27 Oct 2021 07:00

More than Married: Finding the Right Cofounder with Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic, Co-founders of BYBI

‘I do.’ Those two words conjure up visions of wedding fayre, flowers, cake, brides, grooms. Marriage is a serious decision, complete with signed government documents and promises related to health and finances. If you break down a co-founder relationship, what you’ll find is a lot of those same critical components. Hours of time spent together on a daily basis for an undetermined but nevertheless significant amount of time; finances tied to each other; and a never-ending stream of contracts and other legal documents you both are signed and tied to. And don’t forget the countless conversations, squabbles, laughs and tears that woven together create the fabric of a relationship that can, hopefully, stand the test of time. 

Dominika Minarovic, one of the co-founders of BYBI Beauty, knows that choosing the right business partner is like choosing the right life partner: it all starts with a foundation of respect and admiration.

“I was always like equal parts fearful slash pure admiration of Elsie. And I think that's a great combo, obviously not fearful of her anymore, but Elsie has a presence when she walks into a room. Everyone will stop and listen. And I think that's really powerful. I saw someone that I really admire. Elsie and I have really, really been through the wars. Like we've done some hard graft and I don't think at any point, have I ever heard a complaint come out of her mouth? We have carried boxes up like 10 flights of stairs. We've started offices in broom closets.

This kind of partnership is like any relationship: it has to go both ways. That mutual respect for each other is what you’ll need to remember and fall back on when crises pop up. But as Dominka’s co-founder, Elsie Rutterford will say, there’s also got to be an equal level of commitment to the work. 

“The word hustle. If you look it up in the dictionary, you will see Dominika Minarovic’s name sat underneath that. So she was a hustler through and through. And I really liked that about her. And I think like the hard working ethic. Yeah. And the way that she applied herself, I was like, definitely somebody that I would want to work with.” 

Respect, trust, and common dreams. These are some of the elements that are sprinkled through the story of how Elsie and Dominika found each other and developed their business together. But what else goes into a good co-founder relationship? And how did Elsie and Dominika find the answer throughout their journey to bring their beauty brand, BYBI, to the world? Find out this week on The Journey.

Main Takeaways:

  • A Match Made in Heaven: When you have the right co-founder by your side, there are limitless benefits. You can be there to support each other. You can share the burden of the responsibilities and daily tasks of running the business — especially valuable in the early stages. You can also share more empathy for each other, going through life changes and unexpected circumstances. You can share the financial responsibilities and take on less personal risk. But most importantly, by having a co-founder, you share a passion and drive toward a common goal and that can make your business strong enough to last. 
  • Disruption Takes Passion and Authenticity: Being passionate about the product or market you’re working in is a huge advantage because it makes you naturally think about what you want to get as a consumer. Having a deep-rooted passion about something that you want to change or dispel in that industry will make you more creative and effective in your work there. 
  • A Launching Pad: Your business might not evolve in the way you expect. There are many different ways for a brand to launch, whether that’s through a blog, a social media account, a book deal, or anything in between. No matter how


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