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Creative Shop Talk with Wendy Batten

Mar 20, 2023

Show Notes 

I often get asked my thoughts on going into business with friends and honestly, I have seen it succeed and I’ve seen it go sideways. Today, we are going to focus on the good. I’m interviewing Susan Mocker and Devon Cretella, owners of Extending Grace, a home decor shop in Hubbard, Ohio. They are sharing partnership advice and what worked for them and how two friends turned a shared creative hobby into a successful retail business partnership.


What Has Worked in Business for Susan and Devon


  1. They are business partners whose skill sets compliment each other. Susan is great at social media and “front end” tasks while Devon takes on more behind-the-scenes tasks.

  2. Susan and Devon trust each other’s decision making. They started their business with a shared belief that both of their intentions are good and that they are always working toward the same end goal. 

  3. Neither is afraid to speak up when something isn’t working and both are willing to try new things.

  4. Every year, they get away from their shop for an annual planning retreat. They plan Extending Grace’s year with intention away from home and their shop to avoid distractions.


“Write it in pencil because business is flexible.”


  1. They have an intense focus on building and collaborating with their community. In the episode, you will hear them explain their incredible success with their own workshops, the online platform “CommentSold,” and bringing in outside teachers to host workshops in their store (for free!).

  2. Both Susan and Devon knew when the time was right to start their business and how to balance life with work. (HINT: It wasn’t the first time the idea came to them!)

Advice for Friends Who Want to Go into Business Together


  1. Put everything in writing.

  2. Try working together first: learn how the other person operates and be sure your styles compliment each other.

  3. Picture the partnership as a marriage: Can you move together in the same direction toward the same goal?

  4. Be willing to make adjustments when things aren’t working and shifts when things are working very well.

  5. Don’t be afraid to ask advice from people/mentors you trust.


About Susan and Devon:

Susan Mocker and Devon Cretella are the co-owners of Extending Grace in Hubbard, Ohio.

Friends since the 90’s, we opened the store in 2016. Both of us love all things vintage & creative, and our store reflects that.

Customers experience a home décor shop with a focus on antiques, vintage, DIY and the work of local artists and collectors.

We love hanging out with our customers and neighbors during workshops, events, and community projects.

You can find them on Instagram, Facebook, and on their CommentSold Webs


Full show notes here