Mompreneur: Laura Gisborne
I own a tasting room/wine store in Sedona, Arizona named The Art of Wine that sells wine, art, and fun clothing. We sold so much clothing, that I opened a second store named Erika Morgan, after my daughter. The second store specializes in fun, designer fashions. We also now have a winery that ships wine all over the U.S.
What inspired you start your business?
My husband and I were on a business trip in Las Vegas, where we saw the art of Michael Godard. It was very whimsical and we felt it was a good tie in with the newly, up and coming Arizona wine business.
How long has your business been in business?
What did you do in your past work life?
I went to law school at Texas Wesleyan, though quickly realized it wasn’t for me. I worked for five years as a CASA volunteer, doing Guardian Ad Litem work with Foster children, as a volunteer. I also worked as a Parent Educator with Family Outreach. I worked as a legal secretary as my “day” job. I opened a lunch cafe named Field of Greens when I lived in Texas – to have a healthy place to eat.
What is your ideal workday like?
I take my daughter to school. Stop in at my stores to look over the past days progress. Then I go to the gym or a yoga class. After which I go back to my home office to work. At 3:00 I pick Erika up and we go to cheerleading or soccer. After dinner, I usually touch base in the office once again, though I have a 7:00 curfew.
What have been some of your major successes?
Fantastic help. As my businesses have grown, I have been really blessed to attract great people to work with. My other great success has been the opportunity to work around my children’s schedule, allowing me to really know them and their friends.
What have been some of your major challenges?
Learning a new industry. I had to figure out quickly that what my customers were looking for was often very different than what I look for as a consumer.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
It is easy to get discouraged in this economy. However, I stay in bed for several minutes after I wake up and focus on all of the things/people in my life that I am grateful for. It sets me in the right mood for whatever I am going to encounter.
Do you have a motivational quote?
“Life’s what you make it”
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words,
“Watch your words, they become your actions,
“Watch your actions, they become your habits,
“Watch your habits, they become your character,
“Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Prioritizing. Also, I am a big believer in planning. If something is not on my schedule it is not in my life.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Learn how to manage your money. It is too easy to make more and spend more. If you learn money management habits, it relieves a tremendous amount of stress and allows you to grow.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
My calendar. Delegation. Time management and great help allow me to run more than one business and still make my children’s schedule my priority.
What is next for your business?
I hope to grow our wine club. We are currently revamping our website and web marketing plan. The clothing store has to evolve seasonally as demands change.
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