It’s the big one guys! Meet my sister, Emily Kelly!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been super excited to introduce you to some of the people that have really helped shape who I am over the last decade. So I couldn’t think of a better way to finish the series than by inviting my very own sister, Emily Kelly, onto the podcast!
Emily takes you on the journey of some of our life experiences and shows you how I’ve become the person and businesswoman I am today... and to dish the dirt on everything about me that only a sister can know! We’re very lucky to be in such a special relationship.
We grew up in a 100% entrepreneurial family so the idea of working for someone else was just never entertained. For us, we were taught that you either owned the company or you started one from scratch.
On the podcast, Emily takes us back to when she was 3 years old to the story of her first friend whose mom owned a home goods shop in the valley and our Mom who was running her business from our basement.
Every day, they’d play "shops" with the little guest checks or receipts lying around from both homes. It was that or trading stickers. It’s all we’d ever known. Everywhere we went, we were pretending we were in business. It was so much fun!
By contrast, since I was 4 years older, I was often out babysitting and dreaming of the day I’d become a mom!
To picture the scene, we grew up in a neighborhood in Akron with no traffic (or sidewalks!) and there were very few children. It meant that we had to make our own fun. I’ll never forget the day Emily and her friend set up a lemonade stand outside the house.
Entrepreneurism was everywhere for us, but it’s lovely to reflect on the fact that we learned business from different perspectives because of our ages.
Our Mom’s Business
Emily loves that we’re both true to form with the women on mom’s side of the family when it comes to business minds. We have inherited the attitude of "I have an idea and it’s going to sell."
Our grandma mailed fabric all over the world so people could make their own clothes. Grandma Green had a flower shop, and our mom’s idea grew while working for a clothing business.
Emily and I have such fun recalling the stories of mom and grandma taking clothes for a huge end-of-season event to Cleveland to maximize sales in the 1970’s/80’s. Everyone helped with it.
Mom saw potential right away. Many people were being successful with the trunk parties, but no one had the undergarments. Cue mom! She literally got on a plane to New York, went to a show, and started buying lingerie.
She had slips coming out of her ears! It was an old-school direct sales business that she’d created on her own. Emily says that just blows her away!
It reminds me of when I got on the plane to Dallas and asked the manufacturer to produce my Sunday Basket® for me.
Mom grew the business to where she had women working for her in 26 states when she sold it just a few years later. It was an amazing achievement with lots of reinvestment. We are both so similar in the way we approach business today because of how she was.
White Gloves, Party Manners & Favorite Games
Emily and I recall how when we were young, we took etiquette classes to learn all about silverware and to get our slips out for formal dinners (slips feature heavily in our childhood!). We also learned how to get out of a car in a skirt. I often wondered, would any of this help me see the royal family? We’re both BIG royals. I would have put being Queen on my list of jobs to be when I grew up if I could. I can’t wait for the royal wedding and new royal baby this year!
We did love to play lots and lots of games when we were growing up, too. We came up with all sorts of games. By far, our favorite was one we made up called "big friend." Here’s a short video of Emily and I sharing our memories of the game.
Entrepreneurism Ran In Our Dad’s Family, Too
Our dad was no exception to entrepreneurism. Sales was his strength and Dad’s company had over 100 employees. His father and grandfather had a coffee company. Our father’s company in Akron that he eventually became co-owner of was called Alcon Tool. Dad’s enthusiasm for manufacturing made us fall in love with the industry.
Dad’s ethos on work is something that stays with us both today. It doesn’t matter what role you play in the team, everyone is equally important. That’s what I’m trying to grow at Organize 365.
Our father passed away 10 years ago just before he was 61.
On the podcast episode, Emily and I reflect on this most upsetting time in our lives. We talk about how it was kind to put us both as executors, but not practical. We found our own roles and formed a strong team at a difficult time.
It’s true that we had a privileged upbringing in both education and financial support, but in every single generation, the businesses that our families grew started from scratch. There was no inheritance, but just a great idea and the determination to succeed. Dad started life as a salesman and left as a partner.
When I reflect back, my best advice would be to take a look at what you have and not what everyone else has. I’m successful and I’m very blessed, but I work really hard. I want to give back as much as possible, but I create zero excuses for myself.
Having my husband Greg working allowed me to start Organize 365, but Emily is a very successful single woman. So it’s not your spouse that makes or breaks you.
Think about the "something" you were uniquely created to do and give it to the world. Every reason why you’re not pursuing it is an excuse. Take what’s in your way and get rid of excuses to move forward.
This podcast is about our family highlights because it’s all about encouraging and inspiring you. When you focus on the positives, opportunities become bigger and brighter and you can chase them.
If you focus on what could have been, things look darker and it’s harder to chase your goals.
The time when Emily and I worked for Creative Memories was a super exciting time in both our lives.
Replacing my teaching salary with direct sales so I could stay at home with my family was my dream and I was going to do everything I could to get there.
My dad helped me decide on Creative Memories. We both felt it had a big reach... it turns out we were right! As Emily says, I joined and went straight to the top! Emily was one of my great customers and after turning me down initially, I finally managed to get her to sign up, too. She went straight to the top as well!
We built teams and were in the top 6% performers of the company.
We take a lot of what we learned in those days with us now to run a fun community workshop feel.
Emily & I As A Team Again
This brings us to today and where Emily and I find ourselves in the organizational realm. Although it’s not the most profitable, I’m staying with the home and paper organization, as it’s the area where I feel I can recreate the community buzz of Creative Memories.
I’m constantly pivoting and moving forward to create this feeling in your house and at our workshops. It’s awesome to have Emily on board to run the Sunday Basket® Workshop Organizer Certification Program. Prices go up on April 1st so get in touch with Emily to talk about the next steps as soon as you can. We’d love to have you on the team!
Emily and I see the vision of bringing people together all over the world. It’s a space where you can share experiences and move forward from them. No one should feel alone and that’s why the workshop model works so well.
Emily is so excited to be on board and she feels just like she did when we worked together at Creative Memories. For her, we’ve never been better than then as a team.
I love Emily and so will you, I am sure!
To find out more about the Sunday Basket® Workshop Certified Organizer Program, click here.
The Organize 365 National Convention is 25% sold out! Get your ticket and join us June 7-9 in Dallas, TX for an experience to remember!