When Holly Barton and Amanda Cox lost their dad, they wanted to start a business where they could simply be together and have fun. But soon enough, clients were calling to ask them for huge orders of rentals they just didn’t have. In saying yes to everything and figuring out how to make it work, Greenhouse Picker Sisters grew, as has their sister relationship. But it hasn’t been without disagreements on how to run things.
Holly Barton and Amanda Cox are the owners of Greenhouse Picker Sisters, a specialty rental company based in North Carolina.
Holly: Do I really mean it when I say that we’re family first, if this crumbles and we lose everything at the expense of our relationship or vice versa, like, because we still want a relationship, are we really going to let it go? Because we’ve been there.
Dana: Welcome to Hustle and Gather, a podcast by inspiring the everyday entrepreneur to take the leap. I’m Dana
Courtney: and I’m Courtney
Dana: and we’re sisters and business partners.
Courtney: Yes, it can get messy.
Dana: Making big decisions with your big sister can be hard. How do you determine what to do when you disagree?
Courtney: And how do you accept that sometimes, seldomly, you’re not the one who’s right.
Dana: So welcome to Perfecting the Partnership. In this series, we’re learning about what it takes to work together by talking with other partnerships to understand their dynamic.
Courtney: And today we’re joined by Holly and Amanda, owners of Greenhouse Picker Sisters, a specialty rental company in North Carolina. They are fifth generation pickers with the love for all things vintage and unique. They have a stylistic eye for all things design, are fully invested in their client’s vision for their special moment, and also offer their beautiful marketplace for parties, baby showers, bridal showers, or any kind of small event. We are truly lucky to have them in this industry and lucky to call them our friends. Holly, Amanda welcome to Hustle and Gather.
Holly: Aww, that was very sweet, made my day for sure.
Courtney: Yeah. Fun fact, when we opened the Bradford, you guys for the rental company that did our grand opening. So, and that was your first event.
Amanda: Yeah, that was, I know we look back on those pictures and we’re like, oh wow. We really brought the junk.
Dana: You really dug into that vintage, very vintage, but it was totally the style then.
Courtney: Like a Gatsby theme
Holly: It did work, but we did roll up in like a vintage truck full of stuff, and we’re just going for it and no idea what we were doing.
Dana: So tell us just a quick little bit about what got you guys started and, you know, in the industry.
Holly: So we got started about seven years ago and we were just in a really bad place. We had just lost our dad and we really needed something that brought us some joy and some vision back to our lives. So we decided to rent our family’s collection. And it was a very fun thing. We started with photography’s, got asked to do weddings many times and we said, hell no, we’re never doing that. People, with the event industry are, that’s just too much. And then we started doing small weddings and realized that we really loved it, went to the beach for our very first wedding and fell in love with it. And we’re like, oh, we can actually do this well and have a lot of fun with it. And hopefully in time, a long time make money. Eventually.
Amanda: And then it kind of developed into getting crazy messages from clients like Dana. I remember this, holly called and said, okay, so Dana from the Bradford just called and she wants to know if we have a hundred wooden chairs.
I told her we did. I know we don’t, so you and granddad need to start hunting for wooden chairs. like 75 of them, we only have like 25 and it’s like in two months or something crazy. And so that’s how we kind of grew our collection is just as our clients have needed stuff we said yes. And then gone and got it.
Courtney: So like getting back to the start, did you guys, like, where did you have all this stuff and why?
Holly: So growing up, we would always have my grandma and my mom would call it Funkadelic buildings all over our, wherever we lived, whether it was on Greenhouse Lane, which is where we grew up. So we had a greenhouse, we had garages, we had multiple buildings full of stuff that we started using, we would just go to my granddad’s house and say, we have a wedding for this. They want to do like, cupcakes on like old crates and stuff. And we would just pull from his collection. And then we started picking every week too.
Amanda: And we had a trailer, which we still have now. That was my dad’s for a nonprofit that he worked, that he had. And so we just stored in that. I forgot about that. We started in there and then when we moved to, when I moved to North Carolina in 2050, We’ve got a storage unit.
Holly: We did my third floor first too. We met clients up there, and we had an office and it was really, we were just fumbling along as we went for sure. But we really started getting super distracted in a good way. Like think there’s a lot of ways to get distracted and this was just a really fun way to get distracted. Then we got super lost in it and really started loving it and then just were like consumed with it and just, you know, this is going to be good for our family. No, I promise. I promise. I feel like this is going to be good for our family one day and our husbands were like, no, it’s not, you’ve lost your mind. This is not fun or good. You’re not even making any money. And you’re hauling stuff up three flights of stairs and down. Yeah, that was awful. It was awful
Dana: Did you guys always know you were like, like whose idea was it, I guess to say, this is what we should do or did you just ended up together?
Amanda: So I came into town early 2014 and I’m pulling this to my memory, but I think you were on a plane and you read an article about a rental, vintage rental company in California called Found. And she was like, we need to do this. And I was like, yeah, we do need it. So we were in her house here and my husband and her husband were in your garage. And so we went out there and we’d put the kids to sleep at that time. We had 4. And I remember going out there and we’re like, we’re going to start a rental company.
And they were like, what? We were like, yeah. So we kind of joked about it. Like we thought it was funny. And then I went home the next day and I remember on Monday morning, you called and you were like, okay, really so I’m about to start a Facebook page. What do you want to, what do we want to call our business?
And I was like, wait, you were serious? She was like, yeah, let’s do it. So I remember I was standing outside of my house in front of the garage and we’re like coming up with all these things that were important to us. Like definitely we knew we wanted Greenhouse in it cause that where we lived had a big, big impact on who we were.
Holly: She got engaged on Greenhouse Lane. I got married on Greenhouse Lane and so it was huge for us.
Amanda: Right, and so then we were like, well, you know, we like to go picking, so that’s cool. And then we really are sisters, so that’s cool. That’s kind of how the name came about. And then we started getting followers and we were like Okay. And then one thing turned into the next, and then we got our first wedding and that was actually a friend from high school. And we were like, you know, I’m like, on my computer making an invoice, quote, unquote in like Excel.
Holly: Right, it reminds me of your first wedding. You guys talked about how there were like, they’re never going to say yes to this invoice. And it was a thousand dollars. Like who’s going to pay this? And driving all the way to outer banks, bringing an entire truckload of stuff. Like did the whole wedding, stayed at the wedding, cleaned up after the wedding, and we were like, we’re millionaires. I sent the message to them, they’re from California.
They’re living in California. They got them the invoice. Immediately like, what? Yes! It’s awesome. Knowing what we know now, and then we made no money. We just lost money, just throw it away, that wedding.
Amanda: But it was a little bit of joy that we had an experience it’s our dad passed away. And so we actually had fun together.
Holly: And we actually were like, we did a good job. Like we took what we had and we did a good job and it was fun. And I think it just kind of clicked that wedding and a few other ones that we could really. The, I felt alive after having kids and being home. And, you know, I was terrible at being home at like, stay at home, mom. I tried, I just threw myself into everything and I’m like, oh, I don’t want to just do that.
I want to do something else. And I think I can do both and do it well. and then it just morphed, like, yeah.
Dana: So remind us, who’s the older sister?
Holly: So I’m older, Holly.
Amanda: And I’m wiser.
Holly: But I’m not the true older sister though. Like, so like I don’t take their role. Basically like she has always been a very strong personality and I’ll just be, I’ll just be like, oh, it’s fine. Go. Yeah, sure. That sounds good. I’ll roll. You know, like she’s just kind of leading the pack and I’d be like, okay. I mean, wouldn’t you say it was like that?
Amanda: I think that you’re definitely more of the flower trout child dreamer. And I think you come up with the crazier ideas. I think to me, I’m the more realistic one.
Holly: For sure, right.
Dana: I feel it’s very similar to us.
Courtney: But I think I’m fairly grounded in the numbers. Like when we make decisions, like I’m the numbers girl, like I’m like, that doesn’t make sense or that does make sense. Or we can’t do that. Now we have to do that later.
Holly: So are you also the dreamer.
Dana: Yeah, I think so.
Courtney: I think so, but I mean, I think definitely originally, like that was kind of like the roles that we found ourselves in, where I was like, hey, we’re going to do this. And Dana’s like, okay, we’re going to do this wink, wink.
Yeah. So then we were like, Nope, but we’re really going to do it. but then I think like, as we’ve worked together now for like 17 years and like, Dana’s definitely had some ideas that we’ve gone with and whatnot. And so it’s kind of like a little.
Dana: But she’s definitely, I feel like she’s more like loosey goosey in life. Like she’s more like, oh, it’s wherever the river takes me. And I’m like, well, where’s my boat. Where’s my paddle. And please tell me where we’re going on this map and then bring the life vest.
Courtney: Because it’s like when the, when the universe is spoken, you just have to lean into it. Like you just got to go with it. Like you fight it. It’s just like this internal battle. And like, I was done fighting that. So I’m like, all right, that’s where it’s going to go. That’s where I’m going to go.
Holly: You do have to get to that point.
Courtney: You know? Try to mitigate all the things as much as you can, but if you’ve done everything that you can do and that’s the path that it’s going lean into it, that’s where it’s going.
Dana: Gives me anxiety just thinking about it.
Amanda: I’m going to stay over here.
Courtney: I know, I like to say that we just had a podcast where we were talking about self-care things and I’m talking about the things that I do for self-care and Dana decided that her self-care was an empty inbox. So I was like, I don’t know, like we’re on two different pages with that, but I’m just saying that’s where we’re at. I’m like yoga, taking a nap. Empty inbox.
Dana: It was more like things that, where I could actually relax. Like I can’t relax unless like, I know what I’m having for dinner. And I know that the lunches for the next day and all like it’s about organization like that.
Holly: It’s like your mental download.
Amanda: And then when all that’s done, then you can, I said, I have learned if you don’t for different personalities, like some can just shut it off. Like, I think Holly is really good at like, the world can be spiraling out of control and like she can shut it off and go and like do life. Whereas I have just learned if I don’t shut everything down properly, like you’re saying Dana, then I won’t enjoy it. If I do try to go and have something like there’s still that little voice in the back of my head, like your kids are going to starve.
I’m not great, I’m not great right now because I do have a newborn. But I definitely agree. Like I’ve just gotten to the point in my life where I’m like, I’m okay with saying no to things, because I know that I want to enjoy it once I’m there because, and you hadn’t sit
Holly: You want to sit in it for a while too like, and you actually want to process it and like think through it. And you know, that that’s healing. I’m like, nope. You know what I mean?
Dana: That’s exactly how I am too. And like in the business part, it’s really hard because like, for me, I do have to process things. So sometimes I know I’m being irrational, but if you talk to me about it now, like I’m going to say things I shouldn’t say, and I’m going to be a total asshole.
Yeah. So I just need to like, come to terms with it. I need to figure out how I really feel about it because I think being a sister, you know, this, the words you can say that are the most damaging and the most hurtful. And like, I don’t want to be that person. So, but then Courtney is like, constantly pestering me.
Like, what’s wrong, what’s wrong. What’s wrong. I’m like, I’m not ready to talk about it.
Courtney: I don’t trust her at all anymore. What are you talking about? I’m just like, no news is good news. I’m just going to assume it’s not me until you tell me differently.
Dana: Except for the whole time she thinks it’s her.
Amanda: But I’m not going to talk about
yeah, that’s definitely. and I think to being sisters and business partners you have to give a little bit more space when you didn’t necessarily do anything wrong that you can think of, but like there’s a fine line. Like sometimes I’ll call, like I’m calling you as your sister right now. Like, I don’t want to talk about business.
I actually have like a family, not a family problem, but like, I need you to be my sister for a couple of minutes and then we’ll talk about work, cause it always comes up. But it’s hard to find that balance in life. You know, knowing, just keeping both of those roles in check.
Holly: We didn’t use to say that. And it was like, hey, like it’s kind of like in a relationship, you just can’t wait for it to be romantic all the time. You may need to say like, hey, I really need you to like, give me physical touch more this week. It’s not about the movies. It’s because I need it. It’s like with our relationship and how far we’ve grown.
It’s like, hey, I need you to be my sister too, and not just my business partner. And on this phone call, I’m saying you’ve been more of my business partner. Now I need you to be more my sister and it’s like not waiting for like actually saying it out loud and, and being like, oh, okay. Like, let me you’re right. We haven’t really done a lot. We haven’t connected in that way. What do you need? You know, and so, but like when not saying it before there was this tension, you know,
Dana: I think that’s really true. And I think this kind of segues great into like the conversation about like kind of job roles. Cause I feel like when job roles are unbalanced and one feels like someone’s doing more than the other, or you feel like personally like traumatized by what’s happening at work, like it bleeds into the sister relationship and you’re like, I can’t see anything, but what’s wrong with what’s going on right now
Holly: For sure. I think one thing we, we were talking about, cause I feel like we’ve had to go back thinking about this conversation was when we first started our business even a few years ago, we didn’t have staff. So you’re wearing every hat and every, any person who’s wearing all the hats all the time. And you’re a mom and a wife too.
You literally are the worst version of yourself, and then you’re trying to run a business. So for us, we weren’t really sure. We, we didn’t have a name to where we didn’t think, oh, we’re both in the wrong roles or we’re wearing too many hats. We just didn’t enjoy what we were doing or even being around each other.
And it’s like, what is happening or what has happened because we’ve always been so close and then it’s like, you start realizing, oh, you’re actually functioning in a place that’s awful for you. And same for me.
Amanda: Yeah. I definitely think that when we, when you aren’t staffed as a business, there are. And even when you are staffed, right.
There’s things in our job roles that we don’t want to do, but we know we have to as business owners, but when you’re, when you’re not staffed and starting out, it was like, we both wanted to do, or thought we needed to do everything. So like we would both go to the accountant. We would both go, you know, post on social media.
We would both meet with clients. We would both go to every event. And if one of us didn’t go to the event, then like you said, we felt like that person wasn’t doing enough. And then we realized like, as fun as it is to do some of those things together, like it’s not realistic for us to always do them together.
So that’s kind of where we were like, okay, like, I’ll take the money side. You take the social media side. We’ll split meetings. We’ll take weekends. Cause at that point we were working every single weekend and all week. And so she would do a weekend and then I would do the next weekend, which was kind of a bummer because that was the fun part about our business was doing events together.
And then we took that away from each other, but then we found like we could do things outside of business together, that would be equally as fun. and now we’ve gotten it to where we are. We’re only on one weekend a month. And that has definitely brought some balance back to our lives.
Holly: I mean, don’t you think though, like when you, so when I look back, you don’t really, so, you know, with our business, there’s a ton of logistics, which I’m terrible at.
And forever, I would just say, I didn’t really realize how terrible I was at them, but I really was terrible. And there would be so much frustration because it, I just didn’t do it well. Like I’m like, I don’t, I can’t think through it, I’m very stressed right now. Like, but I didn’t want to say that I couldn’t do it.
I didn’t want to say like, or I didn’t even really understand that I really was terrible in that position. So like, we were, there would just be conflict between her and I all the time. And you know, I think that’s where you have to really figure it out you know, what, what is really going on here and how, like, it’s really hard for a small business to be handed a handbook on how to figure this stuff out.
You don’t, you’re not putting a name to it. So like, what would you guys say to someone like, you know, going back to where we were, it’s like, at what point in your business, should you really be thinking through that? Or what does that look like? Cause we could have really used help like way earlier than we had when we were starting a business.
Courtney: I thought, I felt like for us, like kind of to those points, it was a little bit mentally, like not relationally easier when we were both doing everything. Like everybody knew they were giving their all, if we, if someone couldn’t make it like baby, they had a baby, you know, or whatever, like it wasn’t like be grudged or anything like that.
Everyone knew they were giving 100%. I felt like for us, it became murkier when we were managing people, but not doing what it is that we actually do as much. Wouldn’t you say?
Dana: Yeah, but I think for me, and this is a good question is its a, I think it comes down to trust, truly. I think when I think back on things and things I didn’t want to give up is because I didn’t trust Courtney to do them to the level that I wanted them to be done and that’s somewhat of like a control thing.
Courtney: Amanda, have you ever felt this way?
Amanda: Oh, a hundred percent. Just thinking about like the frustration and what Holly was saying with logistics. And I remember one of our, one of the bigger fights in my mind, we were packing goblets for a wedding and in my mind, they needed to be a certain size and a certain look and Holly didn’t care. Like she was like, who cares what size they are, like in her flower child mind and in a good way, like different sides. And nobody’s going to, I mean, now being in the event industry, we know more than guests know, or the mom knows like people aren’t going to notice the things that you think they’re going to notice.
It could have been completely fine, sure. But like, I remember being like, why would you think that that is okay? And we got in this huge fight and that was, I mean, that was a really sticky season in our business because we were so busy and so bitter. We were bitter, and just didn’t even have time to think about how we were treating each other.
Um, understaffed, overbooked. And it was a really difficult time because there’s constant conflict. So now it’s like, if you’re on and you choose to, you know, change something or, I mean, in the, in the rental industry, it is very difficult sometimes because sometimes things come back broken the day before or stained, and we don’t have 500 of any items, right?
Like we’re specialty rental. Like sometimes the casual come back with a wine stain from the night before, and you only have, you know, it might go from one truck to the next truck that day that you’re leaving. and so now we’ve kind of gotten to the point where we have to make executive decisions sometimes, and it falls on whoever’s on that weekend.
Holly: So like, it goes back to your trust thing.
Amanda: And trusting of our staff too. I mean, we do our best to make sure that our stuff looks good, but like the reality of it is weddings are a fun party and, you know, our things don’t get treated nicely all the time. And so then that just falls on whoever’s on that weekend to make that call on how we’re going to fulfill the order.
Dana: Yeah, I think for me, it came down to the trust. It was more because I am very particular and I have very strong feelings about how things can go. And a lot of it comes from very much like a perfectionist. So like, I don’t want to put anything out there unless it’s a hundred percent. Like, I don’t, like, I don’t like my name being attached to something that’s only 80% done or 70% done or whatever.
And it’s why I struggle a lot being in the middle of C and D Events, that side of our business. And I’m not saying our planners, aren’t wonderful and perfect. A lot of them do a lot of wonderful things. But when I look at the processes, the maybe in my mind, the like all our girls have this, please wait 48 hours for, to be return an email.
I’m like, I never did that as a planner, like ever. Like I was like, I had to reply within six hours and right or wrong, it’s just how I felt like it should go. Like customer service was so important to us or whatnot. So to me it was an issue, like I knew she’d make good decisions and you’re right. You had to figure out how to let go of certain things.
Like, okay, it’s good enough for the client, but there were some non-negotiables like, there were some things I was like, this is how I want it to be like, it’s really important to me that this is how it’s done. And if you can’t do it this way, then you can’t do it.
Holly: Yeah. Sure. I mean, not we’ve had that too, where it’s just like, this is very important that we do have that. And the painful part is really getting them to really understand that this is a non-negotiable right. It’s like, even in your marriage, like, or there’s fighting and then there’s illegal fighting. So there’s like a line that you cross. It’s just like your standards. Okay. Like we may not, you may pick different goblets than me, but this is like a standard or a value all across our businesses as a non-negotiable that we both have.
And they’re both, they’re very different. Like the client experience for me, or they come into the warehouse. You know, that’s like a heartbeat of mine and I love that. And so that I’m passionate about that, but when it comes to logistics, I, so the non-negotiables of really getting them to understand what they are and how important it is to you is a little painful, but it’s so important for both of you for any business, you know,
Amanda: and it’s also hard as an owner sometimes, and Holly and I had this conversation this week, like, you know, you’re paying them and it’s their job to do it the way that you want them to do it. And that’s very difficult to manage adults and have to tell them more than one time because they’re your staff, you know? And, and I think that that is, we want our, you know, business to be something that’s fun and like that they want to come to.
But at the same time, like there’s a balance, being too nice and too lenient with trust and people that are incapable of giving you the product that you need, you know, and then like, when we’re not there, which we shouldn’t have to be all the time, because that’s why we’re paying such a big staff. I shouldn’t have guilt about one, not being there because I’m paying you. If I wanted to be there, I wouldn’t have you.
Holly: I wouldn’t feel bad about the standard you have in place, like they’re there for a reason. That’s why you have a job, because we create a great product and there’s a return. It’s good for everybody. So if you can’t do it, we have to find someone else who can, when we’re not there.
Amanda: And if I have to be there, then I don’t need you, right.
Dana: Right, do you guys find that you have to manage each other?
Amanda: I think there’s definitely a little bit of accountability for sure, yeah.
Holly: Have you felt managed Holly?
Amanda: Definitely have been seasons where like, I’m
Holly: Honestly, she’s leaning on me more right now. I’m leaning more on her at different times, but I had three kids a long time ago, so she’s leaning on me right now, but usually she does have more of a say and more of an opinion, but she knows she, I understand that she’s leaning on me. So I’ve been, trying to step up more and think about what she, what matters to her, even though it doesn’t matter to me.
Courtney: Have you ever looked at each other at any point, said like, I’m not your employee.
Holly: We’ve had all our brawls and fights. I mean, like we’ve said other things, maybe not those words,
Amanda: I think ours would be like, I’m going to really need you to do this. I’ve never thought of her as an employee. I that’s how, that’s what it would be my response. No, I think it’s definitely a 50, 50 as far as like that goes, but there have been seasons where like, you know, different things for different reasons. I mean, gosh, and then with COVID like that just threw a whole, whole other wrench with everything. but there have been seasons where we said, like I can’t do this anymore, or I really need help in this area, or I really need you to step up and do, do your job.
Holly: Yeah. You do your job. Like, I really need you to do what you said you were going to do. And I mean, it we’ve both said it and we both been a different season. And I do think that what you’re, when you’re going through stuff in life, regardless of your personality, there is, it is, you know, there is conflict, but.
I don’t really know when the real shift was for us, but we did decide that in a partnership. I do think you have to decide this. So like your family and your partners, so you do have to decide, do I really mean it when I say that we’re family first, do I really mean it? And what does that look like?
Or are we going to put this business first? And we’ve done those multiple times where it’s the business first. So it’s like deciding if this crumbles and we lose everything at the expense of our relationship or vice versa, like, because we still want a relationship, are we really going to let it go? Cause we’ve been there, you know?
And it’s, and that’s where you have to come back. And like you said, process it and say a partnership is already hard enough, but then when your family it’s, it’s even harder and it’s being good to one another, handling conflict. I think organically, it happens over time, right? Yeah. But no one’s telling you or giving you a class or sending you to a conference on like, right, how to do this.
Dana: Okay. No, I was going to say like I think we’ve talking about jobs. The section of conversation, I think where a lot of tension is, is what I call the mental plate. And there’s a lot of times, and I, you know, and I begrudge, I begrudge it. I begrudge the fact that I think a lot. And, and I know that if I say, hey, I need you to do these five things.
She will do those five things and she’ll do them well. And it’ll be fine, but it annoys me I have to tell her to do those five things. And so when you, I feel like there’s times when you’re like the one carrying that mental plate, a lot of times, like I’m not saying it’s like that all the time, but there’s definitely more like, I think it’s definitely a bigger, more of a role that we play in that. So like, is that, is that ever been an issue with you guys? Like
Amanda: Yeah, for sure.
Holly: I don’t mind doing anything, but I have to be told and I think that’s where, if this isn’t cute anymore, I actually need true honesty. You need to give me a list if you want like, I’m not thinking about the things you’re thinking about, even though you want me to be that epic business partner, who’s just like great at business. I’m not, I’m great at people. So if you want me to do it, and you’re thinking about this stuff, you don’t wait for me to, to know it because I’m not going to think about it.
Courtney: Because I think there is like some amount of, you can wish all you want. My husband used to say, you can wish in one hand and piss in the other and let’s see which one fills up faster, right. But your ha you can get better. And I definitely think like, my partnerships made me better at, in seeing some of the holes and some of the things that I can improve, but there’s only so much that that’s going to change based on like your personality and like who you are, like your DNA right.
There are things like, for example, you know, in our, in our personal partnership, how often does Dana think about money? Like how often do you think about the ebbs and the flows of that, or like the tax payments or the health insurance, or like all the things that like go into the, behind the scenes? That’s always on my plate, right?
Like it’s literally like two thirds of my plate. So I’m working with like a third, you know, cause I manage all of that. So I think that sometimes I think what happens in partnership is you’re blind to what the other person is actually doing. And I think you can very easily fall into that, like taken for granted kind of position. And Dana could go into any place like Dana could go into any company and sit there for a couple of months and improve processes and procedures. Like that is literally like Dana is a process, procedure, SOP person.
And I could go in and I could be like, you should be doing X. Like, I don’t know how to fix this, but really your best idea is to stop doing this and pursue that, you know? So like it’s two very different skillsets and do ever find in your partnership that you begrudge the skillset that you were given.
Amanda: Oh, I think that I’m be grudged upon because of the skillset that I’ve given. But it’s interesting to me that you do the money and that you do more of the logistics. Cause I do the money and I could literally work at home 40 hours a week. Maybe not 40, I don’t need quite that many, but just doing that.
Holly: And then thinking through what we could be doing better.
Amanda: Sure. And, but yet there’s still expectations for me to be present at the warehouse, but I get none of that done. So then if I’m there, then I still have to come home and do my job. And so I think, you know, that’s where, you know, I’m kind of at right now, if you want like a current situation.
I do all the bookkeeping too. And I pay all the bills and payroll and you know, all those things, which is a full-time job that is, and I don’t do them at the warehouse, we just don’t. I mean, when we’re there, we’re being pulled in 5,500 directions. So because it is a little bit difficult to balance that with the expectation of, I need to also be there. and so I think like
Holly: Yeah. I mean, I think that what she’s been doing and I do feel like there’s resistance and, and not for me because I’ve, we’ve, we’ve learned a lot, but like, where’s Amanda, why isn’t she here? Why is it like, you know, why isn’t she here today or why? And I’m like, because she’s doing, she needs to get stuff done. Like she she’s doing XYZ.
Courtney: Who asks that?
Amanda: All of our staff.
Courtney: Okay. So we’ve gone beyond that. Like no one asks or assumes.
Dana: So I would say, I mean, honestly, I think you need to look at the balance of it all and I think you need to look at what’s realistic of bookkeeping. And we, we do, Courtney manages cashflow and she pays bills, but we don’t do the bookkeeping.
Amanda: We didn’t usually, yeah, we didn’t always, we had a business coach and he basically said that I needed to do that. And I will say, I also agree. Like I did it when he told me,
Courtney: like, you take your money from the bank and you balancing QuickBooks,
Amanda: It does it automatically, I mean, it puts it in the automatically. I organize it. I allocate everything and that, I mean, I’m never caught up on that. I mean, if, I mean, just complete transparency, like I never caught up. I mean, I also have an infant at home and so that, that does make it a little difficult, but I mean, we have a babysitter too that helps but in my eyes, we have Tuesday morning meetings and I don’t feel like unless I’m needed that I need to be there any the other day a week, because we have on any good day, at least at least four, sometimes six staff there.
Dana: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s, I think it’s definitely, and I think this is where Holly needs to step in too, right. This is where she needs to be. You guys need to be united. Yes and I think, you know, is setting some, some actual office hour boundaries.
Like I’m only going to be in the warehouse on these days and just be consistent with it. Like I’m going to be in the warehouse for Tuesday meeting. I’m going to be the warehouse on Friday from 10 to 12 because that’s our busiest time. And then the rest of the time,
Amanda: It’s really funny, yeah. That’s exactly, what did I tell you last week?
Holly: That that’s what you’re going to do.
Amanda: I was like, Fridays are the day when I feel needed any other day, I’m not needed I’m wanted. And I don’t need to be wanted. I’m wanted by too many people. I can’t be wanted for things that are not my job.
Dana: Yeah. And I would definitely say, and then I think it needs to be reinforced by Holly because I think the other part is, is to when, as long as you guys are agreeing on this schedule, that there have been times when I have felt personally put out by the amount of time I’m in the office and I’m like, where’s Courtney.
Why isn’t she here? Because we haven’t, we haven’t discussed our schedules. Like we haven’t decided that this is what I’m going to do. Like I’m going to work from home on Mondays and on Fridays, I’m willing I’m in the office Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and I’m not going to get the office till 10:00 AM.
Cause I don’t need to be there until 10:00 AM. But if we don’t have that conversation and I, I just think it’s like, why, why isn’t she there. And then I think the attitude translates to the employees, right. When you feel like, okay, like why, why do I have to be here? I’d rather be home working from home, you know?
And I think having like really clear expectations of each other and communicating that, and then having each other’s back and then like shutting it down. I mean, I think for us, like there’s many a times, like someone has said something, not necessarily about Courtney, but about an employee, like why isn’t such and such here and I’m like, cause that’s her schedule, because that’s what she said she’s going to do. She’s going to come at 11 on Wednesdays. Like she doesn’t need to be here at 8:00 AM, you know?
Holly: And I, and I think that the good, I mean, we are united about that. I know that she needs to do what she needs to do right now. So we just haven’t talked about it. But I do think that, why is it take us so long to have that conversation you were just talking about? Like how many weeks will go by when your stir you’re getting stirred up. This makes so much sense. Why didn’t we have a conversation or established this? This could have helped everybody, but, you know?
Dana: I don’t know. I think, I think there’s just too many emotions too. And I, and this is what I absolutely despise about partnerships. Like I hate it with every being of my soul. I hate the feeling that it has to be a 50 50 thing. Sure. And I am such a justice and fair person that I have a really hard time. It not being 50 50.
And I know it ebbs and flows. I know there’s going to be times like you just had a baby, so you’re probably giving more at this point. But you feel like you’re giving 300% because it’s all that you can do.
Amanda: That mental plate that you were talking about earlier, I’m like, yeah. So, I mean, yeah, that’s a topic for another day.
Dana: It’s a lot, but it’s, you know, and I think that there is an, you know, and you take my advice here, but there is something where you have to say, like, it just isn’t 50 50, like it just isn’t.
Courtney: Yeah. And I think we’ve had many deep conversations surrounding this and lately it’s like, come to me like as an epiphany, like the reason for being in a partnership is so it doesn’t have to be 50 50. Like there is going to be times in your life where you’re going to be like, I need to take X and I’m going to be able to step up to the plate and absorb that. And there’s going to be times in my life where I’m going to be like, I’m going to take the X, and you’re going to be able to step up to the plate and absorb that.
And that’s the beauty of a partnership. Like you should be able to pursue things in your, like you’re sharing, you know, half the finances here, as Dana says all the time I’d be a multi-millionaire if I didn’t have this part. And there should be, there should be a benefit to that, right? Like I should be able to go and like pursue this, or I should be able to have a baby and be able to experience all that, stay at home stuff because I have a partner. And because that partner cares not just about the business, but about my life too. What point is there?
Holly: So my son was saying I’m not starting a business with someone, I went all the money. Like, you know, he’s thinking about that. And I said, that’s fine. I said, but also with that, I’m like, I have grown so much as a person by having a partner.
That’s also my family, like I’ve elevated as a person and also I now, looking back and I told him all the time, I’m like, you don’t want to do it alone, no matter how difficult it is there, life happens and you don’t want to do it alone. You’re going to be more successful. If you work through it, you perfect your partnership. You, you rise up, you deal with your shit. You deal with your shit. You, you get better. You grow as a person. Cause I think about, if we wouldn’t have done this, we would have stayed the same people we were seven years ago. And, and we’ve grown so much.
Amanda: And the logistical comment to that is every single weekend, it takes both of us. And I can’t imagine, nobody’s going to care about your business as much as you do. And I can’t imagine having to be that person all the time. I shouldn’t say it takes both of us. It takes at least one of us, but it’s not always the same person. So there were still there, I know for a fact that she can’t jump in the box truck and go drive it because there’s snow on the road. Then I can do it and vice versa. Like one of us is always available, but I can’t imagine that always falling on my shoulders solely. Like that would be, I wouldn’t be in business anymore.
Holly: And you have more money, but are you really happy? Like, are you lonely? Do you feel like you’re on an island by yourself all the time? Like, is it worth it?
Courtney: Okay, we’re going to hit the pause button on this and make it a two-parter.
Dana: So coming up next week, we continue our conversation with Holly and Amanda and unpack some more disagreements with partners.
Courtney: Fortunately, I’m always right when we disagree.
Dana: You can keep on thinking that. You can check out Amanda and Holly by visiting their business on Instagram at greenhousepickersisters, and you can also learn more by visiting greenhousepickersisters.com
Courtney: To learn more about our hustles, visit us on the gram at hustleandgather. And you can learn more about our speaking, training, or venue consulting by heading to our website, hustleandgather.com.
Dana: This podcast is a production of Earfluence. I’m Dana
Courtney: and I’m Courtney.
Dana: And we’ll talk to you next time on Hustle and Gather.
Hustle and Gather is hosted by Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell, and is produced by Earfluence. Courtney and Dana’s hustles include C&D Events, Hustle and Gather, and The Bradford Wedding Venue.