Note: this article originally appeared in the October 2015 edition of Gainesville Neighbors, written by Georgina Chong-You.
Business owner of Saporito Oil, Vinegar, and Spice, Katrine Dunn is well suited as a woman of distinction, joyfully balancing business and family. Katrine has been married for fourteen years, and she and her husband have seven children together. Yes, you read that correctly, seven children – five boys and two girls – in that exact order.
Managing a home with seven children is quite like managing a business – with homeschooling, assigned seats, assigned cups, and daily routines. However, Katrine doesn’t pretend to get it all perfectly done. In fact, she says that it’s sometimes a circus, with daily routines frequently broken.
Just like motherhood and being a wife, business ownership is something Katrine loves to do, especially when she gets to work alongside her husband. Katrine and her husband opened their family business, Saporito Oil, Vinegar, and Spice on July 1, 2015.
“My husband and I have entertained the prospect of business ownership for years. We encountered a unique specialty shop in Virginia during a family trip in 2012, which featured high-quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We immediately fell in love with the products, began bringing bottles home and sharing them with friends who’d come for dinner. We realized that Gainesville was a perfect place for a tasting room. Desiring to share the amazing olive oil and balsamic vinegar with surrounding communities, we decided to open a store of our own”, shared Katrine.
The business of sales doesn’t come as something new for Katrine, with her background in sales that began many years ago with the Southwestern Publishing Company selling educational books door-to-door in order to pay her way through college. Then after that, Katrine’s sales experience was in residential real estate before recently moving into business ownership.
When I asked Katrine what challenges she faces as a business owner, she shared with me that “maintaining a balance of day-to-day life while learning to run our business” was her biggest challenge. However, being able to work with her family and encourage others, far outweighs and challenge Katrine may face.
“I enjoy working with my husband and feel that our combined strengths help us to better serve and create a more pleasing in-store customer experience at Saporito.”
Being in business has carried over to being a wife and mother in that it has taught Katrine to be organized, to be attentive to details, to deal with obstacles, to be persistent, to make a good impression, to follow through, and to keep a sense of humor.
“I feel that motherhood has contributed significantly to being a better person and business owner. As a mother to seven children, I have learned (and am still learning) to be flexible, to begin with the end in mind, to say no, to slow down, to travel with snacks, to delegate, to direct, to juggle, to deal with conflicts, to praise specifically and sincerely, to listen well, to be careful with words, to be fully present, and to pray more”, said Katrine.
Society can put expectations on women to “have it all” – being the perfect executive/business owner, the perfect wife, and the perfect mother. To that, Katrine replies that it is all an illusion – an impossibility.
“When I feel dissatisfied, the most helpful thing I do is name the things in my life for which I’m thankful, to list them in writing. This practice brings about an immediate change in my perspective and creates more gratitude and contentment. It keeps me from missing the wonderfulness of what is, as a wife, mother, and business owner.”
Her advice to women in business and/or women entering business is: Do what you were created to do and do it with all of your heart.
Katrine always reminds herself that she has been forgiven much and she is loved much, and the many hats she wears as a wife, mother, and business owner are all a part of her life’s purpose and destiny.