In Conversation with Margaux DelCollo of TWEE

TWEE_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

TWEE is a woman owned Philadelphia maker’s studio specializing in reimagined, eco-friendly, childhood classics – for playtime. 

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

Is it strange to say – I didn’t really even think about it. I saw this need in the market and just went for it. And I learned along the way. 

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I have a super – SUPER – varied background of experiences. I have an undergraduate degree in Gender Studies. My first job out of college was Press Relations for NY Fashion Week. I worked at a downtown NYC magazine doing their press and promotions for a little bit. I stopped all that and went back to school for Museum Studies – and completed two degrees – one for Museum Education and one for Museum Communications. I worked at two museums here in Philadelphia: Independence Seaport Museum and the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia. BUT – the strangest thing is that all of these jobs have trained me for running TWEE. 

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

NO! I had no idea!

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

From the very beginning I have said – don’t want to be in all the stores. We want to be in all the right stores. And that is our feeling today – almost four years later.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

I make mistakes EVERY DAY. But – to me – the important thing is I keep going. 

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Very early on we were in a piece in the Wall Street Journal. I think I am most proud of that. So many people see TWEE and all the amazing designs and glitter and rainbows and think that it’s so sweet.  But I always say – Yes. It is all that. But you know what else it is? It’s serious business. And I think that WSJ article showed that. Also. I always love when a Real Housewife of – anywhere – Insta Stories us!

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

I like to ask what their favorite part of their last job was. It really gets into the crux of their happy place in a work setting. My biggest tip is to know your company culture and always keep that in mind as you go through the hiring process. 

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Covid has made TWEE rethink how we operate in our physical space. The safety of our makers and all TWEE team members is the most important thing. So we’ve put in place testing and temperature checks. Makers were already wearing gloves and masks pre-covid so that had already been a part of our daily process. We’ve cut down what a day looks like and reduced shifts to 4 hours at a time.  Departments stay separate and we’ve asked everyone to be super transparent. So far – everyone has been great – but the strain of running TWEE this way is very hard.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

TWEE is a product – TWEE is beautiful, handmade sidewalk chalk. In the next few years – we are going to be positioning TWEE as a brand – with multiple product offerings – keeping with our tradition of being eco-friendly, handmade and a tool that provides the opportunity for pretend play.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Sometimes you need to take a step back and repave your path.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Spend ALL THE TIME with your numbers. Know them. Love them. Memorize them. 

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

My kids. And Glennon Doyle who provided me with my mantra for this year: This is hard. And we can do hard things.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I have two boys – Sam and Max – 10 and 6. The joy I get seeing them in the studio and invested in TWEE is overwhelming. I don’t think I have a work/life balance because for me – it’s not either or. It’s both. When I travel for trade shows – I take them with me. They help me make design decisions. We are all in this together. Are there times where I have to shut my phone off? Yes.  Of course. But I like not having to choose and I like doing it all together.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I used to be very shy. Painfully so. 

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • The first thing I do when I get to the studio is check my calendar for the day. It sets the course. 
  • Every morning I meet for ten minutes with one of my team leaders. It’s a standing date that lasts ten minutes. I say – what are you working on next week and how can I help you be successful in that goal. Those meetings give me a bird’s eye view of the departments so I can understand each one’s individual trajectory. 
  • I keep a to-do list everyday. What wasn’t completed the day before gets carried over to the next day.  I need that running log of activity to keep everything moving!  OHHHHH!! and 4.  LOTS OF COFFEE!

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

The first thing I think about is community. A community of women. Of business owners. Of people who are at the forefront of their field – sharing their stories. Their successes and their growth opportunities. Their failures and most importantly – what they learned from those.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Entreprenista Announces Winners of its 2023 Top 100 Women Business Leaders Awards Presented by Chase Ink

Leading Membership Community for Founders Amplifies Stories of Outstanding Entrepreneurs New York, United States – February 20, 2024 — The Entreprenista League, a leading membership community for ambitious, entrepreneurial women, is excited to ​​announce the winners of its 2023 Entreprenista 100 Awards. The Entreprenista Awards, presented by Chase® Ink®, honors the achievements of 100 women business leaders across…

Pitching Yourself and Finding Your Voice with Brianna Ruelas

“I see that a lot of these young women are struggling to feel like their impact matters and I really want to create something that incorporates my own stories, my own journey, to show them that our choices matter. But more importantly, that they matter, and that everything they bring to the table is significant…

Franchising, Scaling, and Selling a Business with Jillian Lorenz & Ariana Chernin

“You really, really need to trust your gut. Human nature is everything. It’s like your first date where everyone’s on their best behavior. But when there’s smoke, there’s fire. If you feel something in your intuition, it’s not right.”  –Ariana Chernin In this episode of Entreprenista, we sat down with Jillian Lorenz and Ariana Chernin,…

The Finishing Touch with Stephanie Purzycki

“I time block and I say, ‘This is going to be the time specific to managing the business.’ Being able to manage my time correctly and know when I’m doing what. In this post COVID era where we’re all working remotely, being able to connect face to face is also important. So, our weekly zoom…

Growing Through Partnerships with Abby Price

“If you’re not good at it, that is 100% okay. You don’t need to be good at everything. But just make sure, in the beginning at least, you’re spending a little extra time figuring it out—or you can lean on someone to look into it for you to make sure you’re doing it right.” – Abby…

Minisode with Steph: Spilling Wellness Secrets

Hi Entreprenistas! It’s Steph here again with another quick minisode. Today, I’m sharing all about the inspiration behind making my 2024 all about wellness. You’ll hear some of my favorite wellness tips and secrets, why it pays to give yourself grace, and all about the importance of having an accountability partner.  You’re going to hear…

Minisode with Steph: Making the Most of Your Founders Weekend Experience

Hi Entreprenistas! It’s Steph here and this year we are going to be bringing you content beyond our weekly interviews with founders. This is our first Minisode of the year and I am excited to share with you some of my best relationship building tips and how I handle events as an introverted extrovert. Plus…

Ali Hicks-Wright’s Mission to Help Creative Entrepreneurs Build and Scale with Amari Creative

Hi Ali! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Ali Hicks-Wright is the Founder and Creative Director of Amari Creative, a branding studio that specializes in building strategic brands and websites for ambitious entrepreneurs by pairing engaging copy with striking design. Since starting Amari Creative in 2016, Ali has worked with hundreds…

Grants You Need to Apply to For Your Business!

BMO Fellowship Application Notes Note that when applying, be sure to acknowledge the impact of the virtual workshops and resources provided by BMO and how that will support you just as much if not more than the prize $ itself! What you could receive: $15,000 across select applicants Deadline: Jan 31, 2024 DearGod Grant Application…

Making the Bed with Ruby Russell

“I’ve had a few setbacks. One was our first [launch in] March 2020. And guess what? The world shut down. And so I tried again on March the 13th 2023. I was at the London Stock Exchange when, guess what? That was the day that Silicon Valley crashed. So, all you can do is laugh…

Optimizing and Scaling Your Business with Tylar Brannon

“I think you have to stay calm when the world is on fire. You might have a small fire, you might have a massive fire, but your job as a leader is to create that calm… There’s days you feel like you’re drowning, but you still have to be able to show up for your…

Certifying Your Company With Heather Cox

“If you don’t have the time or money to do it once, you definitely do not have the time or money to do it twice—so make sure you outsource to experts the first time.” – Heather Cox When Heather Cox was pregnant with her first baby, she knew continuing to work was a non-negotiable—she just wasn’t…

Crafting a Powerful Pitch with Katie Dunn & Kat Weaver

“We’ve helped founders secure so much money just by sticking to the foundations and not doing crazy-flashy things or over-thinking… We had one founder secure $85,000 in one pitch opportunity—the money really is out there.” – Kat Weaver In this episode of Entreprenista, we’re sitting down with angel investor Katie Dunn and serial entrepreneur Kat…

Finding Your Ultimate Purpose with Harli Gawronski

“You’re always focused on the big goal, and you don’t celebrate the little wins in between. And that is so important. And for me, it’s something that I had to learn, was to celebrate the little wins in between—because that’s what keeps you going to the ultimate goal.” – Harli Gawronski Harli Gawronski had a realization…

Building Gravitas and Catalyzing Confidence with Lisa Sun

“When we tie so much of our happiness to [the] brass ring… It really just keeps us even more insecure and more overachieving.” – Lisa Sun In this episode of Entreprenista, we sit down with fashion entrepreneur Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of Gravitas New York, a lifestyle and apparel company that’s revolutionizing the concept…