Let's Meet: Tayler Cusick Hollman of Sourced Co.
One of my favorite things about being a business owner is meeting new business owners who have exciting things going on ... I especially love when I meet these other entrepreneurs by working with them for a client we both share ... in this case, I met Tayler while I was designing the LVL Academy website and immediately wanted to KEEP WORKING WITH HER ... she's easy to work with, organized, on top of sh*t, real, funny, and creative ... all the things I adore in another human being.
When I found out she launched a new business with 3 other amazing creativepreneurs I *had* to find out more ... so I asked if she'd do a little 'get to know' on The Editor's Touch ... and lucky us, she said YES!
Tayler has her hands in a few incredible businesses, but the one we are talking about today is called Sourced Co. - which is a stock photography shop for wedding professionals and publications ... since I super love amazing stock photography, I was especially excited! Ok, interview below!
What was it that inspired you to start Sourced Co.?
Probably like a lot of small businesses, it started as a way to solve a problem. You see, as a marketing consultant, I spend way (read waaaaaaaay) too much time on the internet. And, over the years, I started to see some patterns. The first being that I had a constant need for images and two, that I had a persistent problem in finding them. Pair that with my gotta-fix-it-this-doesn't-work attitude and the ball got rolling.
But, Sourced Co.'s story is about much more than my personal problems. At its core, friendship inspired this business. My business partners and I wake up every morning excited to work - and that is the most important inspiration a business can have!
What do you feel was the most important choice you made during your first year of launching this business?
This is my first time running a business with partners (actually, it is for all of us), so making it the priority to build a strong foundation was the smartest thing we have done. We started with formally setting up an LLC, building processes, investing in the software that we needed, purchased contracts for our website, signed contracts between ourselves, and set up a business bank account. It may sound like standard stuff, but it's easy to put things like that off or decide it doesn't really matter. But, we are in this for the long haul and didn't want to build our business on shaky ground.
In addition, we all made a promise to each other at the very start -
to leave our egos at the door.
That doesn't mean that we all are arrogant (that couldn't be farther from the truth). Rather, we all need to check our egos so that we will admit when we don't know how to do something and ask for help when we need it. We value our friendship, so creating an environment where people can feel comfortable saying they need a break or don't agree with something needed to happen.
Why did you choose your focus in your industry? What made you fall in love with your field?
Jen, Christy, Cassie, and I have been working in the wedding industry for a long time, so it only seemed natural to support our peers. We constantly draw on our first-hand experience to make sure that we are creating stock photography that is not only pretty enough for the wedding aesthetic, but functional enough for the wedding professional. This is really where our hearts are, so we are sticking around!
Tell me about your biggest achievement as a business owner over the life of your company - and what makes that stand out?
Even though we just launched, there was 10 months of behind-the-scenes work that people didn't see. And, looking back, I think the biggest achievement so far has been actually seeing this thing through! Building a business is hard work, especially when life is happening in real time. Christy moved across the country. Cassie became a mom. Jen moved homes. And, we all were still balancing tons of client work. So, the fact that through it all, Sourced Co. is even a thing - that's the huge achievement!
How did you narrow down your target market and do such a good job in attracting that specific type of client?
When it comes to standing out in a saturated market, niching down is everything. But, it is also the hard thing. A couple people have asked us why we didn't create a brand that spoke to all creative professionals. And, the answer is cliche but true -
try to speak to everyone and you speak to no one.
Because we know the wedding industry (the highs, the lows, the challenges, and ways to persevere) we are building a brand that speaks just to that. But let's be real, pretty is pretty and I know general creative professionals will fall in love too.
What do you believe a business owner has to constantly stay on top of to be successful?
#allthethings But in all seriousness, you have to keep your house in order. Whether you're a business of 1 or have a team, if your people and foundation are not taken care of, it is really hard to be successful. And, an extension of your people is your customers or clients. If you're not taking care of them by delivering the product or service they need, doing it well, and doing it with kindness,
then you're toilet papering your own house.
What are you most excited for in the future?
We have so much up our sleeves that we can't wait to bring to life! From continually styling and shooting different (and more complicated) types of stock photos to adding new products to our shop - we wish we could spill the beans, but you'll just have to wait :)