Incredibly I had quite a few responses to my original post. Sarah was the first (and only one) to comment publicly so she wins the lottery and get’s to go first! 🙂
Name: Sarah Nenni-Daher
Bio: Sarah Nenni-Daher is the mind behind Ruffles and Rain Boots. She has a lot of formal education and isn’t really using any of it anymore, having given up senior executives for sippy cups. Her loves include her husband, their daughter, and creating something new everyday.
Question #1: Thinking specifically about technology and tools – what is the one thing that has had a significant and positive impact on your success and in what way?
My sewing machine. My business isn’t sewing, but I will say that venturing into craft sewing was a huge leap for Ruffles and Rain Boots and for my personal creativity threshold. Not only has it led to our most popular creations, but it manifested a huge difference in how I approach new things.
To me, generating an idea and not having the ‘skill’ to see it come to fruition is the most frustrating part of what I do everyday. I’ve never shied away from challenging myself with reducing the learning curve as fast as possible, not in my corporate days, nor now. But that doesn’t mean I want everyone to see my ‘newest failure’ when I share it on the site. Picking up a sewing machine after never having tried one at all was intimidating and exhilarating at the same time, and when I put out something that became so popular, I dropped some of my inhibitions about sharing my creativity.
Question #2: What is the one thing that you do that your competition does not?
Creativity made easy is a strong selling point for Ruffles and Rain Boots. We take an idea and make it easy for anyone to follow along using our simple tutorials, clear instructions, and relevant photos.
It sounds easier than it is, in all honesty. I could whip up a tutorial in 5 minutes but making it so simple so that anyone picking up a new crafting medium could jump right in is quite difficult. One item (like a dress up costume) takes me only 2 hours to complete but 10 (or more) hours to write and edit. And then edit again, and again, and again to make sure it is clear and easy for most people to understand.
Question #3: SuperMan is a comic book. So is WonderWoman. Everyone has a weak area. What is that one area that you feel could use improvement? Do you avoid it, struggle through it, or know when to call in the Professionals?
I have to choose just one weakness?
My kryptonite is me. I’d say that trying to turn off my inner critic is the hardest thing to do every day. This critic – oh, what a piece of work she is – has made it so that tons of ideas never make it out of my head. It is a constant struggle between she and I, so it is something I address every day.
Question #4: How do you plan to grow? Continual growth is important. As it pertains to learning and staying on top of the business, what is it that you continuously do to ‘sharpen the saw’?
Creativity is not innate – to me, you aren’t either born creative or not. I believe it is simply a challenge to yourself – one that requires the exposure to, and assessment of, a constant stream of stimuli to be successful.
Before Ruffles and Rain Boots, creativity was always a requirement for success – in my years in sales, marketing, training, and even when I was in management – coming up with ideas do approach something in a different or new way is what set me apart from others. So, my primary approach to growth would be to be mindful of not limiting myself with regards to stimuli or mediums.
Question #5: Who do you admire, look up to, or respect and why? Amongst your friends, coworkers, and others in your industry – who is it that your really admire? What is it about them (or their business)?
But I really like Gretzky and what he did for hockey in the US…
I like the online acumen of Brittany Bullen (of The International Blogger’s Association), the creativity and skill of Dana (of Dana Made It), and Katy’s ability to find beauty in the pandemonium of daily life (of Chaos and Kiddos).
I’d also like to say that I respect my husband for putting up with all of my projects, late nights, and hard work it takes to share Ruffles and Rain Boots.
For being the first one out of the chute I think she nailed it don’t you?
Thank you so much Sarah – You Rock!
Ready for your 5ive?
He's an avid hockey fan, rides a mountain bike, sometimes rides a road bike, has a few motorcycles (he had a really fast one, bought a cool orange one, rode a really slow one, and wants a really small one). If that isn't enough, he makes cheese and sourdough bread, loves strong beer and good red wine, and poorly plays the Mandolin.