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In our Ask A Founder series this fall, we follow 10 female founders on their entrepreneurial journey. Thousands of women have experienced us home-made virtual business coaching program, led and sponsored by Brit + Co-founder Brit Morin Office Depot OfficeMax. Here we ask Selfmade alum Kinsey Egan-McGee, founder of Claim your rootsa virtual hair care platform for women with textured hair, about staying organized, avoiding burnout and celebrating small wins with her co-founder and sister Brenna.

How would you describe your brand in five words? Empowerment, fun, authentic, educational, inclusive.

What atmosphere do you want your brand to evoke? We want our customers to feel safe, welcome and valued through the content, conversations and imagery we use to evoke the spirit of our brand.

What was your aha moment before you started your business? It was a slow realization during our own hair journeys and the first few months of the pandemic. We saw that people really struggled with salons closing to take on their hair care 100 percent. The need in our community to inform and individualize hair education has always been evident, but until the pandemic, we didn’t recognize that we were the right people to start a platform like this.

What did you do before you started the company? I had worked in event staffing and management and non-profit work. My co-founder and sister Brenna was and still is a practicing mental health therapist with her own telehealth practice specializing in motherhood and postpartum experiences. Our background in community building, connecting with women in vulnerable situations and creating experiences allowed us to envision what this platform could be.

What would you like to know as an entrepreneur? I wish I had known how sloppy you have to be in business to make decisions, test things out, spin and settle for what you’ve got. I also wish I had only taken one business class and explored several career options earlier in life.

How do you balance the practical and creative aspects of your business? During my work in the company I learned how much I really enjoy learning. I love systems and automations, but I also enjoyed creating our branding and social media presence. The best way for me to balance practicality and creativity is to know when to let go of a task that I’m struggling with or have “analysis paralysis” with so that I can devote energy to other tasks in the meantime.

How do you celebrate the small victories? It’s special to share this company with my sister, Brenna, and our immediate family to celebrate with dinner or something small.

What is the most powerful thing you do in your day? I try to check in mentally and be honest with myself about how I feel. Whether inside or outside the company, I try to weigh the importance, immediacy, and level of detail that needs to be addressed so that I don’t burn out.

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What do you do in your breaks? In the breaks I like to listen to podcasts or interviews with successful entrepreneurs. I almost always find something useful, inspiring or similar in their company that I can apply to my own. I love How I built this by Guy Raz and CEO school by Suneera Madhani.

What’s your favorite productivity hack? I have pretty extensive to-do lists that I’ve broken down into months and weeks. I’ve loved checking things off my calendar since grade school, but as an adult I also realized that it’s great to have a list of completed items that you can refer to. You just have to be honest with yourself whether a task is actually completed or not. I make sure to record meetings with our stylists so I can be present and not fixated on taking notes. Also, I always write down questions/talking points to prepare for a meeting with someone. This way I feel organized and we have some action items to go through. Finally, almost all the tools I use are digital and cloud-based, so I can access them from all my devices.

Fill in the empty space:Female empowerment / friendly peoplegive me all the feeling.

What do you do to officially *end* your work day? I realized how important it is to turn off the sound and close my laptop at the end of each day. Sometimes I even put something on my laptop.

What has receiving the Office Depot OfficeMax Scholarship for Selfmade helped you grow your business? When I first joined Selfmade, I was in the early stages of organizing my ideas and turning them into my business. It was the first community of people I’d opened up to about the business idea when I was still worried that someone might steal it. The value I’ve received from being a part of this community is immeasurable. I have found a group of people to help motivate me and hold me accountable. Not only did I feel comfortable creating, failing, and improving my business, but I even learned lessons that apply to my everyday life as well.

How have Office Depot OfficeMax services/products helped you achieve more in your business? They let me buy some office furniture to make my home office space more comfortable. It was also great to have thank you cards made with our logo to show our appreciation for donors and our newly hired stylists. Office Depot enabled us to add that more personal touch to our business early on.

What does the word “homemade” mean to you? I struggle with the idea of ​​being completely self-made because I know there are people out there who make opportunities and space for others in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to belong to a family, network and community that advocate for starting this business and we’ve met so many lovely people who are willing to give us advice and help. Although I believe that our work ethic and effort put into developing our vision for this company should be credited to us.

Thank you Kinsey! Staying organized and engaged keeps things moving. Office Depot OfficeMax can help you achieve your goals, big and small, with signs, posters and banners to promote your business, to marketing material to keep your customers informed, up to a full package of Business Services & solutions to help you grow your business.