Ilana Seid has always had a passion for interior design. She was also envious of the entrepreneurs she knew who were creating their own life and charting their own path. She realized there was nothing stopping her from building her own business and that she too could be an entrepreneur. Today, New York City-based Seid is enjoying the entrepreneurial journey, bootstrapping her home goods business Sunday Morning, and hoping to establish physical storefronts in the next 5 years.
Steffanie Haggin‘s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
I got the entrepreneurship bug after dipping my toes in the start-up world and envying the creative and executive control I saw exerted by business owners. What were otherwise ordinary people were out in the world, charting their own courses, and after a while I kept asking myself, “why not me?”
I always had a passion for home – I moonlighted as an interior designer, I staged and managed Airbnbs, and whenever I traveled anywhere I would look for interiors stores and scope out fancy hotel lobbies for design. I debated whether to be a retailer for home goods as I didn’t have a means of finding manufacturers who would work with such small orders, but then I got a stroke of good luck and met a woman who has been in the home goods business and kindly opened up her rolodex for me. And after that meeting, I’ve been plowing forward ever since.
“Every minute I spend not doing things that are effective is a minute I can spend with my son, and that really propels me to be efficient and effective.”
– Ilana Seid, Founder of Sunday Morning
Success is living life on your own terms and being pleased with the result. My biggest success to date is bootstrapping Sunday-Morning.com and launching a home goods site without outside capital. It required me doing a lot of the work myself and also asking for a lot of favors, but I did it. There were moments of fear, but at a certain point, I knew there was no turning back. My goals for my business are to have a profitable and sustainable company that serves modern families and their home needs. Ideally I’d love to have physical stores in 5 years, where people can go to shop and touch and feel the product.
Sales and marketing has been difficult and it is one area I hired externally for. I hired a data-first agency, as I thought any money I’d attempt to spend myself would likely not be effective as I do not have any experience with marketing. I had my first child while coming up with Sunday-Morning.com, so I had to take a little hiatus; however, having a child has really helped me focus and get things done. Every minute I spend not doing things that are effective is a minute I can spend with my son, and that really propels me to be efficient and effective.
Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix is my role model. She is a young woman who built a business and a family and took a company public.