You asked, they answered! We sat down with Chad and Kylee Champlin - the founders and fearless leaders of ROOLEE - to get their take on starting a business, balancing a career and family, style inspiration and more.
How did you come up with the name ROOLEE?
Chad + Kylee: ROOLEE is a combination of Kylee’s childhood nickname “ROO” and the last three letters of her first name “LEE.”
What was the hardest part about starting your own business?
Chad + Kylee: The hardest part about starting ROOLEE was not having a manager or anyone to teach us how to do things. If we had a problem or wanted to try something new, we had to teach ourselves. We spent a lot of time in the beginning on Google trying to find answers!
How do you manage your thriving and growing business with kids and everything else life throws at you?
Chad + Kylee: This is still a struggle for us. There is no perfect way to do it! We have learned that having a schedule helps us very much. We have days where we work together, and days we take turns being home with the kids. We used to bring our kids to work, but now that they are older we have switched strategies. When we are with our kids we try to be 100% present with them. It doesn’t work for us or the kids if we are trying to work and play at the same time.
What is a passion of yours and how has it been evident in the process of creating ROOLEE?
Kylee: I’m a people pleaser! I’ve learned I can’t please everyone, but I love trying to make those we work with happy. I love seeing customers enjoying and feeling beautiful in our clothing. I am also passionate about design, photography, and all the beauty the world has to offer.
Chad: I'm passionate about being an entrepreneur. I'm always thinking of new ways to do things or how to create value. I have business ideas coming out of my ears! ROOLEE has been a great platform for me to implement my vision.
How have your business goals changed since you started the company?
Chad + Kylee: In the beginning, we thought creating ROOLEE would be a great start to a career that we would maybe do for a few years and move on. Now we have created an amazing team and community that makes this the best job in the world! We feel extremely blessed and feel like ROOLEE is more than we deserve. We now try to focus on blessing as many lives as we can along the way with this blessing that we have been given.
Where do you draw style inspiration from?
Kylee: Style inspiration comes from everywhere. Seeing a color combination you love on a building, in a restaurant, on someone’s outfit...browsing social media, Pinterest, shopping with other retailers, driving in the car (this is where Chad comes up with all of his ideas - he is the only person I know who drives in silence when he is by himself, haha!). Our design team creates trend reports that present a lot of inspiration to us as well.
What is your design process and where are your clothes made?
Chad + Kylee: The design process sometimes starts as a concept or sketch, while other times it starts with finding a fabric we like and combining it with a silhouette we love. We have an amazing design team that helps us narrow everything down to the best of the best. Our clothing is made all over the world: China, Europe, Central America, the USA, India and beyond.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business but is too afraid?
Chad + Kylee: Start somewhere! Start small - if you have a good idea and you put your customers needs first, you will rock it. Keep your head down, work hard and believe in yourself.
Where do you see ROOLEE in 5 years?
Kylee: This reminds me of the song by The Chainsmokers and Bebe Rexha that says, "What are you doing for the rest of your life?" And she responds, "I don’t even know what I am doing tonight!" We hope to continue working hard and exploring opportunities that get presented along the way.
What are the most important values you'd like to keep as ROOLEE continues to grow?
Chad + Kylee: We want everyone to feel like family, we want to continue to be agile, and we want to stay in our hometown where we can continue to raise our family.