Happy Friday, everyone! I’m sure that you have lots of fun plans for the long weekend, and hopefully this tropical storm won’t affect them! This week’s #girlboss features Emily Knauss, as our Fabulous Female Friday! 

Emily (Em) is the younger sister of one of my best friends (and my photographer), Nate (Nater) Knauss! In the Knauss family, Emily is the only girl with five brothers, with our Nater being the oldest of the siblings. Emily has always been close with Nate, so when I met Nate shortly after meeting my now husband (12 years ago), I quickly got to know Emily too! Em is such a kind, thoughtful, caring person, and I love having her (and her fiancĂ©) in our lives! 

In addition to the career that Emily will be describing in her post, she is also a certified yoga instructor at YogaSoul in Princeton, NJ, she rents out her Photo Booth (that she built herself), and she’s an incredible photographer (just like her brother!)! How cool is all of that? 

My last little fun fact about Em is that her fur baby is my two favorite dog breeds in one absolutely lovable pup named Zelda! Zelda is half lab (like my pup, Watson) and half Bernese Mountain Dog, making her a Labernese! Love it! 

Ms. Emily Knauss, Construction Design Specialist

I began my career with my company in 2013.  With its huge national and worldwide growth, I had to learn my responsibilities fast and allow them to adapt to each unique scenario.  What started off as a draftsperson position drawing up every new restaurant floor plan, turned into managing and overseeing all of the architectural development as the franchise continued to blossom.  I still work on floor plans keeping my design skills in check, but for the most part, my position is ensuring that all of the architects I have met with and trained, would keep to our process and procedure and assist in opening stores as seamlessly as possible.  Through my time with my company since 2013, I have helped to open hundreds of restaurants, and not one of them are the same.

What makes the position continually exciting is meeting people and hearing their stories.  Whether they are architects, franchisees, or contractors, they are all part of the process and listening to how it all comes together is an awesome experience.  I think this does relate to my best quality: of listening to see how I can really help the process come together based upon all the parties at hand.  Nothing ever affects one person, so finding the best route to balance everyone’s needs is a daily process.  And seeing the success of it all at the end of the day, week, month, makes the process so worthwhile.

I absolutely feel the strongest when I am posed against an especially challenging new location to develop.  It can be similar to fitting pieces of the puzzle together in such a unique fashion.  It feels like such an accomplishment that a dream location, could become the dream store for a future franchisee and all their customers can enjoy.  It also continually helps me to see the process a little different.  An open mind goes a long way.

Throughout it all, having my family definitely keeps me going.  I love working and I love making a difference, but I especially love coming home to my family.  Having support to keep my mind fresh clears out any fog that the day may present.  It’s like that big breath you take before climbing up the next stair case, just so needed and so enjoyable.  

I value the support system I share with my family.  It is never a “me” situation, it is always an “us.”  How can we continue to make “us” stronger, wiser, healthier together.  What has been the most beautiful thing is that I met my fiancĂ© when we both early on in our careers, and to climb together with each other’s success in mind has been an incredible journey.  

Hands down the biggest accomplishment of my career is simply making a difference in people’s lives and establishing awesome connections along the way.  I am part of the process of building people’s dreams, this is a huge deal!  And to see the success at the end of the day, seeing their happiness and their dream come to life is worth every detail we pour over along the way.

Advice to younger Emily:  just know this is a journey and it’s about the people you meet throughout.  Listening is never a weakness, but actually develops more trust.  Never be afraid of holding a leadership position, people will know your value through your knowledge and passion for making a difference.

The reason why I wake up every morning: I look forward to growing and learning something new.  There’s alway something more to take in and learn from.  I never want to believe for a second I know it all.  

My biggest failure: believing I had to “prove” myself in a change of position and not thinking I had value until then.  I wish I could go back and shake my younger self to boost my moral here.  Life is truly a journey, you cannot jump to the conclusion right from the start.  And the growth along the way makes all the difference.

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