We are excited to introduce you to Holly Chasan-Young, the Founder + Chief Troublemaker at Wonderbolt Labs, a new design thinking and innovation firm in RVA. When Holly isn’t working with clients or teaching you will find her out supporting Richmond’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Getting started yourself – check out Holly’s advice (we especially love no. 3)! Read on to learn more about her and Wonderbolt Labs.
Describe your business.
I partner with companies and entrepreneurs to create and launch new products and services in a way that mitigates the risk and uncertainty – using modern product strategies such as human-centered design and Lean start-up.
What is your role within the business?
Founder + Chief Troublemaker
How long has your business been open?
I launched Wonderbolt Labs in October of 2017.
What is your favorite part about being a business owner?
The joy that comes with owning (and working toward) one’s own destiny. The surge of creativity. I love the schedule flexibility, meeting new people, and connecting with Richmond’s thriving business ecosystem. It’s a generous community in which people love to help each other – and there are so many talented people doing fascinating things.
What is your biggest challenge right now? How do you hope to overcome it?
There is much that I have yet to figure out! Some of my challenges include finding the right balance among the networking/business development (which I enjoy much more than I thought I would); content creation and client-facing work; connecting with customers who complement my mission and values, and being more organized.
How do you see your business growing over the next five years?
I’m currently working on mix of direct client work and freelance work right now – I’d like to be doing more direct client work, working with a health-care client, and working on larger projects, harnessing a team of phenomenal collaborators to influence a product from concept creation to market launch.
Would you share three fun facts about yourself or your business?
- I love to teach and coach – facilitating everything from a product visioning session to an hour-long introduction to Design Thinking to a Product Immersion where we’ll get to a Minimum Viable Product in weeks.
- I’m a fashionista with a large collection of vintage clothes and costume jewelry
- I once posed nude for a PBS documentary (knew I’d get your attention with that one)
Aside from your business, what are you most passionate about?
I am obsessed with dogs. I also love cooking. I spend a portion of my time mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs on product strategy practices which I hope will change their careers and lives for the better.
What’s your favorite thing about RVA?
ok a few….my alma mater, VCU – I’m having so much fun working on a few initiatives there, and the people and students are fantastic. I love the RVA’s park systems, libraries, thrift stores, historic neighborhoods, and the many amazing restaurants!
Where is your favorite place to meet a client?
I have a part-time co-working membership at The Woodlot, a loft-like space in the fan some amazing businesses call home including Campfire & Co. and The Spark Mill. It’s got a great vibe – clients really enjoy meeting there.
What is the one business tool you can’t live without and why?
I love twitter – I follow many thought leaders in my field which helps me stay up to date on the changing landscape of technology, strategy, customer experience…not to mention the other pressing topics of our time.
What are you currently reading?
I usually have too many books in progress. Right now they’re Attracting Perfect Customers (by Jan S. Stringer and Stacey Hall) Purple Cow (by Seth Godin), and Watership Down (by Richard Adams).
What advice would you give to someone just getting started?
- Get a great coach. 2. Imagine you won the lottery tomorrow. What would you do with your time? Put your passion and energies there. 3. Spend some time on your pricing be careful not to undervalue yourself.
What else would you like to share about yourself or your business?
If anyone’s curious to learn more about what I do, I’d be honored to connect on LinkedIn or have a conversation in person!