Law and Wit Episode 18: 3 Tips to Find your Authentic Voice with Rosemary Card of Q.Noor Transcript
Get inspired by runway model-turned-retail CEO Rosemary Card who has successfully launched her own clothing store that empowers and enlightens women. Rosemary shares her story of moving to NYC to model in high fashion at age 16 and her journey of self-discovery and grit in launching her own retail brand of LDS temple dresses without any capital, fashion degree or e-commerce experience. She shares her secrets for connecting to customers, picking a meaningful AND strategic brand name when you have existing competitors, and gives 3 actionable tips for finding your own authentic voice.
B.Ratelle: 00:00 This is episode 18 of law and wit, three tips to find your authentic voice, Rosemary card of Q, nor welcome to la and wit creative counsel for entrepreneurs. I’m your host, Brittany Ratelle, mother of four, entrepreneur, nap time lawyer and attorney for creative entrepreneurs. I’m here to share inspiration and action so that you can tackle your business blocks and confidently own your business in every sense of the word. Thank you so much for being here. Hi guys and welcome back. I am so excited for our guest today. We have rosemary card and Rosemary is the CEO and founder of Q.Noor and for over a decade she’s been speaking to groups of women of all ages. She has experience as a international high fashion runway and print model. She’s a vocal advocate of women’s rights and is driven to help them recognize their personal power and responsibility as leaders and agents of positive change through education and self-development. I know that you’re going to love to hear all of her bits of wisdom of how she has traveled from being in the fashion industry to now owning her own ecommerce. And now a brick and mortar retail store. So welcome Rosemary.
Rosie Card: 01:06 Thank you so much. I’m glad to be here.
B.Ratelle: 01:08 Awesome. So we’re glad to have you. Um, so tell us a little bit about your start. Um, you know, I mentioned that you got your start in high fashion runway, which just sounds super glitzy and glamorous. So tell us how, you know, a girl who did not grow up in that world, um, came to be there, you know, and kind of what that set you up for.
Rosie Card: 01:30 I. So I started modeling by kind of a weird series of events. I, it all started as an extra in high school musical
B.Ratelle: 01:40 and Zac Efron
Rosie Card: 01:43 see? Yeah. But back then he wasn’t, he was just like a kid who was shorter than me, so it was like, well, whatever. I’m very true. They, I mean he was definitely Hanson back then too. But um, so yeah, I got into the fashion industry and there were definitely like glitzy or glamorous part, but then a lot of like, ugly, not glamorous parts of the industry. Um, and so I was in the industry for about two years and then I stopped shortly after I turned 18,
B.Ratelle: 02:18 so that’s incredible. You were living in New York by yourself as a 16, 17 year old.
Rosie Card: 02:23 Yeah. So New York was my home base. I’d be there for a few ones, go home for a couple of weeks, then I’d go live in another country or a different market for a few months and. But yeah, I bounced around for that entire two years between New York, Italy, Singapore and Japan and home in Salt Lake.
B.Ratelle: 02:43 Awesome. Wow. So, and I’m sure you have all kinds of stories. So, um, I, I failed to mention that you were also now a published author as well, all about that. So if people want more info on that story, they, I’m sure they should read your new book.
Rosie Card: 02:57 Yeah, Model Mormon. It’s available on Amazon and on my site Q.Noor.com if anyone’s interested.
B.Ratelle: 03:01 Awesome. So it was probably what, like a nanny diaries versus like meets runway model versus Mormon girl.
Rosie Card: 03:07 Yeah, it’s actually. So I definitely go into my story, but my, the purpose of the book is to help people see that there’s no often within the Mormon church there’s this idea of a cookie cutter member. And so I share my story. Um, and in a lot of ways I fit the cookie cutter mold in the sense that I’m from Utah. Uh, I went to Byu, I served a mission, I worked at the church, I own a temple dress company. Um, I taught at the MTC, all those things, but then in a lot of ways I don’t fit the cookie cutter mold at all. So it’s, the purpose of the book is doubt. People see that I’m kind of screw the mold and shoes however you want to Mormon. And that’s totally fine.
B.Ratelle: 03:55 Which really goes for just about any grip, honestly, you know, is to make sure that you’re not, you know, being, you limiting yourself in terms of a label or your identity or your path, that there are a lot of good ways, um, to be, you know, whatever is important to you, whether that’s your, whether that’s your faith identity or something else. So,
Rosie Card: 04:13 oh, do they, I think any group you’re in, there’s often kind of a story that we tell ourselves that we have to be a certain way in order to fit in. And I love what Brittany Brown talks about a lot is the difference between fitting in and belonging and I’ve realized that in my world that there’s a lot of stories that I tell myself again and I’ve just decided to like close the book on those stories and just focus on being myself and then I’m able to find people who accept me for who I am and it’s much more validating to belong and be accepted for who you are. Then being accepted for kind of a version of yourself that you portray.
B.Ratelle: 04:50 Yeah. Oh, I really liked that. So I mean, and we all love Brenae Brown and you know, it means she’s right up there with oprah. Honestly, I’m with, does she, not all of those pearls of wisdom for sure. So. Okay, so you turned 18 and you know, the, in terms of the, the trends in fashion and probably, um, the ability that you had to articulate and advocate for yourself in terms of your standards in the way that you wanted to work in the Andrews who is probably becoming a lot more difficult. So at that time you felt like it was, you needed, you wanted to change gears.
Rosie Card: 05:23 Yeah, I mean, so there were a few reasons that led to me meeting the industry. One definitely being that once I was a legal adult, I no longer had the excuse of being illegal child when it came to people I’m asking me to do nude modeling or semi nude or share anything like that. And so, um, that’s something that was really important to me that I didn’t participate in and modeling as much as I wanted to be a successful model as much as I really, really to make that work. I didn’t care enough to make that sacrifice and so it just made sense at that point to walk away.
B.Ratelle: 06:06 Yeah. You knew you knew who you were and what you were willing to do and what you weren’t.
Rosie Card: 06:10 Yeah, and I just kind of accepted that, like this. My standards made me and not a great model. Yeah. Like I wasn’t able to do a good job at what that job of being a model was. And that made it really complicated for my agency. It made it really complicated for clients and so it just was something that I realized like, why am I forcing this? Maybe this is what I’ve been called to do. Maybe I’m supposed to do bigger things and walk really well in the straight line in high heels, like may be there’s a chance that I’m supposed to be doing something else with my life. And so I stepped away from that.
B.Ratelle: 06:48 Then you moved on. So. So where did life take you next, you know, and how did kind of your business story unfold?
Rosie Card: 06:54 So next day went to college. I went to Dixie State University for the first year and a half and then I went to Byu. Um, I graduated in broadcast journalism and I started working for the lds church in the film department doing like mini documentary style films and um, I whereas was working full time for them, but I was a contracted employee and so in 2000, early 2015 because of laws, they announced that contracted employees could only work three fourth time that year and in order to avoid giving us insurance, which is really sweet of them. Um, so I, I had bills to pay and they needed to work a full time job and so it was just trying to figure out what I wanted to do. And um, I was doing freelance photography, wedding videos, wedding photos, things like that. And so I was just trying to figure out can I ramp my freelance work up enough to kind of balance out the lack that I will get from the church job.
Rosie Card: 08:00 And um, and I was, you know, prayer is important to me. So I was being careful about that and the idea of starting my own company, something I’ve always wanted to do since college I’m kind of came back to me and I just had this idea that there was a need within the lds temple dress market. Um, she for cute comfortable temple dresses that women would actually be interested in wearing. And so I honestly just met with someone at the church to make sure that was even allowed because I didn’t know. And then I literally went home and googled how to start a clothing company and that’s how Cunard started probably 2015.
B.Ratelle: 08:48 That’s crazy. I mean, you, yeah. You, you went from a seed of an idea to, you know, checking on market viability and the uh, the business school of Google with a running.
Rosie Card: 08:57 Yes. Start. Yes, absolutely. And I mean it was tricky because the lds church, does it release any type of numbers. So it wasn’t something where I could figure out like market size and what portion I think I could attract and all that kind of stuff. I just had to say, okay, I did Mike as much as I could, like this is how many missionaries are serving right now. Forty percent are probably women. All of those women need a temple dress. And I knew how many private companies were already doing it and so I just thought there was enough of a market to sustain three or four, maybe five private other companies. Like then it probably can sustain one more in. So I’m going to go for.
B.Ratelle: 09:40 No, but I think that’s smart. You, uh, you know, you, you felt there was an idea that inspired you. Um, and you know, you definitely felt pulled in a certain direction. Um, and you mentioned, you know, that prayer in and having a higher power was being a really purposeful part of that experience. But you coupled that with, in terms of smart research and doing whatever work you could to try to validate the idea and making sure that um, the, you know, you were taking advantage of whatever resources you had. Even ones that had to be a little, you know, kind of sketchy brainstorming and roundabout ways in terms of you know, what, what are you really looking at and what kind of market share and probably price point in terms the two and where are you going to source and all those other questions that come up as soon as you get into fashion and clothing.
Rosie Card: 10:20 Yeah. And I have a really big believer. I know that a lot of people when they have a new idea for your business, they try to like keep it on the dl and they won’t talk to anyone about it and they try to get like friends sign nondisclosures before they talk about it. And I think yeah, like you do need to be careful to protect your business, but I also think you’d need to talk to people and to get like, honest feedback if they think this is going to work and you need people to let you know like, yeah, that is something I would love. And more than just your friends because often I found your friends are going to be like, I love that idea. Even though they would never put money behind it. Um, and so yeah, I think I’m work shopping it out essentially. I’m brainstorming with people is a really, really great resource.
B.Ratelle: 11:08 Yeah, that’s great. Did you use any like, formal servery tools or anything or is it just, you know, like you said conversations. I mean you would literally bring it up with anyone you could.
Rosie Card: 11:17 Yeah. I just talked to a lot of people and I was um, I talked to a lot of friends that were consultants or business owners themselves and just tried to pull knowledge from anyone that I could in that sense. And then as far as building my actual product, developing the product, I talked to as many women as I could to try to say like, okay, if you could be like, what is your ideal temple dress? How long is it, where does it hit you? What does it feel like? What does it need to have? What do you hate about your current temple dress? And so I just talked and talked and talked, talked and talked to people, and then they eventually could kind of come to a few like temple dress truths, I guess even say about what the vast majority of women were looking for.
B.Ratelle: 12:05 Yeah, I mean, you knew you knew your market and you knew the maxims that we’re guiding them in their decisions. So for those in our audience who aren’t lds, which is totally fine and maybe aren’t familiar with like, what the heck is a temple dress? Um, do you want to explain just a little bit about how kind of narrow the, your restrictions are in terms of what it can look like?
Rosie Card: 12:24 Yeah. So a temple is a very modest white, simple dress that mormons were during, like their highest form of religious worship. And, and I guess religious worship is kind of like a
B.Ratelle: 12:39 ox, nevermind. It’s a ceremonial, religious. Yeah.
Rosie Card: 12:46 So yeah. And they are long sleeve, long in the hem, high in the neck. Like there’s no beating, no sequence, no labels, no loud patterns, nothing. And um, and just white. And one of the things that I’ve learned about white fabric is that there are a million shades of white and white is actually the worst and black but white. It’s probably the worst color that you want to deal with. Um, because obviously any imperfection shows there’s always, someone will always have another piece of white something fabric that in their home that they may lay it next to you and then feel like, oh, this dress as a wide enough,
B.Ratelle: 13:38 is it wide enough? Whatever their version of white is in their mind, you know, the whiteness of white. Yeah.
Rosie Card: 13:44 Well, lights and it, you can’t, you can’t get it from China. You can’t get good white from China because their water and air is too polluted. Um, and so you have to deal with, like they call it gray goods getting basic gray goods from China. And then I’m like my fabric, some of them are domestic, but most of them are shipped to Korea where we dye fabric in white in Korea. Um, and then it’s shipped to the state. So it is where I manufacturer in California. So it was kind of like one of the things that I know had I known how annoying and hard it was going to be in the beginning or I probably would have said like, I’m just gonna go get another one,
B.Ratelle: 14:32 someone else’s hiring and that sounds really fun and I didn’t know what was going to be dealing with intercontinental, you know, dying of fabric and whatnot. And I mean, the issue with white too is that there’s always issues with opacity and making sure that it you can’t see underneath, which is obviously an issue in a religious ceremony. It needs
Rosie Card: 14:52 to be thick enough where it can’t be sheer, but if it’s too thick, people are like, oh, this fabric is too thick. I’m getting caught. No one wants anything that wrinkles. But they want something that feels really like high quality and nice were often bring fabrics that don’t wrinkle. You literally just can’t get that pure white out of it. And they, um, they don’t feel great. And, and so it just says, I always say like, I’m going to develop a fabric that is not sheer a perfect way in, doesn’t wrinkle. And I will become a multimillionaire.
B.Ratelle: 15:27 You will be the queen of all the white fabric and all the world’s. Yeah, if you can develop that.
Rosie Card: 15:33 Yeah, it’s, yeah, it’s kind of a nightmare. That fabric thing is, but it’s fine. Every job passage,
B.Ratelle: 15:39 every job has their quirks. So, I mean, as you started sourcing, um, you know, did you already have contacts in the industry or how did you go about figuring out where were you going to manufacture? And I mean, as you, you know, as, as you’re saying how it unfolds, it was a much more complicated process than you thought.
Rosie Card: 15:56 Oh yeah, absolutely. So I, um, in addition to the wonderful world of Google, I, like I said, just talk to anyone that I could. And so I talked to a lot of companies that were manufacturing am and companies that manufacture for other companies. And eventually I’m a friend of mine, his family’s company recommended, uh, my manufacturer to me. And so I reached out to them and, and we initially talked once and I think they were kind of like a, this girl has no idea what she’s doing, which was very true. Um, and I felt like, Oh, I’m too overwhelmed. I don’t know, this seems like too big of a step for me. And so I didn’t really follow up with them for a few months and then I ended up just going to California and meeting with them and when we got along really well and they have since become like family to me. Um, and they, they have been so, so wonderful to me and so patient and they’ve taught me so much and we’ve been through kind of thick and thin and it’s been a really good relationship. So I’m so grateful for my manufacturers.
B.Ratelle: 17:19 That’s awesome. So I mean, that’s, that’s amazing that you, um, instead of being embarrassed or thinking that you’re in too deep of water, you decided to. I mean, you said it to escalate and go meet them in person. Yeah.
Rosie Card: 17:33 I just like, we could send fabric swatches and samples back and forth as zillion times, but why not just like go talk to them for a couple of hours and figure out if this works and then I like, I was really able to kind of communicate to them like, look, yeah, I have basically no idea what I’m doing, but you can see that like I’m a hard worker. I’m willing to learn. I’m not going to be a burden to you. I’m going to be a small client at first, but I tried to sell that like one day I’m going to be a big claim for you and this will be a worthwhile investment.
B.Ratelle: 18:13 Natural saleswoman. I mean because no matter what do you think that you do sell? I mean you’re selling dresses, but you’re also selling you and you’re selling your idea and your gumption and your grit and getting a clothing company off the ground with no background in clothing. I mean you didn’t go to fashion school, you didn’t go to design school or business school or business school, but who cares? Yeah.
Rosie Card: 18:38 My school was like learning how to do a good live shot on the 5:00 news.
B.Ratelle: 18:42 Yeah. Which is an important skill. I mean obviously, I mean obviously, you know, you have, you have a voice for radio so, and the looks to prove it because we’ve seen you on the runway as well. So
Rosie Card: 18:54 thank you.
B.Ratelle: 18:55 Um, so I love that. That reminds me of a quote that I found when I was. I was doing my google stock interview that said that I’m probably not 100 percent qualified, but in this life, if we wait to be 100 percent qualified for anything, we’re never going to do it. And I love that. So, you know, what have you said when there were people like these manufacturers at first are probably even more. I’m unkind voices of like, Hey, you just don’t have the, you know, fill in the blank experience age, money, um, you know, capital to have a business like this, to start a business like this. How do you answer that?
Rosie Card: 19:32 I honestly is my intensity shade, but it’s never fun to hear those kind of comments and it can be discouraging. But if for me and my personality, I almost kind of love it because it makes me be like, oh, watch me, like freaking watch me build this from the ground up with $0. Like without a single loan or money from my parents, like zero investors, your zero debt, watch me build this and like, is it going to be slow? Yeah. Are there any big mistakes? Absolutely. Um, but I just think like I’m a big believer that we are on this earth to learn stuff and have experiences and so of course we don’t know how to do stuff because we’re supposed to like learn new things and so if we are constantly just doing things that we feel comfortable doing or things that don’t push us or stretch us, like are we really going to ever accomplish a purpose or are we going to become better? And it’s just like, no. I mean it’s the same thing for lifting weights, right? If you’re always lifting 10 pounds, are you going to get that much stronger? You’ll probably get stronger but not as strong as you could get if you were gradually increasing. That’s right. I honestly don’t know anything about weightlifting, but I’m just guessing,
B.Ratelle: 20:52 but you’re selling it. That’s the thing, Rosa, you’re silly. No, no pain, no gain. And you know, all those guys at all, you know, those, those tech guys, those summer sales guys at the gym, um, you know, you can’t get those gains. Gains was a z unless you’re lifting the heavy weights.
Rosie Card: 21:13 You’ve seen those guys, you know who I’m talking about. I know them
B.Ratelle: 21:18 and you know all about that. So I’d love it. I mean, watch me and you know, that’s what you say to them and that’s what you’re doing, you know, I mean, you’re literally saying I can do this. I can figure stuff out even though there are challenges. So, um, I mean you mentioned a little bit about, you know, even just finding out how difficult it is to get a white fabric and to get that just right. Um, in terms of your clients, are there any other challenges that you’ve had come along that you’ve kind of had to sort through and overcome?
Rosie Card: 21:45 Um, one big challenge that I faced early on was just that no one put temple dresses on instagram before I started doing that. Like that was like no one really would talk about a temple dress like that felt weird and uncomfy am. And then I was just like, well, we’re doing it like we are going to freaking database and um, and people like body to it and I don’t want to say bought into it in the sense like I tricked him. I just think like people as I started the conversation, got more comfortable and suddenly people were posting selfies of themselves in their temple dress on their instagram account and tagging q nor, um, and it just became a more common comfortable thing to talk about. And I love that. I love that so much.
B.Ratelle: 22:36 You created a way for people to connect, um, you know, their faith and something that’s kind of, you know, a more private part of people’s, you know, a religious and faith beliefs into something that’s cute. And His shareworthy really.
Rosie Card: 22:50 Totally. I mean, I just think I lived in Jerusalem while I was in school for four months and the people in that part of the world, like they wear religion on their sleeve, like it’s not something they’re ashamed of. It’s not something they hide. They’re very in your face about their religion. And I’m not trying to say like we should be in our people’s faces about it. I think that’s actually kind of rude. But um, I think you can be comfortable as just shame, like sharing, like, yeah, this is part of my religion and if you don’t think it’s freaky, then no one else is gonna think it’s that either. But if we act kind of weird and shady about it, then people are going to be like, wait, why are you being so sketchy about the big? Like, um. So yeah, I mean maybe I’m more comfortable talking about temple dresses were in temple than most people just because it’s kind of my world. But I realized that like once you start talking about it, it’s not a big deal. Yeah,
B.Ratelle: 23:46 exactly. So, and I think you were smart in terms of harnessing what social media is doing and you know, it’s certainly, I’m having a moment for that and knowing that, um, you could build a following and a voice and be able to develop that online and to find your people. So as you started building your brand, um, and I guess I, I’d love to have you explained what q norm means because I think it’s a beautiful name and, and it’s kind of a unique one.
Rosie Card: 24:13 Yeah, it is unique. Um, when I was trying to figure out what to call the company, most of my competitors have the word white in their name and I’ve heard lots of people say like, Oh, where’d you get that dress? Oh, it’s why is it white or white that like, they were always getting mixed up. And so I was like, I want nothing to do with that. Um, and so I knew I didn’t want to have white in the name. I also didn’t want to be always limited to white products. And so I wanted something unique also for seo purposes, but I could quickly rank well with my name and um, so like I mentioned, I studied in Jerusalem and nor is a very common name in the Middle East. It’s kind of like the Jane of the Middle East, I say. And I fell in love with that name.
Rosie Card: 25:05 I thought it was really beautiful and there is a queen nor she is actually an American who married, um, at that time the king of Jordan, he since passed away, so she’s the former queen of Jordan and she is just this incredible advocate of women in and outside of the home. She does a ton of humanitarian stuff. And so I’ve really been inspired by Queen NORC and nor is the Arabic word for light and um, the idea of light and knowledge really ties well into themes within the temple. And so q, nor was kind of a mixture of all of those.
B.Ratelle: 25:46 I love that. So I knew a few of those things but not all of them. Um, and I really like how thoughtful you were in terms of seeing what your competitors were doing and doing something completely different, which you know, is I when I talked to my clients and we’re either um, you know, ideally I talk to people when they’re picking a name and they haven’t picked one yet and I can kind of help them with some of that because um, you know, what you’re talking about in terms of differentiation and Seo and making sure that it’s not very similar to someone else who sells sales. A very similar product is good and more than one ways, you know, it’s good because people can find you online. It’s also good because you won’t be sued for trademark or copyright infringers
Rosie Card: 26:26 convenient to not get sued.
B.Ratelle: 26:28 Yeah, exactly. That’s always a plus really when you can hear on that side and then it ties so much into your mean your brand values and what you’re trying to communicate in your clothing and the way that you connect with the women who are going to where the beautiful things that you create, you know?
Rosie Card: 26:44 Yeah. It’s a, it’s. I think it was initially, I’m one of those things that you kind of picked because it just felt right and then as the company developed, it just was like, oh, absolutely, this is the name for this company, and maybe it’s kind of like me being a kid, like as the kid grows up, you’re like, of course you are a, uh, Brittany, or of course you are a. something like that is of course your name. And that’s how it’s been for Cuny.
B.Ratelle: 27:12 Yeah. Well, it certainly fits in as beautiful as this episode is sponsored by my template shop, creative contracts.co, an online store for the legal templates you need to protect and grow your modern creative business. Each of the templates has been tailored to the creative industry and the needs of modern brands and includes color coded fields. You can tailor to your particular business with clear and concise directions at walk through the whole way. Stop worrying that you’re Frankenstein contracts, makes you look like an amateur or worse, that it isn’t set up the way you actually do business. Get a polished attorney drafted contract that clearly spells out the healthy business relationship that you want with those, Oh, so important boundaries and get the legally legit language that protects your bottom line in both time and money, concerned about copyright ownership, getting beat up by scope creep or unwieldy revisions. You need some confidentiality protection or website bundle to make sure that your website is legit. Hop on over to creative contracts.co and use a special discount code for podcast listeners. That code is law and wit to spelled out l a w a n, d e w I t for 10 percent off. We started in 2015. Open your doors. Started selling online next, the next year, then November of 2015, so November of that year. And then so tell us what’s happened and changed in the last just the last few months. That’s totally upleveled your business. Yeah, so the first
Rosie Card: 28:39 year and half or first year or so I ran out of the home that I was renting. I lived in one bedroom and then I rented another bedroom that was like my warehouse office space and it just got to a point that like q norm needed to grow, but it could not grow in that situation. And so I started using a fulfillment center, which was another company who handled all of my warehousing and shipping and returns and all of that kind of stuff. And I used them for about a year and they were, they’re great people. I just felt like it was so expensive and, and they were making mistakes that I knew I wouldn’t make. And so that was driving me bonkers, um, especially because my customers, um, you buy a temple dress and then you’re set for years. So I really only have one shot with my customers.
Rosie Card: 29:35 It’s not like a normal clothing company where you can screw up on one order, but next time they order a jumper and they all go smoothly. It’s fine. I needed to do really well in the first round so that they would recommend me to their friends. Um, and so that was just getting really complicated. Um, and again, they were very expensive and then early 2018, um, they sent me a memo that was just like addendum to the contract. Please send immediately and I read the fine print and it was like doubling my costs. Like, Oh, you actually think I’m an idiot
B.Ratelle: 30:13 and good on you for reading your contract and you’re a dead girl. I mean, I know this is not your first Rodeo. That’s the thing of when you’ve been working in a, you know, high fashion and the clothing industry since you were 16, you know, to read a contract. But good heavens people, this is why you read the contract.
Rosie Card: 30:32 Oh, you’re doubling my prices get real. Um, so in that moment I just realized like, okay, this was two steps forward, maybe I need to take a step back now and figuring out my next plan. And so in that moment I thought like, okay, I want to bring shipping back. I want to bring it back in house, but I need to find this space because it’s big enough now that I can’t fit it in any home. And I also need to bring on new employees to do the shipping and that I don’t want people coming to my home. So I started looking for a warehouse space and then I also thought like, well, I’m always getting emails from customers asking if they can come try things on. And I have always said no because I don’t want people coming to my home and, and so I felt like I should just, I might as well get a space where it makes sense for someone to come and try a dress on. And so I started the search for a something that could work as both a retail space and a warehouse and it just all happened really quickly and I never in a million years when they started q, nor did I want to have a shop or a brick and mortar, but it just kind of made sense. And so I went for it and it honestly, it has. We’ve been open for just shy of a month now. And I have loved it, loved it, loved it.
B.Ratelle: 31:59 That’s awesome. So, um, and your store is located in draper, isn’t it? Or Sandy?
Rosie Card: 32:05 It’s in mill creek
B.Ratelle: 32:06 actually, real quick. Oh, so cute. Little area
Rosie Card: 32:11 it styling. So just salt lake. I’m on like 40 south and highland drive and I’m a used to my space, used to be a dog grooming salon. Awesome. I know that my landlord is very grateful that I helped him out with such an upgrade and now it’s a beautiful store.
B.Ratelle: 32:30 Yeah. This was all, all of the white clothing and some of the other pieces that you’ve kind of moved into different directions as well. So
Rosie Card: 32:38 yeah, and also have a lot
B.Ratelle: 32:40 of products from other women entrepreneurs. Um, so we have things that I say it would be great for like baby shower gifts or wedding gifts, things like that. And 99 percent of the products come from female entrepreneurs. A lot of local and international. Very cool. Which again Harkens back to your brand vision and what you’re trying to resonate with your customers and you see that in all those different parts of your product experience in your customer experience.
Rosie Card: 33:14 Yeah, it’s been, it’s been really fun thing to kind of offer a, you know, uh, having, allowing your customer to personally interact and handle your product is huge and not all companies are in the place where they can offer that to customers. And so it’s been so cool to say like, hey, on a small level like you can come and we can offer that to your people. And so I’ve loved it and I know I’m a big believer in like shopping local and that like you can do more with your money by keeping it local or giving it to small businesses and um, so it’s just been a great opportunity to be part of that.
B.Ratelle: 33:52 Very cool. So, so now that you’ve been up and running for a month, what will you say are different challenges or new challenges you’ve had in having an actual physical store, brick and mortar store and it’s not something that, you know, a lot of people have experienced with now, you know, a lot, most of us, almost all of us start out online and we hope to maybe get to that stage. Um, so what, what are some things people should look out for?
Rosie Card: 34:15 Um, well after working for myself and having kind of a ecommerce business for three years, I was very accustomed to very flexible hours and so it’s been quite a transition to nope, q nor is open from 11 to six and it’s open on Saturdays too. That has been a huge adjustment. Um, but a good one. And so that is um, a change and I just like interacting with people and honestly like, this is going to sound fake or cheesy, but there have only been positive changes. It’s been so fun to see people try a dress on and say, oh, I actually need a medium. And they did it now to spend like $15 in shipping into or a week to figure that out. Like they just figured it out. And even when people come in and try and address and say like, Huh, it’s not for me. I love it because I’m just like, oh you didn’t have to pay for shipping. I didn’t have to like pay someone to send that to you or process the return. Like we were just able to figure that out and it cost us nothing. So I love that element of it.
Speaker 3: 35:32 Yeah.
Rosie Card: 35:34 Very cool. It’s been really great. Yeah.
B.Ratelle: 35:36 And now you’ve, uh, you know, uh,
Rosie Card: 35:38 among that you’ve now have people who are helping out in your store. So now you are a boss instead of just being a one woman shop. How has that been that transition? Oh, it’s been really great in the sense that I love like having people that I talked to throughout the day,
B.Ratelle: 35:53 any being a one woman shop can be very lonely
Rosie Card: 35:58 at the first week though I will say I had to just like sit in my basement in the quiet because I was talking to so many more people than I was used to and it was so overwhelming. Um, but yeah, it’s been really fun to kind of bring other women in, in younger women in my case and kind of train them and help them see how things work. Um, and it, of course it has its challenges as well. There’s a learning curve, um, but it has been, so far so good.
B.Ratelle: 36:33 Yeah. In terms of translating that vision and where you want to see things go, where are you, uh, what are, what are your goals? Where do you want to see to Norco in the future?
Rosie Card: 36:45 The amazing thing about q is I feel like it’s always changing and I never see the change because we get so honestly when people ask that it sounds like I don’t have goals for q nor, but I just feel like I don’t know what’s gonna it’s gonna do now we’re into key excelon templates, trusses and we’re going to keep adding new products like we’re adding nightgowns and how stresses and things like that. Um, but there are like things as far as events and education that I’m really interested in. I’m adding to kind of like the Cunard brand. Um, and um, I love the idea of like bringing in powerful women speakers that people can come in here and I’m just education. It’s so important to me and I think it’s so important to. I’m feeling happy. I’m learning new things, I think makes people feel happier. And so I would love to in clued that more in the Kunar umbrella.
B.Ratelle: 37:50 Awesome. Yeah. Well, and it sounds like it’d be, it’d be a good fit for you and I’m sure a good fit for people who have grown to love what you offer in your store and your voice, you know, and who enjoy, you know, your thoughts in terms of women empowerment and education and balancing that and still being a woman of faith. Um, and how those are not mutually exclusive.
Rosie Card: 38:09 No, not at all. I feel like in fact they are completely, they go hand.
B.Ratelle: 38:15 Definitely. So when this, you’ve talked about expanding to other areas, um, so I’m reminded that we’ve gotten the chance to work a little bit in some parts of your business and so I wondered if you could comment just where, you know, how and when you decided to pull legal on to his parts of your team as you’re building your business. Because I know a lot of people come to me as that question sometimes knowing, well, how do I know when it’s the right time to hire someone or to need help? And um, how did you get a feeling for that when it, when it was a good time to reach out and look for someone to help with some aspects of your business?
Rosie Card: 38:49 I learned that through some type of experiences that it’s better to have legal involved before the crap hits the fan, you know, to have to take precautionary steps rather than just waiting for something to go wrong.
B.Ratelle: 39:11 Cleanup on aisle seven. Yeah.
Rosie Card: 39:13 Yes, absolutely. Um, and so, um, yeah, I think that’s when we started, we started doing copywriting the name, um, and also just as a way to protect myself in case I have made a mistake and I was infringing on someone else, I want to make sure that I protect myself from some lawsuit showing up at my doorstep. Um, just because, um, it is a small business and like I said, I have built like 100 percent bootstrapped this and so a huge lawsuit could ruin the company and I just feel like nothing is worth that. And so spending money right now to protect the company and to avoid those huge problems in the future. And it’s worth every penny in my mind, and I didn’t mean that to sound like a total sales pitch for you.
B.Ratelle: 40:11 No. I guess if, if, you know, if you like, that kind of thing is the best thing.
Rosie Card: 40:19 If you’re not losing your entire,
B.Ratelle: 40:22 you’re into that. If that’s your kind of thing keeping your money that you earn, you know, with all of your hard work and blood, sweat and tears. Yeah. Everyone know. So and yeah. And that’s um, and I mean like we talked about, you set yourself up in such a great position because you did pick a really unique name when you started building your brand. So even though I, you know, got brought on later in your process and you said, Hey Brett, maybe we should look into copyright and trademark and tell me about that. Um, it was a really slick process for you because you picked something that was different and distinct and that wasn’t similar to something else or sounded like something else similar. Um, you know, a lot of people make that mistake and that makes it so much easier for people to start to recognize and build you as a brand. It’s hard work at first because no one knows what q norm means and no one can say it and knowing and now I can smell it, but, but, but once you get going on what exactly. Once they got it, they got it and no one and once they have it, no one is going to think about anything else except for you. They’re going to think of your cool temple dresses and your name and they’re going to be one in the same.
Rosie Card: 41:31 Like
B.Ratelle: 41:33 that’s what we like. That is what we like. So. Okay, well to wrap up, I kind of asked if you had like a three tips for kind of finding your authentic voice kind of, um, as kind of a female entrepreneur and especially as someone who’s working in fashion and clothing industry. You know, we, um, social media nowadays, we, we get, we get a lot of bad rap and we get, you know, a lot of discussion about being authentic and being real and vulnerable and trying to work on that and how important that is to share that part of you and your brand story with others to really connect. Um, do you have any thoughts about that as someone who’s really had some vulnerable and brave moments in your life and who’s built a really successful brand around that?
Rosie Card: 42:15 I am, I want to say, oh, I know who said that. Okay. So one of my favorite quotes that’s really been like a mantra for me is from David Sedaris. Um, he’s a great radioed personality person and um, he has this coat and I wish I could remember it word for word, but I can’t individually just says, um, the thing that makes you most uncomfortable to say is what makes you the most relatable or like what most people would relate to. Um, and so yeah, it’s been a really like a guiding star for me in a lot of ways that, um, the topics that feel the scariest to talk about, especially in my very niche market niche audience. There are some taboo or less talked about things and it’s when I talk about those things that I connect with people on the most important level, does that also mean that some people are offended or upset or annoyed?
Rosie Card: 43:23 Totally. But, um, my company in a lot of ways is an extension of me, like I am a big part ofq norm and I’ve just had to accept that like I’m not for everyone. Maybe q nor on instagram isn’t for everyone and that’s okay and it’s been really freeing to just kind of like stop worrying about the number and I know not all companies can do that and it, of course it’s important to grow your presence on social media. But I realized that I didn’t, I don’t feel like sales for my company. We’re really correlated to how many followers I have on instagram. Um, and so I just kind of like gave up chasing the constant growth. Do I love seeing growth? Totally. Like, that’s, that’s great. Um, I would never say, Oh, I’m sad I gained 100 followers. Like that’s never the case, but um, I’m not going to spend time doing or worrying about things strictly for the sake of gaining new followers. Um, it just, it doesn’t correlate to sales for me.
B.Ratelle: 44:31 Yeah. And not so success. So no, I like that. I mean, I think, I mean, I think you gave us our, our three right there, you know, the things that make you, um, you can be making the most uncomfortable are usually the most relatable that you should recognize that your brand is not for everyone and that’s the way it should be. And really when, uh, you can find a way to niche down and find that authentic, um, you know, part of yourself that’s shared with other people, um, it will resonate more with others. And you know, not to confuse vanity metrics with success because they’re not the same.
Rosie Card: 45:04 No, they’re not. I’ve kind of had a eye opening experience where I learned about some of the numbers or sales of a certain company that just seemed to be blowing up on instagram, but they’re really struggling and I was like, Huh, okay, well, like, I’m okay with my number that I’ve been out for. Who knows how long I was. Okay. Sales are still growing and the company is just getting stronger and this is working for me.
B.Ratelle: 45:30 Exactly. It’s working for you. So when you approach it, yeah, it’s a happier way to move forward. So you’re not fine under your desk if people, you know,
Rosie Card: 45:43 I numbers I’m in it. I’m in a privileged place. Like I wouldn’t have said this three years ago, you know what I mean? Like I reached a place where I have enough of a foundation where I’m able to feel comfortable, but even a year ago that wasn’t the story. You know, I was fighting for every follower. I like to say like, um, I won every follower in a fist fight a, it was a lot of work together. I today. Um, and so I don’t want to. I know it’s easy or what am I trying to say? I know I’ve sat and in panel discussions or things like that where I’m hearing these people, big companies just be like, oh actually I don’t worry about numbers. I’m like, of course you don’t. You have
B.Ratelle: 46:28 a million followers like you’ve arrived freaking of course you don’t. But those are still trudging up the mountain. Aren’t in your same position. Kingpin, the whole.
Rosie Card: 46:38 Totally. So I just want to express that like numbers are important and that like getting your name out matters and it is such a brutal battle and I don’t want to discount or be like, oh I don’t really carry to a number. Like I cared a lot about numbers for a lot of days and spent a lot of time what I called trolling and like drawing people into the brand. I’m probably like so many hours of three years just gone on instagram. So I just want to put that out there. But like I feel that pain
B.Ratelle: 47:08 you have you lately and trudge the trenches of instagram girl who have put in the hours. Okay. You have, you know, but you, you vanquish it, you’ve, you’ve come out the other side. So that’s the story. Yeah. Awesome. So we’ll, do you have any parting wisdom for those of, you know, creative entrepreneurs out there and especially people who might be trying to get started on ecommerce online and who are wondering if they just don’t know enough, what would you say to them?
Rosie Card: 47:37 Um, I would say you don’t,
B.Ratelle: 47:40 wow, put that on a pink. I should know.
Rosie Card: 47:43 I literally don’t, but oh well it’s probably better that way. It’s ignorance is bliss in a lot of ways and I would say and do something different and I see a lot of companies popping up that are just kind of remakes of things that already exist and like, yeah, that’s a tactic that the business strategy to say like, clearly this is a successful market, this company is driving this. Um, I could kind of remake this company with my own name and do something similar and take a share of that market. But I just think like finding something that makes your company unique, even if you’re making a similar product, there’s got to be something about your company that’s different because you gotta have a reason for why people should come to you. I obviously was not the first one to make temple dresses my days like I’m one of the first ones to make a cute one.
B.Ratelle: 48:39 But you are. I mean, sorry, not sorry. There are other great, you know, dresses out there, you know, there’s, there’s something for everyone. But you know, if you are acute 21 year old girl just fresh off or mission then
Rosie Card: 48:56 you’re going to get, getting ignored. What makes q nor different is not the PR, like not the actual product of what it is. It’s that I’m specifically going after a part of the market that was getting ignored and, and just kind of being told like a deal with it. So that’s what makes me different. And I feel like that’s what has been the key to my success. And so I think like if you are going to start like another company that there’s lots of other similar companies, at least figure out something that makes you unique.
B.Ratelle: 49:29 If you’re making baby boast then God bless you. We wish to make of that is literally going to say baby buzz and then I put it not to throw shade because there are some really cute baby both companies out there like not in all seriousness, but I’m just saying there, there, there’s a lot on that playing field. We may want to just take a look back and see if there’s something else, some other niche that needs to be filled. Okay.
Rosie Card: 49:54 And so I carry some baby bows from accompany their handmade in Australia and in the store. But they look different than the zillions of other companies out there. So I think yeah, they found something that people weren’t doing and that to me is a selling point. So I just think like if you’re going to do a baby boat that better be a freaking unique babybel
B.Ratelle: 50:16 you better be
Rosie Card: 50:18 at baby bowl. If it’s unique, I want it and I don’t even have a baby, but I’m going to sell it to people, babies for you.
B.Ratelle: 50:24 Rosie will show that baby both for you, so get it to her. She will put it on her beautiful white shelves all styled and her lovely shop and she will make it happen for you. So. Well this has been such a delight to have you. Okay. If people want to find out more about you and all the stuff your, your store, your books, where can they find you? Okay, so
Rosie Card: 50:46 everything can be found or linked to on cue nor dotcom. Q, n, O r.com.
B.Ratelle: 50:52 Q. Nor make it happen. And remember it’s about the beautiful queen of White.
Rosie Card: 50:58 Yeah. Yes. Queen of White Kids, queen of lights. All good.
B.Ratelle: 51:02 Love it. Love it. So thank you so much. Rosemary Ferrell from rosemary for having Qa coming on today. We just, I just, I love this and you guys will love her too. So please follow her. Um, give her some love on instagram. Um, and let her know how much we appreciate her sharing all of her negative wisdom today.
Rosie Card: 51:19 Well, thank you so much for having me.
B.Ratelle: 51:22 Okay. Didn’t you guys just love Rosemary? Um, I just think she’s fabulous. So I’ve, I’ve been trying to get her on for a while and she’s a busy woman. Obviously you can tell she’s doing a lot of things. Um, but I’m really glad she was able to join us today and share just so much of her super interesting story. The journey she’s been on, the way that she’s been able to harness and pivot and use her talents. I’m in lots of different areas and still feels curious and excited and eager to keep on helping herself build her business and also help others along the way. So please check her out. And um, if you’ve liked what you’ve heard here on the podcast, please subscribe. I’m, I would love that or share and slash or share with a friend. I’m not mutually exclusive, but if you’ve been enjoying listening to these interviews and also to kind of the legal tips and I intersperse along the way, um, please, uh, sharing is caring and reach out to someone who you think could benefit from either this episode or something else that you’ve listened to on La wit.
B.Ratelle: 52:18 Um, I’d really appreciate it. So I’m still just a one woman shop and running this operation. Um, and I love the podcasts, but I’d love it even more if it can reach out and help more people and be a useful tool for them as they’re trying to build their creative business, um, and being more confident, business owner, no matter what stage they’re at. So, um, and if you also get some chance, uh, to leave a review, I would also appreciate that. So I know I’m a pushy broad today, all, all of the things, but I think, I think you guys can handle it, so I’ll just leave it at that. But thanks so much for tuning in. If you want to see the full show notes, um, go to Brittany retail.com/eighteen. As an episode 18, um, and that’s what you’ll find. I always post the transcript and show notes and any other links that we have, um, there’ll be on that website page, but they’ll also be in the show notes of wherever you’re listening to on the podcast, however that shows up in your player. And with that I’ll sign off and we’ll tune in next week. Guys, thanks so much.