Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with a remarkable entrepreneur and business leader, Brooke Riley. In this insightful conversation, we delve into the journey of Brooke Riley, the mastermind behind Re-Fabbed, an innovative and thriving online business that has made waves in the world of home decor, e-commerce, and entrepreneurial coaching.
Brooke’s story is an inspiring testament to the power of pursuing one’s passions and turning them into a thriving enterprise. Her venture, Re-Fabbed, was born out of a genuine love for decorating on a budget and renovating homes.
What started as a personal hobby soon evolved into a flourishing online presence, including a successful e-commerce store, the Re-Fabbed Boutique, and an online coaching group, the Creative Circle.
Throughout this interview, Brooke shares her valuable insights on creating a successful online business, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and the importance of fostering a supportive community.
Her journey is a testament to the resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment that drives entrepreneurial success.
Join us as we explore the world of Re-Fabbed and learn from the wisdom of a true business visionary.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Brooke Riley: Re-Fabbed was born eight years ago as a result of my interest in decorating on a budget and renovating homes. My friends and family reacted really positively when I refabbed pieces of furniture and tried new crafts, so I kept sharing them publicly.
I refabbed pieces of furniture and was inspired to try new things. I wondered if I was as talented as my friends were saying I was and if it was possible that I could actually go somewhere with this, so I jumped in and started my blog.
What started as a night-and-weekend unpaid labor of love has grown into Re-Fabbed and what it is today. My e-commerce store, the Re-Fabbed Boutique, was born from the growth that happened from that blog, and it now ships nationwide and internationally.
I also started an online coaching group, the Creative Circle, four years ago, where I’ve had the opportunity to help thousands of entrepreneurs establish and maximize their presence in the online space for profit. My online course, Just Jump (https://www.justjumpbybrooke.com/), helps aspiring entrepreneurs identify their passion, create a business plan, and launch it to the world.
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle to keep talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued, and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are you adapting to the current shift we see?
Brooke Riley: Company culture is huge. In fact, when I started my business, I had just left a great career at the local electric company. My job had become so stressful that I had a mini stroke at work. I ended up being life-flighted to the Neuro ICU at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
No one understood how it could have happened because I was so young—I was still in my 20’s. Now that my husband and I are the bosses, we want to keep our team members from experiencing that same level of stress. We work hard to help create work/life balance and encourage them to prioritize their families and well-being.
For me personally, I try to do something I love every day, even if it’s only for a brief time. I also strive to find joy and contentment by looking at things from a different perspective, which often includes travel!
Travel is just so good for the soul, and it’s a natural break from the everyday stresses because you are physically leaving it all behind. I’m a big believer in working hard and playing hard. Plus, I believe that building memories with your loved ones is one of the most important things in life.
Online business keeps on surging higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for the year to come and how are you capitalizing on the tidal wave?
Brooke Riley: Re-Fabbed has always been 100% online, and I have no plans to change that. We’ve always thrived in the online space. In fact, Re-Fabbed was recently featured in the 2023 Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America with nearly 500% growth from 2019 to 2022, with 750,000 monthly website views and almost 1 million Facebook followers.
Of the Inc 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America for 2023, we were #11 overall for customer service, and I am so proud of that!
As a business owner, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends, but it is equally, if not MORE important to truly know your specific audience and what they want. Just because something is trendy or working across the board doesn’t mean it will work for you and your customers!
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Brooke Riley: Right now, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of what’s going on in the economy, both from a business perspective and a consumer perspective. You can’t help but wonder if your business will continue to grow.
Will people be able to keep purchasing? Will you be able to keep everyone employed and running at the level you are right now? But honestly, as much as those questions are real and valid, they do not define us, and we are very good about just serving our people. I feel like if you are always listening to your people and serving their needs, you will thrive and you will win.
So, while the economy is a challenge right now, I am not even sure if I would say it is THE challenge, for us, anyway. I think the real challenge is always just making sure that everyone in our company is on the same level and understands our core beliefs and motivation in business, which is our customers.
Hiring the right people that believe in our company culture and making sure everyone is staying connected and listening to our people can be a big challenge at times, especially in a growing company. I think any time a business loses the connectivity to their audience, everything starts to fall apart.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?
Brooke Riley: I think people underestimate the importance and the need for community in business. I am not only speaking about the community of people who support your business, but also the community of other business owners who could be looked at as “competitors” as well as business mentors. It takes a village to run a successful business, and community is VITAL.
Every time I’ve joined a coaching group or a business mastermind, I’ve gotten so much from it, both personally and businesswise. Each time I surround myself with other business owners, I am always left feeling more alive and understood. I can always feel a surge after leaving our meetings, and it helps propel the next things on my agenda, and the same for them!
It’s actually one of the reasons I launched my own coaching business. As entrepreneurs, I believe it’s critical to support one another. When we can come together and brainstorm about what’s working and what’s not, we can all make our businesses stronger. There is room for everyone!
I am in a mastermind group that is for Christian business owners that make at least 7 figures in their businesses, and while some of these businesses do tens or millions of dollars per year, or are New York Times best-selling authors, they are ALL just real people doing what the rest of us are doing.
They have the same struggles, the same setbacks, the same joys, the same worries, and the same mindset. Being in the presence of people who “get it” has changed my life and my business for the better. While it is a costly investment financially, it is priceless with the value it brings to my life.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Brooke Riley: Success in 2023 for me is more balanced, and not just professionally, but personally. Success is balance in every area of my life, from me taking the time for self-care to spending quality time with my family to time-blocking meetings and articles and content.
My priorities are family first and then work, but that never means that work isn’t a priority, I just work to balance it all. After leaving the corporate world, I can definitely say that while my life can be very stressful at times, that the balance is much better, and I call that a huge success and a part of life that I will continue working on each year to make sure it stays that way!
From another perspective, success in 2023 involves the continued growth and impact of Re-Fabbed across the world.
It means working with more entrepreneurs through my coaching programs, where I can help them grow and achieve their goals. It’s also about being creative and having FUN, giving my audience what they want and continuing to foster genuine relationships with them. If I have done these things, I have been a success!
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Brooke Riley for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
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