FROM LISTINGS TO LIP WHIP: 5 LESSONS FROM THE REAL ESTATE WORLD WE BROUGHT TO OUR BEAUTY BIZ
Before starting Kari Gran in 2011, we both had successful careers as real estate brokers in the Seattle area. We met “in the business” and quickly fell in to a friend/mentor/comrade type deal, and have been learning and growing together ever since. And while we now spend our days turning the beauty world on its head, there are a few lessons learned back from our real estate days that still reign supreme
1. Problem Solve Creatively. In real estate, it was often hard to predict the final income with so many factors going on, and no transaction ever following a typical A to Z path.The dots often didn’t connect in a logical way, and so we had to figure out how to make that happen. We learned to be fast on our feet, put on our thinking caps and look outside the box for a solution that makes everyone involved smile. This skill has become invaluable to us – running a product based beauty based was new territory for us when we first started, and even know we learn more every day and are faced with hurdles – but we always figure out how to clear them quickly.
2. Customer Service is the Priority. Nordstrom, headquartered here in Seattle, is known for their motto of the “customer is always right.” This comes as no surprise, but you have to leave and breathe this concept every day. It’s why we include hand written notes in our orders, it’s why we bend over backwards to fill special requests, and it’s why we always had a staid of loyal clientele when we were selling high end homes – we truly love and appreciate our customers, and we want them to know it. We know a bad experience from a single person can ruin even the best products and brands. We always try to treat our customers the way we would like to be treated, and that always goes a long way.
3. Be Flexible. When working in real estate we quickly learned we had to roll with the punches. Finding new clients and selling homes is a definite ebb and flow. We weren’t always depositing a paycheck into the bank every two weeks, and that quickly taught us that things are always in a constant state of change and have to keep moving forward, believe in yourself, and know the next big thing is around the corner. This attitude helps us tackle our ventures with fierceness instead of fear. We understand that the best of times may not always last, but neither will the bad.
4. Listen. In real estate it was very important to listen to our clients, as choosing a home was such an incredibly personal thing and we really had to nail it. When we first started creating our products, we stuck to this philosophy. We tested our products on ourselves, gave critical feedback, shared new products with our friends, their friends, and even more friends and asked for brutally honest critiques. We listened wholeheartedly and fine-tuned our formulas into the stellar product line up we have today. We continue to keep our ear out for suggestions and ideas and are always interested in customer input.
5. Have Fun! This seems like an obvious one when working a job you love whether it’s real estate, the beauty business or anything in between. But it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and get a little stressed on the road to success. Whenever we feel that way, we take a big step back and look at the big picture. We’re creating a brand we truly believe in, we’re working with great people and have fantastic customers – so we like to play our favorite music when filling orders, have happy hour on our deck when it’s sunny or take a break for some yoga zen. It’s what keeps us in check, happy and having fun!
Kari & Lisa