Q & A with Kendra
Posted on January 22 2019
My name is Kendra Dean, I am 25 years old and I run all things Serendipity with the help of my mom, grandma, and younger sister!
Lately I have been getting a ton of messages asking me how I run the business and why I do what I do. I thought I would put together a little blog post that covers some frequently asked questions. Hopefully, some of this will motivate you to chase your dreams-no matter how big or small.
Q. How did you get started in fashion and has it always been something you were interested in?
A. I have always had an interest in fashion and creating outfits. My specialty and degree from University of Kentucky is in Fashion Merchandising which includes displays and putting outfits together. My mom studied Fashion Merchandising at TCU and I knew I wanted to study the same thing. I loved working at Serendipity in High School and I really wanted to use that as a career path after college. I have loved being able to work here and continue to grow the family business. I love studying the different trends and being able to test them out here at the store.
Q. What is one big thing you have changed since taking over the business?
A. One big thing I have changed since taking over the shop in 2016 is updating our computer system and building an e-commerce store. For about 10 years we would hand write each sale we had at the shop. We are now fully run by a Shopify POS system that connects to our inventory in-store as well as our online store. This way everything is digital and checking out is easier for our customers.
Q. How do you balance the online store and the physical store front?
A. Managing an online store for Serendipity as well as the physical store can be extremely challenging. It is almost like owning and operating two separate stores. Our website needs to be constantly updated, inventory needs to be managed and products photos have to be taken as well as edited. If inventory in store is not counted correctly that could often times mess up an online order. I know a lot of people either own an online company or a brick and mortar store but rarely both. I would suggest picking one and specializing in it, sometimes it can be extremely overwhelming trying to balance the both of them.
Q. What is the most difficult thing about running a business at your age?
A. I would say the most difficult thing about running a six figure business at my age is creating a work/life balance. Just the past year I received some good advice to leave my laptop at work. That way I wouldn't be tempted to continue to work when I got home. I had a habit of staying up late and creating new content but never really "shutting it off". So my goal in 2019 is to try and get as much work done as I can at the office and leave the rest for the next day. Another difficult thing is working the weekends. Retail hours can get crazy- especially around the holidays (we are open every single day in December) plus, we are open on Saturdays. I often find myself missing out on things or having to take a crazy amount of work off when taking trips. I have the most amazing friends who understand my schedule and do their best to let me know in advance or work around my schedule. You really are who you surround yourself with and my business would be nothing without my beautiful friends near and far!
Q. What advice do you have for people looking to start their own business?
A. I have been working at Serendipity since March of 2006 and took over full time in 2016. I feel like I have already grown so much as a person and have so much advice I could give on running a business. If you are looking to create a business of your own make sure you can really dedicate yourself and give it your all!! A business is non-stop, 25/8, and has the owner you are responsible for everyone and everything. Be prepared to miss out on events and be prepared to devote your entire heart to it. A business really is like a baby. Also, don't think too much- just GO FOR IT! You can always go back and make changes but if you spend too long trying to perfect it all, you will never get it just right. Start tomorrow and just learn as you go!
Q. What is your favorite part about being your own boss?
A. My favorite part of being my own boss is being able to be so creative in my work environment. Any new ideas or new products I want to bring to the shop I am allowed to try. Every single work day is different from the next and that is what I love most about it. I never know what each day is going to look like around here and it certainly never gets boring!
Q. Where do you see Serendipity in the next 5-10 years?
A. As we start off the New Year I have some major goals for Serendipity! We are really looking to expand our online presence and give you all the same selection of items we have at our brick and mortar to our online store. I also would love to expand our gift selection here at our physical location downtown Libertyville. I want to become a one stop shop for our customers and allow them to be able to get jewelry, clothing, and home goods all in one space.
Feel free to send us a message on instagram: @theserendipityshopinc with any other questions you may have or anything else you want to see on the blog! We would love to hear from you!