You are in for a treat today! We’re chatting with entrepreneurs Sarah Landry and Katie Rocheford, who not only run their own photography and floral design businesses, respectively, but also recently opened the cutest shop, Salt & Grove! The shop doubles as a creative studio to inspire women to find their inner passion through hosted events as well. Cool, huh? Oh! And they are moms! Yep, they do it all (and do so, so well, we might add!). We’re excited to take you on a tour of Salt & Grove’s Newburyport, MA storefront while these ladies impart some of their wisdom…
You both owned businesses of your own before starting Salt & Grove – how did you meet?
Yes, we did and we still do! Sarah is the owner of Sarah Jayne Photography and Katie is the owner of Sweet Annie Floral Design. We first met about five years ago while working together on a New Year’s Eve editorial. At the time, we were both still working our “day jobs” while running our side businesses. We became fast friends and confidants as we each made the big leap of turning our creative side gigs into the real full-time deal. We have seen each other through many milestones of our individual businesses, and now we are excited to work together as business partners on our new passion project!
What inspired you to open up the shop? Was this always a dream of yours?
The idea of moving into a creative studio/workspace was something we casually started talking about around two years ago. Since we were both running our businesses from our homes, we dreamt about a place where we could work, meet with clients, and spread our love for creative living. When we saw our now space, we fell in love with the potential. Not only would we be able to work there, but we envisioned creative workshops, a shared meeting space for other creatives, and a small shop!
Opening the shop was never the sole mission of Salt & Grove, but it quickly became something we are proud of and excited about. We later discovered over wine one night while waiting for a flight that we both had always had a secret desire to open a brick & mortar shop (along many other mutual dreams-stay tuned!).
You describe the shop as a creative studio as well – tell us about all the fun that goes on there!
So many things! Our back space serves as Sarah’s natural light studio, where she does a lot of family and small lifestyle sessions as well as Katie’s floral design space for weddings and events. When one of us is not using the space for our individual businesses, we are using to foster creativity within our community. We have a series of events we call the “Feel Good Event Series,” and the intention is just that. Life is busy and hard, so we want to help by giving people a place where they can have a creative outlet. All of our events are centered around the idea of letting go of the daily grind a bit and just do something fun that lights you up. Some of our events have included a women’s empowerment talk, yoga, macramé and holiday hosting tips. We are constantly dreaming up new ideas for the creative studio, which is really fun.
We love that you carry products from local artisans! How did you discover them? Do you have any favorite pieces or best-sellers?
Thank you! When we first thought to have a “shop,” we based on the idea of supporting local artisans…people who were working really hard to run their own creative businesses. We decided to first carry some local favorites, including Elizabeth Benotti ceramics, Porcelain and Stone jewelry, and Aria Botanical candles. All of these makers are local and making beautiful products. We were curious what the response would be, since there were no other shops in our area doing this, and it turns out, people love it!
Our product lines have expanded so much, and we love each of the makers we carry. We choose items that are most importantly, made in the US and that work with our brand, which has a strong coastal vibe. Our name Salt & Grove represents the East coast (where Katie grew up, close to the ocean) and the West coast (where Sarah grew up on a citrus and avocado grove). We get so excited when someone comes into the shop and they say it reminds them of a place they once visited on the West coast.
To this day, some of our best sellers are from those first three makers we carried.
How do you balance your own businesses and Salt & Grove all while having kids at home as well?!
We’re not really sure, haha! Like any working mom will tell you, it’s often a struggle. We both deal with the emotions that go hand in hand with being a working mom. It’s a constant balancing act that often leaves us feeling a bit overwhelmed and sometimes with the guilt of coming up short on something. If we put more of a focus on one area, we can sometimes experience the feeling of not doing/being enough in the other areas.
Motherhood is and always has been our #1 roles. We can relate on that level, which is a large part of the reason we work together well. Our families always come first, and we have a mutual understanding that there will be times when one of us will inevitably be more tied up with family obligations. We honestly see ourselves as so incredibly lucky that we get to work doing what we love while spending a great amount of time with our kids.
As with any career, there are challenges, and since we are the owners and driving forces of our own work, our biggest hurdle is often managing our time, deciding where to put our efforts and definitely giving ourselves a break, since we are our own bosses (critics). Luckily, we have each other to lean on, listen to, understand, and remind the other that we are in fact doing a kick-ass job at juggling it all.
Do you have any tips for sharing the workload when working with a business partner?
Communication is so key. Going into business with someone is a strong relationship, and like any other relationship, it requires work. We agreed a long time ago that we would be open and honest with each other, and we have done a great job at that. We each have our strengths and weaknesses and it’s really important to keep the line of communication so open. We congratulate each other on the things we each do really well…we think that helps feel like we are both running this together. We each have our roles and the things we do well…the other knows that and appreciates it. Having defined roles really helps as well.
Also, go into business with someone who inspires you and who makes you a better you. We are both constantly coming up with new ideas and how to push the envelope. We give each other reasons to think creatively and that is pretty much the essence of our whole mission.
How do you rest and recharge?
We both love spending time adventuring with our families and spending time with friends! Sarah is married with an one-year-old boy, Luke, and Katie is married with a 6-year-old daughter, Quinn, and a 4-year-old son, Miller. Traveling and experiencing new places with them is something we both mutually enjoy when time allows for that. On a day-to day basis though, it’s all about finding some time to exercise, enjoy some coffee from our favorite local cafes, and perhaps a glass of wine helps too ;).
What’s your best advice for entrepreneurs looking to start something of their own?
Go for it! That sounds so simple and trivial, but honestly, just take a step, even a tiny little step. That step will lead to the next and the next after that. Once you’ve established something, it will blow your mind that you created something that once was never there. And no matter how many other people are doing it, no one is doing it like you’re doing it. Next to motherhood, it’s the most powerful feeling out there.
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart…it’s tough and it can be easy to feel defeated at times, but the reward is really worth it. Also, find a buddy, someone who is going through it alongside you. It helps so much to have someone to bounce things off of, vent to (most people can do that with their co-workers, which you most likely won’t have), and most importantly, encourage you. Plus, once you’re celebrating your success, they’ll drink the champagne with you 😉
Monday Morning Pick Me Up:
Katie: Exercise and loads of coffee!
Sarah: Run through the woods with my pup.
Katie: I can’t decide, honestly. Too many to choose from, but right now maybe ranunculus. Because they are ridiculous.
Sarah: Whatever Katie has in the studio. I seriously find a new flower I love each week!
Katie: “You are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero
Sarah: “Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone” by Brene Brown