Ep #60: Conversation with Tami Ramsay and Krista Nye Nicholas

 In Podcast

Kris interviews an amazing team. Tami Ramsay and Krista Nye Nicholas are partners and principal interior designers of Cloth & Kind, a nationally recognized residential and commercial interior design studio.

Biography

Tami Ramsay and Krista Nye NicholasAt their very core Tami Ramsay and Krista Nye Nicholas are curators and storytellers. Both inspired as children by their international travels and the natural world, they were invariably drawn to tell their stories through creation by incorporating the objects and relics of those experiences into their lives like talisman. The textiles from India became magical, the shells and rocks from Argentina became treasure chest bounty.

This early reverence for objects and the assignment of meaning to things found served as a telling precursor to embracing their true voice and vision for story telling through space.

Many life experiences later, they have come full circle. Their combined aesthetic is a unique confluence of the myriad inspirations encountered in the world, other cultures and in the simplicity of their daily lives. And like their lives, their creative vision always reaches for that splendid mix of layers, textures and art. At best, it is a playful intersection of what makes them deeply happy.

They parlay this vision into each project and engage their clients in a collaborative exercise so that in the end, together, they create spaces with history and heart, with story and substance.

What you’ll find in this episode:

  1. What their first thoughts were once they realized the pandemic was going to last more than a couple of weeks.
  2. How they are engaging with, and communicating with, their team now that so much has changed.
  3. What they are doing, and how they are using this time to make the best of it.
  4. Do they think selling is still okay? There’s a lot of shaming going on right now.
  5. What they’re doing that is helping their business pivot to adapt to the situation.
  6. Why now is a wonderful time to think about the future of your business.

Featured on the Show and Other Notes:

  • Website – Cloth & Kind
  • Cloth & Kind on Instagram
  • Cloth & Kind on Facebook
  • My new program called Leading Through Crazy Times has started. We’ll cover the four essential areas you need to focus on as a leader: your brain, your plan, your focus and your team. This will include an employee kit (a special module with 8 lessons/insights for your team and anyone else you care about to share with freely), two coaching calls per week and Saturday calls every other weekend.
  • Reply to any of my emails I send you or go to Instagram or Facebook and let me know how I can help. What are the top things that are on your mind?
  • I read reviews on the show! If you like this podcast, please leave a review. Go to your podcast app and find the reviews section. Thank you!
  • The Founder’s Lab is my private coaching program for female founders who are generating more than 7-figures in their revenue. It’s a complement to the Entrepreneurial Management program (with Brooke Castillo) and is a part of the work you get as a client of mine. This isn’t a “class.” I don’t give you copious tons of things to do. I give you the ones that matter and then we keep talking about them. We apply them. That’s why it’s called the Founder’s Lab.
  • Go here to book an appointment with me.

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Podcast Transcript

Kris:

Hey, I’m Kris Plachy, host of The Lead Your Team Podcast. Running a million dollar business is not easy, and whether you’re just getting started with building your team or you’ve been at this for a while, I’m going to bring you honest, specific and clear practices you can use right now, today, to improve how well you lead your team. Let’s go ahead and get started.

Kris:

Okay. Welcome back, everybody. I’m super excited. As you know, I’ve been featuring either current or former clients as we’ve been talking about just navigating this very disruptive, interesting, challenging time that we’re all going through as small business owners. And I’m incredibly honored to have the next couple of guests here with me. They are both co-partners and principal designers of Cloth & Kind Design.

Kris:

Today, I’m super excited to have Tami Ramsey and Krista Nye Nicholas with us. They have an incredibly beautiful business. And if you don’t know about them as designers, you absolutely need to be following them on Instagram, which we will make sure that you know about that because their posts make me happy to look at. They bring me joy in life.

Kris:

Welcome to both of you. Thank you so much for being here.

Tami:

Thank you for having us.

Krista:

Thank you.

Kris:

It’s my pleasure. They both make me smile. If you could see them all, we’re on Zoom and we get to see each other’s faces. Okay, so let’s talk about you. First of all, let’s hear a little bit about your business. What do you all do? Tell me everything.

Krista:

We’re looking at each other, who’s going to talk? This is Krista. We have a business, as you said, called Cloth & Kind. It’s an interior design firm and we’re kind of unique in that Tami is based in Athens, Georgia and I am based in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and we’ve been doing this business together for just under nine years, I think, long distance. We do see each other in person from time to time, but in the current situation that we’re in right now with COVID and everyone being forced to work from home, we find that we have a very unique skill set and that we’ve been working virtually for a long time already. We’re definitely leveraging that right now.

Krista:

But aside from the interior design, we do projects small to very, very large. We love working in our own backyards in Athens, Georgia and Ann Arbor and the surrounding Atlanta and Detroit areas, but we also have projects across the country. We travel to work on projects where it’s the right fit with the right client.

Krista:

And then we also have an online shop to the trade show room. Which if you’re not in the business, just a quick update on what that is, is we are basically representing 15 textile lines that we love, that are artisanal lines. And we’re, for the most part, good friends with the artisans who create these textiles and wallpapers, and we represent them to other interior designers in the Midwest. There was just nothing, I guess, here that was doing that in a meaningful way. And so we saw that as an opportunity to continue doing what we love in a new way, so we also do that.

Kris:

So beautiful and lovely. Okay, so now let’s talk about interior design, right? Things have changed, right, over the past several weeks, which has been true for everyone and every industry, and frankly every business within every industry is responding differently. What I’m sort of asking everyone is once this kind of became like, “Okay, this is real,” I think we all were… And I watched this because I’ve worked with clients across the country, kind of go as a wave, in terms of people’s reality. What were some of those initial, really just the honest initial thoughts that you were having as this materialized, as an impact to your business? Tami, what were you thinking?

Tami:

This is Tami. I think that for all of us, small business centers in general, and particularly for things that aren’t necessarily considered essential, like how are we going to keep this afloat? We had a lot of full-time employees. We have a rather large overhead because we have a brick and mortar, plus we have two design studios. It’s a lot to maintain and we are completely dependent on projects to be able to do that.

Tami:

We had to make some pretty hard decisions very early in the process. First and foremost, for the safety of everyone, we started working from home. We pretty much, both of our communities initially had shelter in place almost off the bat. We had thoughtful communities that did that initially early in the game, and so employees work from home. But it became very evident almost in week one as projects just literally like stopped, projects that we were just about to start or projects that we had already started that came to a complete halt. We had to, within I think the second full week of this crisis, we had to let two full-time employees go in order to be able to kind of stay afloat. And within a few days of that, everyone else that still was with the company had to cut their hours to 50% of hours worked and then obviously hours paid.

Tami:

It’s been very, very eye-opening. The thing that we are so incredibly grateful for is that we do have some clients who are in a position to still continue on in spite of the circumstances. And so we have been very much trying to service and those relationships and do everything that we can do remotely that makes sense. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

Kris:

Yeah. And it’s interesting because I don’t think your response has been far off from most of my other clients who have brick and mortar people in a building, right? First it was, how do we get everybody home; and if they’re going to be home, they’re functioning, they can work, operate and we can connect, right?

Kris:

And of course, this is such an interesting time too because for a lot of people who are brick and mortar, you haven’t had to figure this out. You two have done that and your two locations have been able to make that work, but a lot of people are just scrambling. And then those kinds of hard, tough calls where you really do have to triage those bigger decisions around staff and salaries. How did you go through that? What did you do to make the decisions about the changes that you’ve made in your expenses, I guess the best way to say that?

Krista:

I think we looked at it as not from an immediate cashflow standpoint because honestly, we could have been fine for probably a few months at least. But it really was more like how are we going to weather this storm as best as possible and how are we going to make it as long as possible? Because right off the bat we were like, this could be a lot longer than any of us think it’s going to.

Krista:

And so I am glad that we were conservative and that we made the decision to lay some people off and to make those cuts immediately, to give ourselves the benefit of some additional time as far as cash flow goes. I mean, it still was excruciating. I mean, like I’m sure so many of your other clients were, we say small but mighty business and our employees and our team are, they’re our team, they’re our people and we adore them all. And it’s just been gut-wrenching.

Kris:

Oh yeah. And you know what, I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but what I’ve heard from so many of my other folks who’ve had to do this is, as much as it’s awful, people really understand too. Which also is very frustrating. There’s no villain here. There’s nobody to blame. It’s not like you guys made bad business decisions. This is just life is happening to all of us, right, and it’s having its impact.

Kris:

I’m curious about the people who you have on the team, you had to have your conversations about lowering hours and pay. How are you still engaging with them? what does that look like with them right now in terms of communication? What are you guys up to with them?

Tami:

Well, I think that one of the things that we had to do because one of the people that we laid off was a project manager, that was primarily my project manager in Athens. Because our teams, even though we’re very collaborative in our approach and we definitely crossover often with people doing things across offices. And the project managers for the most part handle what’s in their general area, work with a specific designer. And so immediately the way that we did kind of business on a daily basis had to mean that I was then dealing with the project manager that was in Ann Arbor, who was now assuming project management of all projects, had to be kind of brought up to speed.

Tami:

And so it was really, again, we’re so accustomed to doing things virtually already that it just turned out that what we did is we added somebody to an appointment. All of a sudden you didn’t use to be in it, now you’re in this appointment. And so you just try and pick up where you left off. And I will say, and this is something that if teams and companies don’t already have this in place, now is the time to do it when you have less work probably and just a little more time on your hands, is that we fortunately because we operate virtually, we have lots of systems in place and software in place that allows us to work remotely no matter what the situation is. And so anybody can kind of pick up where the last person left off.

Tami:

We have a great project management system that allows us to store information, and manage kind of process and due dates, and track everything. That’s huge. That allowed us to mourn the loss of a team member, but be able to keep on moving and kind of keep momentum, and not really lose anything in that regard. And that was really, really… This is oftentimes I think what happens in a crisis is you realize where your strengths were already and you just didn’t quite know it. Because what we’re doing now daily, we’ve already been doing, we just had to kind of adjust our sales, change a few roles shift so that we could kind of keep the momentum and not losing anything.

Tami:

But I did want to speak very quickly, Krista answered the question but only partially to your original question. We have a very strong financial manager. So in making these decisions about how we did things, we 100% had to look at cashflow. What is our monthly nut to crack based on old numbers. We did tons of projections on what we’re going to have to do and we use very solid information to be able to make decisions that were hard to decisions, but they were sound decisions, they were wise decisions backed by facts, numbers. This is the situation, and these are the decisions that we have to make.

Tami:

Luckily, even though it was still hard, it took a lot of the emotion out of it. It just is what it is. It just is what it is.

Kris:

Math doesn’t lie.

Tami:

No, it doesn’t.

Kris:

You may not like the numbers, but it doesn’t lie. For people who listen to my podcast, they’ve heard me say this now every time I’ve led one for the last two weeks, which is, you have to do this. You have to do your worst-case scenario, right? You’ve got to run all the different models and then you have to build a plan from there versus being in this emotional, reactive… I’ve had clients say to me even as early as this week, “Well, I don’t want this. If we let people go, it’s going to disrupt how people feel here.”

Kris:

I’m like, “This is not the time we make decisions for that.” The biggest goal is, we want to have a business to bring them back to.

Krista:

Exactly.

Kris:

Right? And you will. This is temporary. I really do believe we’re going to move through this. Now, we don’t know how long, but we’ve got to watch our belief systems here that we don’t go into like, “This is forever.” It’s not, nothing is.

Kris:

My husband and I were talking about it last night, every couple what… Eight to 10 years we have a correction, and we’re in it, which just happened within 25 hours is what it feels like, right?

Kris:

But having that mindset I think makes a huge difference to what Tami said. Consult your numbers and let the number give you feedback versus your lizard brain that is freaking out and upset.

Tami:

Right.

Krista:

Definitely.

Kris:

Yeah.

Tami:

But I think it’s just so important, we’ve really tried to be thoughtful about how we want to utilize this time and not waste this. Not just kind of like spin our wheels and freak out, but how can we really make the best use of this and do something that we still feel like we are offering something to the world and maybe even potentially offering a little bit of happiness and relief to people.

Tami:

One of the things that we’ve started doing is doing 30-minute virtual design sessions that are free. Anybody can sign up for them. We just did one today. We’re pretty much doing multiple times a week now, where we spend 30 minutes on video conference with someone, and essentially, we help them make decisions about their space. And I think where our particular line of work might not be essential, your home is essential, where you live as essential. And right now, more than ever, you want to be comfortable in your home.

Tami:

And so it’s just made us feel better, honestly, to do something that brings somebody a little bit of joy. We would do this for free if we could afford it anyway, in general. It’s just been a really fun thing for us to be able to… And people are so grateful. They’re just so grateful to be able to think about their home and do something fun and they’ve had questions and they didn’t have anybody… It’s just been a really good thing all around.

Kris:

Yeah, and you’re absolutely right. Everybody’s captive. I know I’ve told you guys this since over the years, the time that I’ve known you. I used to walk from the back of my house to the front of my house, just so I can get into my office because [inaudible 00:00:14:31].

Kris:

And now we’re really in it, and so even if people can’t spend the money right now, they can have the dream and the fantasy of what it will look like in the end.

Krista:

Right. Definitely.

Kris:

But I will tell you, I was just interviewing a current client, Leila Hormozi, and she said something to me that I thought was super interesting because I’ve been also kind of in that same space, right, Tami? I just want to deliver as much as I can. And to my existing clients, I just am like, I’m on the phone. I am making office hours available all day, every day. I’m very, very all in. And she said, “We are offering you more of what we’ve always done for the same amount,” and I love the way that she said that.

Kris:

In addition to what we’ve always done, now we’re just giving you more, right? We’re giving you more of us, we’re giving you more accessibility, more time, more resources, whatever that is that you do. Whoever’s listening, whatever your world is, how can you over-deliver and support the people who you work with and help overall?

Krista:

Right.

Kris:

That’s lovely.

Krista:

There’s an interesting conundrum associated with all this too though because for Tami and myself, we didn’t at all want to feel like we are trying to sell stuff right now because that feels gross and just incongruous with how we feel about the situation. And so we came up with this 30-minute consultation, free consultation as a way to literally give back. This is something we do. It may not be life-changing, but if it makes you a little bit happier, we’re happy to help. We’re happy to connect with people.

Krista:

But in our circles, our interior design circles, people are talking about like we need to making money, and we should not be giving away our services for free, and don’t lower your rates and don’t do any of these things. And so, it’s interesting because as small business owners you want to do the right thing, but you still need to find a way to drive sales and have clients and to have your revenue continue to move forward so you can survive.

Krista:

I think that’s a really interesting kind of philosophical component to all this as small business owners.

Kris:

It’s legit.

Krista:

Yeah, it’s legit. How much do you give away versus how much do … What are you still selling? And even the other example is we’re doing face masks that we are using. We’ve all these gorgeous remnant fabrics, right, from projects, beautiful fabrics. One of our soft goods workrooms is donating her time and fabricating them for us for free, and we’re going to be giving them to local hospitals and healthcare workers in Ann Arbor and Athens.

Krista:

But just doing some outreach and posting on Facebook about it, trying to get in touch with doctors and understand are you accepting these? Are you not? What are the parameters? We now have a laundry list of people that are like, “We want to buy these. Can we buy these from you?” And we were just talking it today, it feels kind of not right. We don’t want to do that. Anyway, I feel like we’re certainly not the only company that’s faced with these types of decisions, right?

Kris:

First of all, almost every client call, this comes up in some way. All three of the podcasts I’ve done so far, we’ve talked about it. And here’s what I think. I think if you have the ability to generate revenue, you should be. Because you making money helps the economy thrive.

Kris:

And so what a lot of people do is they think about, “Well, if I am asking people to pay money somehow I’m injuring people.” But the truth is that they couldn’t be further from the truth, right? Now of course we’re responsible and we’re not… But I don’t know anybody in my circle that isn’t. And I think if you have a product that can serve people and you can sell it for what you think is a reasonable price and your business thrives, that’s good because then you buy food from your local restaurant that you know you want to be able to eat at in August, and you could pay for your kid’s tutoring and then that tutoring service stays active, right.

Kris:

Because the shaming is real. And in fact, I coached another designer the other day about this because she said there’s a lot of shaming happening in the design community about designers who are focused on generating revenue. Everybody gets to make their own choice. If you don’t want to work right now, it’s fine, don’t work. If you want to give it all away, give it all away. But if someone else wants to generate revenue, we don’t need have judgment about that.

Krista:

Yeah, agreed.

Tami:

Right.

Krista:

Agreed.

Kris:

That’s not helpful at all.

Krista:

We just went back to our own core and just talked about it and what’s important to us. And we just decided, we really do want to focus on giving these to people in hospitals, so we’re not going to have it be a profit driving thing right now. It’s just doesn’t feel like what we want to do. We want to create them for hospitals.

Kris:

Well, it’s not why you started, right?

Krista:

Exactly.

Kris:

Yeah.

Krista:

Yeah. But fortunately, there are a ton of people making them on Etsy and what have you, so we can just refer people to other places for now. And maybe that’ll little change in the future if everyone’s wearing face masks for the next 10 years.

Kris:

Well, I did hear as an aside, I was watching this video of this awesome pulmonologist at Cornell and he was talking all about whether or not you should wear a mask, right. And his advice was the mask isn’t going to protect you necessarily from getting it, but what it does is it reminds you not to touch your face.

Krista:

Oh, interest.

Kris:

That is the biggest issue, right? Hands to face is the 80% of the contraction. And so, I am no scientist and I am no doctor, so I am not giving you guys medical advice, but he said if wearing a mask reminds you to keep your hands off your face, wear the mask.

Krista:

Yeah.

Tami:

Yeah, exactly.

Kris:

You might actually start to see even more people wearing bandanas. The science keeps evolving. Some people think it is contracted just by breathing it. Anyway, there’s lots of stuff.

Krista:

Yeah. We went down that rabbit hole of all the research. It’s fascinating. And it is, it’s changing by the minute. Because hospitals even a week ago they were saying they wouldn’t take them are now like, “We want them in our reserves because it might be the only thing we have.”

Kris:

Yeah. It’s just better than nothing.

Tami:

Right, exactly.

Kris:

I think it’s a great debate and I think because the two of you are such thought leaders in your space, right, like holding it for everyone, like here’s what we’re choosing to model. And what I love you referenced, which of course you know I’m a fan of, is that you have your core values and that you know who you are as a company and you know what matters to you. And in this moment in time is a good thing to have that backbone and that foundation for some of these decisions because otherwise you really don’t have anything to reference on how you just-

Tami:

Well, and for us it’s, kindness is one of ours, and we have this whole thing… The name of our business is Cloth & Kind. And we have things that we’ve always wanted to do and different things we have done that kind of fall under cloth and kindness. And so this is very much one of those things that we’re in a position to be able to do, and just, it does. It’s like something that we can ultimately do to give back at a time when so many people feel helpless, like you just feel helpless.

Tami:

And it’s like, I was a critical care nurse for almost 20 years. I cannot imagine if that was my job right now and how stressful that would be. Not only that you’re trying to help other people, but you potentially can get it and you could potentially take it home to your family. The idea that we can do something for these people that are really literally risking their own lives to save the lives of others makes us feel really, really good.

Tami:

But at the same time, we do in fact still have work. So while we’re doing kind things and while we’re giving away virtual services, we’re very fortunate and very grateful for the clients we do have that are in a position to continue working with us and we’re just putting everything we got into it. Doing everything we can to kind of keeping those things moving.

Kris:

Lucky clients, right? They get lots of your time.

Tami:

That’s right. They get lots of our time and attention.

Krista:

Lot’s of love.

Kris:

I think there’s probably lots of clients who would like lots of love from you two anyway, so I don’t know.

Tami:

Amen.

Kris:

I would open the funnel of potential that they could be out there waiting and wishing they knew who you were right now. I think that we all have to… That’s my next kind of big question is, well, I want to talk about pivoting. What are we doing? Every business is making different decisions to pivot, right? Traditionally, you guys would go into people’s homes, you would build a plan, a lot of interaction with the client. One of the pivots, it sounds like you’ve already decided is to do charitable pivot to giving people these face masks and making those available. But what are some of the other sort of pivot moments, decisions that you’re making for your business do you think?

Krista:

The virtual service-

Tami:

I would say-

Krista:

Oh sorry, go ahead.

Tami:

No, you go ahead, Krista. [inaudible 00:23:44].

Krista:

The virtual services was a big pivot because it’s actually something we started with. We realized we had a lot of people across the country that were interested in working with us but were not large enough clients to fly us there. We have a whole house in West Palm Beach, Florida and we did a whole residence, a large primary residence in St. Louis recently, and those are projects where they fly us there.

Krista:

But there’s a whole slew of people that we wanted to be able to service that were just smaller projects. And that’s when we initially created the virtual… We called it the Virtual Vibe, and we would get on a Google Hangout with our clients. We would send them homework beforehand and have them measure their room. We gave them instructions, here’s exactly how you measure your room, here’s exactly how you photograph it so we can get a great sense of the space and do a little video tour. Send us all those assets beforehand. We put it into AutoCAD, so we can do the space planning, and we come to the meeting with a couple of space plan options and have already gotten the thing going, and then we design a space virtually.

Krista:

We stopped doing that several years ago. Honestly, not for any one reason other than we were just growing and we were having more of the larger projects. But it’s so helpful to be able to pivot back to that or reference kind of back to our roots of where we started because we had already done all the homework. We’d already created this whole platform, and so for us is just kind of picking up where we left off. And it is a great way to work with a variety of clients that are more maybe mid or small size that if they’re willing to do the work, like we can do this virtually.

Kris:

Oh yeah. And you know what, I think for a lot of people it’s even more interesting to do it that way, right? I’m sure there’s a lot of people are like, “Please, handle it.”

Krista:

Yes, completely.

Kris:

And then there’s other people who are like, “No, this is kind of interesting.”

Tami:

Well, I think what we’re finding is that it’s almost like that, not do it yourself culture, but there was a kind of a DIY. There are a lot of people who like to actually be hands on, who have the means to have really a luxury design service, but they have no problem pulling the tape. Like, “Can you tell me why that opened in?” And they’ve got no problem.

Tami:

I was on the phone with one of our clients this morning and she was like, “No problem. I’ll get all these dimensions.” She has a nine-month-old. We’re not going over there to go measure. We’re not doing that. She was like, “No problem. My husband and I will do it tonight. We’ll get back with you tomorrow with the floor plans for such and such,” because they want to go ahead and consider two more rooms, two more rooms. It was awesome.

Kris:

Of course, they do because your work is amazing.

Tami:

Thank you.

Kris:

They’re stuck there. Now they’re like, “Oh, let’s just do the rest of it while we’re here.” Yeah.

Krista:

Yeah. And we just pave applied the same technology or the same virtual services to our showroom. So where we have ordinarily gone on sales calls to go meet with designers and show them all the fabrics in person, we’re doing virtual sessions where we can help them source for a project that they’re designing and they need a blue fabric with florals or whatever the thing is, we can do it virtually and then just send them a package with the physical samples in it. Yeah, that’s been easy for us to get up and running.

Kris:

That’s great. Yeah. I just was talking to another client who kind of pulled out something that she used to do. She’s like, “Well, this is perfect for this time.” And I can tell you for sure, I haven’t done a ton of change management work because I work mostly with small business owners so we don’t have to do it, but that is my wheelhouse. I’ve managed and helped businesses manage extreme disruption. Now, I’m pulling all of my old kind of old work out.

Krista:

Yeah, old tricks of the trade. Yeah.

Kris:

Yeah. And so when you can answer to this moment and say, “No, look, actually I’m completely prepared for this. I just need to work through how it applies and how I want to support my client in this circumstance.” It does help limit the length of runway that you have as you’re pivoting.

Krista:

I’ll say too, there’s just been a component of this that Tami and I have been talking about, which is what we’re going through right now with corona strips away all of this need for kind of perfectionism. Not that we’re… I mean we’re very real and kind of what you see is what you get, but we have held off on doing things like IGTV or video because we’re always just like, “I don’t know. Who wants to see… ” I don’t know. We’ve never really quite gotten there.

Krista:

But when now we’re like, “Okay, time to pull the trigger. We’re doing it. We’re doing it. We’re going.” But there’s also this kind of additional grace that is out there that everybody has for one another. We’re on a Google Hangout with a client and our child runs by or a dog jumps up and it’s just kind of like, everyone’s like, “Well, this is the new norm.”

Tami:

Well, and it is. I think that there’s a degree of, life is messy. And I think we’ve been living so much in this world where Instagram and other social media platforms, it’s like everything’s so perfect and you see these seemingly perfect, no cracks. And it’s just not like that. It’s just totally not like that. We’re all in our house doing the best we can with what we’ve got.

Krista:

Yeah.

Kris:

Yes. Amen. And we will continue to do that. And I think that we’re on the cusp of some significant changes for everyone in terms of that, even virtual employees, right? If I could get it all done at home, why do I need to come to an office? We’re going to have this whole other wave of really… Virtual medicine. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow at 11:30.

Tami:

Yep, yep, telehealth. I think telehealth would be an unbelievable that came out of this, I really do.

Krista:

It would be.

Kris:

Yeah. I have several physicians who are clients and my husband’s a physical therapist, who’s also doing this as well. I have a few physical therapy clients. I think what’s really interesting is, any industry that’s had regulations that have limited ability to do any kind of online platform, the regulations have been a real roadblock right, like HIPAA. They’ve just said, “Fine, whatever. Use whatever kind of video you can get access to.”

Kris:

But now what we’re going to have is consumer demand that we haven’t had before. And I think you even as a business have to be aware of that. Like, “Why do you have to come here? Can’t I just walk you around my house and show you what I want to do?” And we all have to be sort of ready. People’s expectations of how they can hire and work with people will be very different.

Kris:

Yeah, I think in many ways it’s going to be fabulous and we’ll all just maybe be able to buy Clorox would be nice.

Krista:

And toilet paper.

Kris:

We have still haven’t bought any cleansers. In our town, we’ve not been able by cleanser in three weeks. And I know that someone has five gallons of Pine Sol and ammonia and alcohol-

Krista:

They’re hoarding.

Tami:

Oh yeah, in their garage. Yeah, they’re holding out.

Kris:

Yeah. But whatever. Okay, so final questions I guess or what else are you doing and what other wisdom would you share for other small business owners to help them kind of triage if they’re still trying to find their way this? What has been sort of your…

Tami:

I think, again, it’s almost like a recap. I think you’ve got to have your finances in order. If your finances aren’t in order, I think people are going to sink during this time. You really have to be able to put your finger on the pulse of where you are realistically or you’re not going to be able to get through this. And that is our saving grace is that we may not always have a whole lot of money, but we always know we don’t have a whole lot of money. We’re able to at least acknowledge truth as opposed to wondering what we’ve got going on, I think that.

Tami:

I think also just really making sure that your team members are flexible. We really, I think, at one point were trying to get away from people having to wear a lot of different hats and really in embodying their job description. And I would say that everybody is still very much does that. However, even though we do that, the people that we do have on our team know how to wear other hats when they when-

Krista:

They can flex.

Tami:

… [crosstalk 00:32:11] hits the road. They can flex. And I think you have to have employees that can flex. We don’t want you wearing 10,000 hats, ultimately, but when we need you to, we need you to be able to shift and we need you to shift now, not explain it for a week. That’s super important. We’re very fortunate that we have that.

Tami:

And I think honestly just still having a really good attitude, being hopeful, being very mindful of your mindset. I mean, Krista and I are very committed to a healthy mind and a way of looking at the world that really benefits us. You can’t go down the rabbit hole of all the bad news of what can happen. It’s like we’re still aspirational, we’re still hopeful, we clean up our thoughts, we’re honest with ourselves.

Kris:

Well done.

Tami:

All that kind of stuff is super important, and what else? And hopefully you like-

Krista:

And also just along with cleaning up your thoughts, it’s really like the daily meditation and/or physical movement is never been more critical, never been more critical. I mean, we’ve always been pretty good when it comes to that, but now it feels essential.

Kris:

It is. Yeah, and thank goodness we have it, right? We can still go out. We can still walk around. I don’t know what it’s like where you guys are, but it’s sunny and freezing where I live. I’m waiting. I just keep waiting. Please, just get warm. But at least it’s nice out. And yeah, I couldn’t agree more with everything that you said. Managing your mind, managing your inputs, having a plan, taking good care of yourself, taking a shower, putting on your makeup.

Tami:

Yeah, yeah. That’s actually I think really important. I made a commitment, I guess it was last Sunday, I wrote down some personal goals that I wanted to accomplish during this time. And I say accomplish not so much like I’m going to go crush a bunch of stuff, but just some things I wanted to make sure that I did, that I was very mindful of. And even professionally, it’s like I’m getting up, I’m getting dressed, I’m sitting at my desk, I’m doing the things that I normally do. I mean, I just happen to work now at a desk at home, but it’s as if I’m getting up and going to work because I am going to work. I’m just working in my house.

Kris:

You are going to work.

Tami:

And so I think maintaining that type of stuff is really critical. And then I would say the other thing too is that, Krista and I, and we haven’t done this yet, but we have a lot of plans for the future of our business and this is a wonderful time to think about them. They’re not going to be able to come to fruition right now, but I think that it’s a great time to percolate creative ideas and to really concentrate on the things that you know that you want to do and really kind of envision that, what does that look like? What would that look like? Because oftentimes, truthfully, we don’t have time to think about that. We just don’t have time to think about that.

Kris:

Everybody always says, I wish I could just press the pause button. I really wish I could just take a minute, right? Everyone wants it. We got it. Even for people who, maybe there’s no way for you to generate revenue right now, you have lots of time to rewrite your system, to look up processes of your business, to write those job descriptions that make you [inaudible 00:35:24]. You will have a business if you keep working on one.

Tami:

Right.

Krista:

Right.

Tami:

Exactly.

Kris:

If you just decide, “Well, we’ll have to see what happens.” You’re not driving it. I know that’s hard for people. But at the same time, I love the way that you just positioned that, Tami, like we’re all in here, right? We still have big goals; we still have big vision. We’re on the bridge. That’s what I keep telling everyone. We’re on a bridge right now and we’ve just got to make sure that bridge gets us from where we are to where we can land and launch again, right?

Kris:

Or if you’re in a position to thrive, which I do have some clients whose businesses are exploding and now they have the opposite problem. They’re overwhelmed, right. They can’t keep up. Wherever you are in that, just remember to keep believing and focusing on you have a business and you go to work every day.

Krista:

That’s very true. The silver linings are pretty abundant right now. And I’m not saying this Pollyanna-ish because we both have our days where we are like just can barely get out of bed. It’s hard and the struggle is very real right now. But the silver lining… There’s something about it just kind of feeling like all the stuff is being stripped away and it’s kind of down to the bare essentials. When you are in times like these, you do, you become much more clearer and much more focused on what’s really meaningful and what matters and what you’re doing and who the people are that you want to do it with and all those things.

Tami:

Right.

Kris:

That’s very true. Well, you two, it was so fabulous to have you on the podcast today. Thank you for being here and joining me, and sharing your beautiful wisdom and your beautiful business. If people want to learn more about you, where do they go?

Krista:

Our website is clothandkind. It’s cloth like fabric and kind all spelled out dot com, and we’re clothandkind on Instagram and pretty much everywhere. https://www.clothandkind.com/

Kris:

It’s just clothandkind.

Krista:

It’s just clothandkind.

Tami:

[crosstalk 00:37:29].

Kris:

It’s super easy to remember. Yes, if you’re an Instagrammer, you should certainly be following their profile because they have beautiful, beautiful imagery of the work that they do. Thank you again for being here.

Krista:

Thank you, Kris.

Tami:

Thank you, Kris.

Krista:

And we’re so grateful. So much of what we learned from you has been really applicable and helpful during these times and the systems that we put into place, so we are super grateful for you. And thanks for having us.

Kris:

Of course. Thank you.

Tami:

Very much so.

Kris:

Thanks.

Kris:

Hey there, gorgeous. Are you ready to take everything I teach you in this podcast, and put it to work in your business and really learn how to master leading your team? If so, I’d love to have you as a client in the Founders Lab. To learn more about how we can work together, head on over to krisplachy.com/join. There, you’ll see everything you need to know about The Founders Lab and how to get started. See you there.

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Leila Hormozi