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Two Minutes With Caryn Dujanovich of The Grange Hospitality Group

As the proprietor of The Grange, West Rose, The Grange Outpost, and the upcoming Wayland Brewing Company, Caryn Dujanovich has her hands full. We caught up with the busy entrepreneur to chat about where she looks for ideas, tips for running a successful business, and the lessons she has learned throughout her journey.

  1. How do you start your day?

    ​​Make coffee immediately

  2. Where do you look for new ideas?

    Everywhere—restaurants, home interiors, hotels, nature; nothing is off the table

  3. Before The Grange became a reality, it was a collage of inspiring images on a mood board. Can you share any mood board best practices?

    I am big on asking myself the question “will I get sick of this in five years?” There are so many outlets for design inspiration nowadays (social media, Pinterest, etc.) that it’s easy to fall into the trends. I always try to sift through the images I like and make sure they’re timeless.

  4. As an entrepreneur, you must wear a lot of different hats. How would you best describe your current role?

    I often refer to myself as a ping pong ball because I go wherever I’m needed! My role is fluid. Currently, I am in full throttle with our newest project, Wayland Brewing Company. I’m working on design, project management, and everything in between.

  5. After college, you did a short stint in law enforcement before transitioning to a career working for Anthropologie. What did your role at Anthropologie entail, and what were some of the challenges of navigating such a drastic change?

    The transition from law enforcement into retail was a curveball, to say the least! Working in law enforcement taught me about the importance of work ethic, self-discipline, and how to have thick skin. It set me up for my entire adult life. Having that experience right out of college was, in retrospect, the best thing that could have happened. But when I got the chance to join an inspiring corporation like Anthropologie, I knew it was the right decision. I started out in an entry-level position and worked my way up to visual management. When I worked there, it was not your typical retail store where everything was mapped out by corporate and your displays were pre-made—you could create your own stories and experiences within the store. That’s truly where I learned the importance and impact of ambiance and attention to detail.

  6. Were you able to take any lessons away from your time at Anthropologie that helped you in launching The Grange?

    100%, yes. Throughout my years working for Anthropologie, I had some amazing (and tough) managers. At the time, it was hard having a manager that would push you. But looking back, it’s honestly what molded me into the person I am today. I learned the importance of systems, structure, attention to detail, and how to manage a large team. I wholeheartedly believe that’s a big part of the reason that we successfully launched The Grange. I’m very grateful for my time there and for the people I worked with.

  7. You’ve now worked with Block Club on a few different projects. From a design perspective, what makes the partnership successful?

    Block Club is our not-so-secret ingredient! We align with them in many ways that make the partnership so successful. We have been working together for a little over six years—their guidance and friendship has been invaluable to us. I’ve found that when you click with another person in design, you should lean into that relationship as opposed to shy away from it out of fear or ego. Our branding informs the design of all our spaces; it’s essential that we collaborate while we develop both. Interior color palette, textures, finishes—it’s all part of the conversation with Block Club to ensure we’re cohesive in marrying branding and interior.

  8. What do you miss about life before starting a business?

    As a small business owner, I carry a lot of weight on my shoulders knowing that our business is responsible for a lot of careers. That feeling of “leaving work at work,” I’d say that’s what I miss the most.

  9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

    Be true to yourself.

  10. You’ve expanded The Grange family to include West Rose and The Grange Outpost. The forthcoming Wayland Brewing Company makes four unique businesses under your belt. How do you manage the workload?

    Our team! We are so lucky to have a dedicated, hardworking, committed team—they make all of this possible.

  11. Despite the distinct experiences they offer, what’s something your guests can expect from all four businesses?

    Approachability. We want everyone to feel welcome. Whether they’re celebrating a milestone, grabbing a quick bite after a workout, dining out with the kids, or on a date—we’re here to serve.

  12. How do you transition from “work mode” to “relax mode”?

    I’ll let you know when I figure that out. 🙃

  13. What’s an important detail fledgling entrepreneurs might overlook when starting a business?

    Startup costs and working capital. When we were opening The Grange, we received advice from a very successful restaurant in North Carolina. I emailed them on a whim not thinking they would respond since they didn’t know us—but they did! We have always been so grateful that they took the time out of their lives to answer our email and on top of that, filled it full of advice that genuinely set us up for success with our opening. Shows what a little kindness can do.

  14. How has your life been different than you imagined?

    I don’t really know what I imagined, to be honest! I believe everything happens for a reason (a mantra my mom has instilled in me). All the experiences I have gone through have led me to this moment which I am very grateful for. I have a beautiful daughter, and she is the world to me.

  15. Finally, if your life was a movie, what lesson would you want viewers to take away from it?

    First off, if my life were a movie, I would want it to be Footloose (the original)! That being said, I think the most important lesson would be not to take anything for granted. Be in the moment and appreciate those around you. My family, friends, and team; I couldn’t do any of it without the support system I have.

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