lack of help
Although now Eva and I are able to divide up the work, there was a time where most of the work was on Eva’s shoulders. When we started, our company was all fashion. This is all Eva’s area of expertise. So, there were many times where I felt (and I am pretty sure Eva did too) out of place. When you focus on
one person’s skills, inevitably the work is going to end up ALL in that person’s lap. The best thing to do is communicate with your partner and figure out solutions to make it work for all of you. For example, my area of expertise is bath and body products. I have been fiddling around with making my own bath products for years. I never sold anything, but I loved the different smells and textures that I was able to produce. I just love crafting in general :p . We decided that because of the fact that we are an eco-consious company, making eco-friendly bath products would be a good fit. Not only did that help with producing more product for us to sell, but it gave me a role to do. As weird as it is to say, it also gave me the ability to help with the fashion side of things.
Limitations of understanding
Everyone who knows me, knows that I have a very limited understanding of social media. I do not know how to take a proper selfie (if not, take a look at all of Eva’s photos that have me in it, lol) and I barely know how to use social media other than to look at cat memes and to read posts on Reddit. This became a problem for me when starting an online business. This not only added more work for Eva, but it was one more thing that I couldn’t do. This limitation didn’t change until I changed “couldn’t” to “can”. I CAN learn how to take selfies, I CAN learn how to edit photos, I CAN learn how to use Instagram, I CAN learn how to make social media posts, ICAN learn anything I put my mind to. In turn, this changed to a limitation of my understanding, to a never ending amount of opportunities of growth.
Weight of the world on your shoulders
Through all of our ups and downs learning how to blend our two different styles, stresses and lives; I can honestly say that Eva and I have used every struggle and victory as a learning experience on how to make our business better and stronger. We are learning from each other and growing every day. That being said, it hasn’t been easy. Eva and I are both mom’s, and I am a single mother trying to manage life with an 8 year old who is WAY too much like me. I have also recently moved, and I am still dealing with unfortunate incidences that have happened to my family for the past couple years. Let’s just say that I have a lot going on right now. Thank god for Eva though. She has been amazing and has stepped up her game by taking over not only
her part of the company, but mine as well when I just didn’t have enough hours in a day. It hasn’t been easy for her though, she has her own stuff going on and she has gotten a little miffed at me from time to time. She has literally had the weight of our company on her shoulders because she knew what I was going through, but a person can only take so much
. The best part of having Eva as a partner (and I know she says the same about me!), is that we communicate with each other. If you feel like you are doing more than your partner, talk to them. Nothing can be resolved if there is no communication.