Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Andie Cohen-Healy, Owner/Designer at The Feathered Head:
What does your company do?
Inspired by past images of elegance when stylish women dressed for dining, travel and parties, The Feathered Head’s Cocktail and Bridal Collections offer an exciting array of one-of-a-kind modern and vintage headpieces, both handcrafted and curated, including fascinators, headbands, vintage hats, combs and veils. Incorporated into our unique hair ornaments are unexpected embellishments such as luminous feathers, vintage jewelry & millinery. Our luxe materials' iridescence and movement enhance a woman's sense of style and celebrate individuality. We also specialize in custom-designed and gently restored vintage wedding headpieces for brides, mother-of-the-bride, attendants. Using a bride's sense of style, level of formality, colors, theme and overall desires as our guide, we create commissioned pieces or suggest options currently available in our online Bridal Collection. Dedicated to offering the most personalized service possible, we’re not satisfied until we have created the perfect expression of each bride's personality and vision of her wedding day.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am the Founder, Owner, Designer & Treasure Hunter. I love my story of how I went from the Director of Satellite Operations at MTV to Entrepreneur because of chickens! As a later-in-life bride, I did not want mundane, assembly line "bridal-blah" to be a part of my special day. I wanted something different, something that would stand out and reflect my personality. Since my then-future-husband and I adored our five spoiled pet chickens, I wanted to include them in our wedding in a way that wouldn’t leave people laughing hysterically in the aisles. My "Eureka!" moment: Why not craft their beautiful, colorful plumes into a bridal headpiece instead of a veil?” I did just that and created something both elegant and meaningful. The idea took off and expanded. I’m now dedicated to and passionate about helping other women express their individuality and find their version of a chicken-feather headpiece!
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
The biggest ongoing challenge in my business centers around balancing the tasks of being my own boss. I often have to do 17 different jobs, 15 of which I have to teach myself just before I attempt the task. As a one-woman business, I do everything including creating the pieces, marketing, popup shops, website admin, photo shooting & editing, copywriting, social medial, product sourcing, etc. Determining where my time should be spent to best streamline my business is a constant question; should I learn a task or hire someone? Be completely hands on or delegate? I AM my product and brand so it’s very hard to hand anything off and not be a control freak. However, this is not always the best use of my time. The ever-present lament of the entrepreneur!
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
I would encourage my younger self to pay attention to oddball things fate throws your way and after thorough investigation and exploration, take smart and bold risks. I would believe the saying that “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and see how I could apply it to the business world because it is so true. But on the other hand, it’s only because I worked for years in the corporate environment, learning excellent business and communications skills, that I had the confidence and knowledge to take the leap from soul-sucking job to a career borne of passion. I would say: Be a sponge, soak up everything so that you never stop learning…in business and in life. You just don’t know where inspiration is going to come from!