This month, Reverie celebrates its 5th anniversary! In 5 years, there has been incredible growth, a multitude of changes, numerous milestones reached, many challenges overcome, and countless goals achieved. Through all the change and growth, ONE thing has remained constant and consistent - Reverie’s passion to partner with small to mid-sized, founder-led, high achieving businesses. It is just who we are, and who we will always be.
How it Began:
In 2019, Reverie was born! Reverie’s founders, Jaid Mackin and Lindsay Miller, always knew they would join forces. With a shared passion to work with small to mid-sized, privately-owned businesses, and an identical set of core values and work ethic, Mackin and Miller knew it was only a matter of time. That time started in January of 2019.
Initially, Reverie was going to be called Framework. The concept behind the name? Our consultants would “frame out” the work to be done within our clients’ businesses. The corresponding logo was a window with 4 quadrants. However, Mackin and Miller didn’t connect with that name or the logo. To capture a name that spoke to them, they participated in a full-day, brainstorming workshop with a respected colleague and friend in the advertising field. As a result of that workshop, Reverie was chosen. By definition, reverie means a state of being pleasantly lost in one's thoughts; a daydream. The desire of Mackin and Miller to start their business was to help the entrepreneurs they work with never stop dreaming about and achieving more with their business. A connection was made. A company name was chosen. And, with the help of a talented graphic designer, the hexagon logo was selected.
At its inception, the Reverie team consisted of the two founders and NO employees. On November 4th, 2019, Mackin and Miller hired their first team member knowing the roster of clients was going to double by the end of year. 5 years later, Reverie has grown to a team of 6 - with three additional consultants hired between October of 2020 and June of 2023.
With no office to work out of, the original “team of three” would meet at a Capital One Cafe on Southport Avenue, in Starbucks all across Chicagoland, or in the beautiful lobbies of family and friends’ offices. Forecasting the growth that was to come, in the summer of 2020, when the world was coming out of isolation, Reverie leased their first office in Industrious, a co-share space in Wicker Park.
Reverie started with two clients. Today, Reverie has partnered with over 18 small to mid-sized, founder-led companies. The list of clients includes two national retailers, plus clients located in California, North Carolina, and Indiana.
In addition to growing our client base, Reverie also launched an online course for micro business owners, developed a library of videos for micro, small, and mid-sized business owners, hosted online workshops, created a monthly email, authored monthly blogs, grew our social media accounts exponentially, and, most recently, launched a podcast called Finding Reverie: An Entrepreneur’s Journey.
Last but certainly not least, Reverie continues to focus on building a collaborative, supportive, and engaging culture. Reverie prides itself on having zero employee turnover. Despite all working with different clients, and generally not at the same physical location, it is a priority to host monthly team outings or send a note or “surprise” to each team member. In addition, Reverie hosts an annual Reverie Gives Back Day where it partners with a local charity or organization to volunteer the team members’ time and efforts to support the communities in which they work. Maintaining a strong culture is as important to Mackin and Miller as finding Reverie’s next client.
What is the secret sauce behind the success of Reverie and what makes working here so special? Let’s hear from Jaid, Lindsay, and the Reverie team!
Q - Jaid & Lindsay, what is the secret sauce that makes you work so well together?
Jaid: The shared values Lindsay and I possess. We approach things very differently, but we are both in lockstep when it comes to our values.
Lindsay: All the things we have in common: sense of humor, approach to business, core values, level of execution, and a growth mindset - to name a few!
Q - What brings you the most pride in the work we do?
Ali: Getting entrepreneurs "unstuck,” and out of overwhelm into an inspired state of action. And, I love seeing team members excited about the future of their careers and their contribution to the whole team's success.
Annette: How much we truly care about the businesses we partner with. It’s authentic, it’s genuine, and it’s heartfelt. I don’t know if there are bigger fans of the businesses we work with than the Reverie team!
Jaid: When the owner of the organization takes their first "didn't have to worry" vacation or break from the business.
Lindsay: I absolutely love seeing anyone we've worked with hit a milestone. It's such a fun reminder of why we do what we do!
Nathalie: I'm really proud of HOW we approach situations, projects, and conflict. I truly believe our ability to thoughtfully ask questions and listen is one of our best strengths. We trust in our clients' knowledge and expertise in their respective industries. By dedicating time to press the "pause" button, to ask ALL of the questions, and get to know our client’s business and people, equips us to better partner with them. With a deep understanding of what is at play and the people involved, we can solve for the underlying process bottlenecks/challenges that present differently on the surface.
Sara: Watching a client reach a major milestone that they would not have gotten to without our direction, leadership, and support.
Q - Jaid and Lindsay, how did you build the culture at Reverie and ensure that culture continues?
Jaid: I think it started with the right hires. We deeply believe in coaching and training, but there's nothing as efficient as having great hiring practices (#FrankScenario) that gives you a jumpstart on hiring the right team. For us the right team members are kind, independent, and self-motivated. Having those characteristics in each hire has taken care of the culture in many ways "on its own."
Lindsay: It's all in the hiring process! We're really clear about the fact that we want to deliver a high-level service (which requires dependability, confidence, supreme work ethic, etc.) by way of an equal amount of fun. The only way this is going to be fun is if we add people to our team who understand and align with our vision. It started with our first team member, Annette!
Q - What makes Reverie unique from any previous employer/job you've had?
Ali: With its sole focus on Organizational Development, at Reverie there is a deep, fundamental grasp of what it takes for an organization to truly flourish. As a company, Reverie recognizes the interconnectedness of every organizational element from revenue generation to employee well-being. I see that knowledge in practice every day with our clients as well as internally at Reverie, ensuring that every decision is intentional and healthy for the business and its people. I feel lucky to be surrounded by a whole team of OD specialists who are personally vested in that.
Annette: I don’t know that I have ever worked for a company that is more holistically invested in their team members. Reverie wants each team member to be the best version of themselves both professionally and personally. They guide you, teach you, encourage you, celebrate with you, get to know you personally and professionally, and truly care about you. It’s not lip service; it’s their way. And, this culture of caring exists in EVERY team member - from Jaid and Lindsay to the whole team. We truly root for one another!
Jaid: The variety of work we do - sometimes it's strategic planning with the owner and partners, sometimes it's taking a lunch order... doesn't matter... whatever it takes to get it done...it's always valuable, always fun, and always interesting.
Lindsay: The fulfillment I have from helping business owners work through some of the most difficult and challenging experiences they might face in business is unique to this company. I just love it!
Nathalie: People always ask me "Well, you work for an organizational consulting firm - does Reverie actually practice what they preach to their clients?" My answer? Absolutely and then some. Our team is open to suggestions and different approaches, challenges one another to grow and learn, celebrates us as individuals and team members, and is intentional in spending time together. I feel that my team really took the time to know me as a person and as a result, knows how I can best serve our clients and be the best Reverie team member I can be.
Sara: Action - coming from a very corporate environment with lots of red tape, it is so great to be in a place where our processes and direction are put into immediate action where we can see the results. And the team culture; I truly feel appreciated and engaged as an employee.
Q - Jaid and Lindsay, what is the one lesson you've had to learn multiple times?
Jaid: It’s a concept of having complete control of my actions that I read about in the book, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. The book reminds us that we are in total and complete control of our decisions and actions. I have to remind myself of this all the time.
Lindsay: It all works out the way it's meant to. If it feels unresolved that isn't the end of the story. Keep moving forward no matter what.
Q - What is the one thing you want everyone to know about Reverie (the one thing you want to scream from the rooftops)?
Ali: Reverie is a true partner to our entrepreneurs and we are wholeheartedly dedicated to their success. Our clients' wins are our wins and their challenges are our challenges. We love to solve problems with a fresh perspective and see the entrepreneur's vision for a bright future come to life, no matter where they're starting from.
Annette: When you partner with Reverie, you have a group of talented, intelligent, hard-working people who will push you out of your comfort zone, hold you accountable, empower you, and help you achieve accolades in your business you never thought were possible. However, we do this by truly and thoughtfully listening to the entrepreneur and hearing what they have to say. We will not force people to make changes to their business that they aren’t aligned with or feel comfortable doing. The owners are the driver of the change; the ultimate decision maker. We are simply there to see it through.
Jaid: That we work with very successful businesses who want to GROW. I think a lot of people think we do "turn-arounds" or help prepare for a sale... our soulmate clients are right in the middle of their journey and ready to ramp up, not slow down.
Lindsay: We work with high performance teams! Most companies struggle through growth and transition - it doesn't make them low performing or at-risk. Enlightened owners are those who recognize that the addition of Reverie will help power and empower their team members to work from their strengths and get things done in a more expeditious manner.
Nathalie: We aren't your typical "consultants!” We bring our passion and energy for organization, structure, and most importantly, PEOPLE into each and every project and interaction, building real partnerships with business owners and their teams.
Sara: Boss Babe Power! I love working with so many intelligent, thoughtful, respected women that make things happen. Additionally, I feel lucky to continuously learn new skills from this talented team.
What a fun journey these past 5 years have been for Jaid, Lindsay, and the Reverie Team! Congratulations, Reverie!
To learn more about Jaid and Lindsay’s journey into entrepreneurship, please listen to this month’s podcast, Finding Reverie: An Entrepreneur’s Journey with Jaid Mackin and Lindsay Miller dropping soon.