At times (a lot of the the time), being an entrepreneur can be rather isolating. Especially when you quit your corporate job to start working on your venture full-time. Although she was chasing her dream and fulfilling a burning desire to be her own boss, something was still missing. After 2+ years of successfully running Red Chair Market, an online space for buyers and sellers to more easily find beautiful furniture, founder and CEO Anita Erickson realized she was ready to take the next step: A brick & mortar location. And thus, Red Chair Workroom was born.
I had the opportunity to meet up with Anita a few weeks ago to discuss her adventures in entrepreneurship and what the future holds for the Red Chair brand. Most companies evolve from pain. Pain points by definition cause problems and hurt, business owners exist to alleviate and remedy that pain. Anita realized this concept after spending so much time cooped up in the house working effortlessly on maintaining the Red Chair Market online presence. After speaking with her online members she realized the feelings of isolation weren’t hers alone and the yearning for a space to separate life from work was in much needed demand.
Red Chair Workroom organically evolved from this ‘pain point’ and with her members clearly demanding it (16 have already signed up and the ink was barely dry on the lease) she knew transitioning to a physical location was a logical next step. One of the biggest challenges Anita had to overcome when she first launched Red Chair Market was simply, “How do you do it?” There are so many tedious tasks, requirements and all the ‘not fun stuff’ that accompanies the joyful and stressful task of starting a company from the ground up. Luckily, with her husband by her side, they quickly tackled the operational side of things so that Red Chair Market could become what it is today. The dedication to learning the in’s and out’s of managing her own company provided Anita with enough experience to feel comfortable to expand. I speak for myself when I say entrepreneurs ironically often feel uncomfortable just when they become comfortable. (click here tweet these wise words) We’re always looking for a new problem to solve.
But Lauren, what is this Red Chair Workroom?! Well friends, Red Chair Workroom is going to be a beautiful space where designers, architects, interior decorators etc. can work, meet and collaborate. Think well-designed professional coffeeshop meets modern co-working spot. It’s going to feature a library full of member-donated resources, ample meeting spaces and encourage a strong community environment. Sounds amazing right? It will be, but only if they raise the capital needed to get it open. One of the biggest hurdles all entrepreneurs face: Money. Fundraising or bootstrapping is a necessary evil. And Red Chair Workroom is no exception to the rule. Anita is currently raising money to help make Red Chair Workroom a reality and she needs your help:
Red Chair Workroom from their Local Lift Page.
I truly enjoyed meeting with Anita because we were able to connect over so many parallel experiences. From bootstrapping our ventures, to working with our significant others from home to sharing a passion for design and the creative professions. One of the most important lessons Anita has learned is simply: to listen to people and figure out what they want.
Pretty simple concept, but very hard to actually do. It is always reassuring when you talk with other entrepreneurs because you realize ‘it ain’t just me!’ And selfishly, that makes everyone feel better knowing oh good, they’re going through the same shit I am! Phew! There’s only a few days left to help contribute to their Local Lift campaign, if you have a second to help spread the word, click here to send a tweet!
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