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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, katydwyerdesign.com, in Kingston when her 11-year-old 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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