FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS: DESIGNING A BUSINESS FOR WOMEN
by Lynn Crandell
With an undergrad degree in biology and a masters in counseling, I wasn’t exactly educated on how to start and run a business. Working in a local bridal shop while in grad school sparked my passion and conviction that I could “do it better”. I knew I needed business knowledge and support. Fortunately for me, my parents also had a vision. They were willing to invest in a business primarily for women and run by women in order to provide security, opportunity and independence for the women in our family. Partnering with my Mom, who also had no business experience but plenty of life experience, we set out to create our dream.
Just like every house or building needs a strong, steady foundation, every business needs an owner with sound financial knowledge and sense. We started by researching the market, networking with other local vendors in the wedding industry, attending seminars, and taking risks. Was it ever frustrating, exhausting or even just plain scary? Of course it was! Even with all of our proactive planning we ran into issues and problems we never anticipated. We persevered, problem solved, and sought advice from other business owners. Having mentors and advisors is such a blessing; people you can trust, who have gone on before you and have a wealth of experience to share. There’s a lot of power in women helping women!
Did we fulfill our dream? Now, beginning our 18th year, I can say “Yes We Did”! We've been a stepping stone for several women in our extended family throughout the years as a safe and welcoming place to learn, grow, and gain the confidence necessary to strike out on their own.
We’ve grown from just the two of us to a team of over 30 women striving to be a place where each individual can shine sharing their strengths and improving their weaknesses. We’ve become a leader in our industry mentoring others as they are also fulfilling their dream. Yes, there are still challenges, there always will be, but we have no doubts we will continue to thrive.
Lynn’s Crandall's love for people and her genuine concern for the well-being of her staff and guests is reflected in every aspect of the business, making all who enter feel welcomed and valued. As a well respected leader in the bridal industry Lynn is now coaching and teaching other store owners who wish to achieve the same success.