Working in an office environment doesn’t mean leaving your personality at the door! While you may not be able to rock that green hair you always wanted, you can always add some pizzaz to your workspace with cool office supplies!
No one knows this better than fashionable entrepreneur Dyan Condry, founder of UrbanGirl– a chic online store bursting at the seams with trendy and feminine office supplies.
I stumbled upon UrbanGirl while browsing Refinery 29. I fell in love with the concept and was super excited for the chance to ask Dyan a few questions about her business, and her support for other women in business!
Hello Dyan! Please tell us where you’re from and what you do?
I was born and raised in Montana–Butte, Montana. I kinda get the “I have never met anyone from Montana” thing a lot! From there I moved to Champagne/Urbana Illinois and started working in retail fashion. The company I worked for moved me to Temple, Texas then Dallas. This was all during the “Dallas” TV show…the first time around! I now live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am a business owner, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend…you know, a juggler!
UrbanGirl has the cuuutest selection. What prompted you to sell stylish office supplies geared toward women?
Twenty-five years ago, eeggaads, forget I said THAT!, my hubby and I bought an existing commercial office supply dealership in Tulsa. My fashion experience seemed squashed in the midst of manila, army green and canary. Over the years of growing that business I knew there was a niche market for cute, pretty, colorful office supplies. The things I wanted for myself.
Cute supplies from Urban Girl.
I love the #buyfromwomen campaign! Why is supporting women owned businesses important to you?
Because we girls all wear many hats in our daily life. I want to support the creativity of a woman to do what she loves. [pullquote width=”200″ float=”left”]I want to support the creativity of a woman to do what she loves.[/pullquote] More importantly, I want to support a woman owned small business that was started by necessity, so a woman has a choice how work fits into her life. Children, elderly parents, family calamities, illness, spouse, running a home, all need a piece of the time pie. Pies are only so big. When it’s a peanut butter chocolate pie, then it’s good it’s small!
Running a business is hard work, what motivates you daily?
Seeing the business grow. The crew I work with. Exercise. Baybee Tucker (My dog!).
What made you decide to sell online, rather than open up a storefront?
The internet offers us a broad scope of lovely people for UrbanGirl Office Supply to reach out and touch in color, or not. We do still have the manila, army green and canary!
What advice would you give other women looking to enter the e-retail space?
First, I suggest do your research. Selling online is different from a retail brick & mortar, or even a B to B (business to business) as with my local office supply company.
Know what YOUR strengths and weaknesses are. [pullquote width=”200″ float=”left”]Know what YOUR strengths and weaknesses are.[/pullquote] I am technology challenged, I get totally overwhelmed…I KNOW, crazy for an e-tailer right? Wrong. My team is Hercules! So, surround yourself with people who are better than you. They weren’t kidding when they said as a start-up you must give it, AT LEAST, 2 years. Tighten the belt, prioritize and be flexible.
And lastly, what is one thing you absolutely love about yourself? 🙂
I’m fun (most of the time). I like to laugh and smile and try new things. Right now I’m doing aerial yoga. Cirque de Soleil may be calling!
If Dyan wasn’t awesome enough, she’s offering you (my readers) 10% off any Urban Girl purchase from now until 4/12/15 using the code “JACQUE“. Head over to Urban Girl and stock up on all the cute supplies you need to dress up your desk!
Want to start your own boutique but don’t know where to start? You know I’ve got you covered! My e-book ‘Jump Into Online Sales’ walks you through the process of creating your very own online shop. Check it out!