Perfecting the Partnership, with Holly Barton and Amanda Cox (Part 2)

What happens when a business becomes successful and partners have to choose how to take the next steps? Is it investing back in the business with marketing, upgrades, or more employees?  Or is it time to take care of self and family?  And what happens when the partners disagree on what to do?

Today we continue our conversation (here’s part 1) with Holly Barton and Amanda Cox, owners of Greenhouse Picker Sisters, a specialty rental company based in North Carolina.


Holly: We have to become better business owners. We’ve made it, we’ve done really well. We’ve probably messed up a lot, not knowing what we’re doing, where I’m thankful like it’s, I feel like it’s the grace of God in our business, but at some point we’re going to have to take ownership of the reality of where we are as a business.

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 on this episode, we’re picking up where we left off last week with Holly Barton and Amanda Cox from Greenhouse Picker Sisters.

Dana: The other question I have is, so you have clearly defined roles, right? And you’re saying, this is what I’m doing. And I, which I think is great. And, you know, kudos to you guys for that. Has there been times when you have stepped on each other’s toes when you have started and maybe because you’re in a season of life, right?

Where you’re like, I need you to take this from me. I need you to help out, and then, you know, it starts to feel like you don’t have anything of your own. I think that’s something that we’re honestly somewhat in the middle of a little bit like where you, you always feel like it’s always Holly and Amanda, like, it’s not just Holly, it’s not just Amanda.

It’s always the two of you together, no matter what, because you’re only ever seen as the two of you. And I feel like sometimes that is worse when your job descriptions get blurred. When you can’t even say like, you can’t say, like, I’m the one that does the finances and I’m the one that does this.

It’s like, well, we both kind of do this and we both kind of do that. And 

Amanda: So I would say for my, that, I don’t feel that need right now. Will that change? I don’t know, but, I remember pre. The pre COVID. Cause that’s when the idea of having a third child came into the picture, like having that head space to have that feeling.

And we talked about it with some speaking stuff. we had that conversation, like, you know, we both enjoy doing that, but it isn’t always going to be realistic where it’s both of us. 

Holly: Yeah. That’s, that’s what I, I actually was going to speak to the same thing. Or that’s funny that you said that because like, for me, Besides our business.

I have like passion projects, right? Like I have, you know, marriage, passion projects. I have women’s, there’s things. Women’s ministry that are important to me. And I want to feel like, even though we’re doing this business together, I still can do that. And sometimes it gets really murky because it’s like, well, have we gotten out there because of our business?

And can I come on the tail end of that and it’d be okay, or do we always need to do it together? And that has been something that I do feel like there’s been like probably unspoken conflict or like heart issues where I don’t want to make her upset, but I also have things that are important to me that have nothing to do with this business.

Courtney: Yeah, absolutely. I think I tend to be more how Amanda feels and it was, for me, it was because I was always the oldest. So I always felt like super protective of, you know, Dana and Jeremy and whatnot. And like, it was always a collective to me. So like if the team’s moving along, like I’m happy with that.

Yeah. But, I mean, I definitely feel like I could, I could see that cause there’s always, I mean, I get called Dana all the time. I’m sure she gets called Courtney all the time and there’s always like that we’ve built this brand, you know, that is on the two of us with everything. I mean, we’re professors at Meredith, we’re both professors at Meredith.

We speak, we both speak, you know, kind of built that brand. So it is kind of hard to break away a little bit. But I told Dana recently, like I’m thinking about getting my 200 hours, like for yoga instruction, just because I’m into yoga. 

Dana: I don’t want to do that. 

Courtney: I’ve been for years, you know, I could definitely see some sort of side hustle that’s related to like retreats and restorative and, you know, self-care and mental health. Like that’s important to me cause its a, it’s a section of my life that I’ve had to carve out to get through my life. Sometimes to get through Dana, you know, so. I’m just joking, and I’m not. 

Amanda: The Dana’s and the Amanda’s of the world don’t do enough of that. I’m so, I would come to your retreat. Holly got kicked out of yoga class, so…

Courtney: Did they really ask you to leave? I have never been in a yoga class where someone was asked to leave. 

Holly: Well, I never was done yoga at all, but that is not hard for her because she doesn’t care about that. I think the part that’s hard is when, like, okay, for Amanda, who is at home with an infant right now has dreams and desires on her heart.

I paid my dues years ago. There’s the, when they overlap and you’re like, oh wait, I have those, you could start to feel like, well, now she’s going and doing it on our, because of our business and our brand, because we also get called Amanda and Holly every day and hugged by like moms that, 

Amanda: oh yeah, I got hugged the other day at school. I was like, no clue who this girl and I didn’t think anything of it didn’t even tell Holly about it. I just did. And then she called and she was like, I think one of my friends thought you were me today. And I was like, yeah. 

Holly: So like, it would be a lot easier for like, she would probably send you on your way with that and say, great, like, go, go, go, go for it. I think what you’re talking about is the part, 

Amanda: But that’s going to take time away from like, that’s where my headspace would go. Like good riddance, have fun doing that, Courtney, but how are you going to balance that and all of our other responsibilities and is her plate going to get fuller? Because now your mind is, you know, on your passion.

And that’s, I think where it gets tricky because I know with Holly like, and this is a current thing. She does our social media for our business. Sometimes I feel like she does more on her personal social media than she does on our business. And that shouldn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter, but like sometimes I’m like, oh, you can do a reel for social media for your personal life.

But like our business page has been vacant for two weeks, you know? And that’s not normally the case. I’m just giving an example, example like, you know, and so for me, I’m like, I could see how that you wouldn’t care if she did that and wouldn’t want to do it with her, but where my headspace would go. How are you going to balance that?

Holly: How are you really going to do it? What, how, how the hell? Right. Cause I’m a, wow. I’m like the wow person, like, well, I have a lot of wow, but like how, how is that really going to happen?


Full Episode Transcript

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.

Amplify Your Expertise
About the Author
At Earfluence, we are proud to produce this podcast. We believe in sharing amazing stories, providing knowledge to the world, and celebrating diverse voices. Through podcasting, our clients are amplifying their expertise, expanding their networks, building a content engine, and growing their influence. If you're interested in podcasting, we'd love to hear from you! Schedule your free 15 minute podcast consult today.