28Serious Leadership

WE MUST ADMIT, WE HAVE a soft spot for business partnerships; maybe because we know neither of us could have written this book alone. As part of our research on leadership, we wanted to speak with other partners and see how their leadership journeys have been shaped. For us, leading with a partner is about collaboration and making space for the work each of us enjoys and thrives in the most. Today that means one of us is writing this chapter, while the other is on his way to St. Louis to speak at a conference (lucky St. Louis…).

To learn more about leadership and partnership, Alison sat down with Khara Koffel and Megan Luckey, the co-owners of Serious Lip Balm.

(Highlights from our interview, recorded July 27, 2023.)

I'M KHARA KOFFEL. I'M ONE OF the co-owners of Serious Lip Balm. I am a college art professor and sculptor who inadvertently started a lip balm business with my friend Luckey 10 years ago. It's been a ride ever since.

Picture it, Illinois 2013, and although I never intended on having children, my son Jones Perry Benner was born. It didn't take me long to realize day care center teachers were highly undervalued in our community. Rather than giving them a “Number 1 Teacher” mug for Christmas, I decided these angels deserve something they could use and would love, something handmade. A student of mine, Megan Luckey, loved yarn and was always knitting and crocheting. At the time, arm knitting was popular, and so together we learned how to do it, ...

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