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Boss Lady with Katy Dwyer

Katy Dwyer maximizes family time, business and community

Mom of two, Katy Dwyer established Katy Dwyer Design,, in Kingston when her  daughter was baby. It's all part of her busy life, parenting, working and supporting her the community.  

HVP: What was it like to start a business with a new baby? 
Katy: I managed only because I had help. My husband, mother,  and mother-in-law have been integral parts of my business, because without their availability to watch the kids, pick them up off the bus, feed them at night when Mommy has a meeting, help with their homework, or entertain them on the weekends when I needed a few hours of extra work, I couldn't do what I'm doing.

HVP: How did you learn the ins and outs of business ownership?
Katy: I worked in small businesses prior to KDD, so I observed what to do and what not to do as a business owner, salesperson, relationship-builder, and boss. I also try to absorb a lot through groups, retreats, conferences, seminars, books and blogs, plus podcasts. Mostly, it's a lot of flying by the seat of my pants, trusting my instinct, and learning from failures.

HVP: What's it like managing KDD's team?
Katy: We have five full-time employees, plus myself. Hiring my first employee was exhilarating. Managing my team is fun, though I think that being a parent is good practice for being a boss. I strive to create an environment that is friendly, safe, and enjoyable, but I also push my team to be the best they can be. 

HVP: You're involved with professional and community organizations. Why?
Katy: My involvement in community organizations allows me to give back to the community that has supported my business and growth. Being part of professional organizations is a way to learn, grow, and help others who are in the process of growing their businesses.

HVP: How does kindness fit in your belief system?  
Katy: I believe good relationships are built on generosity, respect, and being an active listener, which has helped me in business. So, I also teach my girls to be generous, respectful, and of course, to listen. 

HVP: What has been the greatest reward of owning a business?
Katy:  I have the freedom to make my own choices and lead my business where I want it to go. I have the freedom to set my own schedule, go on field trips with my kids, volunteer at their schools, be active and engaged in my community.
HVP: What should moms who want to start a business keep in mind? 
Katy: When it's time to be with your kids, try to leave work behind.

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