MENTOR SPOTLIGHT: SUZE DOWLING @ PATTERN BRANDS
When did you know you wanted to take an entrepreneurial path?
The simplest answer is that it wasn’t necessarily a conscious choice — it was a series of actions that felt “right” in the moment and ultimately led to entrepreneurship. Much of my early career was focused on directly partnering with entrepreneurs to launch them to market…it was this work that led me to realize I had hunger to actually BE the entrepreneur. It felt like such a natural next step. One of the most motivating things you can do in your life is to create something that matters to you — our company, Pattern, is that for my co-founders and I.
Tell us about your venture/work!
Pattern is a portfolio of brands focused on enjoying daily life at home. We acquire and grow businesses that share our values of elevated quality, considered materials, and are built to last. Today, we have six brands in the portfolio, and always looking to expand. We operate as a “one team, one cap table” model, meaning all of our team members are Pattern employees and work across the entirety of our brands. When brands join the Pattern family, they benefit from our unique ability to provide world-class marketing and brand-building, coupled with in-house operational excellence and a mature brand platform. Not to mention, we’re also giving the founding entrepreneurs the exits they deserve, and honoring the brands they built which is incredibly rewarding.
What do you enjoy most about being an impact entrepreneur? What’s hardest about it?
The journey of building is what I love; helping to put the puzzle pieces together and having those moments where things just “click” and you realize you’ve collectively made it to the next milestone. This process of learning is one of the most special parts in running a business — you make mistakes, you fall down, get back up, dust yourself off, and try again, knowing a little bit more than you did before. On the good days you reach milestones that you could never have dreamed of reaching. It’s a special feeling.
The hardest part about it in many respects is mental. It’s about resiliency! As an entrepreneur you are pouring your heart and soul into something, and you need to get out of bed each day ready to will it into existence. That’s not an easy thing to sustain over the months and years that it takes to build. Entrepreneurship requires a lot of grit, tenacity and a willingness to be flexible on how you get to your end goal. Building a business is equal parts art and science — no one has all the answers, and there certainly is no such thing as perfect.
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