Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in apparel and clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Paige McReynolds, Co-Founder of MCREY MOTOCROSS CO., located in Thousand Oaks, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
MCREY MOTOCROSS CO. is a women’s motocross and off-road apparel company. Our mission is to open the door and invite women of all ages to get involved in the off-road community. This starts with designing riding gear and apparel that women actually want to wear—something that hasn’t existed before. MCREY designs and manufactures stylish gear (riding jerseys and pants) that boast a comfortably tailored fit, using high-quality, performance-based materials. You know what they say: look good, feel good, and ride like a badass.
With MCREY, women can now embrace their style while kicking ass on a dirt bike (or any off-road vehicle)! Our hope is that by designing gear specifically for women, we’re not only speaking to the women who are already part of the community but also encourage more women of all ages to try the sport.
Tell us about yourself
MCREY was founded by my sister, Kelly, and I while we were shopping for a replacement jersey. As we scoured the web and local power sports stores for a women’s jersey that was actually stylish, comfortable, and still performance-driven, we very quickly became frustrated with the lack of options. Everything looked like it was designed for men or designed for women by men. This got our wheels turning, and we started to think: “Why don’t we design the jerseys we actually want to wear?”
We grew up without the stereotypical limitations set on young girls. Basically, our parents are rad. We were encouraged to ride our dirt bikes, fish, ski, and get dirty just as much as we were encouraged to play with our dolls and dress up as princesses. And we’ve continued to carry that mentality with us—live your life without limitations. Every day is an opportunity to adventure and keep life fun, and we can do anything we set our minds to. Just because we’re girls doesn’t mean we can’t keep up with the boys. We recognize what a blessing this is, and we hope to inspire more women and young girls to transform into their most authentic selves so they, too, can live a limitless lifestyle.
This highlights the significance of our butterfly logo—something that’s seemingly dainty but incredibly resilient and strong, a little rough around the edges, beautiful, and filled with life and color. Like us. Like so many other women and young girls. So when a young girl sees our butterfly logo and her eyes light up, and suddenly she feels like there’s a place for her in a male-dominated industry—that’s what motivates us to keep going every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Starting. It’s one thing to have a dream and daydream about what your life could look like if that dream came true. It’s another thing to actually take the leap, especially when you don’t even know if your idea is going to work.
For me, while all my friends were getting married, buying homes, having kids, and going on expensive vacations, I did the complete opposite. I left my comfortable corporate job with a stable income, moved home with my parents, and spent my entire life’s savings and 401k to start our dream. It felt like I was moving backward in life. Kelly also made some large sacrifices and tough decisions—pausing her educational pursuit of her Ph.D. and moving back home as well.
It’s absolutely terrifying. As Guy Raz describes in his book, How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World's Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs, it’s like jumping off a cliff and then trying to build a plane while you’re falling. You don’t have any tools, hardly any resources, and no instruction manual, but you know you’ve got to build something before you hit the ground.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Convincing yourself to keep going when it feels like nothing is working. Owning a business can be very dark. How do you not doubt yourself when you’re already in debt, people from the industry tell you you’re not going to make it, it’s been weeks since your last sale, and then a manufacturing hiccup costs you $10k that you don’t know where you’re going to get?! It’s an emotional rollercoaster, and it takes a toll on your mental health.
You have to believe in yourself and your dream—because no one else will. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’ll never have the energy to keep climbing, the passion to boot-strap your operations, and the will to fight all the negative thoughts and people surrounding you.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don’t let small-minded people convince you that your dream is too big. Most people will never have the guts to ditch their comfort zone and chase their dreams. These are also often the first people who feel compelled to give you business advice… and tell you you’re crazy. Thanks, but no thanks. Surround yourself with people who will challenge, support, and inspire you.
- Do something every day that will help you get closer to your dream. Even if it’s something small! Think of your business as a snowball. It starts out small, handmade by your efforts. Every little snowflake you add helps it grow. Eventually, the snowball is going to get so big that it will start rolling and collecting snow on its own.
- Find a co-founder or partner who believes in the dream as much as you do. Like I said, owning a business can be very dark. It’s easy to get in your own head and start second-guessing not only yourself but your idea(s). Find someone who complements your skillset and believes in your idea (and you) as much as you do. It will help to have someone to bounce ideas off of, check in to make sure you’re aligning each effort with your mission statement, and bring in some sunshine!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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