Happy Valentine’s Day! 2020 has taken off and is moving fast!
Whether you’ve shopped with us since the beginning, or you are brand new to Will & Ivey, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for being here. When you shop with Will & Ivey, you get more than stylish and soft clothing; you get to be part of providing comfort for children entering the foster care system. Thank you for being part of this story.
Remember, everything in the shop is 50% off right now. So stock up on bloomers, gifts, and whatever else your kiddos might need.
We love you!
Our founders Sandra and Karl Ney, just celebrated 31 years of marriage this week! So, we thought it would be fun to hear from them about love, communication, and the highs and lows of running a small business together.
Can you talk about how launching Will & Ivey has impacted your relationship?
Sandra: Starting Will & Ivey was a leap of faith. It was my dream and Karl has been so supportive. We’ve seen the beauty of how God is using our business and are in awe that we are celebrating five years of Will & Ivey and 31 years of marriage!
We are learning how important it is to pause and always communicate with each other. We want to make well-guided decisions, and ensure we are stewarding this well. There are so many moving parts with our business: finances, design, manufacturing, fabric sourcing, marketing, and philanthropic initiatives. Everything pulls us in so many directions. Finding time to connect is essential to making sure we are on the same page.
Karl: As a husband, I’ll do anything to support my wife to the best of my ability. But starting Will & Ivey has been one of the harder things we’ve taken on in our marriage. Seeing how broken the foster care system is and how deeply these kids need our help can be overwhelming at times. Mainly, understanding the profound need for supporting junior high school and high school students has been eye-opening. But even with the hard moments, it’s our greatest joy to give. We thrive in giving; we’d give away every penny to these kids if we could.
Sandra: It’s true. So, we are trying to find the right balance of being effective in serving these children and being a successful small business.
Would you say that going through all the highs and lows of owning a small business has helped you learn a whole new way to communicate with each other?
Sandra: We are learning as a couple about this business and learning always to be kind in how we communicate with each other and our current and potential customers. Putting words out there in the world can be hard because you know that everyone interprets according to their personal story. We want to honor people and be intentional in helping people feel loved.
Karl: It’s hard work navigating how certain words trigger an emotional response. Not just on social media, but in our marriage. We’ve learned how to be more sensitive to each other over the years.
Sandra: Yes, pausing and listening helps us communicate well with each other and those around us. And I think our new little puppy, Mazey, has helped soften Karl’s heart!
Karl: Oh, yeah. That little puppy has brought out the little kid in me again. It’s like what the Bible says we should be like children. I think the perspective of a child helps us realize how good life is … how could we not be happy?
Has owning a small business changed your perspective on anything?
Sandra: It’s showed me how valuable community is personally and professionally. We are a small business and it can be isolating at times. Our returning customers have become like family and I love when I get a note saying, “I need another Birdie dress, my little girl has grown out of her favorite dress!” It’s so rewarding knowing how much people love the product. And that we are making an impact in the lives of so many children entering the foster care system. I’m just grateful.
Karl: We are just really thankful. Even though it’s been hard, we are encouraged and excited for all that is to come.