It’s true. I’ve got it bad.
My planner is practically an additional limb, accompanying me wherever I go and keeping things running smoothly (or, as smoothly as a mom of four kids under three can). I can’t function without it. But it took me a looooong time to find a planner that fit my exact needs. In the past, with each passing year, I’d try a new style of planner, hoping it would be tailored to my unique situation and make my life easier and more organized.
Then I found Golden Coil. Founded and run by sisters Trisha and Michelle, Golden Coil allows users to customize their own planners and notebooks, selecting the layouts, page types, features, and accessories that fit best for their specific goals and needs. It was a complete game-changer for me.
Right on their site, I built and previewed my own, unique-to-me planner, outfitted with goal and project pages, baby charts, and freelance finance sheets. With a beautiful linen cover and professional coil binding, my planner is perfect for me. I’ve found my dream planner and I’m never going back! That being said, I knew I had to had to talk to the founders and pick their brains on their own customizable planner brain-child, Golden Coil.
On today’s Talking Shop, I chat with the two sisters about how Golden Coil got started, the learning curves they faced when starting their business, and why dreamers need to just get up and DO IT (i.e. the thing they’ve been dreaming of doing).
Everyone, meet Trisha and Michelle!
Tell us a little about yourselves.
We are sisters! We grew up in a small town in Southern Alberta, Canada with our five other siblings and parents. We have always loved being together and working on projects. We started Golden Coil in 2017 and our lives have been filled with planners ever since!
Trisha is married to Mason and they have an 18-month old son named Elliott. When Trisha isn’t working on Golden Coil the two of them are running her stop motion studio and producing videos for top clients in the industry. Michelle and her husband Landon have two little girls, Maeve and Rue, and are currently living in Chicago, IL while Landon attends dental school.
How did Golden Coil get started? Why customizable planners? What inspired the idea?
We were inspired to start Golden Coil after searching for a Mother’s Day present for our mother. We knew that we wanted to get her a planner, but couldn’t find the perfect one! In fact, while searching we realized that the two of us couldn’t even agree on what the perfect planner looked like. This realization spurred many conversations between the two of us about the need for a customizable planner so everyone could have exactly what they are looking for in a planner. From there, the rest is history!
What you do enjoy most about running Golden Coil?
Both of us are extremely passionate about planning and believe that greater productivity can be found as we organize our lives and set goals. We love helping others create planners that can help them be their most productive selves. Seeing them achieve their dreams, or even cross a simple task off of their to-do list makes us so happy!
What learning curves did you face when starting your own business?
Our biggest learning curve/challenge was finding the right people to work with. For example, before Golden Coil launched in 2017 we spent 3 years searching for a print partner who would print our future orders. We reached out to over 100 printers inquiring about their abilities to print our products. The first quote we received was for over $200/planner! Luckily, we can now happily say that we have found incredible people to partner with, and they were well worth the time and energy it took to find them!
Describe a day in your life.
Michelle: My days always start with getting my babies out of bed! Most days we drive Landon to school (one car, dental school family) and come home for some breakfast. After breakfast we go to the gym and follow it up with some coloring, toddler ‘school books’, reading, or a playdate! We play with toys and have lunch and get ready for nap time. During naptime I do as much as much work as I can! These are my ‘get everything done’ hours. During this time I’ll answer emails, schedule/work on content, and have a work meeting with Trisha. By the time nap time is over, we pick up Landon from school and make dinner. In the evenings we like to go for walks, play at the park, or have a family movie night. After babies are in bed I’ll do a bit more work and the end the night spending time with Landon.
Trisha: Every day is so different. But, good days go something like this: I like to wake up between 6-7 and get to work on emails and some to do items before my little one wakes up. After he wakes up, Mason and I feed him, and get ready to hit the pool. After some lap swimming we head home and get ready for the day. When Elliott goes down for a nap, Mason and I head downstairs to the studio and get to work on the tasks and projects we are working on. It could be shooting a stop motion video for a client, or editing images for Golden Coil! We work as hard as we can until Elliott wakes up! We will run some errands, maybe hit up a park, and then make dinner together. At night we might watch a movie together, or keep working on some projects!
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned as your business has grown?
To plan ahead! We are planner lovers to the core. We love being organized and having processes in place that inform our decisions. In starting a company, and running a business, it is so important for us to plan ahead. To make decisions/schedule our social media/ prepare a product launch ahead of time. It takes the stress out of running our business, because nothing is being decided on last minute.
What has been your proudest accomplishment with Golden Coil?
We are a business started by women to support the needs and interests of all women. Not only for general needs like menstrual tracking and contact information pages but each type of woman with her individual life can benefit from putting together her custom planner, tailoring to her needs. The girl boss juggling social media accounts and online meetings can create a planner with a password tracker and a complete calendar. The stay at home mom can make holiday gifting guides, or baby pages to help with breastfeeding. Moms that homeschool can create lesson planning page and homework tracking, along with helpful pages for all those extracurriculars to which she’s running kids. Anytime we receive feedback from women whose lives are being improved by our product, we take that as our biggest accomplishment.
What advice do you have for those looking to find their own passion project?
If there is something this inspires you or brings you joy, don’t hesitate to go after it. Regardless of your training or experience, if you love something enough and will put the time and care into it, you will be able to succeed. Life is too short to simply think of everything you want to do. Take a step forward and do what you’re dreaming of.
What does YOUR ideal planner look like?
Michelle: My ideal planner is full of to-do lists! It has pages for tracking my goals, passwords, holidays gifts, bucket lists, and online orders. Also, it has baby charts to help me keep track of my children and pages for all of my thoughts, ideas, and memories.
Trisha: I love filling my planner with the ideas pages! I go through those things like candy! I always choose a layout with minimal space for the week in my planner, as I don’t have a lot of daily events. I always make sure to have a long to-do lists to help juggle everything on my plate!
What makes you laugh?
Michelle: When my 2-year-old loves to sing songs before she falls asleep. It’s always fun to guess what song she is singing when she should be sleeping. The other day she surprised us with a rendition of ‘You Need to Calm Down’ by Taylor Swift. It was hilarious. How did she even learn that song?!
Trisha: We recently got a baby monitor camera. Watching the crazy things my kid does when he should be napping is pure entertainment!
What is your latest Netflix/Hulu binge?
Trisha: The newest season of The Great British Baking Show! I love that show!
What is your desert-island meal?
Michelle: Uhm, pizza?
Trisha: I love all foods, so this is tricky. But, I am always up for a chocolate milkshake. That counts right?
What song is currently stuck in your head?
Michelle: I’d have to say A Whole New World, but only because my 2-year-old is certifiably obsessed with Jasmine and sings it the whole day through.
Trisha: Baby shark. Always baby shark.
What is your favorite out-of-office activity?
Michelle: Anything with my family – swimming, going for walks, going to the movies, playing games, etc.
Trisha: Going to the aquarium with my little munchkin! It is my very favorite thing to do these days! We have so much fun together!