JACLYN JOSLIN // COVETED HOME
Jaclyn Joslin is the owner and designer behind Coveted Home, a brick & mortar retail store and interior design studio based in Kansas City, Missouri.
How did you come up with the concept behind Coveted Home?
JJ: I opened my first furniture retail store back in 2008 before the home decor industry started booming. There were hardly any boutique retailers in the KC area selling modern home decor, as it was still very rooted in Tuscan, Country/French Country, and Shabby Chic styles, and the only chains in the area were Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. It felt like to the perfect opportunity because the few other independently owned stores selling modern lines were at the other end of the spectrum for the most part, selling high-end, contemporary lines like Knoll and B&B Italia. I wanted to offer a softer and more affordable approach to modern design.
Once you knew you wanted to launch Coveted Home what steps did you take to make that a reality?
JJ: I was still in interior design school in Southern California when I decided I wanted to open a retail store that would also offer design services. I worked in a furniture showroom for over a year and then landed an internship working for two designers that also owned a boutique home goods store. I made sure to take a couple of extra business and marketing classes, and ended up being able to write my entire business plan with the help of one of my professors. This was ultimately what helped me get the initial loan to start my business. Pretty much the entire time I was in school I was working toward my goal by doing research on the area, determining lines to carry and establishing best practices. In the end, I look back and realize nothing could have prepared me for the ups and downs of running a retail store, except for actually doing it.
What lessons have you learned along the way?
JJ: Everyone has their own path and goes at their own pace. Sometimes I feel like I have grown the business at a painfully slow pace, but there are certain things I haven’t been willing to compromise on, such as giving in to every trend that comes around. If I did, I wouldn’t love it and then what would be the point of all my hard work? I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum.
What has surprised you about starting & running this business?
JJ: One of the biggest surprises of being a designer is how much time I spend on my computer. When I was in school we literally made mood boards on foam core with magazine cutouts. It feels like that has changed overnight and since then, I’ve been stuck staring at a screen! Also, social media surprises me every day. It is such an integral part of running a business.
Do you have a daily routine or certain rituals you do?
JJ: I try to start every day by walking my dog Simone for at least 30 minutes, followed by 20-30 minutes of yoga. Walking clears my mind. I have some of my best ideas on our walks! Yoga calms my mind. I typically have a million different things running through it at any given moment. Then I’ll shower and my routine ends there. Every day is different. Some days I work the shop floor, some I’m in client meetings, some I’m at the showrooms pulling fabric, tile or carpet samples, and some I’m stuck on my computer all day.
What hardships/obstacles have you had along the way?
JJ: I’ve been through a divorce, an employee stealing nearly $10,000 from the business, a design firm in Maine threatening to sue over a copyright infringement (on my original business name), the death of my father (who was my biggest supporter and business mentor), and three store moves. I really don’t even think I should even still be in business, but for some reason I just keep persevering!
What do you wish you would have known going into this?
JJ: That running a retail store is a full-time job and running a design business is a full-time job. So I basically have two full-time jobs, which ultimately means one of them isn’t getting my full attention.
What have you found works for you as far as organizing your business and time?
JJ: Some days I have to ignore emails, text messages, or social media. I don’t normally ignore them all at the same time, but I find that if I can just sit down and dedicate 30 minutes to Instagram and a solid 30-45 minutes of responding to emails all at once instead of sporadically throughout the day, I get way more accomplished.
Highlight of your career so far?
JJ: It’s probably a toss up between MyDomaine jumping on a pitch to feature my home and moving my store to the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. MyDomaine is a huge source of inspiration and it was a real honor to be featured on their site. The Plaza is the premier shopping district of KC, and so special to me as I grew up visiting and shopping it with my family as a child.
Looking back, what would you do differently?
JJ: So many things! I’m pretty notorious for always taking the hard road. I am terrible at listening to advice from others. Once I have my mind made up I will figure out a way to make it happen. But I am learning to listen to others more. I also ask for advice constantly now. I may not always take the advice, but at least I ask now! In the beginning I thought I should know it all and didn’t ask enough.
Best advice you’ve been given? Any advice that you’d give other entrepreneurs?
JJ: My father taught me that there is always another way to look at a situation. There were several times that I approached him with a situation that I had deemed to be a problem. He would say “Now wait, there’s another way to look at this,” and like magic, would show me how to turn the “problem” into what was ultimately a better solution for everyone involved. Because of it, I now see those “problems” as ways to determine how to work smarter or better for my employees and clients.
My advice is to take time for yourself and breathe deeply. I can’t tell you how many situations could have gone south if I hadn’t taken a moment, walked away and came back with a clear head to approach the situation in a mature way and from a place of love and genuinely wanting the best for everyone involved.
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