It’s been EXACTLY seven months since I started my journey with Agnes & Dora as an Independent representative/retailer. April 13th was the day I received the email that has completely changed my life. It sounds all cliche and corny but it truly has. I’ve met some of the coolest people in this journey and made friends I’ll always be in touch with. The clothes are a HUGE part of this but it’s nothing compared to the people I’ve met along the way.
I started without any real idea of what to expect except that I knew there would be a lot of work and that I knew I could do whatever this business was going to throw at me. It took me several years to get to where I am today but my confidence is through the roof and Agnes & Dora has lit the flame inside me that was blown out a few years ago.
Is the business anything like you thought it would be?
I think I felt like I had a pretty good handle on the basic concept of what I would be doing but I never dreamed it would grow to what it is today for me. I had some very specific standards I wanted to hold on to throughout this journey.
1) My confidence
2) Personal conversations with customers at all times (keeping up with this is the hardest part of what I do)
3) Being seen as knowledgeable about the styles
4) Being intentional about branding myself in a way I could be proud of
5) Being transparent and REAL to my group, I wanted people to trust me
6) Not being seen as spammy or a sales person
7) Being looked to as a leader on the rep team
8) Not building a team of reps when I didn’t even know how to do it all myself yet
9) Spreading my knowledge in other areas of life with the audience I was building
10) Staying in my own lane and not allowing someone else’s business to interfere with mine
11) Not crumbling when someone isn’t pleased with one of my policies and staying true to my Agnes & Dora business
These standards were important for me to put in place mentally so that I always had a clear direction of where I was going and where I wanted to go. There have been a lot of bumps in the road especially in regards to the growth Agnes & Dora has seen. I just put on my seat belt and rode along as they so kindly shared their back roads with me.
I’ve had plenty of my own “oh shit” moments. These are all a direct result of the weaknesses I carry within myself. The ones I’ve accepted as part of me and I live with. These are things that cannot be fixed at this point in my life. Sometimes I just smile and say, “if they don’t like me they will find someone else they like better and that’s fine with me.”
I’ve also had some really great moments where I’ve been able to, for the first time, put the knowledge I attained while earning my MBA in to place. My creative side has been able to work over time and for that I am especially thrilled.
What is your favorite part about owning your own Boutique?
I mean how could I even name just one?
When boxes of clothes are left on my doorstep I basically get high! I love the idea that these clothes are worn during some of the funnest moments of people’s lives, that they give them more confidence and make them feel beautiful. It was the same way I felt when I put together a look for a bride at David’s Bridal. Helping people style an outfit is the ultimate in fun in my book!
The customers I’ve met are so freaking cool I can’t even explain. I’ve gotten to know so many women because of this and it’s opened my eyes even further in to the kinds of people I want to surround myself with.
It has again shown me who my real friends are. I’ve seen who is genuinely excited for me and it’s revealed the ugly little ducklings that couldn’t be happy for someone if you held a gun to their head. OH yeah I said it just like that.
I’ve become stronger in areas I wanted to become stronger in.
I’ve always said I wanted people to be a better version of themselves and that’s exactly what I am trying to do for myself with my Agnes & Dora business.
What are your least favorite parts of owning your own Agnes & Dora Boutique?
I think the worst two parts are being attached to your phone at all times and dealing with the growth spurts Agnes & Dora is going through. We’ve seen some crazy stuff since I started and seen a massive shift in the way the company does business so it’s something that I love and that annoys me at the same time.
What is the most time consuming part of running your own Agnes & Dora Boutique?
I think that managing the pulling, packing, labeling and mailing part is the definitely the most time consuming. I’ve recently brought someone on to help with it because it’s mind numbing. It’s busy work that keeps me from doing other things I want to be doing (like this first instance).
Responding to messages is also very difficult because there isn’t exactly a streamlined process for it . When you’re trying to mom at the same time someone asks you what sizes you have in something it’s easy for conversations to be left undone.
How do you purchase inventory?
Launches have changed since I started but right now we are purchasing our inventory during launches every other Monday. I get to purchase what I want as long as it doesn’t sell out before I get to it! Launches are fairly large and they do limit the number of sizes we can get in each style so more reps have a chance to get what they want. Reps also work really well with one another to get each other what we need. If Sally has a shirt that your customer needs she will send it to you or to your customer for that matter. The rep community is pretty amazing.
Is there a compensation plan and is Agnes & Dora a pyramid scheme?
First of all, Agnes & Dora has no compensation plan yet and no it’s not a pyramid scheme. Let’s be real, the only way I’m successful is if I sell the inventory I have. No one is selling anything for me but me. We are able to add team members underneath of us in a genealogy style tree but those reps don’t earn us any extra income. We receive rep credits which allow us to purchase more inventory which we in turn NEED to sell in order to make more money. So it’s a checks and balances system for sure. If you can’t move your inventory the only person to look at in the mirror is yourself. You can’t just sit back and let others do the work.
What kind of space do you need for your Agnes & Dora Boutique?
The honest answer is not much. What you see is what you get. If you’re going live online and all your customers see is your wall and you behind the screen THAT is your boutique through their eyes. It’s not about the space it’s about the business owner and the inventory she has. I personally wanted a spot for people to come and shop so that’s why I went to great lengths to build it in to my home. You do you.
What do you need to get started with Agnes & Dora?
Well that’s a loaded question
1) You need a great referring rep and a team to help guide you
2) You need to be able to financially support the investment. You’re pretty much always going to have some form of debt because you want to build inventory levels so you need to be prepared for that.
3) You need some kind of social media background and presence. Some will disagree with me here but I really thing that’s important. But that’s just me.
4) You need a smartphone, tablet or laptop, and printer to manage ALL parts of your business with
5) You have to be willing to learn and step out of your comfort zone
What would you change?
I wouldn’t actually change anything about what I do except I know that I need to learn how to streamline certain tasks. You can’t grow unless you go through growing pains so I will continue to keep learning and striving to do better!
Do you have any questions about Agnes & Dora? Any questions about being an Agnes & Dora Independent representative/retailer?
Feel free to use the contact information to get a hold of me. I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have.
Interested in shopping? You can visit my website at www.carpechic.com
Want to join my Facebook group to learn more about the styles? Join here.
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem