Fearless Founders: A Q&A With Our CEO & COO
March brings up a lot of emotions for us. One year in quarantine at home with our families, spring and the promise of change on the horizon and of course—Women’s History Month. As a company founded by moms, Women’s History Month is particularly important to us.
So, we sat down our two fearless leaders Kristin and Jessica, to ask them our burning questions on what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes.
Here’s what they had to say.
Q: Why did you start Good Buy Gear?
Kristin: We started Good Buy Gear to solve a personal pain point. When my daughter was 8 months old, I had a household full of stuff that she had outgrown, and we needed more gear. Naturally, I joined a mom’s group, which was a waste of time. I ended up driving across town to meet someone in a sketchy parking lot, just to buy used gear. The whole thing felt unsafe. After that I sent a survey to a group of 100 parents and 80 of them responded that they had the same problem! A trip to Crested Butte with Jessica, and a couple margaritas later, we had a business idea. That Monday morning we got together and started the company.
Q: What’s your favorite part about running your own business?
Jessica: Solving a problem and seeing a lot of progress being made with small changes. No day is ever the same, which is exciting. The most powerful, fulfilling part of running a business is building an amazing team who cares just as much as we do.
Kristin: For me, having a strong culture and wanting to come to work everyday. It's one thing to build a company, but we can really feel good about leaving the world in a better place by creating a circular economy and putting a dent in consumerism.
Q: Did you know you wanted to be founders or entrepreneurs early in your careers?
Kristin: Yes, I knew I wanted to start something, there just hadn’t been a problem that I thought was worth solving until Good Buy Gear.
Jessica: I always had an entrepreneurial mindset. I was always trying to think of new inventions and business ideas. It just took a while to get the guts and to find the right business and partner.
Q: Being a working mom is one thing, but founding a baby and kid brand as moms is on a whole new level. How has being a mom benefited or changed your work?
Kristin: Being a mom is a superpower and it makes you ruthlessly prioritize. You don't deal with bull crap, you work on the most important tasks to move the business forward and reach your ultimate goal.
Jessica: We have to be incredibly efficient with our time during the day because we’re both committed to getting home and having dinner with our kids most evenings.
"Being a mom is a superpower and it makes you ruthlessly prioritize. You don't deal with bull crap, you work on the most important task to move the business forward and reach your ultimate goal."
Q: The age old question that is constantly asked to women, can you really do it all?
Jessica: You can’t do it all. There are only so many hours in the day, so as you continue to add things to your plate something has to give. The key for both of us is to have 100% support at home and knowing when to ask for help from your family and community. Even if that means paying for help.
Kristin: Unfortunately, you never get this question if you’re a male founder. The truth is, as a woman or man, you can never do it all. You need help. And the good news is you don't have to do it all alone. If you want equality in the workplace you need to have equality at home.
"If you want equality in the workplace you need to have equality at home."
Q: If you could give the version of yourself 10 years ago one piece of advice, what would it be?
Kristin: Really think about the company you work for and what they stand for instead of whether the product is cool and it's a good salary. That's how you get joy from work, being part of something bigger gives you a sense of fulfillment.
Jessica: I’d tell myself to not have kids (she jokes). But seriously, you don't have to have a plan for everything. I was methodical and obsessed with planning everything in advance. On this journey things change rapidly everyday. It's not something I planned out, but I'm embracing that and enjoying the ride.
"Really think about the company you work for and what they stand for instead of whether the product is cool and it's a good salary. That's how you get joy from work, being part of something bigger gives you a sense of fulfillment."
The morale of the story? All good ideas start over a couple margaritas (just kidding). Starting a business takes passion and hard work, but most importantly support from your fellow colleagues, community and family. No woman is an island and it’s okay to ask for the same amount of help that society often affords to men.
Cheers to all the female movers and shakers out there.