Episode #4: Sam Bard & Ashley Montgomery from Shag - The Fabricant Way
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Episode #4: Sam Bard & Ashley Montgomery from Shag

How an element of surprise drives Shag Brooklyn.

Today I’ll be talking to Sam & Ashley from Shag Brooklyn in Williamsburg.  Shag is a sexy shop that hosts events with local artists and offers each visitor the experience of a sexy environment. It’s not a sex shop, or at least not like the ones we’re used to, this is a place where feminism, art and sex merges.

I think that a big part of our success in the community is listening to everyone and not being exclusive towards just artists. We really try to be very inclusive, even if someone isn’t part of our world specifically and maybe is not interested in being a part of Shag. We still listen to them and hear what they have to say. We want to accommodate everyone, or try to as best we can.

Transcript:

Jennifer Dopazo: Hi.

Ashley Montgomery: Hi.

Samantha Bard: Hi.

Jennifer Dopazo: I read an interview on line where you say that Shag is the marriage between sex and art and I was just wondering if you could just tell us a little bit more about that?

Ashley Montgomery: I guess it started when I was in grad school. I’m an artist myself and all of my work had to do with sexuality, gender, intimacy, things like that. I thought about this concept for a store that has those same kind of ingredients, where it’s sexy. It’s about intimacy, but it also has this artistic flair. That’s where the base concept came from for Shag.

The marriage between sex and art, I think sex and art historically have been intertwined throughout history. There’s a lot of inspiration from sexuality, the human form, the human figure. Artist’s inspiration throughout time, the old salons, sex is woven in all of that. I don’t think this is anything new.

I think we have just aspired to bring that into a retail space so that it’s more commercially available of people to explore and also bring that to artists and let artists experiment with their work in ways where they don’t have to be inhibited and they can maybe tear the line a little bit, push the envelope, see how people in the community respond to their art. That’s really where we are.

Jennifer Dopazo: How was Shag conceived as a business idea? What was that moment where you decided to just, “Let’s bring it to the retail space and make it a business” this whole idea of art and sex?

Ashley Montgomery: Shag was originally conceived by Samantha with regards to creating a product and also a customer experience, which is a custom dildo casting. Sam is a sculptor by trade. She has her Master’s in fine arts and so that side of the business and her part in Shad was conceived in grad school. I’ll let you explain a little bit more about that.

Samantha Bard: Yeah, I was doing my MFA at Hunter and as one of my projects, I was doing life size body casting, full body casts, including genitalia. All of my work has to do with sexuality, gender, intimacy. The store was a natural progression from that. I was doing life size body casting, including genitalia.

At one point, I was like, “Hey I could totally make dildos, custom dildos.” I was thinking in terms more of commercial kind of thing, rather than a fine art thing and basically having another form of income, aside from trying to show at galleries and things like that. That’s where the idea was conceived and it grew from there from basically a studio, with a small retail area devoted to other artists making toys, whether it was glass or ceramic or whatever.

As I met more and more local artists and designers dealing with sexy themes and sexy concepts, it wasn’t all about toys. It was a hat designer that was making these great sexy hats or a bag designer that was using pornographic images in her designs for her bags. It blossomed into this concept that went much beyond the custom dildo. Then, at one point, I met Ashley, who is very community-based and we started talking about [00:04:00] a partnership in the business. I guess I’ll let her tell you a little bit about that.

Ashley Montgomery: I worked with a lot of small businesses, in and around the New York City area for many years, over 15 years now. I have a real passion for small production goods, things that are hard to find, unique items, things that are handmade, hand sewn, artisan products. My idea was always to have something that was a concept around small business, highlighting the uniqueness of products that you can’t get commercially made. That was near and dear to my heart.

When I met Sam, we merged our two ideas to become a place that sells unique artisan-made toys and other goods that have to do with intimacy and sexuality. That’s what Shag is.

Jennifer Dopazo: Great. I mean I love the whole transition from small studio and varied artists and artists with a passion like yours and then trying to find that extra income, which is kind of the typical story. It’s not only about just going to galleries but how you can take it to the next step. I guess that’s the community that you started working with once you opened Shag? How did that happen because I know you carry many goods of other artists. Right?

Ashley Montgomery: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jennifer Dopazo: Which one was that first group of people that were part of Shag? Was that the artists you knew before or how did that happen?

Ashley Montgomery: It happened very organically. Some of them were people that Sam knew. Some of them were people that I knew. Once we started the concept, people started coming to us. We would also go to some local markets and art [00:06:00] shows to reach out and network with artists. It’s also really helpful for the artists because it’s very hard to retail your products and pay for rent or pay for …

If you’re a one-man show or a one-woman show to set up a booth or find a place that you can rent out and do a pop-up shop, it’s a lot of work for an artist or a designer to do that. We found a need and we helped bring their products to market and a retail space for them.

Samantha Bard: Also I think part of that community that you’re talking about, I mean it goes beyond just the retail side of things and just the hats and bags and jewelry and things like that that local designers are making. We also offer 5 art shows a year. We do art exhibitions. We do window installations. We’re really, and that goes back to the marriage of sex and art too. We’re also community-based that way. We’re helping to create, or hopefully helping to create, a foundation for fine artists, as well as commercial designers to get their work out there.

Jennifer Dopazo: Yeah and then you’ll get them, people with different interests, just coming in. Maybe there’s people who just want to get to know more the work of specific artists and they just come here because they know it is here or they just stumbled upon it because they’re looking for a sexy experience or something like that. It’s the different ways for people to finding you. Would you say that’s something that can help the community grow or?

Ashley Montgomery: I think people are surprised when they come in. I think some people are confused about what Shag is and then they’re often pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s a place where they can come and it’s a comfortable space [00:08:00] to explore, experiment with sexuality. I think the other items, in and around the shop, make them feel more comfortable.

I definitely think that it creates a different atmosphere for the people who are just walking by, who don’t know what Shag is yet, and they happen to walk in and they get to experience the different pieces of jewelry that we have and the pillows and the linens and the lingerie, as well as sex toys.

Jennifer Dopazo: Would you say that that surprises because maybe some people walked in just looking for sex toys and then they find that it’s more than that? It’s just this whole world of sexy and art. Would you say that’s part of the surprise because of just expecting to walk into another sex shop?

Samantha Bard: I think it works both ways. I think it works someone who comes here looking specifically for a toy to buy walks in and sees that it’s this curated boutique filled with all of these sexy things. Then there’s the other side of things where people are coming in, maybe just randomly off the street or they think it’s a gift shop and they just want a piece of jewelry or something for a friend. As they start to move around the store, they become aware that there’s a sexy theme. They’re seeing-

Ashley Montgomery: It’s an ah ha moment.

Samantha Bard: Right and then they get to a certain point well yeah where it’s like, “Oh I get it.” Then those people I think, for the most part, are very pleasantly surprised because they’re already kind of entranced and involved in this world that they feel comfortable in and then, all of a sudden, they see some toys or they start to get, they understand the sexy concept and it makes sense. They already feel comfortable and they’re already-

Ashley Montgomery: Enjoying.

Samantha Bard: -enjoying their experience. It’s just an extra added-

Ashley Montgomery: That’s a nice thing because sometimes you just walk into this stores that are all over the city and everything is just in your face but here, there’s this period of time where you just enjoy different items that you have. I feel that it’s a discovery place. You just walk in and you start discovering different things. That journey and that experience that you basically have created for them, it’s what makes them feel even more comfortable.

Ashley Montgomery: That’s good. That’s what we were going for.

Samantha Bard: I think it also helps people to come back because every time they come, I know it’s typical for a retail store to get new merchandise in all the time but our merchandise sometimes is just so special and fun and unique that every time a regular customer comes back, there’s something else to find and something else to discover, like you said. It’s always a new experience.

Jennifer Dopazo: Apart from the whole retail part and the front window with the artists and all that, you also host workshops here. I wonder if that was also part of, when you were thinking of Shag, if that was part of the plan or if it’s something that you felt that it was needed. While you started growing and the community was growing, how did this whole idea of workshops started?

Samantha Bard: It was part of the original plan, from the very beginning. I guess we kind of took that model from other sex shops that have been around for a long time, Pleasure Chest, Babe Land. It’s typical for a sex positive retail shop to offer things to the community like workshops and education, seminars, just things so people who are curious to learn more have an opportunity to do so.

Ashley Montgomery: In this day and age, people can Google lots of things online and self-educate a lot but there’s nothing quite like being in a room with other people and being with someone who is a professional and can [00:12:00] walk you through how to do something that you’ve never done before in a safe place. You know that you’re in good hands. You’re with someone who, this is their whole life. They are an expert in bondage. They are an expert in being a dominatrix. That’s their world and they’re bringing that to you or to the community, which is just something that you can’t get online.

We did feel like it was a big part of what we wanted to offer her and, in fact, when we were looking for space, that was one of our criteria, to make sure that we had a place that was private which, having a private space is something that a lot of companies do not do. We felt like having a private space where people could relax so they don’t feel like they’re in the middle of a retail store, learning about something so intimate, that’s what we tried to create with the workshop space, the back room.

Jennifer Dopazo: Which also feels very cozy. This is something that I’m bringing up because once you walk into the store, it doesn’t feel like any retail store. Again, it’s very homey. It’s very, and I think I read something online something about that, how you wanted to make it that way. You feel that you’re at a friend’s living room having this confidence and just feel very comfortable in your environment. I feel like you can feel that way in this back room.

I wonder if you think that has any effect on the people really coming to it. Do you think the same people who come for a workshop in Shag would do it in any other store? What do you think would be, what are you adding to those new models of workshops in sex shops and all that?

Ashley Montgomery: It’s definitely a homier feel. It’s definitely a space where it’s, to me it doesn’t feel pretentious. It feels like you can come here with your partner and you’re not going to a sterile environment or you’re not going to a safe environment.

You’re going some place where you feel safe and so creating that space takes away a lot of anxiety for people I think. It just brings it down a notch and lets people really enjoy the experience instead of worrying about where they are.

In fact, when we were thinking about merchandising the store, Samantha and I went to some antique shops and we went on a road trip to Pennsylvania and picked up vanities and some old sewing machines and some old dressers and wardrobes to actually use instead of commercial shelving units for that particular goal so that it does feel a little bit more like a bedroom or someone’s house instead of just a retail store.

Jennifer Dopazo: Yeah, that’s great.

Samantha Bard: Also in terms of what we offer in our workshops that might be different than other stores, other sex stores that offer similar things, I think we really think about the experience, the customer experience for our workshops. They’re really interactive. You’re learning. You’re having fun. All of these things, which I guess every, no matter where you go to a workshop, the whole goal is to learn and have fun at the same time.

Adding that interactive element really makes it that much more enjoyable and that much more comfortable. Being able to, like for our rope bondage workshop, learning the actual ties and practicing on your friend or partner instead of just sitting through a lecture and hearing people [00:16:00] talk. It’s really a conversation that happens. Rather than someone talking at you, they’re talking with you at all times.

Ashley Montgomery: Right.

Jennifer Dopazo: I want to quote Sam really quick. I read an interview where you said that “Artists and designers are often reluctant to experiment with taboo subjects and new mediums because they’re worried about commercial viability. We created Shag as a place where people can go and not be afraid to try something new.” Was there any obstacle when you started a business? Was there any obstacle because of the nature of the business when you were starting off? I don’t know from retail space to anything?

Ashley Montgomery: We constantly are overcoming obstacles with the shop. From corporate financing and trying to get a bank account set up for merchant services and being considered high risk and that struggle with underwriting procedures and having to prove that we aren’t a high risk store to a little bit of community upheaval at the beginning. We had one guy in particular who just was not happy about us opening up.

We had to be very cautious and overly respectful of him, hoping to ease his anxiety about what he thought we were doing to the neighborhood or bringing to the neighborhood. We are also across the street from a school so there is some sensitivity around that. The last thing we want to do is offend anyone. That’s really the last thing that we want to do. We try to create a space where people actually [00:18:00] feel comfortable.

We’re not trying to make anyone upset or tip the boat with that. However, it is sex and people are going to be uncomfortable. You can’t please everybody. What we have to do is do what’s right within us to … Sometimes Sam and I have a dialog about things and even something that we say, “You know what? Maybe it is pushing the envelope a little bit or towing the line. Let’s see how people respond to it.” We’ll do that.

Just recently we had a window display that was designed by a local artist and it was important to her to depict a certain image and aesthetic. We said, “OK let’s go for it.” We had someone come in and express her concern over what she perceived the image to portray. She felt like it was derogatory. Again, Sam and I had a discussion about it and we decided, “You know what? In the big scheme of things, if that’s how she feels, we’ll go ahead and make some adjustments to the image.”

It’s always a bit of a delicate dance with regards to what we want to express and what we want our artists and designers to be able to express and what the outside world is comfortable with.

Samantha Bard: I think that a big part of our success in the community is listening to everyone and not being exclusive towards just artists. We really try to be very inclusive, even if someone isn’t part of our world specifically and maybe is not interested in being a part of Shag. We still listen to them and hear what they have to say. We want to accommodate everyone, or try to as best we can.

I think that part of people feeling comfortable with the store and the way that the store is merchandised and the way that we talk to people in the store and their experience, I think even people who would say, “I would never go into a sex shop” might come into ours and be like, “OK I would shop here.” It’s like little-by-little and it’s one person at a time and I mean that’s how the community grows. It’s been a very organic experience I think.

Ashley Montgomery: I think if we just plowed through and did whatever we wanted whenever, that would never accomplish what we want to accomplish.

Jennifer Dopazo: Which is a position that also artists and businesses sometimes they take, like “We’re here. This is what we are” and that’s it where there’s no way back. I think the fact that you have that space for that community that again might not be your community or that might not be interested in what you do, there’s also a space for them. It’s how you work with them and just again don’t make them uncomfortable. It’s like a win-win somehow because you need to listen to them so they can just start to understand you a big better. Right?

Ashley Montgomery: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Absolutely. I think everyone needs to feel validated at some point. I think validation is the first step to lowering defenses and creating a dialog with people and letting them know that it doesn’t have to be our way or the highway. They are the community as well. That’s important to us.

Jennifer Dopazo: You talk about validation. How was the process when you said, “We have something here that it’s people want it and people are responding to it.” Did that happen [00:22:00] early on? How was that process?

Ashley Montgomery: I would say our first anniversary party was a pretty big success. Sam and I have celebrated in bits and pieces over the years. We’re coming up on 5 years now. We have a bottle of champagne that someone gave us on our first anniversary. We keep saying, “Oh we’re going to open that champagne and really celebrate one day when we’ve made it, when we accomplish all of our goals.” It’s still sitting there. It might even be bad by now.

I think it’s just this constantly evolving process and project for us. I think we could do a little bit better job of celebrating our successes but we work really hard and sometimes I think we’re still in the trenches, so to speak. We still have a lot of goals that we want to achieve. We have big ideas for the brand, the company, and our role in human sexuality development and couples play and all of those things. This is kind of the beginning of the process for us.

Jennifer Dopazo: I feel like there’s something even like social happening with what you offer and the way you present even your products and the way you say, “This is what we are. This is what we do and this is how we want you to experiment it.” Right?

Ashley Montgomery: Right. It’s very engaging. It’s an experience. It’s not just, “Oh let’s go buy something.” It’s a place where people can ask questions or they can … It’s also it’s a place that grows with people. Wherever someone is in their exploration, they can develop their exploration. It could be someone who’s just starting out beginning to explore themselves sexually and explore themselves through masturbation.

It could be a couple who wants to try new things. It could be a person or a couple who has done quite a bit of exploring and now they’re ready to really get into some kink or spice things up in a different way. It could be people who their bodies are changing, maybe after pregnancy or they’re going through menopause.

We, as people, change throughout our lives and that means that our sexuality changes throughout life. We really aim to be a place where people can come back at different phases of their own body, their own journey with sex. I think also the fact that Sam and I don’t hide behind anything. We are real women. We are Sam and Ashley. Those are our real names. We are part of the community. We are these real people, not just hiding behind a brand name.

That’s been challenging in different ways for us because we have to interact with the people that come in, whether it’s a positive experience or something that can be a little bit challenging. That’s definitely been something that I don’t think I thought about necessarily up front.

Samantha Bard: Yeah. In my background was service industry for a long time so I always had that interaction with my customers. I think for me, it was just inherent. I wasn’t, that’s just the way it is.

Ashley Montgomery: Bartender turned sex therapist.

Samantha Bard: Yeah. Exactly. I even call the counter my bar because we have so many people that come back time after time just to hang out or to talk or to see what’s [00:26:00] new. Sometimes they buy things and sometimes they don’t. Either way, it’s what we’re trying to do, which is have that safe place for people to come and talk about how they just broke up with their girlfriend or how they are on tinder now or whatever they want to talk about, whether it’s about relationships or intimacy, sex, or something totally different, what they ate for lunch.

It’s still OK and we’re there for them. We really try to, I mean Ashley and I are here and we recently hired staff. We really want our staff to be part of that mission as well and be able to talk to people and make people feel comfortable and be able to have a conversation with people, no matter what it’s about.

Jennifer Dopazo: Having an image of the brand, even though it could be scary or it’s a lot to take on, it doesn’t matter which business you are, which brand you are, sometimes people really struggle with this idea of, “Do I want to be the image of it?” I think in your case, it might have played in a positive way because people they know again who is behind Shag or they get to know you and talk to you and ask you questions and learn from you. I think that’s something that-

Ashley Montgomery: We learn with them as well. We don’t know everything either. A lot of times we’ll get asked a question and our response is, “That’s a great question. I have no idea.” We can ask someone else who might be an expert in that area. We can do research with them.

Sometimes people aren’t looking for an answer. They’re just looking to talk and get feedback and have someone listen to them as well.

Jennifer Dopazo: Going back to growth, those goals that you basically like say for Shag, where is Shag going? What are you seeing in the future? What are the next steps? I know it’s this feeling of like [00:28:00] we still have many things to do but what’s the next step for Shag?

Ashley Montgomery: That’s a great question. We have lots of ideas. We’re actually right now working on redefining our vision and mission and figuring out what the next 5 or 10 years for Shag means.

Samantha Bard: Eventually we do want to have, I mean this is our only store right now. Eventually we’d like to have multi-stores in many different cities and I mean this is something where we have to figure out if it could work or if that’s the direction we want. Ideally, we’ve talked about having each store be specific to its city, so we have Shag Brooklyn, here in Williamsburg. We would have Shag Austin in Austin, Texas.

Each store would be special to its location and its community because we could still concentrate on products from that local community and still have the same vibe and same products.

Ashley Montgomery: A general prototype, a general experience that people can expect but also bring that unique element to each location. We’ve talked about some sort of hybrid franchise model that gets away from a traditional franchise but has the procedures and the policies in place so that people can go to a Shag Austin and know they’re going to get a
really great experience. That’s all in the works.

Jennifer Dopazo: That sounds great. I mean it’s basically trying to see how you can just offer them the experience, but with that unique touch of local.

Ashley Montgomery: Absolutely.

Jennifer Dopazo: I can just go to Austin and I still know that I’m in Shag, but there’s something that is only about that location that is going to make it even more special.

Ashley Montgomery: Exactly. You’ll get something [00:30:00] special that you wouldn’t be able to get in the Brooklyn store or in the San Francisco store, or maybe you can. There will be things that flow back and forth but yeah, we’d like it to be really supportive of each community that it’s in.

Jennifer Dopazo: There’s also this, you have an online store-

Ashley Montgomery: Yup.

Jennifer Dopazo: -which I’m assuming that opened the doors for a bigger community. Nowadays, many people they just go first for online. They try that because getting a space, paying for rent and getting these overhead expenses, most of the time people just recommend you don’t go for it. This is something that we’re in a very online world. We’re getting used to these online communities and it seems to be OK. I wonder how you feel about that? Do you think that’s a space that you would also explore or do you want always to be a person-to-person sort of relationship?

Ashley Montgomery: No, we’re definitely open to online being part of the brand. It’s its own monster, if you will. An online store takes a lot of work in its own right. We’re not experts in SEO optimization and things like that. What we’ve tried to do with our online store is mirror the in-store feel so that people get a taste of what we have here and they can grasp what our workshops are about or they can see some of the art that we’re curating here. How successful our online presence will be is yet to be determined.

Jennifer Dopazo: I want to talk a bit about the artists in the front window. I think it’s an amazing idea [00:32:00] and it’s a completely different façade every time you walk by. Not every time but you know it’s changing. I want to know how this whole idea came to be. How did it started and how does it work?

Samantha Bard: I think that was just an extension of, we do 5 art exhibitions a year with local artists. They’re solo shows. They’re up for 10 weeks. We have an art opening so they can bring all of their friends. It is for sale, the art is for sale. That changes the interior every couple of months, which each artist that comes in gives a totally different feel to the space. The space changes 5 times a year. This was kind of an extension.

We have these huge beautiful windows that look out onto the street so why not offer that to artists as well to basically they can gain exposure. It’s just a fun thing to be part of, to have your work for thousands of people to see over the course of 3 or 4 months. We keep them up for 3 or 4 months, the window installations. Sometimes it’s a direct representation of what’s inside the store and sometimes it’s a completely different artist that we’ll have in the window. It just depends on how things work themselves out.

Jennifer Dopazo: I wonder if this has been an artist that has come here, done the work or show their work if that was one big step for their career. Has that happened before that they just maybe got picked up by some curator or I don’t know a gallery or anything like that?

Samantha Bard: It has. It’s happened a few times, not necessarily with the window display but with the art that we exhibit on the inside. We had one artists who was picked up by the Japan Society. They saw some of his work. Yeah, it’s happened. Some smaller things have happened. Yeah, for sure, some artists have gotten some great exposure that have helped further their careers.

Jennifer Dopazo: That’s wonderful. You’re basically a platform to help them not only to be seen by more people but also promote the artist for their own work and see where they go next.

Samantha Bard: Yeah you never know. It’s different. We’re not a gallery per se. We don’t have connections with art collectors and things like that but that gives people, artists, gives them a chance to have someone who might never see their work. People who never go to a gallery might come into our store and be like, “Wow, that’s something that I love.

That’s something that I want on my wall.” It just expands things for
everyone.

Jennifer Dopazo: Definitely. That’s a completely different group. Again, maybe someone who is not really into the art world just come here and be like, “I love that piece.”

Ashley Montgomery: That was actually really important to us. We decided we don’t want to be a gallery. We aren’t going to operate like other galleries do because then the art probably wouldn’t be affordable to people, first of all, which means it’s not going to sell, which means no one’s benefiting from anything other than coming and seeing something beautiful.

In order to make it an actual, tangible sale or get the artists feeling excited and to feel like, “Wow I actually have an opportunity to be in someone’s living room instead of just on a gallery wall somewhere.” That’s different. Our artists get really excited about that. We even have some artists who they show in galleries but they also choose to show here different work because of that attainability.

It’s been important for us to make art affordable to people and also to make it where the artists have a real opportunity to sell their work to people that normally wouldn’t ever [00:36:00] be able to afford it otherwise.

Jennifer Dopazo: That’s great. I love it. It was just so wonderful to talk to both of you and learn a little bit more about Shag. I was just wondering if you could give some, I don’t know, tips or anything that you’ve learned from this journey from anyone who’s getting to know you guys today and I don’t know anything that you could just advise, a piece of advice to anyone who’s really curious and really want to go for it and maybe build their own businesses or sell their own, as an artist, see how they can just take their art to the next level?

Samantha Bard: Well besides finding yourself a really good partner, I think that’s really important, someone you can communicate with and talk to and work things out and understand each other. I think also part of our success has come from our different backgrounds. If we were both artists, who knows if we would be here 5 years later but Ashley has a financial background. I have a more creative background. The two together, even though we mix worlds obviously within the Shag world, we each have our responsibilities that we’re good at. That really works.

Ashley Montgomery: I don’t step on your toes most of the time. You don’t step on my toes most of the time. We really respect each other.

Samantha Bard: I’m happy to let her do the taxes.

Ashley Montgomery: We really do respect each other. Again, I’ve worked with so many businesses in and around the New York area for years and I think people underestimate the importance of having a good working relationship with their colleagues and their partners. That’s something that we strive to create with our employees as well, as we grow as a company, to have that [00:38:00] open door policy for communicating.

Samantha Bard: I think another tip I would say is to make sure you’re doing something that you love, something you really believe in. I guess you don’t necessarily have to love it but you have to believe in it and believe in its success and not even think that failure is a possibility. You just do it.

Ashley Montgomery: Absolutely and I think that expecting huge success, there’s no quick fix, no miracle success story here. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s perseverance. It’s communication. It’s also sacrificing things and sacrificing something for a bigger goal and a bigger idea, which is why doing something that you love or something that means something to you will help carry you through those times where maybe financially it’s not as successful as it could be or as you want it to be at different milestones. Knowing that you’re working towards something bigger has been a real-

Samantha Bard: A motivator.

Ashley Montgomery: -a motivator, yup.

Jennifer Dopazo: That’s great. Thank you.

Ashley Montgomery: Thanks.

Samantha Bard: Thank you.