November 24

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Veronica Beard, Sisters-In-Law With Two Perspectives And One Vision

By Mimi MacLean

November 24, 2020


Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard – yes, they have the SAME name – are the co-founders of the fashion designer brand, Veronica Beard, created for the everyday woman. If you are a product junkie with ideas to improve your favorite products, this is the episode for you! Listen to learn how two sisters-in-law turned their wardrobe dreams into a successful designer brand now celebrating their 10 year anniversary.

Table of Contents

Meet The Two Veronicas of Veronica Beard

Veronica Beard - two owners
Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard, co-creators of Veronica Beard Fashion

Mimi: I have two special guests: have Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard from Veronica Beard. How are you guys? Thanks so much for coming on.

Veronica S: We’re so excited to be with you today. Thank you for having us.

Mimi: Yes. And so I want to start out because when I found out that I was going to get to interview you guys, I did not realize that you guys were both sister in laws and with the same name Veronica Beard, which I just find fascinating, which is great. So I’d love to just talk about like how it is working with your sister in law, because I also couldn’t imagine working with even a family member and starting a business and doing that. So I’d love to just jump in there.

Veronica S: Well, the truth is, my name was Sarah.

Veronica M: Because I have a sister in law named Sarah.

Veronica S: I’m totally joking.

Veronica M: She’s definitely giddy.

Veronica S: After her after my 12 vials of blood that I get this morning. Okay, now, the truth is that we get asked this question all the time. And people can’t believe that we have the same name or that we’re sisters in law, and that we get along and can have a business for 10 years now.

Veronica M: Happily, happily and still going strong. happily.

Veronica S: We’re still married.

Veronica M: We’ve made it this far. I think we’re gonna get together. Okay, so we were, I’m gonna say this.

Veronica S: Yeah.

Veronica M: We’re friends first. We’re sisters first. And then we’re business partners, and we understand each other so well. I know one thing about Veronica is that there’s no grudges. You can’t be in business with somebody who’s like, I don’t know what you say, like a problem or like dramatic or emotional or whatever. We know when it’s business. And then we know when it’s personal. And so we’re Ying and Yang. We know when to get lost from each other and give each other space.

Veronica S: And yeah, and I think that the thing is, is that we are family, while we’re not blood, we’re family and actually we act more blood than, than anybody else in our family. But

Veronica M: So true.

Understanding Family Dynamics

Veronica Beard - sisters-in-law
Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard, sisters-in-law and fashion entrepreneurs

Veronica S: It is like a binding thing. You know, it’s not like, if you go into business with a friend, you can have a blow up and break up, right. But there’s so much more at stake here. So we’ll have disagreements or you know, have moments, but we are truly like sisters, where I have two sisters. And the bond that I have with my two sisters is unspoken, it’s unbreakable. And it’s very, very honest. And I think that Veronica and I have that that’s really the secret of our success. You know, we can, we can agree to disagree. And we don’t have to like the same things. But we have our eye on the same prize. Always.

Veronica M: It was a learning curve for me because I have brothers and I work with all men. And then I work with all girls now. And Veronica is like a sister and I didn’t even know how sisters were supposed to be frankly, like I I find myself sometimes being the brother. Yeah.

Veronica S: Like, you’re a guy.

Veronica M: I mean, she had to like Teach me like, that girl doesn’t like you and she’s talking about you. I’m like she is but she was so nice to my face. I mean, I’m like this puppy dog like, like, okay, she treats me those ropes. But there’s probably some things that Veronica learned the other side the dark side is supplied to me demand you know,

Veronica S: Literally anytime in the early days during any tough situation. I’d be like, Oh yeah, you got to talk to them.

Veronica M: I know she’s like so scared. I don’t like talking about certain things either. Like I’m definitely rely on you for some things like you can tell Lauren like how we’re gonna market this thing. But I will get paid right? Oh,

Veronica S: We can do it like a three year payment plan and she’s like, we’re not gonna give up to interest. And we’re not running to debt. So you’re like, you’re like the bad cop. And we have. Yeah, I could be Debbie Downer sometimes. No, we just have our moments. Yeah, that’s what’s actually so great is that we can be in two places at the same time. And when I’m down, she’s up. And when she’s down, I’m up. And you know, the whole basis of this company is these crazy, different perspectives and backgrounds and just the All the women too!

Veronica M: Right. But that’s the thing. It’s like, we came at this so differently, but with the same goal, and it actually speaks to so many different kinds of people and places, and you know, yep.

Combining their Different Backgrounds

Veronica Beard - business owners
Veronica Beard Business Owners

Mimi: So, Veronica Miele, you had a finance background, correct?

Veronica M: Yes. Yes.

Mimi: And Veronica Swanson, you had like a fashion background?

Veronica S: Yes.

Mimi: So that’s why you’re saying you’re brought in both two different backgrounds, just so people who don’t know your backgrounds.

Veronica M: West Coast and East Coast and fashion and finance and brothers and sisters, and all those things. I mean, I think we always say two perspectives and one vision, but when we’re in the design room designing it’s always like to get the best result, you know, so, you know, if you have the four eyes looking at something, it’s better than two you know.

Mimi: Right? No, definitely. Now, how did you guys decide to go into business together?

Veronica M: Well, we sat around it a lot of parties in the corner drinking and talking about thing. Yeah.

Veronica S: Well, Veronica, and our product junkies and so every time we’d see each other be like, where’d you get that? That’s genius. How they come up with that? What can we do in our life right now to make it better? like yeah, we want to import some bags. And then also we were pregnant, you know, all the time. And so it was like it was I know I really was but it was like how do we make maternity wear that you can wear after maternity wear like no. We thought a lot about that.

Veronica M: Yeah, no, we thought about so many ideas

Veronica S:That was like actually could have been our business was right and you know eternity to operate maternity.

Conceiving the Signature Product

Veronica Beard - Dickey Jacket
Veronica Beard Signature Product – The Dickey Jacket

Mimi:From what I remember your first kind of big Veronica Beard product that came out was the jackets with a Dickey right? It’s still yeah, yeah. Yeah, that was like your first mean, like, everyone has their signature item. How did you guys came up with that?

Veronica S: We talked about so many different ideas and always kind of came back to this concept of the uniform and what what could we build you know, this uniform for women men have their suits, what can we get dressed in and the jacket would the Dickey actually existed in men’s wear. loro Piana or Briony or Cucinelli like they all have a sort of iteration of it, but it really only existed in men’s wear. And we just thought God if we could make that and this was after 08.

Veronica M: Wait, and everyone’s like working out we literally had a light bulb that went off and we were like, every woman needs this thing.

Veronica S: And we were so in the throws of like, little kids and running around and going to work going to events getting out the door in five minutes. And so this jacket was the the legitimize or, you know, he threw it on have like, exercise pants and went to Soul Cycle without jacket on, at drop off and he looked great or wear it into a meeting and then you know, wear jeans on like, on a date on the weekend, whatever. So it’s versatile.

Veronica M: But then also think about to like, if you ask Dave, like, I would come to work in ridiculousness, like just color and like be sort of different from the average, you know, run of the mill what you think a lawyer or or Wall Street person would wear. And we started injecting so much character into that one jacket, we started with that one silhouette and had it for the girl who was uptown, the girl going to the country, the girl going downtown and making it hip and edgy. And so that was so part of the beginning was that, you know, yes, there was this one jacket that you had to own. But you had to have a plaid one you had to have a leather one you had to have a pink one. And it also works for all ages. All ages can be 20 or you can be 80.

Veronica S: Wearing one Dickey size fits all the jackets that was another hurdle because we didn’t want to have all these larges leftover, you know, or Yeah, small. So it was like, how do we get this one thing and so, and it was like we want knit ones. We want tarry hoodies, we want leather ones, you know this Dickey concept. Is it going to take off? Is it going to be something in the market that people want? And we found over time, they were selling out of the Dickeys these stores wanted more Dickeys like a T shirt. Yeah, so we thought we were on to this concept and let’s put the Dickey in a coat let’s put it in anything we make that could be Dickey ready.

Mimi: You have a concept you made the product like what was like the biggest hurdle to come over once you decided to launch?

Doing It All

Veronica Beard - Fashion Designers
The two Veronicas combining talents

Veronica S: Well, so then it was getting everything made and my fashion background was sales. And I was a buyer as well. So I had relationship ships with stores and I knew people in PR and there was that whole sort of back end of the, or the front end really of the business. And we showed out of the collection out of my apartment for the first three years. So people came in it was sort of like the whole story. It was the two of us it was in my apartment, it was lifestyle birthed out of necessity. And it was so fun. I mean, what was hard was the two of us Veronica got pregnant, like a month after we started the business.

Mimi: Oh, my God.

Veronica S: And we were doing it all ourselves.

Veronica M: And we had to actually make the first jacket ourselves. You know, like, despite we didn’t do it, we didn’t. So we had to find a seller and we had to find a pattern maker, we had to find, you know, what, are we going to model this off? How’s it going to fit, you know, and we literally made, I remember, we sat down and we do the tech pack that first one I’m like, What the hell’s a tech pack? And we had to learn like buy a textbook and like, literally in a factory with all Asian people, you know, who didn’t speak English? asking them to sew the buttons faster? Yeah, I mean, it’s not like, Oh, you have a fashion background and you go to fit or wherever you go. And they teach you about manufacturing make it knitwear made in the US you got to go to China or sell prices in China are way cheaper than here. Or, you know, we would go to mood fabrics. Mood fabrics is down in the in the fashion district like 38.

Veronica S: But then we got really in with them. And we were able to go to their warehouse in New Jersey.

Veronica M: Yeah. And literally, we would buy remnant fabric, you know, rolls of leftover stuff from like Ralph Lauren or whatever. We didn’t have to land it. And it was like, all right, there’s 50 yards, that’s gonna be 25 jackets in this like random herringbone brown and cream herring. But I mean, it literally at the beginning was comedy, but also, like, there’s all these rules on how you’re supposed to ship two Sacks, right? Yeah, we just pull up with the truck and unload the box. And they’re like penalizing us. They’re like, Oh, you’re gonna have to pay a you know, a fee for that mistake. And like, What mistake here’s your jackets, give me my money.

Mimi: Now, it was actually your first store to carry you.

Landing A Great First Store

Veronica S: Yes. Well, it was Sacks. Basically we started that market. And we had a rack of jackets. And at the end of market, we had eight accounts, and we’re like, oh, my God, be careful what you wish for.

Veronica M: And we sold out everywhere.

Mimi: But that’s amazing.

Veronica M: Fun. I mean, those days, like, work terrifying. But now looking back. I mean, when you have, we’re so fortunate to have a business that has grown so much and successful. And, you know, we’re able to do all the things that we want to do. But there’s nothing like the hustle of starting a business. It’s right. It’s adrenaline all day long. You know,

Veronica S: There’s nothing like seeing it in the wild. And realizing somebody paid for that. Yeah. You know, I’m like, what would they think of when they bought it? Because I know what we were thinking when we designed it, you know? Yeah, it’s like, you can’t believe that that person actually bought it. You’re like, I never expected or that somebody paid money for it.

Veronica M: Yeah. 10 years in, it’s still the number one.

Working The Financials

Mimi: That’s amazing. Now, do you guys self financing from the beginning? Or have you done financing rounds?

Veronica M: No, we self financed it. And then in about three or four years in, we took on minority investment from Andrew Rosen, John Howard, Lou Frankford, and Jacques Collage in and they came in as a group, and they have been great and, you know, have been awesome advisors when we need them. And, you know, have, I think learn from us too, which they didn’t think they would.

Veronica S: And also we enter the CFDA fashion Fund, the Vogue fashion fund. Yes, you know, all these people enter, you get into the top 50. And then they take the top 10 finalists, and we had to present in front of the likes of you know, Dionne Von Furstenberg, and I called her Diane, of course, Veronica was like pinching me, and winter, you know, everybody on that panel, we’re trying to convince them that every girl needs this jacket at this price. And they’re like, they’re like, next, they’re like, where’d you go to school? I was like this small liberal arts school in Pennsylvania down.

So anyway, that was something that really bolstered us too was that experience and learning from our, you know, our peers, the top 10 we didn’t make it to the top three. But it really motivated us I feel because I felt like we were always sort of chosen to make an example of like, Oh, these two girls who randomly want to make clothes let’s you know, let’s see how they can do. It was like a kind of like a, I don’t know, comedy. And they did this reality show, which we didn’t also sign up for we were like, what?

Veronica M: Yeah, I had just had my third son that was really

Veronica S: Oh my god, and so trying to like, get through that. But then, you know, in hindsight, it was one of the best things we ever did because exposure and lesson And you know, if you look at the top 10, not a lot of them are around right now.

Knowing Your Customer

Mimi: Is that true? So what do you think that’s the reason why, like, why have you grown 90% every year for the past 10 years, and those couple of those have not even existed anymore?

Veronica M: Well, I think that we really know our customer. And our mission has stayed the same. We design clothes, that are hardwired for real life. That’s what we always say. So we design what we want to wear, and we’re so in tune with our customer. We know what she’s doing, how she’s reacting right now to the pandemic and how she’s feeling and what’s going on in her life. what she’s doing instead of traveling and going to events and,

Veronica S: And what’s missing from the market. Yeah, like we’re problem junkies, you know, like, we’re always on the hunt. And it’s like, I really want my jeans to fit like this. I can’t find them. And the fabrics suck. Let’s make them. You know, it’s always down to that. It’s like, I wish I this is the best piece of you know, the best jeans jacket I’ve ever seen. I wish it had this. So let’s just make it you know, yeah, we are the girl. We’re the girl that we’re designing for.

Mimi: No. That’s great. Now, when did you guys decide to start opening up shops?

Veronica M: So we opened our first store five years ago. And I mean, for me, that was when we started VB I was like, I think one year and I was like, fine. We got

Veronica S: It one year, two days, and she’s like, I want to store that real estate, I’d like you to put us out of business real fast. Yeah.

Mimi: Right, the overhead of having a store.

Opening Veronica Beard Stores

Veronica Beard -stores
Veronica Beard Stores

Veronica M: So I’m the spender and she’s a saver in the relationship. But I really believed that our brand would come to life when we had a store because it’s like having a home, you know, you if you are invited over to someone’s home, you know, what they’re like, what they, what they’re into what candles, they burn, what music they play, what color palette they like, you know, are they messy? Are they like a clock deck? What do they do?

I think that having stores has given so much life to this brand. And it’s been our greatest lab to learn so much about our customer and to get all the feedback. I mean, as soon as something lands in a store and a box is opened up, we get feedback about fit in about fabric, and, you know, whatever it is so,

Veronica S: But also, you know, we we have Veronica Beard stores in different states, right? So there’s different kinds of women living in all over the place. And, you know, Veronica and I got our start also by getting on the road and meeting, you know, we would do all of these Neiman’s events are, you know, in our specialty stores, you know, like Richard’s or, you know, would go out to the west coast and, and visit a store Elise Walker. And in doing that, to, to see her in her own space, you know, and see, what is this market missing? And what’s the store in Dallas going to be like, what’s the store in LA going to be like, how do you hire somebody to reach this audience in this kind of environment? You know, and how do you market to her? Because she’s, she is a little different.

At the end of the day, what we found was, and we’ve been abroad too, is, you know, women are basically the same everywhere. And the the last 10 years has been the climb of the woman in society and, and it’s like, you know, held our hand in this business because we want to dress her we want her to be you know, the one in the room. And we want to feel a certain way when she’s wearing Veronica Beard and you know, that feeling that emotional attachment or connection with her is the reason for this. This climb I believe. That’s great. Now how many stories do you guys have now?

Veronica M: 13

Mimi: Do you wow we have one just opened up like 18 months ago down I can walk to it from my house in the Palisades.

Veronica S: Oh yeah.

Veronica M: We love our Palisades store. You know, they’re all very different. So each store is all like found furniture. It’s totally specific to the environment that the store is in. And it’s so fun giving each each location its own personality.

Mimi: True. Now you did a pop up because I also you know, work with Beautycounter I am an angel invested in that company, but then I became a Beautycounter consultant, and we did was it maybe a year and a half ago. We did a pop up. I guess she must have been doing pop ups with Beautycounter.

Veronica S: Well, they did. They did a like a baby pop up in Madison. And I love Margo Foose Shay and I love Gregg. Yes, we so we had like a little pop up there. And that was great. And you know, I think our customers are really aligned. So it was it was a good one.

Mimi: Do you do other collaborations like that with other companies as well?

Veronica S: We do. Yeah, we do. We do collaborations we do a lot of so in our stores. Our stores are like hubs for events. For trunk shows. We have like our friends who are designers. We bring them in and give them venue to have shows and it’s really become this amazing community in each of these doors.

The Impact of COVID-19

Mimi: That’s great that you do that? How is COVID impacted Veronica Beard? As far as is it more online sales, because the stores obviously had to be shut down for a while?

Veronica S: Yeah, the stores were shut down. Online, obviously, has been driving business department stores. were tough. I mean, retail in general has suffered a lot. But we’re seeing glimmers of hope. And, you know, I think it gave us a pause, to really look at our business and what we wanted, you know, we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary and what we really wanted to do for the next 10. So it’s interesting, it’s like, you can always like find the silver lining and things. And I think that it made us stop in our tracks and really take stock in our business and what was working and what wasn’t, and we, I think just have learned so much about our direct business, what we can do online, what we can do with our stores, and how our direct business is so different than our wholesale business, and making those sort of more aligned or keeping them vastly different.

Veronica M: Yeah, and there’s a huge pivot going on, and we have to sell like we’ve never sold before, it used to be easy, right? She found it herself, she came into the store, or we were, you know, launched a new store, or I don’t know online, now is pivot, it’s like, really have to focus on online, but also have to reach her online, basically, in those three ways, like on it in social media, you know, on the internet. And in store, the direct side is huge, but we just feel I feel this pressure to really get to her more than ever. And it’s not as easy. Like, it’s not a day goes by where we’re not like, Ah, this mask, or we can have everybody in the office at once?

Just there’s so many hurdles all the time with this virus, you know? And will we ever get back to where we were, like shopping patterns may forever be different. And so we have to pivot for her we have to, we’ve always done that we do that with how we design and her lifestyle. And her lifestyle is not the same traditional shopping method, we have to, we have to change. But she still wants to shop, she still wants beautiful stuff. She still wants to feel great and look great, and she wants to get dressed.

Mimi: No it’s true. Even if it’s more casual and not going out to big events, you know, it’s even just for a Zoom call.

Veronica M: Yeah, totally.

Being An Entrepreneur

Mimi: Now you guys both have children, one of you has five and one of you have three. So how do you like juggle it? How do you manage it all? Is there any tips because I think even if you don’t have children, and you’re listening to this, like we’re all managing, you may have a full time job and you’re trying to start a business on the side, or we’re all trying to fit in a lot. So do you have any advice or tips for the entrepreneurial women?

Veronica M: I think that you’re never winning at everything, you know, you’re trying your best and answered this question before but it’s if I’m feeling like I’m killing it at work, usually I don’t feel like I’m killing it that day at home. So, or vice versa. And I think just being easy on yourself and and you know, trying to do your best.

Veronica S: We have each other having to have Yes, we have each other and having a partner in a business is incredible, and especially one that you’re related to. Because then you really understand it’s a family thing. But also it’s like the little wins. I just think every day I think about check that box, I got an A plus in that I did that. I did that. Alright, so I didn’t get to that. But you know what, I’ve tomorrow? Because if you are overwhelmed and look at the whole thing, you’re not you’re not gonna do anything well. So try to do one thing at a time slowly but surely. Right. Right.

There are answers all around

Mimi: Now, do you think as far as like anybody who wants to start a brand right now? I mean, it’s definitely a saturated market. And things come in and go, like you said, like, they don’t all last, like, what advice would you give somebody to? Who wants to directly go into the fashion industry that can you do that right out of going to fashion school? Or do you need to get your feet wet first and then and then do it?

Veronica S: Oh, I don’t think that there are any roles for that. I think that I think that I dropped out of Parsons because I was offered a job. And I knew that that was going to be my opportunity to get in the business. And I don’t regret that like a day in my life. But I think today if you’re a kid, you can start a business on Instagram and be like a huge overnight success or go to school and really like apprentice and learn this industry.

There’s so many entry points now to this when I was starting. It was a much more traditional road where you would go you’d either go to Parsons or FIT or another art At school, you’d internship, you’d like serve your time interning, then you get a job, and then you would like to hopefully stay on that path. I mean, it was very competitive. But it’s different today. And, and there was parts of of that time that actually were great, because I think, you know, the concept of internships was apprenticeships, you know, like you would really learn and, and that’s changed a little bit today, which is harder. But I think, for anybody wanting to start right now, I would say let the let the smoke clear a little bit.

Veronica M: Like we we started out after Oh, eight, right, and the market had completely crashed. And women weren’t shopping as as much and a lot of husbands were out of work. And it was like, Don’t give me a Bergdorf bag, give me a brown paper bag, and I’m going to run home. So my husband doesn’t see. And we saw her though and which is why we came at this a little higher price point and in time lowered our prices to address the market, women’s always want to look designer, and they were still shopping for bags and shoes, but they didn’t want to spend zillions on their suit or on their jeans, you know? So we were the answer.

And so when COVID is over, somebody’s got to be the answer. I hate to say it, but a lot of people are going to, you know, lose their businesses, a lot of restaurants are gonna go out of business. And there’s going to be, you know, this huge opportunity. You can look at it two ways, like, oh, woe is me it’s over or look at this. It’s a heyday. There’s no beauty salons right now that are open. So I’m going to start one and be that guy. And if you had your COVID shot, you can come in No, no, no, but you know, or just, you know, it was such a brilliant, brilliant model was this, what is it called when they come to your house to do your makeup?

Mimi: Like the glam squad.

Veronica M: I mean, God bless her, you know, you don’t have to go to a salon. There’s so many business models that can address the new the new generation after COVID. And I can’t wait to think about it. You know, like, I was even looking at liquor licenses during COVID. Because I was like, This is the only business doing well, and it’s not a bar. But shit. I don’t want to stay on this line. Like I want to have, you know, you got to pivot, right if you’re an entrepreneur come sit near me. So I think there are no rules. And that was a thing coming from Wall Street and the un-pc Land of trading desks and getting stuff done getting it done and having, you know, this whole design world like no, it’s not done that way. Oh, it’s not proper. It’s like, whatever, I can fit a degree in this jacket. Okay, like, let’s just move the zipper, you know, and stop being like all you know, yeah, you know, institutionalized, you can figure it out.

Attending to Veronica Beard’s Culture

Veronica Beard – Sisters-in-law growing a company culture over 10 years

Mimi: So how would you describe the culture of your company? And how have you made sure like it doesn’t Dave and I were just talking about this at lunch today. Like, as you grow your company from 10 people to 200 people or two, whatever? How do you ensure that culture doesn’t change as you grow?

Veronica S: That’s actually a great question. It’s very hard. It’s easy when you have five people or you have 15 people, or you have 20 people. But as you get bigger, it’s harder. I think, what we’re, we always say that we’re a company of optimists and doers, and believers. We don’t take ourselves seriously in that we can laugh at ourselves. And we have fun. This is a business, but it’s also a family. That comes through, I hope that comes through. We treat, I think we treat our employees like that. But we also treat our customer like that.

Like that was something I remember Veronica and I were in the garment district and we were sitting on the corner and I can’t remember we’re talking about something. And I was like I said to you, it’s like we have to have this woman feel like she’s part of the club. And that’s really been the way that we’ve run this you know, it’s not it’s not intimidating. This brand is inclusive, inclusive, and word buy in, you know, at any age, any stage, any whatever.

Mimi: I think do you do that through like weekly like calls like, for your whole team around the country? Is there anything that you do in particular that fosters that?

Veronica S: I mean, I wish we did that did it more. I wish it was weekly. It’s not our headquarters here in New York. We’re very, very sort of on their present and all the meetings and all of that. I mean, right now sadly, we’re, we’re still at half capacity. So that’s actually been the hardest part of COVID is not being with our team all the time, because you don’t have the same like ideation on zoom that you do when you’re just like walking to the kitchen to get a tea and you see somebody wearing a jacket and you’re like, oh my god that sparks like oh, whole collection, you know, so we missed that. But we’ll get back there. And in the meantime, I think that hopefully the culture that we’ve created so far is the one that’s that’s, you know, holding this team together right now.

Communication is key

Veronica M: That was one of the biggest things. I think we learned and mistakes, too. COVID is that by the time like, because when we were quarantining, you know, you’re dealing and you have kids, and you’re, your whole life is just in shock, right? Everyone’s was, and we were all lonely. We were all isolated, you know, some people not as much as others, right? But if you lived alone, and I realized that, you know, people like our office, our business was their home away from home. This is where they got their social life and their fill of human contact. All of a sudden, we’re expected to just work online and be on the on the zoom. That doesn’t work for everybody. I wish we had thought ahead.

It was just so shocking, we didn’t know it was gonna go on for that long or, you know, we’re like, oh, we’ll be back in the office next week, we’ll fix it then. You know, people are suffering. And so, you know, now we have, we’ve instituted a couple things like teams, and, you know, you can have this open line of communication with employees now. That communication piece was so critical. I don’t know, maybe they were feeling I’m not being heard, because I’m not being seen, like, does this company even care about me? And I wish they knew, you know, we care. And we’re all going through this. And, you know, I wish we had just gotten ahead of it. But it was really difficult. But I think from now on, we’re ready.

Mimi: It’s like over communicating is what you need. Right? No matter?

Veronica S: Yeah. I mean, I think that actually is one of the most important things. It’s like, really, really being clear over communicating, being decisive. That is, like great qualities for you know, an A leader, and I think you got to run your company like that.

Creating Routines That Work

Mimi: Now, everyone always loves like morning routines, especially here, people who are successful and have successful businesses like what their morning routines are, do you guys have a set morning routine, like, Okay, I get up at 430 and I

Veronica M: I get up at 430 and go back to bed.

Mimi: Do you guys either of you have like a morning routine that you try to stick to?

Veronica S: Yes, yes. I realized, by the way, when you don’t have that morning routine, it is depressing as hell. That happened during COVID. So I find myself like really working hard at getting dressed and and getting my makeup on and having a look every day because if I don’t it’s very depressing, but maybe that’s just personal. But I bring those kids to school every morning. My kids give me a talking to you every day. To be honest, I mean, like I should be getting you ready my kids are so like bossy with me. But um that’s what I do. I we get up we have breakfast together. I get my Joe’s coffee. And now we come to work, you know, and I don’t know, it’s like staged a little bit. I’m like, when’s Veronica getting there? Because I don’t know if we should all be in the building at the same time. Like, I like that those hours though. We talk now every morning. That’s another thing that’s having a during COVID that I’ve loved is like …

Veronica M: We’re on the phone all the time.

Veronica S: A little bit.

Veronica M: Instead of in person.

Veronica S: Yeah. Or else like I don’t know, there was a point but by the way, during COVID, where we were like, not speaking. Because I think we were shocked

Veronica M: We were like so depressed.

Veronica S: Yes, so anyways, what’s your morning routine?

Veronica M: My morning routine. Um, I’m an early riser. So I really do like to get up.

Veronica S: And I hate getting up.

Veronica M: I know. My husband doesn’t like to get up either. But I like to get up and I like to get the kids up. I also take them to school every morning, but I commute from long island into the city and actually I haven’t been taking the train I’ve been driving which is a bummer.

Mimi: Traffic, right? The traffic is really bad.

Veronica M: The traffic’s terrible, but I loved you know, when I moved out there, I was like, I’m never taking the train. And actually the train became like, kind of my favorite part of the day because I get all this stuff done on my way in I was alone and then I get all this stuff done on my way home. So I missed that. But mornings when we’re at the office are pretty hectic. But I think when you know when I do have time, I love you know, I’m like good about like, self care stuff and yoga and things like that. And I need to sort of like fill up the tank a little bit for myself. Otherwise, it depletes pretty big time.

Mimi: Yes, definitely. I definitely feel that’s really important for people. A little self care a little self love and like the balancing right balancing it all because it’s so easy to just jump right into your emails and to do this Morning. And there’s nothing better than that time before everybody wakes up in the house to get stuff done. Yeah, I mean, this has been awesome. I’m so thankful for both of you for taking the time. And I’m so impressed about what you guys have done with your business over the past 10 years and how you’ve grown. And I love, love, love your clothing line, and I love visiting your store. So I’m just thrilled that you guys are on today, and I really appreciate it. So thank you.

Veronica S: Thank you so much.

Veronica M: Thank you for thinking of us.

Mimi: Thank you for joining me on the badass CEO podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please leave a review and see you next time. Thank you!

Links to Veronica Beard

Veronica Beard Website

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