“Hustle” isn’t just a trendy term—it’s a reality for thousands of small business owners across the country. Launching your own brand is a grueling road, filled with unexpected potholes, barriers, and—hopefully—welcomed wins. Below, three women running successful client-facing NYC companies tell us the good, bad and the ugly about being a small business owner, to give you a full-picture view of what it’s really like to cater to customers on the daily.

Ashley Jaffe of Blank Slate Tea

Industry: Restaurants

Start Date: November 2015

On the differences between owning a small company vs. a large company

“There is a much more hands-on approach in a small business. You are lucky enough to have the time and capacity to interact with every aspect of the business. I think there is a lot more control this way – and most definitely a deeper personal touch in all that you do.”

On what made her start a company

My husband/partner and I saw a gap in the coffee shop market. We didn’t understand why shops were not offering a killer cup of coffee with a fantastic meal. We had varying strengths within the hospitality industry and decided to partner up and open our dream cafe!

The biggest challenges

The 24/7 needs of the business. Especially with cafes open 7 days a week. It literally never stops. The phone never stops ringing and the issues never stop arising. It’s exhausting! As the business grows, we will be able to hire more staff to help navigate the nonstop needs … and hopefully sleep a bit more!

The most rewarding part 

The relationships. With our staff. With our customers. Each day, we get to interact with the most incredible people we would never have met otherwise. We get to make them happy with an exciting new job opportunity … or an amazing meal. It feels so wonderful to be a part of something like that!

Why Newsette HQ loves them

We hosted the launch of our Newsette Network at Blank Slate Tea, and were delighted by their beautiful, ultra-Instagrammable décor—and our guests were obsessed with their stunning rose lattes (spoiler alert: they’re pink and feature rose petals).

 

Jackie Koch of Humming Puppy Yoga

Industry: Wellness/Studio

Start Date: February 2015

On the differences between owning a small company vs. a large company

“You are able to make real human connections and build lasting relationships.”

On what made her start a company

“Yoga had such a profound impact on my own life and I wanted to share the passion and love I had for the practice with others.”

The biggest challenges

“Having studios in locations that aren’t close to home!! From Melbourne AUS to Sydney AUS to New York, working across multiple time zones can be challenging.”

The most rewarding part 

“The most rewarding part about what we do is the powerful and lasting impact we have on people’s lives. Being part of their journey back to themselves is beautiful to observe.”

Why Newsette HQ loves them

Our Newsette Network took a class at Humming Puppy’s new Flatiron location—and had the chicest yoga session of our lives. Their location is so luxurious, you’ll never want to leave. Trust us and book a class ASAP.

 

Mary Vamvoukakis of La Pittura Studio

Industry: Creative Events

Start Date: April 2016

On the differences between owning a small company vs. a large company

“A small business is like your child! We work hard to nurture and grow it. We work our butts off for every review, every party, every referral and every class because everything is on the line. We become a part of our clients’ experience from start to finish. With a large company, you rely on your team to give your customers the service they deserve.”

On what made her start a company

“My daughter. Her dad passed away before she was born and I had to work full time. I just wanted more time with her. I hated having to build something for someone else and still feel guilty to take time off to spend with her or go to her school trips etc. I put my heart and soul into my work so why not do it for myself and my family?”

The biggest challenges

“Uncertainty- not knowing where to allocate marketing money to generate clients, not being sure if you’ll just have 2 people that month or 200 people. And that directly affects our growth. We started in a space that seated 12 painters. When we felt we outgrew that space, we found a new space that was double the rent. We weren’t sure if we could pull it off but we did. We outgrew that space (it sat 20 painters) so we moved to our current space. Again doubling our rent and doubling our capacity. Here we are a year later and we need more space! But finding an affordable space in the city that will allow us to hold multiple classes and still be within a budget that will make us feel comfortable is hard! Do we make the leap again and trust it will all work out? What if we find the perfect space and no one comes? These are the things we constantly worry about so obviously one of my other challenges is lack of sleep!”

The most rewarding part 

“When someone says they had the best birthday, the best bridal shower, the best team outing, best time ever! We’ve had people from all over the world walk through our doors to paint with us (since we partnered with AirBnB to offer sneaker painting classes). They make us a part of their New York vacation and they tell us we’re the best part! What?! Out of all the sites to see and experiences to have, painting sneakers with me is the best part! Such an amazing feeling! And when someone comes in saying they can’t paint or they’re not artistic and they create a beautiful piece of art, they shock themselves. They can’t believe they actually created something. I love being a part of that process.”

Why Newsette HQ loves them

The Newsette team and our network had a blast creating works of art (we painted the Eiffel Tower) while sipping delicious vino. We highly recommend this oasis for a date, or girls’ night out. Bonus? You leave with a new apartment decoration. Score! Book your dreamy class now.

Load (0) Comments

Related