Shannon Warr is the owner and creator of Clad & Cloth, a women’s clothing boutique that has been blowing up since she started it just a few years ago. They have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers and have collaborated with some of the most influential people in the fashion world to create awesome, unique collections. It’s grown from a one person show to now needing an entire team to make running it possible.
Yet Shannon is the first person to say that she’s not special. In fact, that was one of the most interesting things about this interview. She knows that she’s been blessed with good people working around her, and that other people could have done what she’s done. But because she’s self-aware enough to know her own limitations it makes her able to recognize where she needs help the most, and by doing so find a lot of success.
This was such an interesting interview for me because I love her outlook on life and success. It reminded me that I really need to dig deep and find my own weaknesses in business so that I can find people who complement my skillset too.
Shannon was my boss for a day and I actually worked inside her house years ago before I even met her for the first time for this interview. Turns out, she’s just as cool as her house was. In fact, she’s even cooler. So if you know of any girls, buy them stuff from Clad & Cloth. That is all.
“The best way I can make people feel comfortable is by being vulnerable.”
“It is ok to make mistakes. The only caveat is, learn from your mistake. Don’t make it twice.”
“It’s stupid not to ask questions.”
Clad & Cloth Website: Click Here
Kyle Bringhurst 02:16
I am happy to be here again bringing you another podcast episode. Today I’m here with Shannon Warr. How are you doing Shannon? So good. Good. So for those of you who don’t know her by name, you may know who she is from the company that she started called Clad & Cloth. And how long has it been since you started that company now?
Shannon Warr 02:36
It’s been a little over seven years.
Kyle Bringhurst 02:39
Shannon Warr 02:40
So yeah. 2014
Kyle Bringhurst 02:42
How did this idea come about? Well, first off for listeners, you want to tell everyone what Clad & Cloth is and its backstory?
Shannon Warr 02:49
So Clad & Cloth is a contemporary woman’s fast fashion clothing company. Online. We sell brands like Levi’s and free people and then some smaller brands you may or may not have heard of just launched two new lines that I designed Bobby Ren Millie boy, which is a graphic tee line. And yeah, it’s fun. It’s super fun.
Kyle Bringhurst 03:13
So how did you get into this industry? Like did you always have the desire to be in fashion?
Shannon Warr 03:20
Yeah, I’ve always loved fashion. Okay, ever since I was like really, really little I would like put on fashion shows for my family. So it’s definitely always been a passion of mine. It wasn’t until later in life that I really kind of went for it is interesting why I want to go to grad school actually. And I got my degree in sociology, which is the least marketable
Kyle Bringhurst 03:44
It translates perfectly to what you’re doing.
Shannon Warr 03:47
Yeah, for sure. So I wanted to go to grad school in sociology and like do research and actually want to do like prison reform like I’m doing today. But I didn’t get in. I am a terrible test taker and I failed miserably. And it was that summer that I started Clad & Cloth.
Kyle Bringhurst 04:12
So you’re just like, man, I can’t reform prisons. I’m gonna design clothes.
Shannon Warr 04:17
Basically. Yeah, I mean, at the beginning wasn’t designing clothes. It was, you know, I took you know $100 out of our checking account, which at that time was a ton of money, which I’m not saying it’s not a lot of money right now but like it was a ton of money and invested into my my inventory for that like the first inventory I got, which was like nine items. I got like the minimum quantities I could get for those items and put them online and luckily I had traffic to the website because I had I was always an entrepreneur like always had some side hustle going on. And so at that point, I was trying to figure out how to be like a blogger, but I hated it. Hated so much but I was like, how do I make money from this? And so I did a lot of research with traffic. And so I had traffic. So as soon as I shifted over to the store, I had sales that first month and then just kept rolling that.
Kyle Bringhurst 05:11
So when you you basically created a website, did you just like change the domain name and then keep like all the?
Shannon Warr 05:20
Domain name, it was the same, okay. I basically just one day, people were looking at my blog and the next day was a storm show. Yeah, they’re like, what? I didn’t have that many followers anyway, so I’m sure not a lot of people noticed. But that was the beginning stages. It was really just like a huge risk. I had tried tons of things like so many things all through college. Like what like, gosh, what did I do? I did, I was oily graphic tees, and I sold them in like a local shop in downtown Provo. I don’t even think it’s there anymore. I was calling hinged. I did jewelry, earrings. And I didn’t even have my ears pierced, but I made earrings. I made bows, I knitted beanies and sold them. My oh my gosh, I’m like remembering all these things that I did.
Kyle Bringhurst 06:13
Wow. So did you just sell them all like face to face?
Shannon Warr 06:18
It was it was basically through that like consignment shop on time. And then I before that I did jean parties are also guys. But that was where it was just like all the rage for a few years were viewed kit. Pretty sure they’re all fake. But you’d get these like designer jeans. And you’d go to someone’s house and you’d have like a huge jean party. And you could buy him for like 60 bucks. We were like, and you can’t see me quotation marks designer jeans, because I’m pretty sure they were all fake. So anyway, I did that for college. I mean, again, it was just like, I was like, you know, I want to be I want to be a mom. I want to be able to be home and have a flexible schedule. And so it was basically I’ve got to figure this out. Like before I have children, like I need to figure out how I can create my own business. And that was like a huge motivation for me, is the desire to both be a parent and a career woman. That was like a huge thing for me.
Kyle Bringhurst 07:21
That’s really cool. And it’s awesome to see how far you’ve come from there. Because we were talking about this just before I started recording. And I actually remember back in the day, right from when you first started, my sister actually happens to know Shannon, and so she was working with you guys. Did you have anyone else at that time?
Shannon Warr 07:41
It’s just Maddie. Sorry, Maddie, wherever you are.
Kyle Bringhurst 07:47
So my sister was working with Shannon and would come over to her house because you guys had everything at your house. I think it was all in like a closet. Oh, and then we have come over while Maddie would come over and fulfill all the orders, ship them out. And one time you guys were gone. And she needed a lot of help. And so she asked me to come over. So I actually have been inside your house, which is crazy. But we’ve never met until today.
Shannon Warr 08:13
That is hilarious.
Kyle Bringhurst 08:15
Now you’re not even just shipping from home. But you’ve got we’re sitting in your warehouse. You guys have a storefront down in downtown Provo, right?
Shannon Warr 08:23
Yeah, we actually just converted it into an event space. Oh, cool. I mean, it goes into so I’m actually starting another company because clearly I’m not busy. So it has to do with this like other company that we’re going to be launching soon. But basically getting all these wholesalers to what in one place. And so buyers can come, there’s so many buyers in Utah. And one of the things that I’m passionate about is helping other people start their own businesses, even if it’s within my own industry, you actually rather do that because I’m knowledgeable. And you know, hopefully an expert. Yeah, I’m an expert in this industry. So I’d like to be able to be in a position where I’m not feeling like they’re my competitors, but more like my colleagues and my peers and like how can we help each other. So that’s, that’s really where it’s stemming from?
Kyle Bringhurst 09:08
Let’s go back to the beginning of Clad & Cloth. Now, where did the name come from?
Shannon Warr 09:13
Yeah, I remember sitting on I don’t even think I came up with a name. I think I was sitting on a couch at a friend’s house. And we were just like racking our brains about like, what we wanted to do and I wanted the message to really be about like being empowering for women, and not necessarily about the body type or what she looked like but really clothing like this awesome woman that she is and so that’s where like clad so like basically what the message is like clothes so Clad is to like covered be covered. So like covered in clothing. So like, we cover the girl who’s amazing. Like the lady, the woman, we empower her, you know through her clothing but like the clothing is just an accessory to like the awesome person that she alreadyis basically.
Kyle Bringhurst 10:01
I had no idea about that. That’s actually a question that I wanted to know, personally, because I did not know where it came from or anything. So I do a better job of articulating Well, to be fair, I’m not your target market. So with this whole journey of cladding cloths, what has been the most difficult lesson to learn in the entrepreneurial journey that you’ve gone on so far?
Shannon Warr 10:27
Oh, gosh, which one? I think one of the biggest things for me personally had in the biggest journey I’ve kind of gone through having this business is taking myself seriously, which I don’t know, may may be interesting to say. But growing up, I was definitely not the smartest kid in the class, or the most talented, like, I was really athletic, and I did sports, but I didn’t ever want to play professional sports or anything like that. So I don’t know, I wasn’t anything special. I was insanely forgetful, and super flaky. And part of it was I was diagnosed with ADHD, like later, when I was like, 16, or 17, which, you know, I was like, Oh, that probably has something to do with the fact that I can’t focus. And then I also got hit with depression at age 16. Like it was, it was crazy. It was like nine days, it was like, all of a sudden, I was like, fine, super charismatic, outgoing. And then one day, like, hit me like a ton of bricks. And I was like, What the heck is happening?
Shannon Warr 11:24
And so I think those two things and feeling like, I don’t know, I don’t really feel that smart. I again, like I didn’t feel like there was anything special about me. So it’s just kind of an interesting way to grow up in like, now that like the juxtaposition of like, feeling that way. And where I am now is interesting, and kind of how it shaped me. But I think it’s, it’s allowed me to have a lot of humility, which is really good. But it definitely took a long time again, to, to really take myself seriously. Because I had a lot of insecurities about like, am I enough? You know, you know, as it started to grow, it was really exciting. It was super exciting. And it was really 2016 that it, it really became it was like, this is a real business. And I was scared. I was like, I don’t think that I am capable, or kind of like looking around the room like can somebody else like take this over? Like, I’m clearly not that capable enough to be doing this and really like downplayed what I was capable of, and what I was able to do for a long, long time.
Shannon Warr 12:22
And it really wasn’t until, I mean, not that long ago that I finally was like, You know what I’m clearly like, I’ve gotten to this place where I’m successful because of who I am. And so all the weaknesses and parts of me that made me feel like insecure, I finally was like, I kind of just said, You know what, this is who I am, and I’m okay with those things. Those are my weaknesses. So I’m gonna find team members, and I’m gonna find employees that can help me with those weaknesses, not be scared of them or not beat around the bush and be like, you know, they all know, like, all my employees are like, Yeah, well, sometimes we have to remind her like several times to do something. And it’s just they know it, and we’ve communicated about it. But on the flip side, like my strengths is I’m I’m really creative, I’m good at vision, and I’m good at aesthetic. And those things, fortunately, have moved the business forward and moved it to the place that it’s at.
Shannon Warr 13:13
And now I can get help with all the logistics and operations where, you know, I’m not really that great app. But yeah, I think the biggest lesson if I could sum it all up in one sentence is like, I’ve figured out that I’m good enough, just the way that I am. And I’m okay with the fact that I’m not special. It doesn’t make me feel bad. There’s lots of people who could do what I do, and hard work that opportunity. And I have some talents and skills that allowed me to excel. And that’s part of the reason why I want to help others be successful is because I’m like, use me as a as a motivation or as encouragement to be like, Hey, you can do this. You have the ability, like I was a total mess, like my family was like, hope she gets through school, then it was like hope she gets through college hope she gets through life, you know, in like in a really fun way. Like I surprise all of them with having this like awesome business.
Kyle Bringhurst 14:07
So basically what you’re telling me is, you’re like the Steph Curry fashion. Somebody that somebody who is just a normal guy, physically, there’s nothing too crazy or imposing about him like he’s born. I think he’s six foot, maybe 190, something like that. But he’s no LeBron James, where he’s six, eight and just looks like a linebacker or anything. He made himself into a big success just by being himself and working super, super hard. He wasn’t naturally blessed with these crazy abilities. He worked himself super hard to be able to find the success that he had. And that’s basically what you guys have done.
Shannon Warr 14:46
Thank you. That’s an incredibly kind compliment and I like it. I’ll be the Steph Curry of fashion and being able to have the competence to hire people that are better at things than you are. I mean, if I could have a company full have people who are way smarter than me way more talented way more competent, that’d be so happy. And honestly, like, that’s what I have actually, like, I mean, all the people I have in place right now, their strengths, I mean, outweigh my weaknesses by tenfold. And that’s why I have them here, right?
Kyle Bringhurst 15:15
So how do you go about finding those kind of people, because I think that’s a key for all entrepreneurs. And it’s something that I’m going through right now with my window cleaning company, because we’re getting to the point where I want to grow it and expand it to have other locations and stuff. And so I slowly trained my brother Maddies brother actually know, to work with me and kind of take over as like the branch manager, and then we’re training another couple of our guys to take over as like the, the trainers and stuff like that. So yeah, it’s all about filling those spots. So how do you go about finding those people who can be in those management positions?
Shannon Warr 15:54
You know, that’s, that’s hard. We’ve also struggled with finding talented people. Luckily, we live in a place where there is a lot of up and coming talent. So what we really focused on is, a lot of times, we’re not looking for necessarily the qualifications. We’re looking for the drive, you know, general competency and being able to problem solve being analytical, because then we can teach them this industry. Yeah, I can teach someone how, how to do the fashion world. I mean, there’s a few skit like I mean, marketing is its own thing, and nothing but and so a lot of it, we’ve got a lot of people that you know, are still in college, or just like recently have graduated. And what we do is something that, you know, I tried to do is give people a lot of freedom in the workplace.
Shannon Warr 16:45
And that’s also just part of my personality, like, I’m the opposite of a micromanager, almost to the extreme, where it can be really hard for people, because I sometimes will be like, here’s a project, go figure it out. Yeah, you know, and that really takes a certain type of person, right to be comfortable with that idea. But the people who do flourish with that really flourish here, because they’re able to take on ownership, take on projects, be creative, our brainstorms are so fun, because we all we all just sit none of us have our own private office, we all just sit out together. It’s it’s great. Because it’s fun, we get to know each other, I probably distract them way more than I should. And then we’re constantly brainstorming and like talking about ideas, and there’s so much crossover. So I guess what we’re talking about people, a lot of it has been through referrals, like through like other employees, recruiting straight out of the colleges here.
Shannon Warr 17:41
So like, there’s BYU, UVU, University of Utah, not as much because it’s, you know, a little further a little bit further north. But really working with like that particular talent has been huge. And we work with a lot of influencers. And there’s a lot of women in Utah who are great at fashion, you know, and if we can tap into that, and we have with a lot of our employees, I mean, some of our employees, they started off as warehouse workers, like our social media manager is incredible. And she’s a great example of someone who worked really, really hard for a couple of years. And we were like, well, she works really hard. Let’s, and we started focusing more on her. And then we’re like, Whoa, she’s really good at photography. Whoa, she’s really good at social media. And now she does her photography, like 90% of it, she does all of our social media. She does so much. I’m like, analyze on everything. You know, I think another thing is with employees is watching, right and watching where their strengths are and where they’re not even like your lowest employee, right? Because sometimes they can, they can surprise you. So I hope that’s good advice.
Kyle Bringhurst 18:47
No, that is great advice. And I think that’s something that people are struggling struggling with now more than ever, in the face of COVID. Trying to find and retain good talent for a long, long time.
Shannon Warr 19:00
The culture right now is to kind of move to place the place really, really quickly. So yeah, retaining employees is really difficult. I hope I’ve done this well. It’s something that I’ve tried to cultivate a culture of, first of all, like fun, like, We’re all friends here. I maybe have, like, I’m not I’m not afraid to fire someone. But I’m also not afraid to be the friend. Yeah, it’s an interesting line to toe. But it’s it’s worked out well where we can enjoy each other’s company. Oh, the other thing is, I make mistakes all the time. You know, like I said before, I’m literally nothing special. I make mistakes constantly. And so something that I really like to emphasize is it is okay to make mistakes in here. Because we give them a lot of freedom. And with that it’s gonna come mistakes. The only caveat is learn from your mistake, don’t make it twice. That’s when we’ll have like a different type of session, but it’s like okay, you made a mistake. How do we learn from it? Like What Did We Learn and most of the time we learned some really valuable information and we move forward rather than this, I feel like if you walk in there, there’s none of this like anxiety of like, I can’t mess up, I can’t mess up. Because I feel like that just completely stifles creativity in the fashion industry, you cannot do that. And when you’re styling an outfit, you have to be having fun. If you’re having fun, like it doesn’t work as well, it doesn’t like the customer can’t can’t feel the emotions as much.
Kyle Bringhurst 20:21
Yeah, I think that’s super important to like, I love that the emphasis on retention because a good company or not a good company, but Well, yes, if your company is hard to come by, but also a good employee is hard to come by. So when you find a good employee, it is so worth it. And so crucial to find a way to keep them inside of your culture and find ways to help them grow. And I think that’s something that some entrepreneurs struggle with, especially when they’re first starting out, is being able to let go and let them grow. And just figure out how they can find their own place in the company. Just like people, we try and find our own place in the world, they all have to find their own place within your company to grow and feel fulfilled to say.
Shannon Warr 21:12
That’s awesome. And hope as always, that they will grow with us that will grow at the same pace, right. But I’m also happy to have their experience be really great here. If they can really go on, they can go on and do something better. Like I want that for them. Yeah. And, you know, as hard as it is to lose employees, like people come first not business. That’s been a huge thing for me from the beginning. Does it mean we keep bad employees? No, because that’s not good for the person either. Yeah, to keep on someone who’s not performing well. But yeah, people always come first here.
Kyle Bringhurst 21:44
Cool. I want to go a little bit more into like the failure side of things, because this is freedom to fail. Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about just like the people how to build a good culture and just work with all that. But I want to see if you have anything that comes to mind when I talk about just like your biggest failure or challenge that you’ve had to face.
Shannon Warr 22:08
Oh, so many failures. Which one? Okay, yeah, I mean, so many, luckily, like we’ve been able to get out of, but like one, I mean, I remember this was we were growing pretty rapidly. And I this was pretty far back, but maybe 2015, something like that. Anyway, we were growing really rapidly. And I was really excited about designing my own stuff. And so I had designed to dress in the beginning that just like do crazy good. And so I equated basically that success to be like, Okay, anything I design something people are gonna go gaga for it. Right? I was sorely mistaken. So that first launch was awesome. Like we sold 1000s of the site, one dress, it was just like crazy all over Utah, all over the United States. And then design the second line. And it was like $100,000 Order was massive. And we got so many quantities. huge flop could not sell these dresses. They were a huge flop.
Shannon Warr 23:15
We had 1000 of each dress. And we probably had like five to six of them that just like would not sell. Some of them did some of them like was still win. But I mean, it got to the point we were like how close that was. That was scary. That was a scary time because we just dropped like so much money. And it was just sitting in inventory. And I remember at one point being worried being like, how am I going to pay payroll this month, like, I don’t know how I’m going to do this. And I actually did transfer money from my personal account, like almost all of it into the business so we could cover payroll that month, I was worried that my rent check was going to bounce. Like I was just, he probably didn’t even know this, but like my landlord called me and, and I was like so I like was so nervous because I thought he was calling to be like your check bounce. And I’d be like, I don’t know how to be. Luckily it wasn’t. And they went through but that was a scary time.
Shannon Warr 24:13
You know, I had quite a few employees at that point. And I felt like a huge failure. I was like, this is gonna fail. Like this is gonna This isn’t great. But I think one mentality that we have though through it is I think a lot of times when you have that much inventory, you want to sell it for as much as you can, right like it will be that’s a dumb thing to say but you don’t want to lose money on it. So a lot of people retain that inventory because they don’t want to lose money. At that point. Sunk costs are irrelevant. It’s costing us money as it sits on the shelf. The longer it sits the more months it said so it’s like how do we get this out of here quickly so we ended up selling like some of these dresses for like $5 bucks and we got them for me like $15.
Shannon Warr 24:52
Well, so yeah, we lost a ton of money who else like two thirds of our lost a lot of money. I think we ended up breaking even because the other stuff. So we broke even on it. But it was a great lesson to learn. And we got out of it. And it was fine. And it wasn’t the end, obviously, because we’re here today. Market. But yeah, I mean, that was, that was a really scary time and just feeling like I had let myself down my employees down, it all has insecurities of being like, who let me do this, like, Who have you run this company, you know, just kind of flooded in and almost took over to the point where I was like, almost incapacitated, you know, and I because I told you, I have depression. And so that was a huge trigger for me, just like launch me into a depression. And, and it was hard. It was so hard. When was the I think it was 2015 2016. Somewhere in there.
Kyle Bringhurst 25:47
So a little while ago, but it was still pretty soon after you had started this company. Just a couple years.
Shannon Warr 25:52
Yeah. And we were kind of like soaring high. And, you know, money was was flowing. And you know, I just didn’t even think there was going to be a problem. Right? And oh, boy.
Kyle Bringhurst 26:04
So what was going through your mind when you realize that there was a big flop?
Shannon Warr 26:10
I mean, like a huge failure. I was basically like, I should have done more research. I should have known better, I should have thought the cert you know, there’s so many different things where Yeah, I just get it was hard to problem solve, like in the moment sometimes because I was just so bogged down by the few failures of it. All right, like being embarrassed and you know, and then you know, you got to have to let go of your pride a little bit because you design these dresses, and you come out with them. And you’re like, I design these, and then you know, three months later, you’re selling them for five bucks. So you’re kind of like, whoa, okay, like ego blow put me in my place, which, you know, can be a good thing sometimes. Because I think sometimes I realize, like, part of my confidence relied too much on my business. And that was a point where I was like, Yeah, I can do that. And that’s not healthy either.
Shannon Warr 26:59
And, you know, personally, it was a good turning point to be like, well, who who am I? And what are the qualities that made me me, regardless of whether I’m successful or not? Whether I have this business? What else do I have in my life? That makes me me. And so it was a good reflection period of like, what’s important in my life? If this thing goes away, well, what will I do? How would I react? And it honestly got me to the point where I was like, after that, I’m like, okay, I can do this. Yeah, like, bring on worst case scenario, by CEO now talks about all the time, he’s like, you know, he’ll get kind of stressed and worried about something, and I’ll be like, yeah, we’ll be fine. And he’s like, sometimes it’s really nice to just talk to you. Because like, you know, because I’ve been through all these experiences, where I’m like, you know, what, we were okay. Like, we pulled through, like, it’s gonna be alright, like the pandemic, I’m like, Well, we are right. And we happen now. So, yeah, that was a failure.
Kyle Bringhurst 27:56
I appreciate you just sharing that with us. Because I know that sometimes it can be hard to go back to the most difficult things that we face in life and in business. But I think it’s so important that we do so so that we can learn those lessons. And the reason I asked about when it wasn’t because you had said previously that like, in 2016, that was about when you came to really establish your own self worth kind of outside of the business more or less, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but like, basically, just recognize that it is okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to have weaknesses. I’m not special. But that’s kind of what makes me special type of thing. Yeah. So how did you get to that point, go from having this massive success with your first dress that you designed? Then this massive failure with your next one? And then getting to the point where you can accept that that happens? I feel like it’s something that is really hard for most people to do. How did you overcome that failure to get to the point where you are now okay, with failure?
Shannon Warr 29:00
I think it was just facing it head on. And being like, Okay, this is what it is. It’s nobody else’s fault. It’s mine. And that’s okay. And I’m going to figure out how to get out of this. So after sort of like the pity party, it was like, Okay, how do we get rid of this. And so part of that was just not holding on to this, like, ego of these are dresses I designed. This is how much they cost. We can’t sell them for less. It was like, No, this is costing us money by sitting on the shelf. It doesn’t matter where it came from, or what else we need to liquidate this product, so that we can then move on from this mistake and start over. And that’s what we did. You know, we liquidated the cash that liquidated that product, got the cash back, we put it into different product. And we tried it again. And we kept going and we kept going. I think the biggest mistake another mistake we could have made that maybe would have sunglasses. If I was like no, we’re not going to sell this product for less than it’s worth basically. We’re going to hold on to it. I mean, that probably would have been the end of us. If I would have just been like, we’re gonna sit on this until we sell for retail, basically. So I think that’s the biggest phrase for me is like the sunk costs are irrelevant. That’s like huge for me, you can be sad all day and like, you know, beat yourself up for all these sunk costs. But like, at the end of the day, like, at that point, it was irrelevant what had happened. It happened. So how are we going to fix it? How are we to get through it?
Kyle Bringhurst 30:23
With sunk costs are irrelevant. I love that because I feel like too much we look into the past that the money we’ve already spent. But so cost just means it’s already spent. It’s already gone. Don’t worry about it too much. Just move on.
Shannon Warr 30:36
How do we make money now? Because if you’re constantly trying to make up for your mistakes, it stifles your creativity stifles your vision for the future. If it’s like, no, we’re cleaning the slate, we’re starting over? How do we move forward from this point?
Kyle Bringhurst 30:49
And that is super important, especially in an industry where there’s such a short window enhanced design, like you can have something I mean, you look at any store you go into, they have a clearance rack from last years or even last season’s outfits. And so it’s really important to not get stuck in what didn’t work in the past. And keep moving forward with that. Sure. Yeah. So I want to end this podcast by going into kind of what I call my lightning round of just a bunch of quick questions that I just love to get your kind of thoughts. And the first thing that comes to mind, because there’s some of the questions that are super important to me. I mean, we’ve talked about this a little bit, but I’m super passionate about failure and about overcoming fears, and just not letting fear of failure. hold you back. Yeah. And so a lot of that has to do with why I do this podcast and just wanting to help other people, not let those same fears hold them back. Because I mean, I’m 28 now, but I really finally started letting myself go for the first time. I mean, physically, yes, but in like letting myself live my life a couple years ago. And so it’s just something that I feel really passionate about now, like helping other people do the same. So the first question would be, what would be the first piece of advice that you would give someone to overcoming their biggest fear? And we’re not talking like spiders or things like that? Yeah, their biggest insecurity, I guess I would say.
Shannon Warr 32:20
You are as good as you come. I’ve sat in meeting rooms and boardrooms with some insanely intelligent, smart people who are way smarter than me. And for a long time, I would let that really bring me down. And I would feel like I had to be this person that I wasn’t because like, I needed, they needed to know I was smart, and I was capable. And I finally came to the conclusion like, No, I’m good, exactly the way that I am. There’s always things to learn. And don’t ever be afraid to ask questions, because you think you’re gonna look stupid. It’s stupid not to ask questions, because then you look way stupid, or later when you’re like, they’re like, weird. He talks about this. And like, Yeah, but I was too worried about looking smart. And I was listening.
Kyle Bringhurst 33:04
That is awesome. I love that. And that brings another thing into my mind is just like how you talk to yourself. I think positive self talk is extremely important. When I say positive self talk, I don’t necessarily mean just being your own biggest cheerleader. Like, you’re amazing. You can do all this, but letting yourself know that you are as good as you are, and that it’s okay to make mistakes. You don’t have to pretend that you’re this unstoppable force of energy that is going to conquer the world. But you also don’t want to go out there saying that, you know, I make mistakes. And those mistakes define me, you want to be right in the middle, you want to accept like fully who you are all the good things and bad things and find yourself in the middle.
Shannon Warr 33:47
So with that. One thing that I’ve I’ve realized as I’ve like had this business is the best way I can make people feel comfortable, is by being vulnerable. I’m very vulnerable with my employees. I’m very open about my mistakes. I’m very open about my failures. I’m very open about my weaknesses, because I want them to feel comfortable. I think you can get really far in life by forgetting your own comfort, forgetting your own ego. Right? Because like in a room, especially in this creative setting, as soon as someone feels insecure again, like creativity is done. Yeah, it stops. So if if I can make everyone in the room feel comfortable by sharing my weaknesses, by being myself by not pretending I’m someone different than I’ve done my job. Like the best compliment anyone can give me is like, oh, like it felt so comfortable around you like Yes. Okay. That’s exactly what I wanted you to feel comfort.
Kyle Bringhurst 34:47
And the key thing there is the fact that you are leading by example, you don’t expect things from your employees that you’re not willing to do yourself. And so as a leader, as a business owner, as a manager, or even just like as a friend, like you can’t expect somebody to do something and get mad at them if they don’t do it when you’re not able to do that. And that’s something that I’ve struggled with a lot as a business owner, because, I mean, my old thought process was, I’m gonna hire somebody to do the things that I don’t like to do. And that’s good to a certain extent, because you want to find yourself doing things that you’re passionate about. Yeah. However, I found myself getting really upset about that things that I wasn’t willing to do myself. And so it only started changing when I showed them that. And granted, I’m still not very good at this, because I don’t like to do those things. But I’m putting myself out there and doing those things. So that I could at least say, Hey, I don’t like how to I don’t like doing this. But this is the way that I found success doing it. And so it allowed me to connect with them better. Yeah. And not just be this overarching, like contention between both of us. Yeah, definitely. So I can’t wait to come. Yeah. So I think that’s super important is just lead by example, with with everything that you expect from your employees. The next question is, what would be your personal definition of failure?
Shannon Warr 36:11
Oh, okay. That’s a good question. Yeah, I feel like a lot of failure, or what it’s defined as failure is when your expectations are met. Because when you have low expectations, and someone else will say you failed, somebody else could be like, or I could be like, one fail. My expectations were like, are low. Yeah, I didn’t think I would sell it. And I sold too. You know, so like, great. So I think failure Yeah, to failure is a lot defined by where your expectations are. And I think in the business setting, it’s the dream bag, but you always plan for the worst case scenario, right? You keep your expectations low
Kyle Bringhurst 36:47
I think that’s perfect though.
Shannon Warr 36:49
Because I’m like “failure means to fail.” That’s my definition of failure. Perfect.
Kyle Bringhurst 36:57
Love it. Yep. Textbook. The next question is, what would be your personal biggest fear?
Shannon Warr 37:02
I feel like they will happen. Okay, well, having all my employees like mutiny against me and leave. Oh, hey, that happened. Getting divorced. Oh, wait, that happened. Having crippling depression. Oh, wait, that happened. So now I’m like, Bring it on. Bring it on. I like honestly, I don’t even know how to answer that question. Because that was something I don’t know. How is that at this point, I’m not really afraid of a lot. Like I’m really okay. With like, whatever comes my way.
Kyle Bringhurst 37:34
I’m sure that feels so good.
Shannon Warr 37:35
It’s really good. Because, like, if tomorrow my business goes under, you know, it’ll figure it out. Because my happiness doesn’t lie in my business. And so I know how to be happy, regardless of my success, basically, like, maybe I’ll think about it tonight. And I’ll call you tomorrow and be like, just kidding. I’m super afraid of blah, blah, blah.
Kyle Bringhurst 37:56
The last question that I have is for our listeners out there that are starting a business, or that have started a business, but that are just in the beginning stages of it, say the first year or two, what would you say would be your biggest advice for when things get rough? And they feel depressed or discouraged? How to get through it?
Shannon Warr 38:17
That’s a good question. For me, personally, it’s getting excited about an idea again, like finding your fire, that can be its own difficult thing. Sometimes it’s just sitting down and brainstorming with like, whoever a friend or whatnot, but someone who’s struggling, as like, corny as it sounds like it’s okay to fail, like really internalizing that it is okay to fail. And it’s no reflection on that person. And I think, again, you know, at the beginning, I tie a lot of myself where it says business and it, I didn’t realize that I had done that. And I didn’t realize things needed to change until all of a sudden the bottom line started going down. You know, it was like two years, just up, up, up, up, up, up, up. And then all of a sudden, it and I was I didn’t even know what to do with myself. I was like, wait, what?
Shannon Warr 39:08
And you know, I thought I could attribute all the success to myself. And so I was like, all success is me and I’m amazing and blah, blah, blah. And then it went down the inverse of that, like, I suck I’m the worst I should quit and so at that point, it really was like okay detaching myself worth who I am as a person away from this business, like, I’m still a good person, and I’m still worth love and and can be successful even if my business doesn’t work well, and it usually just means like, maybe you or maybe the they’re wrong about the customers pain point. Maybe they didn’t understand the customer well enough. Like there’s so many different factors that go into it and focusing totally on the self. Your self worth and pitting and getting your ego hurt will totally cripple a person from either saving that business or saying Kay were scrapped. This and we’re going to go and do the next thing.
Kyle Bringhurst 40:02
Yeah. And that’s a good point. Because I think a lot of times we forget that it takes multiple efforts to be successful, that we want to find success immediately. Don’t minimize the struggles that you face in your first attempts. Just recognize them as lessons that you can use for your future attempts.
Shannon Warr 40:20
Yeah, and don’t be embarrassed by it. Yeah, I think a lot of us are embarrassed by failure, I think that’s been the biggest gift that I’ve given myself is to not be embarrassed by failure. And I’ve learned that it can help people right like make, I can help people feel more comfortable, more empowered, by saying I failed miserably at that, you know, and I still can be successful or I can still be happy regardless of that failure.
Kyle Bringhurst 40:46
I love it. This has been awesome. I’ve loved just sitting here and taking the time to talk with you it’s been really fun and I can obviously see why you guys have had a lot of success because I can feel your humility and just your appreciation for what you do and for your employees and I think that that is super important to be able to keep things in perspective to be able to find success so for our listeners out there if they want to find out more about you and your company where can they do that?
Shannon Warr 41:16
So the company cladandcloth.com you can find us on Instagram at @cladandcloth. If you want to follow me personally, I don’t know if we want to do that. But it’s @clad_its_shannon, I just recently started an Instagram. It’s like a new thing for me by myself out there. It’s awesome and terrifying. Go for one thing that I really strongly that I think is comforted me through my entire life is even if someone’s laughing at me, at least you’re laughing.
Kyle Bringhurst 41:45
I always say that. If you’re laughing at me or with me, as long as you’re laughing, I’m happy.
Shannon Warr 41:51
So Hey, go laugh at my expense.
Kyle Bringhurst 41:55
Yeah, better at my expense in someone else. Go do that she’s awesome. Clad & Cloth is awesome, too. I say that as a former employee. But again, thank you for your time, and I can’t wait to see what you guys do in the future.