Exec Life || Opinion
Drive and Determination BY CHELSEA GHEESLING AND COURTNEY TAYLOR
ccording to fundera.com, 40 continued to work our day jobs to ensure finanpercent of U.S. businesses are cial stability for our families, and we’ve spent owned by women, and collec- many late nights talking about the future of our tively they’re responsible for company. We’ve never let obstacles get in our putting $1.8 trillion into the way, and we always believed in what we could accomplish while working hard American “WE’VE NEVER LET every day to make others believe economy each year. Yet last year alone, American business experi- OBSTACLES GET IN OUR in our company. WAY, AND WE ALWAYS To ensure continued growth enced an exodus of female leaders BELIEVED IN WHAT WE and success, we’re constantly evaland entrepreneurs, as nearly 3 COULD ACCOMPLISH uating ourselves and our processmillion women left the workforce during the coronavirus pandemic. WHILE WORKING HARD es, and always pivoting to reach EVERY DAY TO MAKE our goals. We try to “ignore the While there still are 114 perOTHERS BELIEVE IN noise” and surround ourselves cent more women entrepreOUR COMPANY.” with people who not only lift us neurs than there were 20 years ago, it’s imperative now, more than ever, to encourage and support women who want to drive innovation. In 2015, Bundled was created with the mission of becoming a premier online gifting company while supporting Michigan-based businesses and brands (99 percent of the products in the company’s bundles are purchased from Michigan-based small businesses). As the name suggests, the company offers hand-packed, curated gift “bundles” of any kind, for any occasion — seasonal, novelty, personal, build-your-own, or custom corporate packages. As with many ideas, Bundled started out small. As equal partners and sisters, we each originally invested $2,000. Since then, we’ve never taken a penny of outside investment. We’ve proudly put every dollar back into the business, not paying ourselves for years, but employing a team of incredible individuals through a partnership with Services to Enhance Potential (STEP), a nonprofit organization in Wayne County. With this great team in place, Bundled began to grow. In 2020 alone, the company experienced a 1,200-percent revenue increase yearover-year, and more than 60,000 bundles have been shipped worldwide since its launch. Over the past five years, we’ve worked with so many women entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas and creative ways to impact our communities. Being honest about the process and our personal experiences has been the key to reaching new heights. For most of these past six years, we both
up, but also question us on a level that makes us want to work harder. At Bundled, we’ve built a team of women and mentors who do this for one another every day. Our best advice for other women entrepreneurs? Keep going. It’s cliché, but success truly doesn’t happen overnight. Building Bundled took many years, and it’s not done — growth is
CHELSEA GHEESLING and COURTNEY TAYLOR are partners in Bundled, an online gifting company based in Commerce Township.
an ever-evolving process. Remain financially strong. No one cares what your office looks like. Bundled was started in a basement and eventually transitioned into a space that checks most of the boxes, but we’ve been very careful not to stretch ourselves or the business financially. Ask questions. Lean on people and mentors who have been through the process. There’s incredible knowledge out there. Focus. Figure out what makes your heart sing and follow that. We’ve all heard that you should find a job or career that doesn’t feel like work, but sometimes you have to create it. Get on social media. Create profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, et cetera, and stay consistent in your message. Be true to yourself and find a way to get people engaged; this will help build a strong brand. For women considering starting their own business, simply keep going. Keep ideating. Keep fighting for your vision. The path to success is never straightforward or obvious — it’s entirely reliant on you and your drive.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: CHELSEA GHEESLING AND COURTNEY TAYLOR
COURTESY CHELSEA GHEESLING AND COURTNEY TAYLOR
With more than 3 million women leaving the workforce during COVID-19, how can female business owners and professionals regain their momentum?
68 DBUSINESS || JULY - AUGUST 2021
6/10/21 10:47 AM