How Two Women Went From Business Owners to Best FriendsSeptember 5, 2018
Finding a co-founder can be a daunting task. For some, it’s love at first sight. For others, the chemistry was just right and for some, partnerships were developed over a slow building friendship and trust. Either way, making the decision to not ride solo is a big one. There are dynamics to consider, roles to determine, and most importantly a relationship to nurture amongst all of the busy busy busy.
But for Event Exec’s Melissa and Robin the hard work completely paid off. For years the two lived and worked within the same circle, but never were close friends. Fast forward to today, and both women are running a thriving Alice’s Table business in Central Florida. From kids parties to girls nights out, Robin and Melissa are building their business one bloom at a time. We’re so excited to share their inspirational story and the true meaning of women supporting women.
We love your story! You both have had such different journeys that have led you to your success today. Tell us a little more about yourselves!
Robin: We both have been in our respective industries for quite a while… and still are, along with Alice’s Table! Melissa has been a realtor for 17 years (she is a top seller in Lakewood Ranch, Florida). I’m a graphic designer and has been for 19 years. Since 2004, I’ve been designing luxury social stationery for weddings and other special events. When we’re not at our day jobs or hosting events we are both moms of boys that are BIG into sports. So when we’re not working you can typically find Melissa at the hockey rink and Robin at the football field… and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Starting a business can be scary, there is a lot of unknown and excitement at the same time. What was your inspiration behind joining forces and launching your Alice’s Table business?
Melissa: We both enjoy flowers and we loved the idea of working together to create fun events for our community! It seemed like both of our lifestyles and personalities aligned with what Alice's Table is all about. Additionally, the flexibility of the business fits into our lives very easily. We are already busy wives, moms, and businesswomen, but with Alice’s Table, there is no pressure. We can host events when we want, at our own pace.
Robin: We organized a large Christmas event together for the ladies of our Church and along with the event being very successful, we learned that we worked very well together as a team. We truly enjoyed being with each other and creating something we are proud of. It was an easy decision to join forces.
You recently passed the six-month mark in business together, congrats! We have to ask, what has the experience of being close friends and business owners been like so far?
Robin: It's amazing - we really are soul sisters! Before organizing the event at our Church together we were really only acquaintances but had common friends and interests. Once we decided to be join forces in our business we quickly found that our partnership is so special. We each bring different assets, skills, and strengths to the table that affect each other and our business in a very positive way. We’re also both very lucky to have amazing husbands that support us in every way… and surprise, they’ve also become good friends themselves. When the four of us go out together, it’s lots of laughs, fun, and more laughs!
Was there a moment that you realized you had made the perfect decision?
Robin: Our first public event at a locally owned wellness spa was the moment we really felt like we knew we had met great people and we were making the right connections in the community to grow the business the way we wanted to. The event turned out to be everything we were hoping for and more. We will continue to work with that venue moving forward and create more successful events. We learned so much from that event that we have expanded on and made changes and additions to as we have moved forward.
So with that, what is your best advice for women who may be thinking of going into business together?
Melissa: Not all friendships may work out to be great business relationships, but if you can find a like-minded person that you truly enjoy spending time with you will succeed. The biggest keys are communication and honesty. Before jumping in, we talked about everything under the sun to make sure we were on the same page, that we both had the same expectations, and went over our strengths and weaknesses so that we could best compliment each other. Day-to-day, we are constantly checking in with each other and are open and honest about our ideas and opinions relative to the business. We completely respect and trust one another along with having so many of the same principles, we knew from the beginning we would be successful and have fun in the process! We often joke that we would never want to do this alone.
Alright, now it's time for a few fun rapid-fire questions...it’s 5 ‘o'clock, what your drink of choice?
Robin: White Linen Martini (with vodka)
You’re hosting a girls night at your house, what’s your best tip?
Presentation is everything! Our friends often poke fun at us because even if we serve store-bought potato salad at a BBQ, we will always present it in a pretty dish! Small details even that simple will make your guests feel special. We always try to include something unique as well, whether it’s a part of our tabletops like a floral arrangement, or a signature cocktail or dessert, something created with your heart and made by your own hands will be appreciated by everyone.
It’s a beautiful Saturday, where can we find you?
We live where you vacation! Beaches, sunshine, palm trees and vibrant communities. It is truly a paradise!
Last but not least, what’s your favorite flower?