Women In Business: Collected Rentals & Styling

{photo via collectedvintage.com}

Here at Just An Ordinary Family
we want to feature some amazing 
women in business.
Specifically entrepreneurs who have taken
that leap of faith to follow their passions and start their own business.

In honour of Internation Womens Day yesterday 
we are featuring someone we know personally, Mari Roddy 
from Collected Rentals & Styling
We met Mari through our brother (in-law) 
and although we don't get to see each other often,
Mari and her husband are a couple that are always great to be around.

Mari is so sweet, genuine and an inspiration to me.
She has an eye for beautiful things, as you will see.
To me she seems fearless, passionate and unafraid to go after what she wants.

Mari was kind enough to answer some questions I had for her 
about starting up Collected Rentals.
Read on below!

Just An Ordinary Family: Did you work before Collected Rentals?
Collected Rentals & Styling: My last full time job was with a Destination Marketing Organization in Seattle. We promoted Seattle as a tourism destination to potential tourists through events, conventions, and other marketing campaigns.
JAOF: What lead you to start Collected Rentals?
CRS: I've always loved events, but more specifically creating the overall look and feel of an event. Collected started from a passion to help others take an idea they had for their wedding, shower or birthday party and make it into a reality. After moving to Minneapolis, it became a no-brainer that this was the perfect time to do Collected full-time.
JAOF: Who or what inspires you in your work? 
CRS: So many people inspire me. Other creatives, female entrepreneurs and anyone willing to take a leap of faith, use their God-given talents and make a change in their life.
JAOF: What is it about Collected Rentals that makes you get up in the morning and do it all again? 
CRS: No two days are the same when running a business. It's stretching and hard and then great and fulfilling. I know that I'm creating because God first created.
JAOF: What advice would you give to other women who are hesitant in making that leap to being their own boss and following their passion? 
CRS: Do your research, then just go for it! It's always good to know what you're getting into so that you don't set yourself up for failure, but it's equally important to know that you don't have to be perfect right from the start. It took me a long time to just get going because I was crippled by fear, self-doubt and the feeling that I wasn't ready yet. I realized I'd never be ready and that I'd learn the skills I needed as I went along. I also recommend that if your business is going to take a nice chunk of cash to get started (and you don't have an investor) that you keep working at a current job and save, save, save. Most of the stress of starting a new business is because of finances and you don't want your dream to come crashing down because you can't pay your bills. Be smart about it, work hard and then use the money wisely.
JAOF: How do you find working from home?
CRS: Working from home is both a blessing and a curse. Some days I'm so productive and it's great to do some laundry on the side, while in your pjs and listening to loud music. Other days though, those same things can cause me to procrastinate and get distracted easily. When I'm feeling lazy or not in the mood, I get dressed up and go and work from a coffee shop for a few hours. I've also invited other creatives to come and work alongside me when I go to a local cafe. We both are working alongside each other and knowing someone else is there keeps you accountable and moving forward.
JAOF: What experience did you have in the field before you began Collected Rentals
CRS: My degree is in Event Management and I have loads of Customer Service experience through previous jobs. Although both of those lend beautifully into what I do now, I wish I had paid more attention in my Entrepreneurship classes in University ;)
JAOF: What would be your top 3 tips about growing a business?
CRS: 1) Know your why. Why are you doing this? Why is this important to you? Why is this service/product needed? Why are you excited about this? If you don't know the answers to these questions already, take the time to figure it out. You'll be asked this a lot and almost every decision you make for your business going forward should stem from these answers.
2) Make a plan. This doesn't have to be a long and elaborate business plan but it should be written down and should be achievable. Start with what you want to accomplish (the big dream plus smaller goals etc), how you want to do it (pay for it, create it, market it etc) and add a timeline (when do you want to do it, what are you doing each day/week/month to get there).
3) Get support. Your family and friends are your biggest supporters and encouragers during those first few years of building a business. Share with them your passions, your dreams and your plan and get them involved. It's been invaluable for me to be able to call on someone I trust and explain what's going on and ask for advice. Make sure your spouse is on board too because they technically become a co-owner of the business and should have a say in how finances and time are spent.

{ photo courtesy of L a& E Photography }

Collected Rentals also has a personal connection to me and my family.
Last May my brother-in-law married his now wife Lindsay
and Collected Rentals styled their wedding.
It was rustic, elegant and absolutely beautiful.
Maybe I am biased when I describe the day,
the sun was shining, we were all so happy that these two were getting married,
a beautiful day in many ways.
But let me describe to you the reception venue.
It was a barn.
And I don't mean a whimsical building made to look like a barn
but used for weddings.
It is a legit barn. The days before the wedding we were moving out tractors,
moving hay bails and sweeping up dirt. There was also minor issues with barn owls that sleep in the raftors.
Along with some elbow grease from family and friends,
Mari was able to transform the barn into a rustic chic location totally perfect for a wedding celebration!
She was recently featured on Rust Wedding Chic!
Take a look here  to see the feature.

{photos by Mari Skerl Photography.}

Thanks Mari for sharing with us and our readers! It is so exciting to see where Collected Rentals & Styling is headed in its future. If you like what Mari had to share, please leave a comment and tell her so. 

You can find Collected Rentals & Styling at 

1 comment:

  1. Love this post. Love Mari. So interesting to hear more of her story.


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