Monday, March 25, 2013
Spotlight on Mom: Holly Quinn of Quinnspirations
When I heard about Holly Quinn and the reason for starting her business. Quinnspirations, it struck a cord and made me want to share her story. Like me, Holly, battled cancer and beat it -- Yeah!. Upon being diagnosed, she, like many others who receive this scary, life changing diagnosis, decided that she wanted to spend her time not in an office, but with family. So, she stopped working, to stay home and raise her children. Bored while they were in school, Holly began refinishing furniture to keep busy. She takes gently used and vintage furniture and repurposes it, or refurbishes it. Many items she sources via Craigslist, Goodwill or garage sales. With a bit of creative ingenuity, and elbow grease, Holly turns cast off's into showroom beauties. Her furniture can be found in the brick and mortar store, Cashmere and Coco in Vail Colorado. The store is owned by Jesse and Ann Csincsak, former reality stars from the shows The Bachelor and Bachelorette. Holly turns a few hundreds into several thousands and is always being asked to create more.
But, the best part about Holly's story is that she donated 100% off all profits to the Ovarian Cancer Research fun, in hopes that a cure will be found, and lives will be saved. How great is that? :-) I am so glad I found out about Holly, and that she took time out of her busy schedule to respond to my Spotlight on Mom feature. Below is my interview with Holly, as she shares more about her new business, Quinnspirations and person journey as a mom entrepreneur. Enjoy!
Name: Holly Quinn
Company Name/Product/Service: Quinnspirations
Company Location: In my house at the moment, but looking for the right location to open our retail location
Company Website: http://www.quinnspirations.com/ (under construction)
Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Quinnspirations/426554690744574
Age of Company: one year
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: "You can get busy living, or you can get busy dying". Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Book: "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I have four children: 25, 22, 16 and 14. I enjoy running, painting, sewing, refinishing furniture, making all natural body scrubs, cleaning supplies and body products
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and decided being a corporate woman was taking too much time from my family. Cancer is really a wake-up call to what is important in life. I needed activities to keep me occupied, but that I could do in 15 minute increments (That's about all the energy I had) so I started making all natural products. Then my sister told me I should refinish a table we owned...so I thought, "why not". This has evolved into taking cast-off furniture and making them beautiful with fun colors and whimsical designs. Next up? I am taking an upholstery classes and learning to make my own furniture from reclaimed wood.
What is a typical work day like?
I only work during school hours. My day often starts with looking for materials and furniture. I only do the physical work a couple hours a day.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
Trial and error of figuring out what products work and what products don't. By the time I have finished a piece, I might have 80- hours into it because I want it to be a one of a kind, work of art.
What did you do in your past work life?
I was an insurance agent.
What have been some of your major successes?
Having a boutique owner ask to showcase my furniture in Vail, Co!
What have been some of your major challenges?
Trying to transport large pieces of furniture!
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
100% of the proceeds from my furniture painting goes to The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund so we can kick cancer's butt!
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
My family always comes first, and I do not compromise. My husband is a rock! So, when I need to make a delivery to the mountains, he is more than happy to get kids where they need to be.
What is next for your business?
I have found a business partner and we are in the process of finding just the right property to open our own retail store where we will specialize in up-cycling.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
Go for it! Sometimes, we don't try new things for fear of failure. But, I think we don't try new things for fear of success.