How Jen & Lindsey met and became a team together (Ryan & Rose backstory)On February 20, 2020 by Raul Dinwiddie
(chairs thud) – What is up? – Oh, hey.
– Hey. – Hey, bae.
– Hey. – So we are going to, oh,
we thought it’d be fun to talk about how we met. – Yeah. – So, I’m Lindsey.
– How it all started. – I’m Jen. – Okay, you wanna start
or you want me to start? – Sure.
– Okay. – Just like a quick intro, I guess? – Yeah.
– My name is Jen, I’m the Director of Customer
Relations for Ryan & Rose, and Lindsey and I started
talking briefly in 2014. I had a business called
“Livie Loos”, I made hair bows and I actually bought
your clips for Landon, who is now six, off of Etsy. – Yeah.
– I don’t think you were on Big Cartel. – Yeah, I don’t think so. – You definitely weren’t on Shopify yet. – Yet. (laughs) – I bought them off of Etsy in 2014, and then I also had a blog at the time called “Fruit Snacks and Flannel”. – Oh my goodness. – I thought it was so clever, and I had a small business
feature every Thursday, I believe, and Lindsey was
my first small business that I ran a story on. So I remember– – I think you were the first
blog I ever worked with, so– – And I remember the pictures vividly, I remember the layout, I remember the questions
and just, you know. – She has like a good memory. I’m like, I don’t remember anything. We did just go through my phone and– – That was wild. – I keep all my text messages,
I don’t delete anything, and just how small Landon was. – Landon was like pint-sized. (Lindsey laughs) He was like a little meatball. – Yeah, but, yeah, we
actually met on Instagram and a lot of people don’t know that. She lives in Virginia
and runs Ryan & Rose, everything contact,
you’re gonna talk to Jen and for so long, it was
just me, you and Whit. – Yeah, yeah, for a while. – And if you–
– Then Candace popped on – Yeah.
– And now. – 70 plus, I’m just kidding. – So crazy, that’s a lot of people. But it’s so great to see the growth and to see where everything started, how it snowballed when I started in 2018 and where everything is today, it’s crazy. – So we started out as IG friends, – Yeah.
– Instagram friends. Me, you and Stacy. We had like a group chat, where– – We bounced business
ideas off of each other and I was like, “Hey, do
you like these hair bows? “What if I added these options?” Lindsay’s like, “I think
I’m getting branded clips. “And we’re gonna introduce engraving.” And it’s just– – It’s all in those text
messages, it’s crazy. I was just scrolling,
– So many. – and I’m like, “Oh my
gosh, I remember that, “and I remember that, the packaging.” – Just like, “Remember this clip? “Remember when we started the mini?” She was sitting on–
– At the beach. – at the beach, (Lindsey laughing) like sun-kissed, braiding suede. – Yeah, and she even did, when her bows, I think you did the headbands. – I did, yeah, they
were called braid bands. – And then I did the cutie clips. And then Stacy did the bracelets. – Bracelets. – And so we were like,
you know, I don’t know. It’s just really cool to see
how far we’ve all three come, and just,
– It’s wild. – Yeah. – [Shane] So how did Lindsey, Jen, get you to come to Ryan & Rose? – Whoa, Lindsey started asking me, probably end of 2017 to start
working for Ryan & Rose. – So I’d already quit my
teaching job, yeah, so. – Yes, you had quit, I was
pregnant with McKinley, and she kept asking–
– 10 times. – Kept asking,
– Where’s Jen, hello? – And I was like, no,
I’m not working for you. – So just to back up a little bit, so we were such good friends. When I started the website,
she did most of the writing. I’m not good at (laughs) writing. – She basically said,
“Look, I have the ideas, “I can give them to
you, like bullet point, and this is what I want
but you’re good with words. “So if I give you the content, can you–” – ‘Cause you were an
English major, weren’t you? – No.
– No, okay, I made that up. – Yeah, so she would give me the content and I just basically put
the ideas and the words, kinda added some fluff in
there and created the pages, and that’s how we really started. I just did it ’cause I was
a friend and I loved her and I just wanted to help. She’s like, “Hey, I need help with this,” and I was like, “Okay, just
tell me what you want.” – Yeah, I think I was going through, I used to do all the bookkeeping
and it’s really funny, I mean, just the growth each year. But I think, I remember a few months, or probably a year ago now, I
was like, “Oh, it says, Jen! “Jen Bothel!” – So crazy.
– So paying just a little tiny
amount of money. (laughs) – Yeah, and I was like,
“You don’t have to pay me.” – Yeah, it was very little. But, just cool to see how, wow,
and you probably even never even imagined that you’d be working. – No, never. – Like what you’re doing now?
– No. – But I had to bug her and
be like, “Jen, I’m serious. “I need you.” – So, finally, I’ve had McKinley at the end of January in 2018, and I knew my heart wasn’t
in my business anymore. I knew that it was time to let that go. And then Lindsey and April
had released the cutie pad. – Oh, wow, okay. – And things started to just grow. – [Lindsey] Fast, yeah. – It was like rapid fire.
– “I need help.” – And I think at that point,
one day, it was different. I don’t know that the
words were different, but, something was
different and you were like, “I really need you.”
– Now. (laughs) – No, I think you said, “Talk
to Shane and pray about it.” – Yeah, I think I remember that. – You were like, “Talk to
Shane and pray about it, “but I need you to come on board.” And that’s when I was like,
“Whoa, something’s changed,” and I feel different. – Yeah, I mean I think
I always just saw you, I always knew you were gonna
play a big role in Ryan & Rose. I don’t know. I mean, I really do pray. I say I pray about everything. I pray about all these
decisions and I even feel like, a lot of times, God puts
these people in my heart, which is you, and then Candice. I text Candice out of the blue,
but it’s just really cool. So another interesting fun fact about us is that we were Instagram friends and so she won us a contest and– – (laughs) I entered some random contest. So if you’re ever entering
random giveaways and contests on Instagram, it is possible. You can win.
– You can. – So I won a giveaway
for the Makers Summit, which was in Greenville, South Carolina, and some of the big keynote
speakers were June & January, MailChimp was there,
StickerGiant was there. I just, I think we saw it as
an opportunity to go network, meet like-minded individuals that work– – Meet each other (laughing).
– in the same field, and I was like, “Well, it’s a no brainer.” “I’m gonna ask Lindsey to come with me.” So she was like, “Okay.” So I drove down from Virginia. – I flew in. – She flew in and that was
the first time I ever met you. – Yeah, she picked me up from the airport. I remember you were in your Jeep Liberty and I was like, “Hey!” – And then we checked in to our place, and I remember thinking to
myself this girl’s diet is wild. (Lindsey laughs) Because she had this big old
tote bag and she just started, she had just flown in and started whipping
out Rice Krispie treats and mini-muffins.
(Lindsey laughs) It’s like snack bags.
– Yeah. – Like, “Oh, do you wanna treat?” – Yeah, why not? – Lindsey, I was dying, and then I think we
even went to McDonald’s. You were like, “You want Krystals?” – Oh, ’cause you’d never had Krystals. – No (laughs).
– Yeah, yeah. – So, it was funny. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – But it’s crazy ’cause, I
don’t know, we just knew, I don’t know, Bret let me fly and meet some girl I met on the internet. (Jen laughs) Like, we won this contest and we’re staying at this
apartment complex. (laughs) – So yeah, that’s another story. It was not hotel accommodations. – Yeah, yeah, that was not included. (Jen laughs) No, it was.
– It was but it was not an actual hotel. – Again, another interesting. (laughs) – But we have some amazing
stories to tell you now. – But I remember when we got
done with the event in one day. We went back and you had just
selected leather samples. We were creating the Jen Cutie Clip. – Leather or Flourish Leather.
– Yeah, with the scalloped edge, and
you were making, it’s the– – She has an amazing memory. – It’s the Liberty of London one. Well, you just flew in
and not only did you have a bag full of snacks, but you
had a bag full of materials. – Clothes, yeah. – It’s like, “How did you get
scissors pass TSA?” (laughs) – I have no idea, I have no idea. For so long, I took
clips with me everywhere, in the car, or–
– I mean, you had glue and scissors and full materials and beads. – Yeah.
– You were ready to go. – Always.
– You were clipping. – I was Cutie Clipping
from the very start. Yeah, but we met some
amazing people there. – We did.
– Like Lisa. This lady took me to the
airport, didn’t know me. – Love it.
– She woke up at four o’clock in the morning. – Another random person. – Another random person, who was an angel. I call, Lisa’s my angel. But yeah, that was fun,
so it’s just really cool how our story is kind of, and now she’s such an integral part. I can’t imagine Ryan & Rose without you. Shane, I’m still waiting
for y’all to move here. – One day. – Millington.
– Millington. – It’s calling your name, Shane. Millington, Millington. Same with Danielle, you too. So yeah, I don’t know. – [Shane] What was Jen’s original title? What was she tasked to do? – Original title was probably
virtual assistant for a while. Virtual assistant. So there was a day, that Lindsey basically
created an email for me. She had emails forwarded and
then, I was also in charge, well, no, I don’t think the
info page had been created yet. But, basically I handled
emails that came through. – Yeah. – But what I didn’t know was
that I didn’t have to ask you about every, like,
(Lindsey laughs) the point of my job
was to take that weight off of her shoulders, and I’m
pretty sure there was a day I asked her about 35
emails, and she was like, “You know, you can just answer the email.” – Just do it.
(Jen laughs) Just do it. – I was like, “Oh, okay, okay.” – But, I feel like it’s
growing, you have to, I didn’t know what I was doing back then. – I didn’t know what I was doing. – So we had to grow into these positions. – Yeah, for sure. – But now I feel like we think alike. We have the, you know, – She’ll text me and be like,
“You need to do X, Y, Z,” and I’m like, “Well, it’s done.” – Yeah, “I already did it.”
(Jen laughs) But we have some funny,
there’s a lot of stories. There’s probably some
stories we can’t tell. – Oh, there’s some cringe-worthy moments. – Yeah, we’ve learned a lot. But, we like to say, like Chick-fil-A, this is kind of our in, I don’t
even know when that started. – Definitely. – It started when– – After I got my foot out
of my mouth, I don’t know, a few times I’ve done that. – (laughs) There’s been some moments. – Yeah, so we have a few jokes. So, we call her Jersey Jen and we say, “Did you get your hoops out?” How many times do you think
you’ve taken your hoops out over the last year? (laughs) We’re in good balance.
– Definitely. – Definite, we’re two peas in
a, I don’t know, like we’re– – Chick-fil-A has to come
out every once in awhile. – Yeah, so we kinda say it
like, “We like customer service “like Chick-fil-A. “We like products like Apple. “We like to be magical like Disney. “We like to be givers like Oprah. “and we like to love like Jesus.” That’s kind of our non-official slogan. But we always say Chick-fil-A,
Chick-fil-A, or we’ll send, you know, like a GIF of,
– Yeah. – french fries, Chick-fil-A
french fries or something. “Did you Chick-fil-A ’em, Jen? “Did you Chick-fil-A ’em?”
– Yup, I did, don’t you worry. – Yeah, but I mean
she’s so good with words and I think it’s a hard job. ‘Cause me and Bret say, “The
hardest job out of anyone “at Ryan & Rose, is Jen.” Because she has to handle the people and some people are amazing. 99.9% of the Cutie community
and our family are amazing and we love you. But there’s just always that 1% or those harder people that
you’re never gonna please. – I think it just also boils down to, when I have to say no, I don’t like to say no, but when I have to put
my foot down and say, no, I’m abiding by company policy. – Yeah, and there’s that line
of being taken advantage of and being overly nice
and we try to always– – And every situation
is honestly different, any email that comes through,
and I try my absolute best, but I’ve been called names. I think it was last week?
– Oh my gosh, I’ve been called so many names. – Or the week before that somebody was calling
me names in another group. and had that been, probably two years ago, I would have been, and don’t
get me wrong, words hurt. – Yeah, they do. – But I was like,
– “Okay.” – “What are you gonna do?”
– Yeah. – I’m not everybody’s cup of tea. – Yeah, she’s my cup of tea. – (laughs) I do the best that I can, and– – But I think the biggest thing is, we’re really big on accountability, – Very big.
– and learning from our experiences and I feel like that’s
what we’ve done the most, is we learn from it and we
move on and we’re better. – Every situation.
– Yeah, and we’re not perfect, but we sure try to do our best
and yeah, she always does. But yeah, it’s,
– I appreciate that – she’s amazing, amazing. – [Shane] How has Jen
changed during this process? In just these few years, starting out, not knowing how to respond to things to now where she is? – I think now, where
before, she was kinda iffy, asking me all these
questions, and I love that. I love that you were willing to like, “Okay, this is your company. “I wanna do it how you would want it.” But I think now we have the same, we’ve worked together so long, we have that same like-minded. Already, it’s not like,
“What would Jesus do? “What would Lindsey do?” She already knows. She’s already learned
from past experience. But I love that she knows who she is and she knows what she
believes in and she’s amazing. She’s Jen, she’s Jersey Jen. That’s my superhero, who
I wanna be when I grow up, but I think just the confidence and she knows what she’s
doing, and she’s killing it, and she has like 10 kids, (Jen laughs) and a husband and she’s still like Rocky. She has four, she has four kids, (laughs) but she does it and
she does it beautifully and I don’t think you get
enough credit for all you do. – Oh, thank you. – So, but I think just me, I
had to grow in all my roles and you have too, and
it’s just, I don’t know. I feel like with Jen, she’s really been good
at anything she’s done. But you’ve had so many hats. You’ve had wholesale, you’ve
had customer relations, – Website stuff. – She was the reason we
created the Cutie community and having, we ended up taking that– – Info Page. – We took that away from you
and I know that hurt, you know, but we saw bigger things. – For Jen. Well, I think you talked about it before, I don’t know if it was now
or in the Target video, you talked about flexibility
– Yeah. – and I think that, that
is one of the key aspects, – For working for us, yeah. – for the company. It’s not anybody’s individual role. Everybody has to be flexible. So, I’ve kind of been given
tasks, I can not speak, tasks along the way, and yeah,
it’s just adapting to them and taking roles here and doing them, taking roles here, doing them. – And I mean, I probably couldn’t list
everything you’ve done from your info page to lives. Somebody this week was like, “I wanna see Jen back on lives.” – Well they tried that this morning. – (laughs) But you and Whit both did, y’all have done so much and so, and even a lot of this stuff,
y’all don’t even realize, behind the scenes. From wholesale to, you know, the website, – Product listings. – people don’t realize she’s the one that adds all the products
every time we have a launch. – Well, that’s very much a team effort. – Yes.
– Because it’s photographers and it’s inventory and it’s
all these other aspects. But, yeah, I add the variants to the
back end of the website. I add discounts to the
back end of the website, all that good stuff. – Yeah, I think she finally sees what I saw on her years ago,
which I think I’m very proud, but she’s awesome. She’s like,
– I appreciate that. – Okay, you’re so sweet.
– Hug time, hug time. – [Shane] Now how has Lindsey changed in the time you’ve known her? – Oh man, Lindsey has 20/20 vision. Lindsey has grown as an individual, – Mm-hmm, a lot. – as a leader so much, it’s kind of crazy. I think also recognizing
how you can’t do it all. – Oh, I can’t, you gotta delegate. – But she wanted to do it
all for a really long time. – I mean, we were talking
about yesterday, just like, “Oh, I used to take the pictures,
I used to do my videos.” – She did everything. – I used to list the, figure out Amazon. I was the one that shipped,
I was the one that made, I was the one that engraved. I think I’ve really done
every aspect of the job. – Every single aspect. She did the listing, she did everything, so I think it’s recognizing
that you can’t do it all and that you have an incredible team and incredible assets readily available. – Yes. – And taking, not taking
advantage, but using them. – Building them up. – Yes.
– Yeah, and putting people, I think the hardest thing for me was like, okay, we have this person
and I know they’re amazing, but, okay, “You’re okay at this job.” But being willing to, “Okay, we’re gonna move you over here.” – “‘Cause we know you’re
gonna excel in this area.” – Yeah, and we’ve done a lot
of moving with Ryan & Rose. But I think for me also, I don’t know, Bret always kids. He’s like, “The 2019 Lindsey is way
different than 2020 Lindsey.” – I mean, you’ve had to
grow with the business. And I feel like if you hadn’t grown, in your personal knowledge of business, then you wouldn’t be
where you’re at today. – And I feel like Michael,
who’s a family friend and financial advisor, he taught
me how valuable my time is and how valuable my knowledge is, and being able to utilize that, you know? So that helps me to delegate. But then also know, I’m not gonna, I really used to be really nice Lindsey and try to beat around the bush and try not to hurt people’s feelings, and it’s like, no, my time
is precious and so is, their time is precious too. So like, I’m gonna be honest, and that’s what Lindsey
is now, is 2020 honest, honest Lindsey, so I think
that’s just part of growth and part of knowing who I am and what I want for the business. – But, I definitely think
that’s been the biggest change is just putting your foot down. This is the company, this
is our mission statement, these are our core values,
these are our beliefs, and if you can’t meet every single one of these
expectations, then– – You can’t work here.
– Yeah. – Yeah.
– (laughs) Growth. – Growth.
– It’s a beautiful thing. – It’s hard.
– Yeah, it’s hard. – It’s very, very difficult. Growth and balance are
probably two of the hardest and I mean balance in every sense of it, and I know that you feel
the same way that I do. Work balance, home balance,
and then the work-home balance. – Yeah. – It’s constantly evolving,
constantly changing. But I think we’ve both grown
as the business has grown – Oh yeah.
– and our families have grown. You know, it’s like–
– It’s awesome. – Yeah.
– [Shane] 10 kids later? – (laughs) 10 kids later. – That was just a joke,
that was just a joke. – [Shane] What do you
guys enjoy most about, obviously the growth and
everything that’s happening, but enjoy most about working together? – I enjoy Lindsey’s positivity. Every everything has a positive aspect. I think I love my family, but sometimes there was always
a negative spin on things. So it’s hard because I feel like that
kinda gets ingrained in your, you know,
– Yeah. I would say honesty. I feel like you, I think that’s why we complete each other so well because she’s gonna tell me
how it is and I need that. – She asks my opinion and I give it to her and I know it’s not gonna
be the same as her opinion. – Yeah. – But she asks me my opinion.
– Yeah. – And I’m gonna say it. – We were talking about that yesterday and how we think like,
me, you and Danielle work so well together, is because we take constructive criticism, or not even constructive criticism. – We just supply whatever. – We’re honest, but it’s a
friendly and it’s a supportive. We know each of us wanna be better. – We never take anything personally. – It’s never defensive
or it’s never, it’s just, “Hey, how can we do this
better?” Or “How can we?” So I feel like we’re a
really good support and team. – Yeah, I would agree. – So I’d definitely say like honesty. Jersey Jen’s gonna tell me
how it is and she’s not gonna, you know, keep back,
that’s why I love her. It’s real and I think you’ve
rubbed off on me, to be like, “Lindsey’s gonna be honest “and she’s gonna tell you how she feels “and she’s not gonna beat
around the bush anymore, so.” – 2020.
– 2020 Lindsey. – 2020 vision. (laughs) Alright, so Jen has had
a lot of different paths, a lot of different roles. Now there’s so much happening
in targeting new warehouses and everything, what’s next for Jen? You convinced her to come work
for you in the first place, what’s Jen doing?
– What’s next? – My dream is for her to live here. (Jen laughs) I’m just saying Shane, I’m just saying. No, but it works. I feel like the long distance
works and it’s beautiful and you know, maybe it works better that we’re, I don’t know, I don’t know, but I would love for her to live here. I feel like, sometimes I feel, I told you, I feel guilty her and
Danielle aren’t here to be, and it’s so many of
the other team members. I wish they could be a
part of it every day. – But I never feel like
I’m missing out on anything and I think that’s
really important to know is that she’s created an environment and she’s given us these roles and independence within each
of our roles to succeed. And she’s given us the tools that we need in order to complete these roles and these tasks independently,
and she praises us and she gives us feedback and we apply it and we learn from mistakes and I think that’s really hard to do. – Yeah, I don’t know, we
never say never, I don’t know. She’s just, we feel like
right now, giving Target, and we want her to be where you love. – I love emails, I love
the customer interaction. I love having–
– She’s so good at it. – I love having the opportunity to also turn somebody’s day around, with something as simple
as an email exchange. – Yeah.
– Something. – Yeah. – Which I think is also
hard about the job. – Like Bret said, “She has
the hardest job is emails.” – I think it’s hard because you never know what
somebody else is going through. – Yeah.
– You never know if they got mist instead of petal but they’re going through finding– – A divorce. – Yeah, a divorce, or finding
out that somebody had cancer or their child is sick, so that one little itty bitty
mistake may have set them off. – Yeah. – So, it’s having the opportunity
to make something right, to explain something a little bit further, to answer a question, to kinda
turn somebody’s day around, and I think that’s really special. That’s really, I get
a lot of gratification out of being able to do that. – It’s almost like a goal. I feel like, “Yes, I
won her over,” (laughs) – And then when all of my emails, when my unread box is
at zero, I’m like, oh. – I get a screenshot. (laughs) – Every time. – I don’t know, she could do
anything, so I don’t know. But I would love to have her
here, but then maybe not. She makes it work wherever she’s at. – She gives us the opportunity too. I’ve been able to come to town a few times and it’s been awesome. I work while I’m in town and
I step away from the babies for a little bit, and
then work a little bit and go back home and everything
kinda falls back into place. – Yeah, and we’re grateful for Shane for letting you do that. – He’s so great, yes. Shane, the kids, they’re awesome. – Yeah, so that was fun. I hope you learned a little bit about me and Jen’s relationship. Do I call, I don’t think I’ve ever, have I ever called you Jennifer? – No.
– No, she’s Jen. – No, but people call
me Jenny all the time. – Really?
– Yes, (laughs) in emails. – Really?
– Yes. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – So yeah, she’s done a lot. I hope this makes you see how she’s had her hand in everything and she’s such a big part of Ryan & Rose. – I believe in the company. I believe in Lindsey. I believe in the dream. – She eats, sleeps and breathes R & R. – I do.
– You really do. – I do. (laughs) – So, anyways, let’s dance this thing out. – Okay. – I got my chair. (upbeat music)