Name: Mollie Lacher
Company: Sunny Care Services
Industry: Service and concierge (I don’t fit well into any one particular industry!)
SHEroines: I think I will give two kinds of heroes in my life. First is Corbette Doyle- my Vanderbilt grad school professor who taught me to always be asking questions and also taught me how to advocate for myself. Her advice has been invaluable in navigating my professional life. Also, I just have to mention Sarah Blakely from Spanx-I love her boldness, her belief that she can figure anything out, and that she’s kept her personality and humor in tact all while becoming a powerhouse entrepreneur.
Tell us about yourself: who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I am wife to Joe Lacher, and a mom of 2 year old, Canaan, and 6 month old Mattie. I’m from Knoxville, TN and met my husband Joe at University of Tennessee when we were rebuilding houses after hurricane Katrina. We did the Fellows program after graduating college and then moved to Nashville for Joe’s job and my graduate program at Vanderbilt. We’ve been here since 2011 and we love calling Nashville home. I am also a lover of snooty coffee, an enneagram 3, and an entrepreneur.
What was your path to becoming a founder?
I am a big believer in following the Lord’s call on your life, and after losing my brother in law suddenly in 2017, I felt the Lord wanted me to start a business helping other families navigate a loss in their life. I was working at Bridgestone HQ at the time and as an enneagram 3, the corporate career path is actually a really nice fit for someone achievement focused. Deciding to leave Bridgestone was a big decision and becoming an entrepreneur has been one of the most refining experience of my life (second to motherhood!). I have been humbled a hundred times over but have also seen how important this work is not only to my own growth but also for families dealing with loss.
How did you build your base, grow your following, and fund your company?
It’s been a lot of grassroots efforts of going to networking events, meeting people for coffee, and then meeting the people they recommend for coffee and so on and so forth! Luckily I love meeting new people, so that is fun for me! I have a blog that has picked up subscribers steadily. I really didn’t think of a blog as an important part of my work until I started created an entry every week and really started to see the value of consistently showing up for it. I am also bootstrapped company (meaning I am self funded) and that has been important to me to maintain-I understand there are pros and cons to raising funds, and for me and my vision for my business, being self-funded is an important part of that vision right now.
What about being a founder brings you the most joy?
I love learning and although some days I wish someone could figure things out for me, it is really a unique experience to get to learn so many things so quickly-like how to market a product, how to sell, how to build processes and protocols-it’s like a crash course in every aspect of a business
it is really a unique experience to get to learn so many things so quickly
What is the most challenging part of being a founder?
The loneliness. Not only in being a solo entrepreneur but in feeling like there is no one you can truly debrief with that sees every interaction you have, every email, every conversation. I miss desperately having coworkers I could turn to ask “What would you do?” And, “Does this look right?”, or “Am I being crazy?” I am my best when I’m collaborating with others so it has difficult to re-wire that.
What’s the personal or professional achievement that makes you the most proud?
Continuing to pursue Sunny Care Services after having my second child just 10 months after starting Sunny Care. Being an entrepreneur is so self-led and it can hard to get that momentum going after spending 24/7 with your little one. But, I felt strongly my work wasn’t done with Sunny and so I am here to stay faithful to the call.
What and who has motivated you the most in your journey as founder?
On hard days, I have LOVED listening to the How I Built This podcast-especially when they interview founders that give a realistic picture of how it looks to start a business. My friends and my family who have continued to encourage me, and the EC staff and specifically Jeremy Raley (shout out to Jeremy!) who has been great at always giving me a boost when I need it and connecting me to resources when I feel stuck.
Comparison is truly the thief of all joy and it does you no good to look at other’s success and feel jealously
If you could go back in time and offer yourself sixty seconds of advice, what would you say?
That it’s ok if your path looks different from others. Comparison is truly the thief of all joy and it does you no good to look at other’s success and feel jealously. Your path is perfectly crafted for you and nothing you can do or not do will change that.
If you could give any advice to young women considering starting their own business, what would you say?
See above! Ha! But really-I think as women, we are really hard on ourselves and I just think there is not enough narrative out there of giving us grace to try new things and that it will be o if we fall flat on our faces. You just have to get back up
Who are some other founders to watch?
I am a part of women’s entrepreneur group called Boss Babes and I would remiss not to mention them because I think they are all amazing women on the move- Annie Klaver from River Queen Voyages, Lauren Sikes from DesignEd, Jenni Hargrove from Nonprofit Jenni, Lauren Egge from Noka Supply, Tori Samples from Leaf, and Jackie Hansom with STARS Nashville.
What are some resources for women and femme founders?
The Women’s Business Center is awesome and I have loved attending events when I can. NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) is also a great place for women founders. I also LOVE the Her Story of Success podcast-it is an amazing representation of female leaders in Nashville and I learn something new and helpful in each episode.