Small-business owners, what are you doing to stand out from the crowd? Each week, we focus on an entrepreneur who has lessons to share that we think will resonate with other small-business owners.
Mollie Culligan, the owner of fashion label the Jack Rabbit Collection, answers our questions:
What are you doing to stand out from the crowd?
Landing on the shelves of Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Henri Bendel doesn’t just happen. Retailers respond to our one-on-one approach. We are one of the only firms of our kind that does not have a public relations firm. Our story comes from our mouths — and people seem to like the conversation.
What’s the best part about running your own business?
I am constantly learning, growing and changing.
What’s the biggest challenge of running your own business?
I’m good at designing, leading and implementing strategies. However, as a business owner, becoming an expert in other decidedly less-sexy roles, including bookkeeper, tech wiz and sometimes even electrician, has been difficult.
Name: Mollie Culligan
Business: The Jack Rabbit Collection, maker of handbags and belts.
Location: Los Angeles
Year founded: 2005
Number of employees: 2
Web address: thejackrabbitcollection.com
What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome?
Early on, I thought: If I just work harder and longer, then I’ll succeed. However, at that pace I quickly felt drained. To avoid getting burned out entirely, now I go home at night and have a life. I try to have fun and live a balanced life or else I’ll have nothing to give to my business.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?
Not drawing the line between employee and friend. As a younger woman, I didn’t set clear enough boundaries with employees and other working relationships.
What’s the best business advice you can offer?
Everything is possible; you just have to see it first. When I started out, I couldn’t even picture having my own desk. Now I have a fashion label, a studio and hundreds of top accounts.