The Rolling Runway was founded just over a year ago after owners, Kendall Turnipseed and Morgan Schubert, bought a 1963 Airstream. These two entrepreneurs took matters into their own hands and created their own opportunity to follow their dreams. This kind of ambition and initiative is proof enough of why these two ladies are our #WCW 's.
1. How did you get started?
We met at a local tuxedo shop in Athens where we both worked part time during college. After working together for about a year, we began daydreaming about being free from men's wear and owning our own women’s boutique. We had become good friends and knew that we worked well together and made a great team. Being college students working part time, we obviously didn't have enough start up cash to pay for a storefront. We had heard of mobile boutiques, an industry that was growing especially out west, and followed a few on Instagram that were an inspiration to us. Morgan was also involved in a class that started a golf cart boutique on campus, called “Couture a la Cart,” that sold student made designs from the Fashion & Consumer Sciences students, which was also part of our inspiration. However, at that point in time, our idea remained just a daydream. Two years down the road, we were still working together, had become even greater friends, and had become more focused on our ambitions of owning our own business. Morgan had graduated from UGA with a Fashion Merchandising degree, and even though Kendall, pursuing International Business and Management at UGA, still had a few more semesters to finish up, we were both ready to start making our dreams a reality.
We officially started The Rolling Runway 1 year ago, on October 23, 2014, when we bought a 1963 Airstream. It was a piece of work, and our friends thought we were crazy at first, but underneath the layers of dirt and repairs, we saw the potential for our pretty little mobile boutique! We completely renovated it ourselves, with the help of Kendall’s dad, and (literally) made our dreams come true. Renovations took about 10 months, and we officially began doing business in August of this year. It took a lot of determination and hard work, but it was 100% worth it to see the end result, and it is definitely paying off! What our business is today is more than we could have ever imagined!
2. What has been you biggest challenge in starting a business?
Our biggest challenge in starting this business in particular was renovating the Airstream, which we knew absolutely nothing about when we started. Now, we can tell you just about anything you need to know about vintage Airstreams, rivets, c-channels, flooring, sealing leaks, towing capabilities, or trailer hitches (the list goes on). It was a learning process to say the least, and we just had to take each step as we went. We did receive a lot of support from the AIrstream community, which we now consider ourselves to be a part of, slamming on our brakes to stop & stare every time we see one going down the road!
Another challenge that we’ve faced is dealing with people (suppliers, event coordinators, etc.) not doing what they said they would do. It’s hard to put this into words, but it just seems like we can’t ever count on anyone to do anything right the first time! For instance, when we order new clothes at market, there’s always something wrong with our order because someone wrote down the wrong style, the wrong ship date, etc. Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on people to do what their job description entails. We have learned that you always have to be on top of things and double check everything again and again. Oh, and keep a smile on your face with a friendly attitude no matter how frustrated you are!
3. What motivates you?
Most of our motivation came from our family and friends. We are so lucky to have people in our lives that support us no matter what. Then there’s also the motivation that came from people who questioned our ability to make this happen- we knew we could prove them wrong!
4. What tips would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you are going to start your own business, you should be aware of a few things:
1) You will always be exhausted. You gotta power through.
2) You will have to make sacrifices. For us, that meant giving up part of our social life, in fact most of it for a while. Once you have conquered the start up phase, things will get better, I promise!
3) You have to want it. Really want it. The vision of your own success is what will allow you to be ok with making such sacrifices, knowing that it will all pay off in the end.
4) Don’t expect anything to go “as planned.” That’s just how life works, and you have to deal with it and make changes accordingly. When we were first starting out, someone told us to expect it to take twice as long, and three times as much money. That was proven to be true in every way possible.
5) Pick your business partners wisely. Most would agree that it isn’t wise to go into business withyour best friend. I think one of the reasons that it works for us is that we were coworkers first, then we became friends. We know how to separate our work relationship from our social friendship. We don’t let emotions get in the way when we are making business decisions, and realize that sometimes we will disagree- that’s what makes us a strong team.
6) As cliche as it sounds, NEVER GIVE UP! There were times that we felt defeated, seeing no end in sight, and questioned why we even started this in the first place. We know now that the answer to why is that it is the most rewarding experience you can ever have to build your dream from the ground up, and be able to look back and say you did it all yourself. Whenever you are feeling frustrated or when everything seems to be going wrong, make sure to always find one positive thing about the situation and hang on to that glimmer of hope.
5. Who is your biggest hero/inspiring figure?
We were, and still are, inspired by so many talented entrepreneurs out there who have made their own dreams come true. One in particular is Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, who ironically now lives in an Airstream! -Kendall
Another is Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal and author of Girl Boss. I read her book after I graduated and it really inspired me and reminded me I could and would do anything I worked hard at! -Morgan
To find out more about The Rolling Runway, visit their website: rollingrunway.com