We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Patterson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I created Jeanie Clip, I didn’t set out to create a business, but I wanted to solve a problem for people. I kept finding these tiny little holes in my shirts which meant throwing them away because shirts with holes in them don’t get donated, they end up in landfills. The “holey shirt” problem was so frustrating for me and when I found out so many others had the same problem, I wanted to find a solution! Jeanie Clip is the only patented solution to preventing holes in shirts. The demand for a product to solve this problem is the reason I created a business out of it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Post college I had a career and consumer product sales for 10+ years. I was lucky enough to go through some of the best sales and marketing training with a huge company. Then I had two kids and decided to stay home after my son was born.This is actually so much harder than doing the job I had done before. There was so much at stake and it was just a new experience every day to be at home with a child. My husband started his new medical practice on his own and grew from two employees to what is now 52 employees over the last 10 years. I learned and helped him grow this business. When I started to venture into creating my own product based business, I tapped into the sales training the marketing and the entrepreneurial mindset that I had acquired from my previous experiences. I also recognize that I had been out of the game for a while and look for opportunities to get some professional experience without actually having to go out and get a job. For example, I had the opportunity to be the PTA president at my children’s school which gave me opportunities to run meetings and speak publicly, experiences I hadn’t had recently as a stay at home mom.
The challenges I have faced have been in learning the skill sets that you don’t have. As the CEO of a small company, you have to learn and fulfill all of the different roles in your company. From IP, to marketing and accounting, it’s all on you. I also have had to balance family life while adding this new business. When you are investing and not making money yet, it can be very scary! As a mom, I would think about how I could be spending this time and money on my kids. I had to put those thoughts aside and remember that they were getting to be a part of the creation of a business and how they would benefit in so many ways.
I would never say it’s easy to start a new business or to be an entrepreneur. I certainly did and still do not find it easy! You are pioneering a new idea or a new business and all of the answers aren’t out there to google. Creating something new is what is going to make a business matter!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We moved to Reno 13 years ago. I still get asked why do you want to live there?My husband is from Denver and I am from upstate New York. We both moved away from our families. Our favorite thing to take people to see is Lake Tahoe. When people see the Majestic mountains surrounding this gorgeous like they get it. It’s such a lifestyle shift to go from living in bigger cities to finding ways to spend your time outdoors. We love to hike, paddleboard, boat, ski, golf, beach and do all the things that the greater Tahoe area has to offer. During certain times of the year you can actually ski, golf and swim on the same day!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s always interesting to go back and think about the different experiences in your life that have led you to the point of creating your own business. I’ve had some amazing bosses in my life that have catapulted me into great situations but I’ve also had some terrible ones that I’ve taught me just as much. I think what’s most important when you set out to start a business is to know who the people are that will support you. My husband has been incredibly supportive of me creating the product and also bringing it to market. I’ve also found friendships through other inventors, particularly female inventors, who understand the process of bringing a new product to market market and are willing to share ideas and help you. I love to pass on what I’ve learned to help others as well.