What activity comes to mind when you read this description: A thoughtful conversation with a professional who draws out a person’s passions and goals to evaluate the next best step. If a good therapy or coaching session was your first thought, I don’t blame you. I’m sure a telephone job interview didn’t cross your mind. In fact, people rank job …
This is the final installment in our series on working with recruiting partners. In my previous post, we discussed options if a client wants to “manage” recruiting. These options include executive, contingent, and staffing firms. As discussed, each plays a unique role in talent acquisition and it is not uncommon to have all three operating at once in a firm. …
Recently, we’ve been diving into the ins and outs of recruiting – when to hire a recruiter and your relationship to your recruiter. Now, we get into the kinds of recruiters and who to call for what purposes. In my last post, we talked about whether or not you want to own the recruiting process generally or manage professionals who …
Contemplation – Imagine you are a retailer contemplating this tenant space. Clearly, you might be asking yourself; “now what?” Suppose a few of the questions below move from unconscious reflection to conscious contemplation without ensuing answers, then assessing a project to see what is actually required could facilitate the decision making process and provide many benefits.
Resources – Landlord provided documents, previous project cost summaries, consultations with building departments, contractors, engineers and sometimes professional construction estimators are all resources informing project feasibility. The intent is to simplify, consolidate and summarize the probable scope of work, professional fees, construction costs and time that might be anticipated for a project. It is the purpose of a feasibility assessment and a highly recommended means of beginning most retail projects.
- Do I need to build the walls?
- Do I need to build the bathroom(s)
- Why do I need 2 bathrooms?
- Why do I need 2 entries?
- Do I need to install the storefront system?
- Can I use my own storefront design?
- Do I need to have my own electric meter installed?
- Do I need to install my own Air Conditioning and heating system?
- What is the best mechanical system to use?
- Is there water in the space?
- What about hot water?
- What about gas?
- Where is the sewer?
- How do I connect to it?
- Will my store fit in this space?
- Must I supply my own storefront sign?
- Who will design it?
- Can I design the store myself?
- Can I turn a logo into a store design?
- Where do I get the store fixtures?
- What if I can’t find the exact fixtures that I need to display my products?
- Are custom store fixtures required, if so who will design them?
- What about lighting?
- Who sets up the Point of Sale (POS) system and how do I hide the wires?
- How do I accommodate the cabling and hard wiring for my computers?
- How much can I expect to spend for all this?
- A contractor told me he could build my store for $45/sq. ft. Should I believe him?
- Do I need a building permit?
- What does an architect charge?
- Can I get this done in time to open before I must begin paying rent?
- How do a pick a contractor?
- Is the construction allowance from the landlord enough to build the store?
- Does the location have enough parking?
- What is the visibility from walk and drive by traffic?
- Is this space a good choice for my project?
- If I don’t take this space do I need to start all over with a new feasibility for a different location?
Please feel free start a discussion here and maybe even see some answers.
Bridget Gaddis, is a Licensed Architect and LEED-accredited Professional practicing nationally, and locally in the Washington DC area. She holds professional degrees in both Architecture and Interior Design, and with a comprehensive background in commercial retail design, planning and construction has completed projects for such for such well known brands as Chloe, Zegna, and Bvlgari. Her career began in tenant coordination and site planning for two well-known Cleveland developers, followed by six years in store planning for a national retailer. After a move to New York City in 1997, she spent the next years working for architecture firms specializing in retail projects. In 2011 she started her own practice in Alexandria, VA. Ms. Gaddis is the author of two blogs dealing with architectural subjects.
This post about Kristin Csehill first appeared on the Start DC blog on February 2, 2016.
I’ve shared the stories of entrepreneurs like Shizu Okusa (JRINK) and Warren Brown (CakeLove), who told me that they started their ventures on the side while working full-time, growing their businesses and testing the waters before making the leap to full-time entrepreneurship. Kristin Csehill, founder of Criss Naturals, is an entrepreneur at the very start of this journey.
In 2014, Csehill started Criss Naturals, her line of lotions made with all-natural ingredients and crafted to evoke travels and memories—“from the cloves of Stone Town…to the lavender of Paris perfumeries”—as the website explains. I recently sat down with Csehill to learn more.
I know that you work full-time as a defense contractor—what made you decide to start making lotion?
Throughout my life, I’ve had skin issues like eczema, so I’ve had a really difficult time finding lotion that worked on my skin. In 2013, I was diagnosed with a lot of food and chemical allergies and I had to start paying attention not only to what I was eating but the products I was using. I tried using other all-natural products, but they were so oily and just didn’t absorb into my skin. Especially at work, it was a problem—I can’t have oily hands at work!
I started to experiment and found a blend that is moisturizing and that absorbs. I was making the lotion for myself, and taking it with me when I traveled for work. About a year later, a friend suggested that I sell the lotion—that there were probably other people who needed it too.
I still have my full-time job and I do Criss Naturals on the side at this point. It takes a lot of money to start your own business!
That brings me to financing. Are you self-financed? Are there any finance tips that you can share?
Yes, I’m all self-financed right now. As the business grows, I may try to take out a small business loan, but I haven’t got that far yet.
Have you noticed anything unique about starting your own business in the DMV?
Yes! I didn’t realize how many small businesses there are in this area! There are a lot of small business associations. I worked with the Alexandria Small Business Association and they’ve helped with free social media training and publicity.
Part of the hard part about small businesses in the DMV, though, is that a lot of their networking events happen during the day and I have a full-time job, so I can’t participate. I really wish that someone here started something that was more after-hours or that wasn’t geared toward just IT.
What are your plans for the future? Where do you hope Criss Naturals will be in a couple of years?
What I’d really love is to do some online sales and have it be self-sustaining. Also, I’d love to have a boutique, and then ship globally. I want to stay true to the brand and its origins of providing all-natural skincare without making the ingredients and process too complicated.
What is your favorite scent?
My favorite is actually London. It’s not the most popular scent overall—Singapore and Paris are the top sellers—but London is my favorite. Scent and memory are very connected. So when I smell Criss Naturals products, the scent automatically transports me back to that time and place.
I made London using bergamot essential oil and orange extract because those are the bases for Earl Gray tea. When I think of London, I think about refinement and strolling through Hyde Park and then going to have tea afterwards. Each scent is a handmade representation of that city.
It is this experience I hope to give to others, via all natural skin care. That’s why Criss Naturals tagline is ‘define your skin’s journey’. People should be able to take control of what they use and put on their skin, and the experience they want to have.
Find Criss Naturals in these local stores. | Photos by G. Byrd.
The holidays have arrived. What a wonderful time of year! Lately, I have been reflecting on the meaning of the old verse “for everything there is a season.” This oft-quoted saying reminds me that our lives are driven by a constant flow of change. I find that the key to my happiness and the health of my business can best …
For some time now, Frederique Campagne-Irwin of Her Corner has been challenging me to move TalentFront from a personality-driven business – selling oneself — to the next level of sustainability – selling a solution. I understood the concept, but I didn’t really understand what that meant, at a gut level, until I passed up an opportunity because I could not …
There is nothing quite like that moment when you find and extend an offer to the right candidate! You just know that bringing her on is going to have an awesome impact on your business and you can’t wait for her to get started. Only sometimes, that impact isn’t awesome. Sometimes when the new hire starts working, she doesn’t click …