We had the good fortune of connecting with Renee Preuss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Renee, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My first inkling of wanting to own a business was in my early twenties, however, it was more of a fantastical idea than a tangible one. As time went on and my experiences stacked up, I kept revisiting the idea and the transition of critically thinking about it as opposed to merely mentioning it started to happen. More time went marked by both positive and negative ventures and at some point I began to believe it was possible and that I was capable of having something to offer, as well as a skillset that would help lay the foundation. Eventually I was at a point in my life where it felt like the right time to step up and take the leap!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Pondered Goods, is an independent online shop that has an emphasis on indie makers, American made goods + modern gifts. There are so many talented makers and quality products being made out there, it is overwhelming at times. Although we are living amongst the convenience and competitive prices of big box stores and Amazon, there is true momentum gaining with individuals wanting to support small business more and know the story of where their purchase comes from, how or where it was made and are willing to spend more when it comes to certain items to essentially buy less in the long run. Sustainability and socially responsibility are also engrained in the fabric of Pondered Goods regarding the goods and packaging. At this point I am comfortable sharing that I have a ways to go before the shop gains more traction, but excited for what that looks like. In contrast to the beginning, there has been a steady evolution in regards to adding new makers and products as well as my direction of the brand I want to create is far clearer. There is a wealth of information out there, however, a lot of things have to be learned by doing, at least that has always been the case for me and so challenges are constantly arising and I try to educate myself on the best solution or seek advice and help from those with experience and business savvy. Each growing pain and challenge that has arisen has handed me a lesson and I apply that to the next step or failed attempt to keep pushing forward. Naturally I will always be up against some type of road block, but I hope that with each one, I am staying authentic to what the shop represents as I would rather take a longer road and be genuine. It is important to me that people know that I care deeply for what I carry and about the relationships formed when I connect with a maker or brand. Deep consideration and intention are integral to the decisions being made and a conscious effort is made to offer something of interest to everyone as inclusivity is paramount to me. In the future I hope to have some collaborations that work toward change in an array of areas and be able to contribute to various groups and causes as that is extremely important to me as part of the shop.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Great question and of course a challenge because there are various directions to go in with Colorado in general! If I stuck with areas within close distance to Denver and here in Fort Collins, Red Rocks would definitely top the list. Not only is Red Rocks beautiful on its own but in “normal” times, experience a concert there is something special. Here in Fort Collins, taking a drive up the Poudre is always a great idea and there are many spots to enjoy and relax as well as stopping at the Mishawaka for a drink on the river or an intimate show in the evening. I have yet to experience white water rafting so if the timing was right, that would be a blast and plenty of options. Breweries are always good time for those who enjoy beer as we have so many and fantastic ones at that as well as small distilleries that are popping up more frequently. I enjoy red wine and so chilling for a bit at Infinite Monkey Theorem would be great. Checking out the awesome shops and then grabbing some good food would need to be on this list. I love that there is a crush walls event in Denver and would definitely have to bring a friend along and enjoy the creativity and atmosphere in general. If it was Winter, a weekend getaway to the mountains would be a must!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For me, my shoutout would no doubt be to my family. I feel extremely fortunate to have had support through the ups and down of this bumpy road we call life. In my early teens things went sideways and I found myself lost, extremely conflicted with what to do, which direction to head and I became deeply depressed. Along the way I discovered that I had probably experienced depression earlier on but was not aware of it or how much it can affect a life. Throughout my challenges and ventures, no matter how varied they were, my family was directly behind me encouraging and believing I could accomplish what I set out to and truly listened. Along with my family, I have had contact with individuals along the way who were there to help and aided in my learning to navigate the rough waters and move ahead and I will always feel grateful for them as well.
Other: Email: email@example.com