Seriously Catherine – Legacy and Family Business with Andrea Crisafulli | Episode 23 – Palette
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Seriously Catherine – Legacy and Family Business with Andrea Crisafulli | Episode 23

Join Andrea Crisafulli on a captivating journey through the family business landscape. From her upbringing in a legacy construction company to overcoming gender biases, Andrea’s story is one of a business mindset and determination.

Andrea shares insights into her journey of taking over the reins and steering the family business towards new horizons, all while staying grounded in core values, and raising her three children.

Embark on a journey of growth and impact with Andrea and Catherine as they explore the intersections of family, entrepreneurship, and community engagement. Tune in for inspiration and insights into building meaningful legacies in the business world.

🌟Crisafulli Bros – https://www.crisbro.com/

🌟They’re also on Instagram HERE.

HOT TAKES: Kate Middleton… Where are you?! Catherine’s prediction is probably what’s really going on. Or is it?!

SARATOGA: Abby Tegnelia, CEO of Saratoga Living Magazine, joins us to talk about the new issue that’s ON STANDS NOW!

FACE PALM MOM: Another holiday ‘tradition’ to add more work to moms. Are you eye rolling at this one too?!

Don’t forget to check out Saratoga Living’s After Hours for what’s new and happening in Saratoga!

⇩ Find Catherine ⇩

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catherinehover/

Palette Co-Work Community: https://www.instagram.com/thepalettecommunity/

Paint and Sip: https://www.instagram.com/saratogapaintandsip/

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*This Transcript is Autogenerated*

Andrea Crisafulli 0:02
And it’s funny you bring that up about debt because there’s a lot of studies that show that women don’t like that. And that’s a lot of times why our businesses don’t scale as soon as they could because men aren’t afraid to bring on debt and women are. And so creating those banking relationships, getting those lines of credit in place, really fundamentally important for women businesses.

Catherine Hover 0:26
All right, on this week’s Saratoga segment, we are joined by Abby Tecnalia, the CEO of Saratoga living Abby’s back. I’m so excited. Hi, there.

Abby Tegnelia 0:35
How are you?

Catherine Hover 0:35
Thanks for coming. Thank you. And you’re going to get give us a little sneak peek of the next Saratoga Living Magazine.

Abby Tegnelia 0:42
That’s right. The spring issue is out. It’s our design issue. And we’re so excited for it.

Catherine Hover 0:46
Oh my god. This is like really applicable to me right now. Yes. Is you’re about to buy a house. Oh, my

Abby Tegnelia 0:52
goodness. Yes.

Catherine Hover 0:53
And it’s an old home.

Abby Tegnelia 0:54
You’re gonna have so much fun, and you’re gonna get so many ideas from our issue.

Catherine Hover 0:59
Okay, so who’s on the cover? That’s what I care most about. teakwood builders. Oh, Jim sasco. Yes.

Abby Tegnelia 1:03
His story really won me over his upbringing and CO hosts his dad owned a hardware store. He is the real deal grew up with us and now he just got some national awards. He’s doing great. And his designs are gorgeous. He does like really nice work. Yes, it is so so beautiful. The cover is beautiful. We fell in love with all of the all of his designs, the photography is amazing. And then once we heard you know his story, it just you’re bowled

Catherine Hover 1:28
over that’s on the cover and the articles inside. It’s like an interview with Jim it is. So speaking of designers, you have a mom friend of mine. Okay, Time Magazine,

Abby Tegnelia 1:39
about Caroline. Yes, fantastic. So the big minutes, LEA is opening in about a week or so. And I’m so excited for this project that she has, it is part boutique. And then she also has a designer background. So she’s actually making her own line of clothes. And then in addition to that, she’s really into sustainable fashion. So if you have a vintage dress you like or something that you want to bring in, she will create a bespoke look just for you.

Catherine Hover 2:05
Oh my gosh, the way she’s described it, to me is like a seven step. I love it. So I think it’d be fun to maybe do a little, you know, bottle of champagne or sewing, sewing some button like I mean, I’m assuming that I’m gonna be able to bring all my shit that is like, buttons off and zipper not working that sort of stuff and bring it there. And either she will show me how to fix it or she will just fix it.

Abby Tegnelia 2:28
That’s exactly right. She wants you to bring in things that you want to reuse, which I just love so much. Obviously, I come from California, I’m really into the environment. I really loved her inspiration for it to the way she described going in to a sewing shop in Europe where literally, you could buy something in the front and you could hear the whirring of the sewing machines in the back. I just love that whole creative atmosphere.

Catherine Hover 2:50
Yeah. Oh, I’m so excited. Okay, so on Facebook and social media. I’ve been seeing these like photos of old school, Saratoga, black and white photos, but they’re turned into color photos, and I can’t get enough of them. It’s like I go seek this guy out. And I’m just like, Okay, send me do another photo, please tell me you’re including him in some fun, something that Saratoga living is doing. So

Abby Tegnelia 3:10
we could not ignore this guy on Facebook and our design issue. He has found these amazing photos, just like you’re saying of Congress park in the 1800s and a presidential election happening and the signs up on Broadway in the early 1900s. All kinds of old pictures of the old Grand Hotels on Broadway and everyone you know, out for their Sunday stroll. And in black and white, it doesn’t jump out as much as in color. So he’s adding color to them and everyone on Facebook. I mean, it’s an addiction. I also look him up at like my entire feed right now is John Ballmer. That’s his name. And he talks about his inspiration and how we started and we have an entire album for the photos. It’s so cool. How

Catherine Hover 3:52
wild mustard have been to be like walking down Broadway, and you see like an engine and also horse hooves. Right. Right. It is so cool.

Abby Tegnelia 4:02
I know. I know. So the joinery is opening, this spring is finally open, you can go down there. I love their mission, woodworking itself, the instruments and everything that you need for it is so prohibitively expensive. So it’s become this hobby of sort of the elite. And now there’s a place you can go, he has bought all of the equipment that you need, and anybody can come in and learn and it’s all inclusive. That’s their big push. And it’s really exciting.

Catherine Hover 4:28
Yeah, so this guy is really fascinating, too, because he comes from the startup world, the tech world. He’s been very successful, and he wants to have an impact on Saratoga. And he’s very involved in the Preservation Foundation. I think he’s on the board and I was very interested in what was going to happen with the Children’s Museum because I don’t know if you know this, but I wanted to buy that building and put pallet there and also put childcare there. And then I met John and I was like, Okay, fine. You can have this building he

Abby Tegnelia 4:54
wants you over to you know, the neighbor as you know, so you know who’s taken over that parking lot. who’s taken over this beautiful building? And yes, he won me over to as far as you know, your interest level a lot of stuff to do over there. Just if you have any interest at all just go over there. Let’s

Catherine Hover 5:08
go build a chair. Let’s do it. Or a table. Oh, that’s a good one. You know, like lots of women say like, there’s no seat at the table. So I built my own. There you go. We could go build our own table I love at the joinery. So this issue of surgical living, the spring issue is on sands now.

Abby Tegnelia 5:24
It’s on sands. Now it’s being distributed as we speak. And I can’t wait for you to grab your copy. Awesome.

Catherine Hover 5:28
Thank you so much, you. On this week’s episode of seriously, Catherine, I’m joined by Andrea Chris Safale. That’s right from Chris Shefali brothers, even though she’s a sister, I love this. She’s bought this company back from her family. And she’s also just this amazing entrepreneur, which I admire so much about her. But more importantly, she’s a mom. And she’s juggling all the things and most recently, she’s dipped her toes into the hospitality world. And by dipping her toes, I mean, acquiring the lodge at screen like let’s jump in. Alright, bro, thank you so much for being here. I’m so excited to have you. I’ve admired you for a long time. And when I joined EO, I that was like one of the things that I recognized, like who will who are the other women that are there because I’m sure you know, this statistic, but less than 2% of women make a million dollars. It’s sort of like there’s a barrier there for women to be involved in that organization. Sure. So I was really excited to see that you are a part of it. And you’ve been a pirate event. Like were you like one of the like, first people to sort of start the chapter here.

Andrea Crisafulli 6:35
So I wasn’t the beginning team for E Oh, but I was for WPI women’s Presidents Organization. Okay. And your founding member of that here? Well,

Catherine Hover 6:43
so tell us sort of how you got into the business. It’s a family business. It’s a legacy business. That’s hard. Yeah.

Andrea Crisafulli 6:50
It’s a long story. I’ll try to keep you know, keep it short. But so yeah, we’re at two years, this year. So I’m third generation, my kids would be fourth generation and grew up in the family business always wanted to be a part of it. I can remember in all honesty, my dad dragged me to high school. And I remember smelling the blueprints in the back of the car, and just like, just always wanted to be at the shop. And when I was a young kid, my older brothers had three older brothers and three brothers, three sisters, I’m on the sixth of seven. And they would always get to go to work with my dad and the girls would have to stay home and my dad would call it women’s work. Like we’d stay home and do women’s work. And I hated it. I hated it. So things did finally work out where when I was in college and went to Russell Sage, I ended up working there part time. And then right before graduation, I remember approaching my dad and saying, you know, what I’d really like to do is work in the family business. And he said, Well, let me talk to your brothers and get back to you. And when he got back to me, he said that they talked about it and they really decided that construction is no place for a woman.

Catherine Hover 7:51
Yeah, true story. Oh, my God, and these are like your people.

Andrea Crisafulli 7:56
Yeah. You know, when he said construction wasn’t for women, I think he wanted better for me, is what I would have to guess. But he you know, I old school attending and I knew no was no. So I kind of went out on my own and I had a psychology degree. And then thankfully, within a year, something happened at the business in the finance department where they couldn’t trust the person that was there. And they reached out and said, Hey, would you like to come into the business? So that was 1988. And I’ve been there ever since.

Catherine Hover 8:21
Okay, so I don’t know. I’m just I can’t help but like, think of my own family. My dad’s and his brothers and all the boys were all in construction. And you know, his a lot of the same sort of like, just like little quips that would be said at dinner with the family like, Ah, you don’t need to be involved, you know, and I loved it. I loved going to work with my dad. I loved walking around the projects and just was a homebuilder. So it was just like, so fascinating to me to be part of all that. It just reminds me like, were there any sort of scenarios where they would talk shop at home? And you were kind of like, well, of course, yeah. Someone stole from you, because you didn’t have me doing it. You know, I was like, super sassy. And I used to always sort of like, interject with a lot of these things just to be like, well, you know, if you’d let me help you when I’m at a

Andrea Crisafulli 9:06
show. So my dad didn’t talk about work much at home. Really, he was really good at separating, like our dinner table was not work talk, he would come home and it was family time. And he was very much that way. Again, dad of seven. It was always the more people around the better. He was it was always all about that. So I wouldn’t have known that that was a problem at work. Yeah, I wouldn’t have shared that.

Catherine Hover 9:29
Yeah. And your mom was she and formed a home my home mom stay at home mom, the most incredible mom. Wow. So I remember you telling me like you had bought back this like you bought into the business. You became an owner and then you had to like buy it back or like

Andrea Crisafulli 9:46
backed by fun fact. Yeah, yeah. So I’ve actually bought the business three times. So my dad was obviously the owner and I was working with my two brothers. And so we bought my father out and then one of my brothers the oldest decided to go out on his own And so my brother Dan, and I bought out our other brother. And then eventually, you know, I bought out my brother Dan. So yeah, I bought the business three times. It was amazing when that was, you know, it was finally mine. 100% it was I mean, not that I would have minded if they wanted to stay. But you know, it was certainly something that was in the cards. Yeah.

Catherine Hover 10:18
And then at that point is that when you were able to sort of, like, grow it kind of take us through? Like, was it just like a mom and pop sort of shop? Like, how did it turn into what it is today? You have such a huge platform, you’re so well respected and community, it’s like, You’re everywhere. You know, I can’t imagine if it was like that. And you’re the face of it, you know, like, you’re on the radio, you’re on the commercials. So it’s just like, I want to sort of hear that, like how that happened. Yeah, it’s not overnight, I’m sure No,

Andrea Crisafulli 10:46
no, and it is my brand. So I guess I would say that it really went on a trajectory after I took over, I’ve always been passionate about the business. My brother, who I was partners with, I would say was not always equally as passionate about the business. So when he and he still worked for the company, after the buyout, but I really wanted to take it to the next level, and just surrounding myself with fabulous people. And if you don’t do that, it’s never gonna happen. So I definitely worked to create that network and solidified relationships, you know, just a lot of head down and hard work.

Catherine Hover 11:21
Yeah. And then what do you say to some, like, I kind of joke, this is not joking, really, though, I would love for Posey to become a plumber. Because she would make a killing, she would make so much money. There’s just no women in this industry. And there’s so many incentives to support women on businesses now. It’s like, yeah, go go to trade school and become a plumber or an electrician or a welder and like, make some bank.

Andrea Crisafulli 11:44
I really feel like there’s a renewed interest in the trades. I really do. I believe it. I was just the other night at an event. And Roger, you know, from Hudson Valley was speaking about the fabulous Workforce Development Institute they’re putting in there and there’s a lot happening that I think is bringing people back to grassroots you know, positions like the trades really do. Well. It’s

Catherine Hover 12:08
just like a an affordability and access at this point to like to go to college. Now. It’s like you are definitely looking paying debt for years and years years. We actually just paid off my husband’s congratulation loans. Yeah. And I was like, why are we still paying this? And I think for him, he was like, well, it’s like that thing where like, I mean, I signed up, and I’m just paying what I’m supposed to pay. And I paid off mine, like, as soon as possible. I like hated having the debt. But I think for him, it was like a reminder that he made this decision to like, go to college and take on these loans. And I don’t know, I think it was more like a torture thing. But, but I worked my ass off to put myself through college. And I just didn’t take out that many loans. But I worked throughout like and I paid it as I went sort of thing, I don’t want my kids to have to deal with that, like, yeah, I also don’t have to save money now for them to go to college just to not know what they want to do.

Andrea Crisafulli 12:59
Again, I think if you’re going to be an accountant, or you know, something’s an attorney, they kind of know, and that’s what they’re going to do. But the rest really end up, you know, on many different pathways. And it’s funny, you bring that up about debt, because there’s a lot of studies that show that women don’t like that. And that’s a lot of times why our businesses don’t scale as soon as they could, because men aren’t afraid to bring on debt and women are and so creating those banking, relationships, getting those lines of credit in place really fundamentally important for women businesses.

Catherine Hover 13:31
Yeah, the other part, I just think women are a bit risk adverse, I would think, I don’t know, the statistics are bad. But I know that there aren’t as many women entrepreneurs, I mean, that’s got to be why. But I also think there’s not a lot of women who take the risk in other businesses like investing and, you know, partnering with other entities, you’ve sort of like gone around and done that now because you have success with your original company. And now you’re able to get into these other arrangements and and projects that are super fun. Like you’re in the hospitality business. Now I am.

Andrea Crisafulli 14:01
We’re now in hospitality. I’m loving it. Absolutely loving it. And tell

Catherine Hover 14:05
us like how that came about. I mean, you had to have been working with the Nagios stay in day out when projects and to know that you do not Tony

Andrea Crisafulli 14:13
and I met maybe 15 years ago, we served on the chamber board together became buddies. And then we’ve never actually done probably may have done a project or two together, but not like we’re in a relationship where we’re on, you know, typically work. And you know, I was thinking about a fun fact this morning when I was thinking about coming on the show. And when you think about like they say, you know, if you’re your eight year old self, 10 year old self, what would you love to do? And I was travel agent and to run a summer camp. And the lodge is sort of like a summer camp. So the lodge at scrim link, my dad, we’ve been we’ve been on screen like over 50 years. So my dad as a young boy went fell in love with Spring Lake and then as I think in his 40s bought a plot of land literally built our family home there. So it’s been a part of my whole life. So there was This piece of property that I just absolutely loved it was owned by the word of life. And we would go up and I’d ride my bicycle up and check it out. Just It was fascinating, just loved it. And then during COVID, my husband and I would sort of drive through, you know, in the property and saw that it was starting to get kind of dilapidated, and like to use, I wonder what’s going on here. So sort of put that word out in town with friends and said, Hey, if you hear any word that this is up for sale, let me know. So sure enough, someone tipped me off that it is I reached out, and it’s already under contract. So we’re like, devastated. Like, we missed this opportunity. And then through a couple of just interesting things I noticed in town, I thought to myself, I wonder if this is sunny. So I reached out to sunny and we had a quick phone call, literally, I’m not kidding, within 30 minutes, we decided we would be 5050 partners on the project. And from that moment on, you know, here we are, and it’s been nothing but fun. I mean, why, you know, it’s had its its challenges. But in all honesty, in terms of the running the operation, the construction, we’ve been lockstep every step of the

Catherine Hover 16:05
way. That’s so cool. And then you hear this about when you get on a board with someone, you get to know these people, and then you get to work with them. So it’s got to be like such a cool full circle moment. You’re working with somebody that you respect and have sort of like grown your businesses simultaneously. And then on top of that, you’re able to like invest and impact this community that you grew up like loving.

Andrea Crisafulli 16:25
I love that you said that because for me, that’s a big part of it. It’s an investment in the community. I really love that aspect of it. The scrum lake I grew up in was thriving. My swim lessons. Were there my played softball there. I mean, it was it was this we had square dance on Wednesday nights. I mean, it was just a really thriving fun summer town. And it’s sort of fallen off. So this is really a new venture for the region. And I’m really excited. I want to it’s like summer camp for families. Yeah, it’s really fun, fun family. Low key. It’s never gonna be like George or Lake Placid. Right scream lake. It’s kind of a hidden treasure.

Catherine Hover 17:02
That’s awesome. And I mean, again, this is like one of my, like, the way that I have is like, I want to be able to do fun things like that. I want to be successful in my own business so that I can give back to the communities that I care about. I desperately want to like have some I’m from New Orleans. So I desperately want to do something back home where I can, like, make the impact there that I’ve made here. And it’s just, I can’t wait to do that eventually. Yeah, it’ll happen.

Andrea Crisafulli 17:27
And so again, what are you doing? You’re manifesting, right, I’m a huge manifester.

Catherine Hover 17:31
Do you do do vision boards? Oh, yeah, absolutely. Really. I think it’s so fun to kind of like hear, you know, like, what, what do you do to sort of like keep yourself eye on the prize and keep going, because we’re talking a lot about the highlight reel, like you’re able to do all this stuff, but it’s kind of it’s so stressful. People don’t realize like, how much like day to day decision fatigue sometimes get.

Andrea Crisafulli 17:52
Last year was certainly one of those years, we opened up the lodge, I actually split our business last year, we split out our home services and our mechanical contracting, we just we had a lot going on last year. So there was a lot of fatigue and a lot of decision making. But I also love change. I’m one of those people who I don’t like to be stagnant for a long time. So I have to work on respecting and understanding that everyone doesn’t accept change at the same level. So you know, when you have a couple 100 employees, you can’t just always be like, Alright, here we go. You know, some people it’s like, terrifying to have changed, right? I embrace it. I really love it.

Catherine Hover 18:26
Okay, so let’s I mean, I said this earlier, but what I admire so much about you is that I say so growing up I was sort of like always brought up to be like, Okay, go to college meet a boy ride his coattails get married, have as babies don’t worry about work, like you don’t need money, like just get taken care of kind of thing.

Andrea Crisafulli 18:41
So you did exactly what Karen said.

Catherine Hover 18:44
I was on that track. But then I moved to Saratoga and I was just completely Wow, this is an opportunity for me to like really try something new and test it out. And I had Mark support, so we opened Peyton’s up had babies like and then it started to get like, Okay, now it’s time for you to settle down. And now it’s time for you to sort of like take this and put it on the backburner and focus on your family and your kids. And I’m not going to say we didn’t have like some marriage sort of challenges at that point being like young parents and newly married couple years, and I and people told me like, you can’t do all this at the same time. You know, you need focus, you need to prioritize, and, and I sort of was like, the hell I can’t, you know, like, of course, I can do this, like, what are we telling women if we, if we tell them, they have to choose a lane, and they have to just pick one thing, like, I mean, now I’m a mom of three girls, I can’t imagine telling them just marry a nice boy and be taken care of like, that’s just the worst advice ever. Right? I’d like to think so. Yeah. So I try to find people like yourself that are doing all these things simultaneously. And it seems like you’re killing it, you

Andrea Crisafulli 19:46
know, so I have I told you, I was one of seven. My older sisters, just brilliant. In my mind, I admire them both so much, and they really are the ones that taught me about being present. I don’t think I could have done it all. without, again, you need, you need your village, right. But my sister’s talked a lot about being present. And like when you’re home, being on the floor playing Legos, building castles, you know, whatever it is forts and all that sort of thing, be outside, get in the mud, get, you know, like, take walks. For me, the only way I could make it work is that when I was home, I was extremely present with my kids. And I think that that’s one thing I try when I mentor young women now is I talk a lot about your devices. You know, I think that you can either be present and be really present, you can put down your devices and make that quality time. Yeah, I think it’s challenging because I think there’s a lot of pressure to be on your devices right now. But I think it’s an important thing. If you want relationships with your children, yes, that you stay connected. And you do it by being present. Yeah. And

Catherine Hover 20:46
I mean, you must have boundaries, right? Like, you know how to say no, you know, when to say like, okay, you know, I’m, I’m not going to do that project, because it’s gonna take away from the kids at a certain season in their lives. Yeah,

Andrea Crisafulli 20:57
I was pretty good about setting boundaries, too. Again, my sisters just gave me so much advice on that sort of thing. And they, you know, were very successful as well. For instance, for my kids, there were certain seasons, like you’re saying that I’d be very involved. And then there were times when I wasn’t, especially when my kids started to get into the high school years. And I knew I didn’t have a lot of time with them left. Yeah, so your girls are young, I actually resigned from boards, like the last couple of years, they weren’t my kids are very close in age. So they’re, I had three and 38 months. So it was just okay, now, I’m just not going to be engaged in these other things. I’m going to be home, I’m gonna make every game I’m going to, you know, just be present whenever I could be. Yeah, that was that was important to me. And

Catherine Hover 21:36
then when you were having kids, was it around the same time that you were heavily involved in the businesses? And yeah, that’s

Andrea Crisafulli 21:43
actually part of the story that I didn’t share as so the natural sequence was supposed to be my oldest brother was supposed to run the company. And then I had 10 years to sort of be mentored by him before I took over. And then when he decided to leave, you know, I had three kids under eight, right? So they’re in elementary school, and we weren’t that small. I want to say we probably had 60 employees at the time. And then he left and he took a whole division of the company with more than half the company’s revenue when he left. Wow. So I had a lot to rebuild. And it was a part of the company that I had never been involved in. It was the construction side, not the home service side. Okay. So it was a lot of rebuilding, and again, just really trusting other people and to get us where we needed to be where I want it to be. So we have a family reunion, I told you, my dad loved family being together. So we used to have a pig roast Labor Day weekend, every year, and it would be with all the neighbors and up at our lake home. And then when the kids started going to college, he’s like, Well, this can’t be because they’re not here. It’s Labor Day weekend. So we moved it back into August so that the kids who are college age could be there. So then when my husband and I ended up buying the lake house, when my parents got older, we now follow the tradition. So it’s the second Saturday of August, and you wouldn’t believe that crowd. I mean, everyone really works to be there at that family reunion. That’s all I think there’s probably 50 Some of us and it’s just fabulous. It’s great. So ever leaving? I would definitely consider our family very close. Yeah, yeah. All the cousins stay in touch with one another.

Catherine Hover 23:12
Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. That’s like a value that’s, you know, follows through to your company. We went toward it, right. It’s so much forgot. It’s like, it’s like almost like a tech company. You’re walking into this beautiful facility is so organized, like everyone really seems happy. I don’t know if you just told everyone to get happy, right when we walk in. I doubt it though. Yeah,

Andrea Crisafulli 23:33
culture is huge. I mean, giving back to the community, the culture for our employees, huge values of ours, right. I mean, the community piece is really big, because I always say, you know, Christopher Lee brothers wouldn’t be here today if the community hadn’t supported us. So it’s a core value of ours to give back to the community. And then you know, we wouldn’t be who we are without our team. Yeah, the team just makes me look good. Catherine, honest to God, that’s, that’s the keys. They really just make me look good. They are driven. We try to really hire based on personality. It’s not you can be the greatest plumber in the world, but they’re gonna go into Katherine’s home and you’re not going to treat her how you should treat her. Yeah, yeah. You’re just not for us. Yeah.

Catherine Hover 24:10
And your husband’s involved in the in the business like you are running it together. We do. Okay, we do, because I fired mark. Okay.

Andrea Crisafulli 24:17
So we work fantastic together and that I’m the visionary. He’s the implementer. Okay. And as you know, like, those two roles are so key, and we’re really good at staying in our own lanes. He might not say I’m great in mind, because sometimes I’ll dip down I can’t help myself because I used to have that role. Right. Um, but yeah, pretty much he runs operations and I’m more of a strategic visionary. Oh, so works out. It’s actually a really, really good recipe for us.

Catherine Hover 24:44
And have you sort of taken your dad’s stance where like, you’re at home, you don’t talk? You don’t talk shop?

Andrea Crisafulli 24:49
I don’t think my kids would say that. As much as I grew up that way, you know, because I think of again, technology. I think my dad didn’t have to bring it home. Let them because he didn’t have a phone sitting there or his laptop open, you know, maybe seeing a Google review that’s gonna throw you into like, you know, how did we do that? How did we leave them without water? What? Are you kidding me? Yeah, get on this. So I think we probably bring it home more than for that reason. Otherwise I don’t think we choose to talk about work, but I think that it follows you a little bit more than it used to. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 25:22
yeah. I agree to I mean, the screens and that they drive me crazy. I used to attend to revelry recently it was like, they didn’t get screens unless we were on a long car ride, or we were flying. But now like the screens are in the schools. And it’s like all the things that they’re doing in school. They’re on screens. And so it’s just it’s like, the homework is on a screen. I’m like, oh, yeah, here they go again.

Andrea Crisafulli 25:46
So I didn’t have that. Like it was just, you know, they were aged out sort of, um, you still had to worry about like Facebook was like the thing back then. Oh, I guess it would have been, there’ll be 2827 and 26. Okay, we went to Sicily once with my dad like a bucket list for him. And it was just five of the seven of us. And one of my sisters husbands went with my dad. And it was the rainiest Sicily, in like 26 years. Like it was typhoons. washouts It was unbelievable. So we were constantly buying umbrellas. And they would like break because the winds were so severe. Right? So at this one point, I remember buying an umbrella. And I have it over my dad, I get the umbrella. And it’s me and my dad. Next thing you know, he takes the umbrella and runs up and he’s got my sister Patty, Who’s the oldest, covered with the umbrella. And I’m like, really? Are you kidding? So? Yeah, it was funny. He was super proud. I do know in the end, but he wasn’t someone to ever give a pat in the back. That’s for sure. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 26:45
no, it’s not the same one his DNA. Yeah. And it’s interesting too, because I’m just like, well, that’s that’s like, why I am the way that I am. I’m I don’t know, if it’s like constant sort of, like, needing not that any validation. But like, if you want me to do something, just tell me I can’t do it. And then it’s like game on, you know, and I will like pull in anybody in every resource possible to make it happen. And then just to sort of, like, I guess, prove to myself that I can. So I want to touch on like I tried to always sort of bring in the value of community and support around yourself and your success. So like, what organizations are like, what’s your take on sort of like bringing people along or getting help and support into into your goals and what you want to accomplish?

Andrea Crisafulli 27:27
Back then I didn’t have anyone to go to and my girlfriends at the time weren’t business owners, right. So they didn’t get it? And I’m sure you’ve come across that too. So when I went to that, WIPO, I wouldn’t be where I am today without those sisters. Not a question in the world. They gave me the courage, the confidence, they were your own sounding board, I don’t think you could find a better place to be a woman than in the capital region. I think that we are women that lift one another up. And really do I think if you are willing to ask for help in the capital region, you’re gonna find women who are willing to help you and promote you and be there for you.

Catherine Hover 28:04
Yeah, I’ve known. I mean, I’ve experienced that. And I think that it’s the perfect size region where everyone, like, knows everybody, you know, and so like, if you just open up and ask for help, or you let people know what you’re trying to accomplish, there’s, there’s someone that someone’s going to connect you to, and I find that like, that has been really rewarding for me. And like the other sort of barrier like WP, yo, yo, it’s like, you got to have that million dollar mark. So when only 2% of women make a million dollars, like where did the other women go, you know, and so palates sort of like the high school version of that, or, yeah, it’s just it’s, we need to, it’s like a pipeline to get to that point. And then also, not everybody wants to make a million dollars. Like, that’s not really everybody’s goal. So like, if you know, I think having like a successful lifestyle business where you’re enjoying what you’re doing, you’re making some money, you’re having fun, you need support there, too. Alright, so do you have any tips up your sleeve for someone, woman entrepreneur who is trying to navigate, you know, advancing their business and their life that you still utilize today.

Andrea Crisafulli 29:09
I’m a big goal setter. So I’m still a writer down, I have lists and things I want to accomplish. I’m really big on that. Write it down, make it happen. I have followed that for many years. I looked back not too long ago, one of my notebooks and I found like, you know, some of the things and I I was surprised at how many things I had achieved, because those were always things that I just time after time, they would stay on that list until I could cross them off. So I think being really clear on your goals, but at the same time, realizing that there’s going to be forks in the road. I’m a huge proponent of that, right? So you may have your sights set on something and think that that’s really where you want to be going. But then something inevitably happens and there’s a fork in the road and that’s when you need to pause and sort of okay, am I still headed for that or is there another You know, Avenue here for me that I want to pursue. I really think that’s important that you have your goals, write them down, but then also realize that you’re not always going to go in that direction. Yeah, belonging to organizations, meeting people, I feel like women now, I think you have so many tools. I think that women now are so much smarter than we were, I really do. I see young professionals like yourself that I think are so much further ahead than many women, you know, business owners of my generation.

Catherine Hover 30:32
Yeah, it’s an exciting time, you know, and I try not to focus on like, how much further we have to go. And I do like to, like, reflect on on where we’ve been, I’ve never

Andrea Crisafulli 30:41
brought gender into the workplace for me. And I think that I have to thank my father for my mother, also, you my sisters, and I’ll say my mother, there was never anything we mentioned doing that she would ever have said, Yeah, I don’t think that’s a good idea. You can’t do that. That was never in my mind as something that they would, you know, say there were barriers, but I never sat at a table and thought of myself as a woman at a table. I never brought gender and gender into the equation. I was a business person. Yeah. And the people I was sitting with are all business people. I really, I just never thought that way.

Catherine Hover 31:16
Yeah, but it’s like it’s also it can be like a detriment to sort of call that out and a roomful of men, right, like they’re already threatened naturally. So why sort of point that out? It’s one of those like, sort of like treat people like you’d want to be treated. Exactly. Golden

Andrea Crisafulli 31:33
Rule. Yeah, exactly. I’m a such a golden rule person. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 31:37
no, I’m the same. It’s like you don’t have to sort of like call it the elephant in the room. Everybody knows you’re badass. Already a little threatened. So put them at ease. And yeah, love that. All right. Well, thank you so much for being here. I’m so excited you we found the time

Andrea Crisafulli 31:53
I know. A couple rescheduled Yeah, but I’m glad we finally got off so much.

Catherine Hover 31:57
Thank you. My FaceTime my moment okay, is since when does the leprechaun come to your house and play tricks on your kids and leave golden coins everywhere? Like I did not grow up with a leprechaun come into my house like the Easter Bunny, or the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. Now, I didn’t have an apple card. But apparently, it’s a thing now. And so Ruby, of course, is like devastated on Sunday morning when there was no evidence of a leprechaun sneaking into our house and racking our house, which is what I told her. I said, Listen, the leprechaun probably did come and recognize that the house was already racked, thought that his buddy leprechaun had already been by and decided to leave. I mean, that’s the only explanation I could come up with. I mean, I just don’t understand I need to hear from moms like what since when did we come up with this leprechaun thing? My point is that why did why do we do this to ourselves moms? Like why do we create more things that we have to coordinate? You know, let the leprechaun know when to come? Or, you know, that’s the moms doing that the moms coordinating with Easter only moms coordinated to fair, the moms coordinate with Santa Claus. And it’s just it’s frustrating. I think that this is not doing us any service. Where’s the balance? How are we supposed to know our worth and, you know, demand our value if like, it’s all these dudes that are getting the credit. And the mom is doing all the coordinating and the list collecting and the prompting of the vulva things I’m proud of myself that I stood my ground and I did not give in to this, like leprechaun baloney coming in and rocking the house. And it’s just like, rocking the house. There was no more work to create for mom to clean up. I mean, we just came off of Valentine’s Day, and then get gold coins for St. Patrick’s Day and then right after that, we got Easter Bunny coming like and then what Mother’s Day right? Yeah, I’m supposed to sit back and relax and let all this happened to me a Mother’s Day. No, I’m going away this Mother’s Day. I’m not sticking around. That has nothing to do with this but Okay, so that’s that. Thank you for listening to this podcast. And if you want to connect with me slide into my DMs on Instagram. My handle is Katherine hoever

Transcribed by https://otter.ai