Kuel Life is committed to supporting and promoting women in midlife. In our Kuel Chiefs series, we will be meeting and getting to know our very own Kuel Shop collaborators. Molly McKinley, from Intentionaliteas, has graciously agreed to dive into the deep end with me. She has bravely gone ‘first’; and we couldn’t be more excited to tell her entrepreneurial tale. You can find her tea gift boxes and individual loose tea blends in our Kuel Shop.
Here’s Molly’s story.
KUELLIFE: What type of business do you own/run?
MOLLY: I like to say I own an experiential gifting company. We sell herbal teas and candles that correspond to specific intentions, but we are actually in the business of creating magical moments for others.
KUELLIFE: What prompted you or drove you to become an entrepreneur? When?
MOLLY: I’ve been dreaming of and building businesses for as long as I can remember. I was always that kid who had a lemonade stand or created backyard pet shows with entrance fees. I’m just hard wired to create things. For this particular business, it was just time to focus on building something that I truly believed in without having to compromise any principles along the way.
KUELLIFE: What turns you on most about your gig?
MOLLY: I get turned on knowing that if I can see something, I can build it. We are truly only limited by our imaginations. It’s fun and exhilarating to build something from scratch.
KUELLIFE: What’s your biggest struggle?
MOLLY: My current struggle is finding my audience. The people who know about and care about what we are building. I have my earliest advocates but I need to scale to prove viability. In our very noisy world, finding our tribe is easier said than done. It’s always a challenge to break through the clutter to capture and keep someone’s attention.
KUELLIFE: What is your biggest fear as an entrepreneur? How do you work through it?
MOLLY: I’d have to say fear of failure. Even though failure is a chance to learn, tweak, reinvent and grow, not having enough runway and time to work through to success is always the risk of any new business. I jumped off the cliff with this business because I could see the vision so clearly. The 25 years of experience leading me to this point was the parachute needed to justify the risk. I’m learning to trust myself and my intuition.
KUELLIFE: How do you measure your success?
MOLLY: Success is measured in balance. Am I able to balance family and work life? Am I able to balance financial risk and reward? Can I balance my time to prioritize what’s important to me and fills my cup—yoga, travel, gardening? Success means my wife and kids are well loved and cared for, and I’m able to provide a meaningful life on our farmette, called The OMstead.
KUELLIFE: Finally, what advice would you give other women about taking an entrepreneurial path?
MOLLY: One of my favorite quotes is “Everything great starts as somebody’s daydream.” Many women are stuck in soul draining roles that are comfortable but not fulfilling. Entrepreneurialism is not for the faint of heart, but if you have a persistent dream or passion, the risk of not listening to the whisper of your soul is bigger than any financial risk you might endure. We’re all much smarter and more capable than we could ever imagine.