The Creative Family Feature is a monthly blog series featuring women & men in the C@H family who are building community & education right where they are. Whether it’s through hosting their own educational experience, building a community-driven team, or fostering education with their industry peers, they are doing exceptional things in small business and we want to cheer them on!!
This week’s Creative Family Feature is about long time C@H sponsor & alumni – Morgan Montgomery & Perkins Morgan of Paisley & Jade!
Paisley & Jade is a vintage & speciality rental company based in Virginia. The co-owners of P&J – Morgan & Perkins – have been supportive of C@H since the very first conference in 2015. Both have attended, Morgan has been a keynote educator and their gorgeous furniture has been present at every single event! (We even hosted our 1st Birthday Bash event at their studio!)
While their rentals speak for themselves, I thought it’d be fun for y’all to get to know the women behind them! Morgan and Perkins have built an incredible business – they know what it’s like to hustle hard and have built a community driven company for both their employees and the vendors they work with.
1. Morgan & Perkins – tell us the story of Paisley & Jade! When did it begin? Why did you jump into business together? What’s a favorite memory you have from your first year?
Well, the short version is – we worked together at an off-premise catering company and saw a hole in the market that we knew we could fill! We loved our clients and dreaming up creative visual displays for action stations, bars, and more, but there weren’t any rental resources to bring those visions to life. We both come from families of entrepreneurs and business owners, so we saw this opportunity and jumped in, even though it was a brand new concept in events and in our market. When we started, the two of us did everything – sourced furniture, repaired it, delivered it, and picked it up, which made it a literal labor of love. I think a favorite memory (although it wasn’t as funny at the time!) was when we towed our trailer to an event and then realized we couldn’t turn around and would need to back it down a mile-long driveway. Neither of us knew how to back up the trailer, so we had to learn on the spot! While it was a bit frustrating at the time, looking back it definitely epitomized our approach to our new business: an undying belief that we were talented and smart enough to figure it out, even if it took us a couple persistent tries!
2. What’s the story behind the name? Why “Paisley & Jade”?
It actually came about very organically, and is a play on words! We knew we wanted a name that would allow our collection to grow and evolve, so we wanted to stay away from anything that specifically defined us as a “vintage” rental company. We started playing with a take on “Plain Jane”, which led to “Paisley Jane”, which led to “Paisley & Jade”! We loved the contrast of color and pattern and texture!
3. Y’all do an amazing job of building community within your team. How have you been able to do that? What’s one or two practical things other business owners can do to create the same environment on their own team?
Part of our desire for an amazing team environment comes from both of us having experienced less than ideal work environments in the past. We have always strived to build a work environment that WE would want to come to every day, and that has helped guide a lot of decisions we make. As for practical things business owners can do to build team camaraderie, we’ve found that having an in-person weekly meeting with the entire full-time team is really helpful – we have a standing agenda that covers work items, but we also allow time for the team to just catch up and have that space to build those relationships with each other. We also make it a priority to remember our team is made up of people and encourage them to take the time they need to lead successful lives. As long as team members are productive in their roles, we’re are 100% flexible in letting them duck out early to handle some errands, work from home if they need to meet the cable company, or run out to have lunch with their mom!
4. Your studio has become the host of so many amazing things! From workshops to photo shoots, y’all open up your doors & allow other creatives to enjoy the space. Why is community with other businesses important to you two? How has it shaped P&J?
We’re really fortunate in that our business can serve so many different types of professionals, from event planners, to photographers, to non-profit organizations and so on. We’ve always felt as if our purpose is to provide the items for all these amazing folks to create visual displays that help them achieve their goals, which means we need to build relationships with these businesses to truly help them. One of our core values is “to be a vendor’s vendor” – we want to be the vendor that pulls up on-site at an event and everyone goes “YAY! P&J is here!” We want to be the vendor that people are excited to work with – and to us, that truly starts with feeling like we are all a part of the same community!
5. What’s one piece of advice you have to other creatives looking to build a business model similar to P&J?
We always tell people, “If they can’t see it, they won’t rent it!”, and there really isn’t anything more true when it comes to rentals. Get those photos on your website, post them to instagram, share them on Facebook! You can have the most gorgeous inventory in your warehouse or storage unit, but if potential clients don’t know it’s available, it won’t rent. We also think this applies to a lot of creative entrepreneurs – how many of us are waiting to share our work until “we get better photos” or “our website is updated”? It’s so important to get what you can do out there – even if everything isn’t 100%.
6. Morgan, what’s your favorite piece in the P&J collection? Perkins, what about you?
Morgan’s favorite: Our designed and built in-house round Estate Bar!
Perkins’ favorite: Our new Malibu sofa with it’s great pink color and California vibes!
Photography Credit: Image One: Lauren Louise Collective // Image Two: Bethanne Arthur Photography at C@H Round 8 // Image Three & Five: Alex C Tenser Photography // Image Four: Peyton Curry Photography
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