I believe in a world where we cheer one another on and we don’t see any other entrepreneur as a competitor. (It’s why I love the Rising Tide Society so much!) I love when I see other business owners support one another and I can’t possibly count all of the times I’ve been inspired or motivated by another business owner. It can be a lonely world, sitting in a corner of your home, balancing the roles of parenthood, wife, photographer, creative and just overall human with obligations to friends and the house and hobbies and passions. It feels a lot less lonely when you celebrate all the other people who get it.
Our first Focus On is a spotlight on Brianne Lynk, the owner of Beyond the Lynk in Upstate, NY. Enjoy this peek into her business, her balance and her dreams. Be sure to follow her, cheer her on and stay tuned for more entrepreneur spotlights every two weeks.
Hey! My name is Brianne Lynk and I am married to my best friend and we have two kids together, Jameson who is just about 4 and Emersyn who is 11 months. We are located in Upstate NY and have always lived here, born and raised. I am the owner of Beyond the Lynk, I started this in July of 2018.
This was supposed to be a hobby of mine to make things for myself and my kids, I love matching them and wanted to be able to create on my own. It quickly turned into a business when I shared a photo of my very first piece. I was 6 months pregnant with our daughter at the time and business picked up rapidly. Looking back, it is kind of crazy how fast it grew and how much I worked while pregnant, with a toddler and then right after giving birth, during the busiest time of the year.
I was a nanny for several years prior and in June I found out I would not be returning in the Fall. My boss was a teacher and the kids were headed to school full time. I was taken aback and really worried about bills and bringing another life into this world in a few short months. I had my machine and materials waiting for me to open then for an ENTIRE year; insane, I know. I needed that boost of losing my nanny job to get me to pull everything out and learn. I also longed to be a stay at home mom, I did not want to rely on my husband or put all the pressure on him to pay our bills, so this was another way for me to bring in something, even if it wasn't going to be a lot, I had a little bit of money that I earned. It made me feel less guilty about shopping for the baby or buying myself lunch when I really needed that Panera salad.
I would say I spend anywhere from 25-50 hours per week working. The hours vary based on my daughter napping, my son's school and sport schedule, my husband's work schedule, whether or not I have someone to hang with the kids for a little bit or not. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes, like any business answering emails, phone calls, messages. Creating invoices, creating new designs, launching those designs. I have a Rep Team and working with them has helped a bit with advertising, I still do a lot, but they help get my name out there as well.
Work life and personal life balance is something I try to work on daily. I have told my son that if I am working and he wants to spend time with me I will stop what I am doing, within reason, and spend some time with him. This also goes for our daughter who can't quite tell me, but she sure shows it. I try to work the 2.5 hours Jameson is in school, as long as Emersyn is napping. I also try to get up a bit before them to work some in the morning and then again at night when they go to bed. The holiday season is really hard, it is so busy then that I struggle with stopping what I am doing to spend time with my family. My husband works a crazy schedule so that is another struggle I have, thankfully, I have my parents close by to help out. I would say on a scale of 0-10, I am at about a 6 or 7.
The biggest challenge in owning my own business is telling people no. I do not like to turn down work, I love what I do and I want to do it all for everyone. I have learned over the past 14 months that sometimes I have to take a step back and say 'no.' Family has to come first, I have to have a life outside of work, breaks are needed-- and with that, taking breaks is my second biggest struggle. I. Need. Vacation.
My proudest moment would be the huge wedding orders I have received. While party packages are my favorite thing to do; who can not love matching family tees, party decor and then seeing everything come together, weddings are a HUGE deal and someone trusting me on their biggest day, makes me feel so lucky. I have also done a few fundraisers, and I really love doing those as well and giving back to a family in need.
The hardest part of this business would be realizing that not everyone is always going to be happy. I took an order, did my proofs, had things approved, sent photos throughout the entire process, was told to keep going just to have spent 30 hours on said project and told "it's not what I wanted," and from there getting a negative review. moments like that make you want to stop, but going through the conversation and contract, I knew I did everything that I could, sometimes, things are not meant to work out and you have to reflect on those moments to learn and grow for the next time.
It is extremely important for me to support other small business owners, especially local ones. I always try to shop small and local first. My children are brand reps for a few of our favorite small shops (Doodle & Jack, Elle Belle Baby, BabyMeBeautiful.USA, Stone & Blush, & Tiny Trends Bowtique) I support local photographers, always, I never go to the corporations for photos, and when a friends or family is looking for something I always try to recommend small over a big box store!
I would love to open up a store front one day. I would say that is in the 5 year goal range, not only to host my products, but to bring in items from many small shops. I would love to have all of my favorite shops in my store. A shorter term goal would be to have my business offer more items to complete outfits. I am not sure if that will be collaborating with another business, learning something new, or brainstorming with someone else and having them join my team.
I love what I do. Looking back on that day I was told I would no longer have a nanny job I wish I didn't cry the whole way home, I wish I knew I would be doing something knew and exciting. I love being able to create, work from home, have my kids with me and do something I love. Join my Facebook VIP page (Beyond the Lynk- VIPs) for exclusive giveaways, sneak peeks and fun games! Planning a party or family trip? Love graphic tees or home decor? Be sure to contact me for a custom order!
How can people find you?
Facebook page: Facebook.com/beyondthelynk