From Corporate Maven to Business Owner – Chic CEO
November 5, 2012
For 30 years, I have worked for corporate big and small. Working my way up or working my way to the middle, but never above the median. I was trained and mentored by highly intelligent, gifted people, with educations bigger than mine; I listened, asked questions and took lots of notes. “You too, could become a CEO one day,” they told me. Yet, the road is closed, construction signs along the way, but always a detour sign! A corporate possession you become, coveted.
I met people along the way doing their own thing, making a difference innovating and creating. I always had a desire to do something on my own, not knowing are you ever ready, or has it been done before, just not better? The online concept and functionality starts ﬂowing, but naming the online business, still not coming to me. One afternoon in Trader Joe’s, in the wine aisle I met Nicole – we talked about wines, places we visited, having a spiritual conversation. During the conversation, she looked at me, and said, “Where is the more?” It was not about having more things, but in life, where is the more? I immediately took the variation of the word “where” and wrote out, “where’s more,” “wear more,” “ware is the more,” and knew that Wares The More would represent and perhaps over time, be a household word or a brand.
I saved the money to start www.waresthemore.com and received some money from an infringement case. It was time. Wares The More is on its way – the funds were there and the creativity ﬂowing. I continue to support my paralegal profession too, seeking new projects and hopeful to ﬁnd legal work. Having the legal skills and the commitment helps too when you create and innovate
Name: Catherine Kastner
Company: Wares The More
Wares The More is an exclusive collection of merchants within a 3 dimensional web boutique shopping experience. We are a virtual marketplace that cross references our customers unique needs and desires to their ideal merchants. Our merchant category approach simplifies the shopping process, and our selection of merchants are trusted and known for quality, selection and great customer service. We provide a customized shopping experience within an e-boutique; offering fashion, accessories, footwear, sports, fitness and travel, plus items for women, men, moms, children, business, home and more. Wares The More will offer a Loyalty Program and a VIP Concierge Service. We are also accessible via mobile or mobile friendly platforms.
What is something you wish you would have known when you started your business?
Trust that you can go it alone. When considering a partner, consider the contribution, levels of expertise, and attention to detail. Doing business with a friend, despite the legal protections and mutual understanding, when you take your friend hat off and put your business hat on, you both have to be in the mindset that this is business. Stick with the plan, business model and stay focused. You are not deciding who will pick up the tab! There are services, collaborators and resources available to you as a business owner; to avoid disruption, delays and disappointment. Set the expectation level for acceptable disappointment. Do not settle when you are putting your name and reputation out for public opinion.
What are the benefits of owning your own company?
You are 100% accountable and responsible. You have control over deliverables, setting the goals and expectations and executing. Don’t be fooled, there is no work, life balance in a start up if you want to be successful! Owning it, ﬁne tunes you!
How do you maintain and keep a balanced home and work life while owning your company?
Start-ups never afford a work, life, balance, not initially. Commit to You ﬁrst. Start your day with exercise, a clear mind, acknowledge your loved ones, be engaged and breathe! Prepare the night before, anticipate constant change, because you will lose yourself to others very quickly. Set your work plan in segmented times to complete a project. Take very little into the next day, to avoid not delivering. Be reasonable, if you are one person or two or a team of 5, have a plan. Commit to kindness for yourself and it extends to others throughout the day.
What is a quote that your business/company/or you live by?
“Weakness of attitude is weakness of character.”