We love taking you behind the scenes of running a custom board game company, and today we are bringing you an interview with our COO and co-founder, Jackie Collier. Jackie will share a little bit about her life and the story behind going into business with her sister, Cassie!
Cassie: Did you always want to start your own company?
Jackie: When I was growing up, I wanted to be an actor (and a nun, but I am glad that dream didn't come to fruition). Being an actor is essentially running your own business, and I've always had entrepreneurial dreams. I love bringing people together, so for awhile I wanted to start a matchmaking company. (I still love setting friends up!) Cassie and I have always loved board games and we have been best friends since we were born so going into business together seemed like a natural fit.
Cassie: What is the biggest lesson you have learned from starting your own company?
Jackie: There's been lots of lessons along the way! One of the biggest is that if we hear a "no" it inspires us to get creative or approach the challenge from a different angle. An example of this is when we pitched the CEO of Hallmark Channel to make a Countdown to Christmas Bundle game. During the pitch, we were told that they were already developing a Hallmark themed Monopoly game. Instead of being discouraged by this, we were excited and told the Hallmark team that it was great news - they were getting into the game game, so why not double down? We ended up getting the deal and both the Hallmark Monopoly game and the Bundle: Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas game sold out!
Cassie: What is your favorite way to relax?
Jackie: Ever since I was little, I have loved getting long baths. Since I lived in New York, I haven't always lived in apartments with bathtubs (for awhile I lived in an apartment where the shower was barely usable). My latest apartment has an amazing bathtub and it's the best place to relax. I basically use my bathroom as my second office.
Cassie: What do you love about running your own company?
Jackie: Storytelling is a huge passion of mine and it is so important for me to bring people together. When we create customized board games for Bundle, we get to know our Bundlers' stories and have a peek into their lives. Knowing that we have a part in bringing people together for joy and connection makes all the ups and downs of running a company worth it.
Cassie: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be an entrepreneur?
Jackie: It's so easy (I've done it!) to get caught up in getting to the next goal or feeling like you not really running a company if you haven't hit certain benchmarks. I remember when we first started out cutting out the cards for our board games by hand I would long for the days when we could hire a manufacturer. Now that we have (and believe me, I'm grateful!) I look back at those days with nostalgia and wish I would have appreciated them more. So make sure to enjoy every step of the journey.
Another piece of advice: reach out to and connect with other people - you will find that lots of people are interested and want to help. The term "networking" can have somewhat of a negative connotation, but it's vitally important for you to form meaningful connections with others so that you can lift each other up.