When I first met Vanessa Neu of Hip & Chick Organiks at a business workshop in San Francisco, I knew that she was a savvy businesswoman. Full of great questions, interesting observations, and quiet appreciation for fellow makers, Vanessa struck me as the kind of woman that made things happen.
Then this past April, I was able to see Vanessa again at an event in Nashville. Only this time I was also able to meet her co-founder, best friend, and mother, Maria.
Together, this dynamic team has turned a "side business in our garage" to a well-respected organic skin care line and a thriving brick & mortar shop in Santa Cruz, California (where, incidentally, they also carry Handcrafted HoneyBee deodorant).
"We have worked together on and off for as long as I can remember," Vanessa says of working side-by-side with her mother.
From assisting Maria with an interior design business in her post-college years, to opening a small home decor store together, to starting Hip & Chick on the side—and now finally having their own brick & mortar store together, Vanessa explains, "we both fell into our dream roles!"
The storefront carries several other indie brands as well, but the Hip & Chick Organiks brand is the heart and soul of the shop.
With Maria as the product maker and Vanessa as the marketing manager, they both stay busy enjoying the aspects of entrepreneurship that they each love the most. "Opening a brick and mortar this past summer was the best decision we've made thus far," says Vanessa.
There are perks that come with working so closely with your mom. "I love the fact that we get to work together whenever we want. We never miss holidays together, which is something I value—and a huge reason I love being away from the corporate world," Vanessa adds.
She's also quick to point out that their success hasn't happened overnight.
When I asked what advice she'd give to a girl who wants to pursue a dream job, Vanessa emphasizes the importance of good planning, mentorship, and most of all, patience. "Focus on your end result. Even if you need to take baby steps, take them slowly and focus on doing them right, not fast," she advises.
It's advice that even they continue to heed as they grow. "The biggest challenge we've had is not being able to make and participate in everything we dream of doing!" It's more important to make prudent financial decisions, Vanessa explains, than do everything right now. "You have to figure out exactly what you want and make a plan," she says.
Regardless of whether or not they are able to bring all of their ideas to fruition today, I'd say they're doing a pretty darn good job of growing their dream.
After all—one of the most important aspects of their dream is sharing the adventure together.
(Is that our probiotic deodorant you see there? Yes, it is! :) )
If you'd like to learn more about Hip & Chick Organiks, check out their story on their website!