We had the good fortune of connecting with Gideon Winters Dawn Winters and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gideon Winters, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Dawn: The balancing act haha. I think most entrepreneurs struggle with it. We go from employees where your time is determined by a clock in and clock out, and you leave work at work only when you leave a physical building or log off. Given that we have goals and we want to one day be able to dictate our own schedules, we find ourselves often burning the midnight oil, of course with our goals in mind. Going into this we both knew this is what it would take to get to where we are going, does that mean it is easy? Absolutely not. There are times I want to just go to bed but we both know what we’re doing will push us forward. Putting down one hat and picking up another requires us to take a moment and make the shift. I once heard on a podcast that your job is a vehicle and not a destination, so with that in mind we have to push through. We know the vehicle we have created, our company, takes consistency and hard work that drives momentum. So we power through.
Gideon: When it comes to balance and running a business, or just having multiple things that need attention from you through the day, we feel balance more so pertains to having the mental capacity to deal with it all. For instance, you make a schedule giving everything a set time and place to happen, all for the hopes that everything goes to plan in a timely manner so that you may smoothly move through your tasks/duties throughout the day. But anyone with a schedule knows it makes life easier, but there’s always something that butts its way in as an urgent matter, another task becomes priority over another, or things simply take a longer time than you expected and overlap into other plans. We say all this to say no matter what you plan and schedule for the sake of balance, balance isn’t always in finding the when to get to get things done, but more so allowing yourself to have the mental clarity and capacity to be able to get things done as thorough as possible. So when it came to starting up our business, there was absolutely no balance. NONE! lol. We were both working, grand-baby’s and nephews still needed picking up & to be babysat, Gideon was just finishing up college, groceries still needed purchasing, dinners still had to be cooked, etc. We were filled to the brim and we literally had no room to ever say, “I have nothing to do,” or , “I’m bored.” So it wasn’t until recently that we started to find time for things, or really the best time to handle the more sensitive and important things. With that finding the best time and best day to handle certain things when it came to the business, we started to get a bit of balance under us. More importantly though, we were able to became more and more detailed in the work we were doing regarding the business, and even more satisfied with the outcomes.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We handcraft all natural bath care and body care products with vegan ingredients including soap bars, whipped body butters, bath bombs, bath salts, bubble bath scoops, sugar scrubs, facial masks and more! What honestly sets us apart is not only all of our products being vegan, but we also handcraft everything you need for your self care routine including bath care, body care, and skin care products that have been truly filled with love and true passion. We started formulating our products for our personal use to combat some of the issues we were having with our own skin including eczema, sensitivity, dark spots, chapped and dry skin, as well as acne. Come to find out there are MANY people who deal with the same skin problems regularly, and our products truly do help them and provide a more soothing alternative to commercial products that often contain dangerous chemicals/ additives that cause further breakouts or never combat the problems they advertised they would.
We got to where we are today because we had an idea and recognized what each of us had to offer, and collaboratively using those skills while being consistent with things including making content, posting, keeping products in stock, answering comment and DMs, etc, we made it happen! No it wasn’t easy but having each other and the support of the small business community truly helped. Some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way is confidence is important, be careful to listening the the small temporary voice telling you to give up, don’t be afraid to do things that will propel you forward, and be willing to go into the unknown and pioneer. We’re still a relatively young and small company just coming up on our two year anniversary while being Mother & Son owned, and though we seem polished we still gladly except critiques, recommendations, and ideas.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would definitely stop by Ponce City Market first, or ponce in general, as it’s a lot in one area and sort of sets the tone for how creative, open, and beautiful Atlanta can be. Next we’re stopping by Hebrew Bakes Cupcakes & Revolutionary Doughnuts for their vegan doughnuts, and taking a stroll through Downtown Decatur to check out some good eats as well as small businesses. For night time shenanigans Starlight Drive In Theatre as well as Bonfire on Sunday’s is on the route, or maybe if we’re looking for something more active we’ll visit Cascade Skating Rink. To grab a bite to eat and get some fresh air, we always love visiting the Food Truck Park and stopping by a park like Centennial Olympic Park, the Belt Line, Atlanta Botanical Gardens or Fourth Ward Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We would definitely love to give a shoutout to the other incredible small businesses out there including artists, crafters, skin care makers, body care makers, cosmetics makers, clothing makers, online fitness coaches, nail techs, and more who have helped push us over time. Many small businesses, on many social small platforms, band together in chat groups to help boost each others engagement on their content. Not only do these groups in turn help you build a wider audience and gain the watchful eye of potential customers, but we also trade business tips, tricks, and updates while continuously giving each other moral support. We would also like to give a shoutout to YouTube, Shopify Compass, as well as Google as many of our obstacles have been leaped after a quick search or watch of a video. Other than that I think the ones that deserve the most credit and recognition is us, from each other. Owning a business on your own can definitely be tough; as we both know having had our own personal businesses before, but owning a business with someone who’s just as passionate is so incredible. During the moments when your down and not motivated there’s always someone there to cheer you on, when something just isn’t clicking it usually clicks for the other, and when you need the quick opinion or point of view from someone else it’s always there. There’s just so much we’ve gone through as a team, and so much we plan on doing, and the ability to experience it/ do it all together is definitely a blessing that’s never overlooked.
All pictures shot and edited by Gideon Winters