How a mom of 6 turned handmade hairbows into a $6M business

We might be going through a bad economic crisis but joining me is a founder who grew up in an economic crisis. Her family had financial issues since the day she was born. And then, to escape a financial difficulty, she ends up creating a company back in 2008, at a time when we thought the world was falling apart.

That company is called Bailey’s Blossoms and today’s guest is Erin Hooley. She started out just making hair clips for girls.

The business has expanded so much since then. Their tagline is affordable, made beautiful, which I think will resonate in today’s world. I invited her here to talk about the business that she built.

Erin Hooley

Erin Hooley

Bailey's Blossoms

Erin Hooley is the co-founder of Bailey’s Blossoms, an ecommerce clothing and accessories business.


Full Interview Transcript

Andrew Warner 0:04
Hey there freedom fighters. This is such a good interview for what’s going on in the world right now. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of mixergy. And when I got to breakfast this morning with my two kids, I told them the story that you’re going to hear today my kids kind of like entrepreneur stories, maybe because it’s in their DNA, maybe because daddy’s told it to them for years, but this is one that they absolutely loved. Here’s the thing. We’re going through a bad economic crisis. Joining me is Erin Hooley. I feel like she grew up in an economic crisis. Her family had financial problems since they she was born. And then, because of a financial difficulty, she ends up creating a company back in 2008, at a time when we thought the world was falling apart. And truthfully, I remember taking pictures of the bank. Was it on Wilshire or Santa Monica Boulevard? I don’t remember where I was living in Santa Monica. Have a line of people. There was a run on the bank, the bank didn’t have any money. This was the time that she says, I’m going to start a company. And she starts this company. It’s called Bailey’s blossoms. They started out just making flower clips is beautiful things that you put in girl’s hair and my family’s even with my son. He loves anything to do with his hair. My mom, my wife, his mom. I think she wants another baby. She doesn’t want to lose the baby hair. She’s letting them grow it long but it gets in his eyes. So anytime you can find a clip on the floor, he’ll put it in his hair so well, Bailey’s blossom started out with these flower clips that you could put in your hair that just look nice, that weren’t super expensive, but that the founder Aaron, who you’re about to meet couldn’t afford to get herself and it’s expanded to so much since then. Today Bailey’s blossoms done infant does infant and toddler fashion in a reimagined way. Their tagline is affordable, made beautiful, which I think will resonate today’s world. I invited her here to talk about not how she Did this and the difficulty she’s having, but how she overcame it and the business that she built. So we’re definitely going to get into into the size of the business. We can do it thanks to two phenomenal sponsors, the first will host your website right so if you’ve got a new idea if you’re starting something new, go to And the second if you’re in software, you need a great developer really mind blowingly good at a reasonable price. Go to Erin, welcome.

Erin Hooley 2:24
Thank you. It’s great to be here.

Andrew Warner 2:28
What’s your revenue? Let’s show people this

Erin Hooley 2:30
goodness. Okay, getting right into it. So last year, we did 6 million for Bailey’s blossoms and 2 million for our sister brand Peyton Bree. Wow, and profitable. Oh, yes. 1330 on hand and it’s just been growing year over year. So we’ve been in Inc 5000 list the past two years in a row.

Andrew Warner 2:53
fair to say over a million in profit. Yes. Wow. We congratulations. Meanwhile, though, I mentioned that You started out with very little money. I grew up wanting to go to Knott’s Berry Farm. You weren’t. There’s no way we could get there. Where was Knott’s Berry Farm?

Erin Hooley 3:08
Oh, Knott’s Berry Farm, Southern California is where at that I grew up in Irvine. And, Oh, goodness. So that whole story, my my family, I’m the third of seven kids. And all my friends were going it was kind of a place to be, and we couldn’t afford to go. My parents told me I was in kindergarten, I was five years old at the time, they said, Aaron, if you want to go to Knott’s Berry Farm, then you need to find the money to be able to do it. And so I conceived this plan. I thought, Well, why don’t I sell brown paper bag sack lunches to all of my friends, parents, and then I’ll make some money. And I talked to my friend’s parents, and sure enough, they were interested and I saved enough not only to take myself but my entire family on that little expedition. So it’s pretty fun. I start into entrepreneurship,

Andrew Warner 3:53
from making sandwiches for your friends, their parents were paying you to make

Erin Hooley 3:58
yes paper bag lunches. It was cream cheese and jelly. If you’ve ever tried that before, but it’s not of epic, it will change your life. Wow.

Andrew Warner 4:07
And so what will your parents going through that they wanted you to do this?

Erin Hooley 4:11
You know? So my parents my father is just very frugal. And he’s always been a very frugal man very, very savvy. I remember when the recession hit, he actually lost his job for two years, but he had paid off his home and folio always paid for cars and full cash. So they lost absolutely nothing because he had prepared. And so because of that, they never really gave us a handout. We didn’t even have allowances and whatnot. We learned at a very young age that we need to, to provide for ourselves and to have a great work ethic. So he passed it on to all of us. You

Andrew Warner 4:45
want to know something? I thought you grew up in bad economic situation because of the stories that I heard about your childhood. Like, you know, it wasn’t that you had to go through this. He said, My kids are going to be better off as human beings. If I put them through this, I’m going to create this risk. Household feel really? Yes. Oh cheap was he? It was

Erin Hooley 5:03
so cheap. Oh my father bless his heart. He’s the kind of man who would and not because he had to he had the money to drive whatever car you wanted to, but he chose to drive the beat up clunker cars that the college student is selling for two grand and he whittled that down to $1,000. You know, I mean, that was an held together by duct tape just because he knew the difference between an appreciating asset and depreciating asset. And I just remember hearing him say things like that it’s gonna lose value, right? When you drive it off the lot. Why would you ever buy new I mean, just things like that all the time. So he’s very, very economically savvy did all of his own investing. And I just remember watching him and also watching the struggles that they went through because he lost his job twice his career and didn’t have to change his lifestyle at all because of the way that he was so cheap.

Unknown Speaker 5:50

Andrew Warner 5:50
yes. Wow. And did you do do that now with your kids? I don’t think we’ve done that enough with our kids.

Erin Hooley 5:56
I have not done that enough with my kids. I’m not nearly as extreme as I grew up. With and there are times that I sit back and I look at them and I go, oh credit I getting entitled Do they have any idea how blessed they are? And if they don’t shame on me, what do I need to do? Is actuation

Andrew Warner 6:11
we’ll get we got to a situation where my kids will complain about not having something, let’s say be on their food for breakfast. I just shouted my speaker, have it delivered. And there’s this expectation if I’m not satisfied, if I don’t a bee pollen on my food, these little tiny things, yes. Then I’ve got then that’s gonna do it. And that has been a problem that I only recognized once they said, Hey, you can’t go out of your house in San Francisco. And the city also has got a run on on supermarkets. Yeah. And I found myself saying to the kids, well, if it’s on your plate, you should finish it because, you know, this gotta fill you up. We don’t know how much food we’re going to waste. You

Unknown Speaker 6:51
know, whatnot.

Andrew Warner 6:52
Yeah, exactly. We lost that this this discipline that your parents had that my parents had was like, Yes, we doing

Erin Hooley 6:58
and I think that that’s One of the challenges with parenting right now is that so oftentimes we think that we’re doing our kids a service by giving them things that we didn’t have. But we forget the fact that we are who we are because of the lessons that we learned and we robbed them of those lessons that we robbed them of the chance to grow into the type of adult that we’re hoping that they will become.

Andrew Warner 7:19
And so you had your kids when you aren’t, do you mind saying how old you are?

Erin Hooley 7:22
Oh, goodness, not at all. I was 20 when I had their first child. I was married at the age of 19, two weeks after my 19th birthday, and I had six children by the age of 28. So motherhood It was a fast and furious journey for me.

Andrew Warner 7:36
This is such a weird question to ask, why was there what is it that that made you in a world where it seems like most panels are having two kids? Why’d you go?

Erin Hooley 7:47
Well, first and foremost, I never saw myself as a professional. I didn’t get a degree. I never went to school. I never finished my education because I always assumed that you had to be a mother or you had to be a business owner. You could never be both businesswoman motherhood, not friends. And so when I went to college, I kind of did it a little bit grudgingly and thought this is a waste of my time and that waste of my money because I know that I want to be a mom, it was something I valued. I grew up the third of seven children, I knew I wanted a big family and, and it took me a while to realize that business was a part of me and there was in fact a way to do both business and motherhood and do them very well.

Andrew Warner 8:25
You literally didn’t know that you could do business once you become a mom,

Erin Hooley 8:28
you know, I knew it, but I really kind of thought that you would be sacrificing your children and doing them a disservice. So I didn’t realize I didn’t realize how to balance and and do both without feeling like I was being selfish.

Andrew Warner 8:41
You know what, I forget her name but I remember at NYU one of our professors played of Boolean Fern or something she was a woman who did mail order they played a video or and what the the message that stuck with me from her was she said when I started my mail order company, my friend said don’t Don’t you love your kids? You? Why don’t you want to be a mother to them? And I didn’t understand why they said that to me. It still stuck with me. And now I realized what the teacher what the professor was trying to say to the people in the school is this is the the silly way that we treat people who try to start companies only and we’re going to make you laugh at it so that you don’t internalize it. I get it. I didn’t I alright.

Erin Hooley 9:21
Ultimately, I mean, my husband has since quit his corporate job and he works with me, but I get asked all the time. How do you balance motherhood and business? He never gets asked how do you balance fatherhood and business so that mean there is a bit of a double standard there. And it took me a while to realize that that was wrong. And that just because the cultural norm says that you should or shouldn’t be able to have everything you hear all the time people say you can’t have the best of both worlds. You can’t have the best of both worlds. Until you decide what your best of both worlds looks like and you just take it for yourself. You know what, it’s perfectly possible.

Andrew Warner 10:02
I found that it was a lot easier when we had a nanny. And when we had kids in school, it’s harder now. They’re here at the best of both worlds. You’re right, nobody ever you know what they say to me, um, somebody picked up my wife to take her to a business trip. And just in Sonoma, so wasn’t a far drive. She saw me taking the kids for the day. And she said, Oh, wow, you got a whole like, first of all, wow, that you’re doing this. And you’ve got this like, amazingly difficult thing ahead of you. And I thought, Oh, you shouldn’t I want to tell her do this on a regular basis. And it’s also not that mind blowingly hard,

Erin Hooley 10:33
right? And ironically enough, I used to be a nanny. So when my husband I met him in school, and he was on his last semester, I was on my first he graduated, I quit and I followed. And I mean, that was just the thing that I thought that I needed to do. I never really thought again, or I never, I never mourn over my loss of a certificate over a diploma. I never even Consider that that was something I wanted. And, and I always knew that I was good with kids. And so I did. We were living nanny and Park City, Utah, and then I nanny triplets at one point. And so I mean, all kinds of things. So it was,

Andrew Warner 11:13
this was you saying for your nanny, but also I want to emphasize this, you took kids into your home, right and got paid to take care of them. The way that the way that you got started with Bailey’s blossoms was one of those kids came in with what inner hair?

Erin Hooley 11:29
Yeah, she had a little flower clip in her hair. And that was actually I opened up by a home preschool program when I had my second child because I was having a hard time carting myself and my kids back and forth to someone else’s house. So I said no more nannying. I want to do this on my own on my own turf. And this this sweet little girl had this clip in her hair, and it was darling. And I remember asking her mom and just saying hey, you know, where did you get this from? And she told me she said they’re about you know, 10 to 12 bucks and I’m thinking that’s insane. I don’t have 10 to $12 my husband would just gone back to grad school he was he was unemployed at the time we were in mountains of debt. And I said, Well, you know, I think I can make this so I took kind of looked at it and took it apart and and went to Hobby Lobby and just stocked up on all the supplies and decided just to make them and I turned it into a business.

Andrew Warner 12:20
No, I told my kids that it was $5 that you can afford. It was

Erin Hooley 12:24
oh goodness, it was like 10 to $12 for these things. I ended up selling them mine where I sold for about five bucks. Because I thought what can I do to serve other people who want to be able to afford these little luxuries so to speak for their kids? I can’t well I can give them a better price point. And so I purchased all the supplies within five for my daughter and I purchased them in bulk because my father again that frugality mentality. He always taught me Don’t look at the price. Look at the price per ounce. So look at don’t look at the cost, look at the cost per piece. And so I realized oh goodness, I can make that is so much more economical if I just buy them in bulk if I buy the 12 pack, instead of the one pack, my husband’s thinking, why do you need 12 of the same flower for your daughter, your one daughter? And I said, Oh, I don’t, but I can make the other 11. And for somebody else, sell them and then not have to spend any money on our daughter’s hair accessories. So

Andrew Warner 13:18
you’re, you literally couldn’t afford the $15. Okay, let’s take it out of your pocket to do it. But you are deep in debt, and you’re deep in debt, school debt. Nobody considers school debt to be debt.

Erin Hooley 13:30
You know, debt to me is debt. It’s a burden on on your back. And I just want to get it off as quickly as possible. So

Andrew Warner 13:37
a month a month when you were running the preschool, could you at least afford to make the payments on the dead? Could you afford to pay for your house in the food?

Erin Hooley 13:43
Yes, but it was bare bones. I mean, it was very, very tight. And I mean, I remember I had a binder of coupons that I would go shopping with and I was that person who would coupon clip and go shopping and the cashier I’d have a cart full of groceries and the cashier would say Oh, okay, your total is $16 and 14 cents. That’s a actually that’s negative 16 You owe me money. Oh yeah, I was kicked tail.

Andrew Warner 14:08
Right as you’re talking about it I see the pride in your eyes like oh my

Erin Hooley 14:11
gosh, I was just so happy. Oh

heck yeah they did I had no idea yeah it was it was pretty legit I I was people looked at me about a million different crazy ways but

Andrew Warner 14:25
for this I’m too good for coupon and nobody looks at with pride at the person who’s Oh,

Erin Hooley 14:29
no, they don’t it’s embarrassing, right but time Yeah, I had no pride

man No, no, no, no, I was a stay at home mom with three kids and we were making ends meet and I was just happy to have food on the table. So it was those were those were the days um

Andrew Warner 14:52
I feel like I wonder why you didn’t pick it up. And I wonder is that coming from your dad? Is it just enjoying life where surrounded by people who who are okay with that,

Erin Hooley 15:03
you know, I think it was probably mostly from my parents, my parents, my father always had a very good job very well paying. We never knew how much he made, but we knew that he was a fluent, because we always had a very nice home and people would make comments about our parents being rich. And I’m like, What does that even mean are our parents most millionaires have no idea, but they would never talk about money. And so we had no idea. And because of that, my parents were not respecter of persons, if that makes sense. They didn’t care if you had $5 to your name or $5 billion dollars to your name, they were going to treat you the same. And so because of that mentality growing up, I was very unaware I didn’t notice the people that drove the nice cars. It didn’t notice the people that were Gucci and Armani. I just didn’t notice. And and that’s very much still my mentality now I could meet anybody. I mean, heck, I can meet the president united states on the streets tomorrow, and I would Didn’t bat an eyelash, I’d stick out my hand and say, Hey, nice to meet you just like anybody else. And I wouldn’t I don’t get starstruck. I don’t. I don’t get impressed by material things.

Andrew Warner 16:10
So you made it yourself and then who do you sell it to?

Erin Hooley 16:13
Oh goodness, well, within the first five days, put up a bit was Boston calm, and then threw up a few things on Etsy as well. And mainly family and friends to begin with. And then Etsy just kind of started snowballing. But it didn’t take a long time for me to notice that selling these handmade little hair accessories for three and $5 apiece, I knew what I made an hour teaching preschool. And I kind of did this little dollar per hour proposition. I’m doing the math, I’m thinking what in the world am I doing? I’m burning my fingers for the stupid hot glue. And you know, ripping flower heads apart just to glue them back together and sell them for pennies. And it’s not profitable. It’s not worth my time. So then I started thinking, Okay, well what can I do? What can I add to it to make it just a little bit more worth my time and so at the time 2008 you know two twos are all the rage so I started doing DIY no so two twos because I don’t sell at all not even in a straight line and and that took off like crazy. So it was it was putting together a hair accessory with the two two, but it was predominantly geared towards first birthdays and I realized Okay, well we’ve got these first birthdays but every child only has one first birthday. I’m like constantly spinning my wheels trying to get new customers in the door. And so then I said okay, well how do I get these people have already purchased from me who already know and love my product and the value and the quality of it. How do I get them come back? So then I said okay, well Halloween, what about two two costumes. And so I started going out to all the Halloween stores right when they would open and gathering up you know which hats and we butterfly wings and all these things and putting together with the accessories making a to to to complement it and putting together a costume and it took

Andrew Warner 18:00
off like crazy. And the reason you did that was you said how do I get more sales than just one at a time? Yes, I don’t want to do at home.

Erin Hooley 18:08
Yes, I don’t want a $15 purchase I want a $30 purchase How do I double that? How do I get more and so that worked really well. But again, the the downfall to that was I could only make as much as I could personally sustained with my own two hands. And I learned very quickly that that wasn’t very much.

Andrew Warner 18:31
I’m looking at one of the first versions of your site. One of the things that you’re selling is something called a mum, this stunning orange and yellow mum are just acrylic. What is that?

Erin Hooley 18:40
Oh my gosh, that’s old school. Oh, man. They’re just these big, massive flowers and my second daughter, I shut down my preschool when it started to really take off and I had my fourth child who was another girl Her name’s Pei and they were these big, massive flowers that I would clip into these poofy beanies and the flower was bigger than her head. I mean it’s truly ridiculous look back on but it’s kind of funny they were all the rage at the time. So it was it was those were good times but uh

Andrew Warner 19:07
you know i see you trying a bunch of things like beanies, hair bans again for the early days, all you building it. I understand getting sales. You’re nodding, yes. People are listening. I’m so like, jiving with what you’re saying. I want to make sure that the audience hears but you’re, I see you getting customers off of Etsy. This is the early days of Etsy people are starting to go on there. It wasn’t super competitive and you were getting sales from them. I don’t understand how anyone discovered your website and I do see you trying as you have, please didn’t.

Erin Hooley 19:38
It didn’t even know even on our like our Facebook page, which was growing at a rapid pace. And I pointed everybody to the Etsy shop whenever I linked up a product I didn’t link it to the website linked it to Etsy. So that was a you know, rookie mistake that I figured out later on, but ultimately making things by hand totally burnt me out. Because I would, Halloween came around, I would make 15 sets in the day and 35 orders would come back in that same day. And I was just scrambling and I wanted to get out of my husband’s school that I wanted to clear our slates, I wanted to start making progress in our financial future. And so I couldn’t turn it off. It was kind of like a little bit of a sickness, little obsessed, flew my mother out. She helped and she ultimately just said, Aaron, shut it off. This is ridiculous. You’re not catching up business, you never

Andrew Warner 20:29
catch up.

Erin Hooley 20:30
She just said, Put your shop in vacation mode, stop taking new orders. You can’t handle this. And I just wept. And I’m like, I have to handle this. I have to take this. I don’t want to turn anyone away. But ultimately, that was a little bit of a wake up call for me. And my husband ended up getting a job offer within his company, Mercedes Benz financial services that took us to Brazil, Sao Paulo, Brazil. And he I remember the day he called me and he said, Aaron, we got the job. We’re going to Brazil. But you won’t have a work visa, so you’re gonna have to shut the business down and he was like, apologetic I’m so sorry, honey, and I’m like hella frickin lujah. I’m so relieved because I just needed an out. And I needed to catch my breath. So it was a really nice opportunity for me to step away and say, Great, good. And I told everybody, when on social media said, Hey, guys, my family’s going to Brazil for two to three years. But don’t worry, when Bailey’s boss gets back, it’s going to be bigger and better than ever before. And of course, I had no idea what that meant. But I knew I had a couple years to figure it out.

Andrew Warner 21:33
And wow, will you profitable? Were you making money enough to help the family at that point?

Erin Hooley 21:39
At that time? Yes, yes, we were. I mean, I remember and, Oh, goodness, I think our biggest month we did close to $8,000 in sales, and I thought Holy smokes, but here’s the thing. I was so addicted to business growth, that every dime I could put back into it to buy more supplies to doing more designs. growing it bigger. I did because I wanted. I loved that scalability I loved seeing last month I did seven, but this month, I’m gonna do eight and next month I’m gonna do nine. And I constantly wanted to just spin that

Andrew Warner 22:12
as quickly as I could and tell you something. One thing that I’m noticing in the early days is you were under charging. You were charging $4 95 cents. If so, yeah, look at this figure $4 and 95 cents. I see the Adriana two two for $3 there’s no way you could make money. It’s $3. Because, you know, you still have to make $1. And

Erin Hooley 22:34
the labor I mean by most things weren’t that cheap. Usually a two two would be around 16 to $18. But even so by the time you factor in the love and attention that I gave those stupid things, it was quite the deal. I was there’s no way I

Andrew Warner 22:50
know. Yeah, this is kits

Erin Hooley 22:52
were where it was at. Yeah. And so I mean, after we were in Brazil, we had these, let me take a poll

Andrew Warner 22:59
for it. Take a moment talk about my first sponsor, it’s a company called hostgator. If you’re out there listening to me, we are going through a bad economic time, if there’s ever a time to just play and experiment with an inexpensive product that allows you to try building your own website, try creating your own business. I say this is it, go to Hostgator comm slash mixergy. Notice that their price is super low. And what you’ll do is build a site that you hate, I want you to start building a site that you hate that you can’t stand but that will let you start playing around with it. And then once you start to feel how easy it is, when an idea comes to you, that’s actually good, you’ll be able to go back into that same Hostgator account and build that site that is good and you know what, it might fail it probably will fail that’s fine because then you can go back in and try again and again, it’s not a big time investment, because it’s easy with hostgator. They have one click Install of lots of different programs. I recommend you start with with WordPress once you get started with WordPress and I know you know how to do it. But once you get started, add a theme feel the sense of creation. You’re going to see that the next time an idea comes to you You’ll be able to hit another button. Create another site and spin it up and really play for real. No writer sits down and says Now I’m going to write my greatest book ever. They start out with a piece of paper, they start out with a blank text doc or a note or google doc or whatever they use, and just start writing and maybe they like it, maybe they don’t, but they keep on doing it. Go to Hostgator comm slash mixergy start your first draft and keep on building your business slash when you add the slash mixergy I get credit for number one and number two, you get the lowest price that they have available. You get tagged as a mixergy customer and you get a list of things that they really want me to say because they paid for this add that I’m not gonna say because you can read the features on the site you can read unlimited email addresses unmetered bandwidth, hundred dollar I think it is Google AdWords credit so they’re gonna set you up right I want you to know why go on their site and see how Hostgator comm slash mixergy Alright, you’re starting to say about this trip.

Erin Hooley 24:53
Yeah, go into Brazil. Yeah, so we were there for two years, but he gave me the great opportunity to rub shoulders with some really phenomenal entrepreneurs and just take a step back and dream again. Rather than being in the weeds and in the grind of the everyday trying to keep up it. Let me see above the road and determine what is it that I really want to do? Do I really want to make tutus forever? Do I really want to do this? And I determined that no, I don’t what makes me happy. I like the creation process. I like making it the first time. I don’t like making it the hundred and first time. So when we went back to the States, we moved to Texas. And we got to the States.

Andrew Warner 25:29
Yeah. Who did you meet in Brazil? Which entrepreneurs and how did you meet these entrepreneurs?

Erin Hooley 25:33
Oh goodness, all the expat community is a really quite tight niche. And at the code, the CEO of Kota paksy out of Salt Lake City, and he is phenomenal and has been a

Andrew Warner 25:47
great packing company. Yes. from Salt Lake City. I see them all over I recognize their logo when I saw it. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah, the llama. When you say the I’ve noticed that too. For me, Argentina. I had that same experience I just disconnected from the world I focused on work that didn’t have to produce big money in real time. And I got to meet a lot of expat entrepreneurs. But for me it was because I met this guy Morgan Friedman, who always hosted parties at his house was like, easy to get to know people through him. If not for him I don’t know that I would have met people in a foreign country and you get to meet so many people.

Erin Hooley 26:23
Ultimately, it’s just getting yourself out there I’m not one who likes to sit still. The first six months of being in Brazil I was very content not to work because the culture was the challenge I didn’t speak the language so it was learning Portuguese it was figuring out how to intermix with it with the people cuz I didn’t want to be the American who’s afraid in the corner and unhappy I wanted. I saw that the the x x pack couples who were successful who stayed and didn’t run back home were the ones where the wife especially, or the stay at home parent who wasn’t working, learned the language got integrated into the culture met the people fell in love with the service. roundings and I wanted to be that person so that first six to nine months, I really did that once I got my feet on the ground. That’s when I started to get a little antsy. And I started doing research into what does it look like to source? What does it look like to, to, you know, bring things in from overseas? Can I do that? And so it really just gave me a lot of opportunity to think big. And anytime I considered maybe that this is a little bit too big. I talked to these people who were, who were already in the grind of entrepreneurship. And they’d say, Oh my gosh, I love that. That’s just like this other story over here. And it just opened my eyes beyond just what was right in front of me and my own personal experience.

Andrew Warner 27:40
Did you start to see also like, the way that a business could be created the idea that like, what, what did you start to visualize for that?

Erin Hooley 27:53
Yeah, I think for me, just suddenly, I know I’ll never forget because at one point I said, Man, I I wish I wish I was one of you guys. Like I love listening to talk about entrepreneurship because we’d get together all of our families and I’d kind of gravitate towards the men circle, and just want to listen to them talk about all their endeavors and their adventures and all these things. And, and at one point, I said, Man, sometimes I feel like I’m, I don’t have a seat at the table, because I’m the only one who doesn’t have an MBA I didn’t go to. I didn’t go to Harvard. I didn’t go to Cornell. I didn’t go to all these places. I don’t have all these accolades. And Davis, at one point, he said to me, he said, Hold on a second, Aaron, he said, not having a degree in entrepreneurship. That’s like a badge of honor. And you wear that proudly. And I thought, Oh, yeah, you’re right. If I could succeed as an entrepreneur without that, then that is pretty cool. Why not? And I also had a I had an uncle growing up who was the founder of Gandalf owes which is a big deli chain and I grew up in I worked in that deli, as a A teenager as well. So seeing people just kind of pave their own way. I never questioned that. If I had something on my mind to do that I could or couldn’t do it. I just knew that if I put forth the right effort, I could do it. So it was more second nature than anything else.

Andrew Warner 29:19
I remember in the early days of mixergy, doing interviews with entrepreneurs who said that they were working remotely working internationally. And if you listen to my early interviews, you see a lot of skepticism in my mind for that, if I presented at all if anyone use afraid digital nomad, I thought, No, nobody’s gonna buy that I’m embarrassed to use that phrase on my site. I’ll call it a business Nomad, at least one business person. I can it was curry mine who was the first person who did that and I remember he went to see Tim Ferriss in Argentina and in the interview with him, I called it a business Nomad because I just thought this no one’s gonna believe it. But the more I saw people do it. The more I realized this is possible. And yes when I went to entre when I went to Argentina, it was because others it opened my eyes and your eyes were open. It was David Smith, the CEO of codependency quarterbacks. I don’t know how to pronounce that. But I see the logo all the time in my mind. Yes, he became a friend. You come back to the US you say he did it. I can do it. Yes. What’s the first step you take to relaunch your business about Oh, would you mind just like putting your hand in front of the camera just so we can get some of the darkness off? Like? Yeah, let’s see if that adjusts the hours. Yeah,

Erin Hooley 30:32
works a little better.

Andrew Warner 30:35
Yeah, better. I think it’s because you have so much light

Erin Hooley 30:36
by Let me

see if I can tone that down. Is that help at all? It’s because I’m wearing black. It’s kind of freaking out. This is what happens when all my kids are home from school and I go into mom mode and I don’t care to get dressed.

Andrew Warner 30:53
I haven’t been getting dressed at home. I don’t like it. I don’t like oh my gosh. I don’t like I don’t like half Half being there with the kids. I’m fully there with the kids or only here at work.

Erin Hooley 31:04
Yes. Yeah, absolutely. No. So yeah, so we get back to Texas or get to Texas and I tell my husband, I want to relaunch Bally’s blossoms and He kind of looks at me like, are you sure we’ve been down this road before you almost, you know, completely fell apart? And I said, No, no, it’s different. This time. I’m going to make YouTube videos and show people how to create them. And I will just be the middleman who’s providing them the kit. So I, I do the creativity, I put the pieces together, they make it so that way I can ship out more orders. We can. The sustainability is higher, the scalability is larger. This is a great idea. I’m going to source all the products direct from overseas. And he said, Okay, well how much is that going to take? And while we were in while we were in Brazil, and I’ve always been a big budgeter big spreadsheet person I got us all the way out of debt, paid off all of his school loans saved up money, we were able to buy a home in Texas. And then we had this little nest egg leftover about 35 $36,000. And I said, Yeah, all of that. And he said all of it. And I said, Yeah, all of it. And he said, I like all of it, all of it. And I said, Yes. But I promise you, I will put it back where it belongs every time I’ll put it back within a year. And he’s like, okay, I trust you. And he let me I depleted our savings account every last cent and within three months, because I’m a risk taker, and I love the coupon clipper, why not how I find a cheap way to do this? Because that was the cheap way. It was all about importing. And it was I had sourced on Alibaba, which was still at that point. It wasn’t as well known. And I mean, so being there were so many things and I was so excited to tackle this and I thought no one else is doing this. It’s an opportunity. It’s something that I can step into, and I can feel This whole where people are, DIY was all the rage. But either people needed to start a business or they were paying money, but no, people were trying to copy all the time, but nobody was actually offering them the kit, I thought, ding, ding, ding, that can be me. So I started doing that, why not

Andrew Warner 33:17
start? Small? Why not say you know what I’m gonna do? Why don’t you tell us that? You don’t know that heavens?

Erin Hooley 33:21
No, I don’t do anything smaller than yourself that much. Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know what, here’s the here’s the thing. If I fail, I got a dozen other ideas that I can pull on my back.

Andrew Warner 33:33
Does another $35,000 nest egg?

Erin Hooley 33:35
No, but I’m pretty sure I could figure it out. Because that’s just what I do.

Andrew Warner 33:42
When did you figure it out before where you were able to draw? What’s the story that you had in your head that you were able to draw on as you were getting going?

Erin Hooley 33:51
You know, I don’t even know that there was a story as much as there wasn’t so much experience to be afraid of failure. So I had Not I hadn’t seen failure in my life. I hadn’t failed. So spending 35 $36,000 to start a business. In my mind, it was a shoo in. I didn’t see. And ultimately I said, Okay, worst possible case scenario, we lose this money, that would really suck. But Would it kill my family? No, it wouldn’t. So is it worth trying it? Sure. And ultimately, that’s how I measure risk. If this completely tanks. Will it be okay. Yes. Perfect. Let’s go for it.

Andrew Warner 34:31
All right. I’m going to find out what Tell me what year this was. I can find the website from that year.

Erin Hooley 34:35
That was 2013 I need you to show me how to do this, by the way because I would so love to see the internet archives, my old school

Andrew Warner 34:43
websites, there are a few different sites that I use is the is the big one. Look at this. Oh, I see over the years 2011 2012 it’s up and running. It seems like you were still selling something. Were you while you were in Brazil? Am I right or wrong?

Erin Hooley 34:58
Um, no. I tried to Once by doing an in home party and I got mega trouble because I wasn’t supposed to and they tried to stop me with a big fee so I pulled out my god I you know, sorry I got a little bored won’t do that again. So anyways, but yeah, launch but Etsy was really where it was at for us from 2013 to the end of 2015.

Andrew Warner 35:21
Got it. Okay. All right, so I do see 2013 suddenly the website says, hang on, we’re re rebuilding. If you’re interested, check out my Facebook page or something here. Yes, we’re under construction. Our grand reopening is scheduled for August 2013. You won’t want to miss a double exclamation point. Don’t forget I was on Facebook for news on new products promotions and to enter our monthly giveaways, giveaways all uppercase exclamation, and then smiley face.

Erin Hooley 35:50
Oh, of course. That’s what we do. All the emojis all the emoji

Andrew Warner 35:53
was even pretty emoji. This was the colon and

Erin Hooley 35:56
that was the Kree emoji I don’t even know the colon below. The parentheses. Yeah, I you know, I just I just oh my gosh, I’m so excited to look this up. I can’t even tell you my team is gonna die if they see how ghetto my early

Andrew Warner 36:08
legs is. I don’t think it was ghetto but you were using like this weird plot not weird. It’s a platform that didn’t take Oh, I just don’t recognize it to host your site.

Erin Hooley 36:16
Yes, it was a 3d cart. That’s what

Andrew Warner 36:20
it is. And then you also had a guestbook and all the stuff. Oh, yeah, trying. Alright, let me take a moment. Tell people who are out there developing sites, developing software need to hire developers, there is no better place, you know. And actually, let me take a moment I usually tell you that whole top tells the place hire developers, let me tell you what I did with top towel. I hired jack to top towel jack is a finance guy because I was worried that I wasn’t paying attention to the profit of my company. And so jack comes in. And this is a person who worked in big corporations. This is the person who did management consulting. This is a person who should not be working with my company should be working with bigger companies. In fact, I actually had breakfast with them. A few weeks ago and I said, jack, what are you doing taking on my project? You said not just yours. I’ve taken on a lot of other projects. I said Why? He said, I wanted to see how these newer more digital companies are doing. And guess what he’s now working with this really big company that is a startup also. Anyway, the reason that I’m bringing this up is jack is a finance guy who gave me tons of advice on what to cut back what to do last year. And for the longest time I fought him I said, jack, I don’t think this makes sense. I don’t think this is right. I think we’re cutting back too much over here. And he just kept pushing me. You know, that’s his job as a consultant to be considered to be respectful of the founder but also to push me to make the management and finance decisions that I didn’t know what needed to be made and that I wasn’t comfortable accepting once I was told to do them and he told me about them and sure enough, I did them and I felt kind of crappy coming into you say heaven so maybe I shouldn’t say crappy next year. I felt really bad. Cuz I make on these things. It didn’t feel like growth mood. And I just thought about it this week, when I was so right that I hired jack and I’m so glad that I listened to him because those cutbacks that I made those decisions that he pushed me to make, or the reason that mixergy is going to be able to survive any kind of actions, any kind, I’m not going to get arrogant about it. Allow me to survive downturns. If you’re out there. You need to hire somebody who will help you organize your finances. Don’t be like me, don’t think that this is something for just big companies. Don’t be too slow to respond. Go check out top towel if you go to top towel comm slash mixergy one of the things they’ll do is I you know this, they’ll set you up with a match we’ll help you find the right person. I had a unique need. They introduced me to five different people everything from a woman who had just graduated from Stanford a couple years before and it was working for an energy company and was looking for something new to jack to an entrepreneur had three different companies. Also, I talked to you and I picked jack because I wanted that management consulting experience and hired him got started and we’ve been working together for years. Go to top Tao comm slash mixergy. Ask them for your own jack, your own MBA, you will be so glad based on the difference. It’ll make a huge difference in your business. If you think what you’re going through is embarrassingly painful. Talk to them quietly. They’ll help you re reimagine your business or the Jackalope and reimagine mine, top as the top of your head talent and talent. It’s top Tao comm slash mixergy. I’m going to spell it because I talk too fast. I’m a New Yorker TLP slash MIZ rG Why? You don’t even have to do I’m gonna bust my hair again. I’m gonna tell you, Aaron, I can’t get a haircut. And I’ve been loving my haircuts lately, but buzzing my hair, but I’m gonna go bust my hair. It’s a lot of control.

Erin Hooley 39:33
I think it looks fantastic. I just own it. Well, I’ll send you a flower clip.

Andrew Warner 39:39
My son will take it in a heartbeat. So he does have he does have very good hair. I’ve got to say that to my wife. I understand. How old are you kids now by the way?

Erin Hooley 39:52
Oh Bailey is 14 and then I’ve got a 1211 nine, seven and almost six year old Wow, have to think everyone’s having birthdays. They keep messing it all up.

Andrew Warner 40:05
Mine are five and three. I wonder if we’ll be able to do you’re going to be able to do birthday parties. Now. I don’t think you guys do social stuff.

Erin Hooley 40:13
Okay. Yes, of course. Oh, my goodness, everybody’s in social distancing. It’s all the rage.

Andrew Warner 40:17
I got a text message from Eric Reese. He wants to come on right now. It’s like, on a personal level. He’s he, his wife and my wife know each other. He has no interest in no need to do a mixergy interview. He’s the guy who wrote the Lean Startup came up with this concept that software has been built on for the last few years. He wants to come on just to make sure that people around the world and around the country and across country understand, do social distancing, I guess many people aren’t realizing the importance of Yeah, so I think he says, Look, I don’t need this for my business to be on mixergy I got all this stuff that I’m doing anyway. But if I can help people and just understand or So anyway, I’m glad that you’re doing it. Let’s talk about then. You come back, you rebuild it. What is on what are you selling on the site and then at this point

Erin Hooley 41:03
now it’s those DIY two, two kits, and we’re just pumping through them people were loving it. But I finally I had a customer who came to me and said, Hey, I love this design. I really want it, but I really don’t want to make that stupid to to myself, can you do it? And I thought, I don’t want to open up that can of worms again. And so I said, unfortunately, no. And she said, Well, it’s a bit, it’s really easy. She said, I don’t really care how easy it is. I just, I’m not interested in DIY. I just am not. And so at that point, that’s when I kind of took a hard look, and it stepped back and I thought, hmm, how many people Am I not serving? Because they’re also not interested in DIY. And what does that look like? Can I can I fill something here can is there another gap? So that’s when I went back to the drawing board and drafted up our first romper, and our romper set. So it was a romper and a hair accessory and a piece of chunky jewelry. And people freaked they loved it. And so actually That that robber robber, it’s like a one piece.

Andrew Warner 42:04
It’s just it’s the shirt. One and there’s a zipper in the back usually

Erin Hooley 42:09
times. Yeah, it depends. There’s so many different styles.

Andrew Warner 42:12
Yeah. And what made it so exciting that this was a romper

Erin Hooley 42:15
and it was the it was the novelty of the set because everybody wanted it for first birthdays and then of course we had these darling pictures which were coming in I mean so many just different things and the presentation was really nice and so people were just they couldn’t get enough and we were selling them like hotcakes on Etsy and but that really made me think Okay, can we let’s do more clothing let’s do more one and done because the profitability was so much better

Andrew Warner 42:38
so you got away from the site so I should I realized I’m kicking myself I should have probably explained what a tutu is. I assumed everyone knows it’s those frilly things yeah. So fluffy skirt, and fluffy skirt that often steps that stands out take down sticks out. Yes. Right. So it doesn’t go down like like a traditional skirt. It goes out and it’s fluffy and ruffled and it’s interesting and made it a

Erin Hooley 42:57
tool. Yes. They’re just big

Andrew Warner 43:00
Then what makes it a DIY to to kit.

Erin Hooley 43:03
So DIY just meant that we were putting together kits or I was putting together kits with just the role of tool. So I would send them the elastic, the rolls of tool that they needed for that specific design, and some ribbon accessories that were with that design. And I would send them all of the raw goods, and then they would watch this online tutorial on YouTube to show them how to make it. And they would save money because they weren’t paying the labor costs. I was saving time and that was fantastic. So it’s kind of a win win for everybody, except for people who didn’t like DIY, which is where we brought rompers into and also

Andrew Warner 43:37
play super cheap I’m looking at the sassy frass DIY two bucks in a quarter.

Erin Hooley 43:44
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Andrew Warner 43:46
That’s that’s your that’s a hallmark of who you are. You got to make it cheap, right. I can tell you people would be willing to pay 20 bucks. You’re gonna tell me that’s just not my model.

Erin Hooley 43:54
Oh, yeah. And that’s why affordable, made beautiful. became our tagline actually, at that point. I believe it was Was dare to dream, dream to create. So we’ve kind of evolved over the years. And but really one of the biggest turning points from our Etsy days was in that evolution as these policies kind of changed. We got booted off the platform, because we weren’t handmade enough anymore. And I remember the day I mean, 85% of our sales were on Etsy in 2015. We did $600,000 in sales on Etsy alone. And I thought, Oh, my goodness, I mean, my husband, I had just talked in December 2015, about the possibility of him quitting his job. So I said, at that point, now, we have six children. I said, I cannot do six kids. And this business we had, we was out of our garage, we had like four to five people coming to the house five to six days a week. And I just needed some help. I was kind of starting to get burnt out again. So I said, either you need to quit your job, or I need to shut this down with but something’s telling me that that would be stupid. And so he said, All right, well, we’re about 2016. Let’s budget as if your income is the only income that exists And mine doesn’t and let’s see if we can survive. And I said, Okay, that’s fair. And literally within two weeks, we got kicked off. That’s the platform. It was That was awesome. It was Oh, man, it was crazy. So I went out to the garage to go and tell my, the manager over our customer service at the time, and she was eight, eight and a half months pregnant, and told her, Hey, we’re no longer on Etsy. And she looked at me and she said, Aaron, are you telling me after I have this baby, I’m not going to have a job. And that was my intent. But I’m looking at her and I couldn’t. And I said, No, I’m telling you that if you’ll be flexible with me, your job description just might change. And she said, Okay, what the heck does that mean? What do you want me to do today? And I said, Get on Etsy and send an individual message to everyone who’s ever purchased with us and say, thank you so much for your support. I just wanted to give you a heads up the Bailey’s blossoms can now exclusively be found at Bally’s blossoms, calm That’s it, nothing else. And they did that she and one other gal did that straight for two days. And by the end of the second day, our sales on the website were triple with it ever been on Etsy. And I was floored and I’m thinking what in the world I mean, we’re all looking at each other baffled, like what the heck is going on? We just couldn’t understand. And so I went to social media and started looking at that pizza that we had an influx of people tagging Bailey’s blossoms and their pictures and I thought, well, this is interesting. Why is that? And so it opened up and look at their profiles look at their past pictures and realize they’ve been customers or Bailey’s bosses for over a year. Why now? And I’m looking at their older posts and people say oh, my goodness, what a cute romper. Where’d you get that? Oh, thanks so much. Hashtag Etsy. And now all of a sudden it was hashtag Bally’s blossoms and the light bulb of the century went off and I thought Holy smokes, I have been building someone else’s brand. I think someone else’s brand and I changed everything. We put Bailey’s blossoms on our poly mailers on our packaging on every I mean everything that we possibly could and we change The rhetoric and then that you’re alone we grew 233%

Andrew Warner 47:04
and you started also, it looks like trying out different marketing that would bring people directly to your site. Like the cutie contest. Yeah, right. That’s like, Jesus pictures of photos of their kids. Well, it’s fantastic a romper. Now I see what a romper looks like. Yeah, it’s not it could be shorts and uh, it’s you could see you it’s shorts and sleeveless even. It doesn’t have to be a full on. cover everything type of thing. Got it. And so, what worked for you best for bringing in new people?

Erin Hooley 47:35
Oh goodness, honestly, because we were so we were so socially driven. And I mean, the Qt consciousness is a great example. Because ultimately, I taught myself how to do photography. I did all the product photography, all the things, and even the model photography. But then I remember the first time that a photographer sent me a picture and she said, thank you so much for for this outfit for my daughter’s wedding. Birthday, it was just absolutely perfect. And then she shared it. I said, Oh my gosh, can I can I use this? And she said, Absolutely, you can use it. And I thought, this is a legit professional photo that takes this my product to a whole different level. How do I get more of these? And that’s when we said, you know, what about the cutie contest, let’s put together a contest where every month we allow people to submit a picture of their of their child, or even their pet, sometimes wearing at least one of our products for a chance to win a gift certificate to be as awesome as calm. And at this point me we get six to 700 pictures a month, every month. And they’re all released us to us on our social media platforms and in our advertising and in our email campaigns. So we’re just getting this influx of consumer content all the time. And so unintentionally, we really conquered to two major hurdles. One was content and consumer interaction and just allowing them to be a big part of the brand. And to was also just elevating our presentation is photography. So Was it was really looking back in hindsight, I didn’t realize how phenomenal The concept was. But it really catapulted us to the next level because people were sharing in this beauty contest. Then, at the end of the month, we choose the top finalists, and then they’re sharing with all their friends and family and grandparents and aunts and uncles to vote so that they can get this gift certificate. I mean, or taking a snapshot on the website. Hey, look, my baby does on the homepage of Bailey’s boss calm, there was so much pride involved, and we wanted our customers to be a part of that story.

Oh, I lost your audio. I think you’re on mute.

Andrew Warner 49:35
I did notice Yeah, I hit mute whenever he talks, so that I don’t I don’t even breathe into the mic. When that happened. I did notice that the photos became an increasingly important part of the site huge and also design of the site started to get better and better. I kept looking in the at some point you were just using a standard off the shelf theme. It’s from a site called this chick designs that Oh, yes. Oh, you recognize it right? Oh, yes, a more you so today when I’m looking at Bally’s Bailey’s blossoms calm. Those photos did professionally shot out there, right? Uh huh.

Erin Hooley 50:12
Yeah, those are those are all they’re all consumer content.

Andrew Warner 50:16
Consumer. This is a consumer who synthesis 85%

Erin Hooley 50:18
of all the images on our website are consumer images shared with us that

Andrew Warner 50:24
explain something. So one of my favorites is this one.

Erin Hooley 50:27

Andrew Warner 50:28
Yes. That one if you look carefully, it’s by Ashley. Kiki. And I only know that Ashley keiki photography, because there’s a little watermark on there. So you’re just taking the photos as they’re sending it over. If they decide that they’re gonna put a watermark? You put it Got it? Yep. All right. So you know what? I gotta ask you. Our producer Ari. Ari desormeaux asks you so what are the big challenges and as you talk to her, you said, undermining myself was one. Absolutely. Yeah. So far. Everything is like yeah, I’ll take 35,000 I’ll find a way to make You’re working on we’ll close it up we’ll find a way to restart it. what’s what’s the Where’s you want where you undermining yourself?

Erin Hooley 51:05
leadership hundred percent. Because I once we got to a certain point and I realized, oh, now it feels risky. Now if I make a move, we’re going to feel it. My husband quits his job. Our family is full on into this. There’s a there’s a pressure to succeed that I hadn’t had before I could succeed or fail. It was just fun money at that point. Now it was legit. This is taking care of my family. This is taking care of other people’s families. The more I added to my team, the more I felt that burden of they need this income. And I didn’t want to let them down. So as that happened, the more fearful I became and the more I started to question myself, and started to wonder if I was the right person to take us to the next level. And so especially when we moved out of our moved out of the garage, We moved into our first warehouse, we rented a 6000 square foot place now we built a 25,000 square foot place a couple minutes down the road from our home. But ultimately, that was the rhetoric that kept coming back over and over again. And what I found myself doing unsuccessfully multiple times, is I would hire people for the credentials that they had on paper because I was lacking them. And I assumed that because they had them on paper, that they must have access to some magic bullet that I was just too stupid to understand. And then they would come on board and I would just wait and I’m like, okay, When are they going to share that magic bullet? That magic bullet that’s gonna double because if I could do this being nobody, then surely they can 10 excess overnight, right? Every time it fell flat, and that fell flat, and it fell flat and I finally had to stare my own leadership potential in the face and say, number one, do I’ve actually learn something here or is there actually some some other The street training that is more valuable than what everybody’s been reading at these textbooks, getting their MBAs. And if that’s true, then I need to stop knocking myself down. And I need to stop being so afraid to speak up in a group setting where everybody has a better education than me or better accolades than me. So that was, that was the biggest struggle for me. And really finding somebody who could tell me the tough things, rather than all the cheerleaders. Oh, you’re doing such a great job. Keep it up. Keep it up, Aaron. Good job. Thumbs up. Well done. That feels good, but it doesn’t propel you to the next level. It wasn’t until I got a real challenger in my court, who was like Buck up Buttercup, do the hard stuff. Stop whining. I mean, you’re here but you want to be over there. What are you doing? I mean, all of those types of things that made me really kind of smack myself around say, oh, knock it off. Stop being such a baby if you if you feel like you’re having an issue with leadership as well. Have two problems, either one or two skill which you can learn or two. It’s a mindset which you can get over. So which one is it?

Andrew Warner 54:06
Who has the nerve to call you Buttercup and to speak to like that person came in and did that.

Erin Hooley 54:12
So we hired about a year ago, we hired a guy, his name’s Gary, he was our head of operations. He’s now our president of the company because of that skill. And now, he even said, okay, president of the company, Aaron, I don’t have all of the I don’t know marketing, I don’t know social media. I said, I don’t really care that you don’t know those things. Because what you do know is you know how to lead people. And you know how to turn people who don’t see themselves as managers and leaders and, and they suddenly they see that potential in them and they catapult into their into who they can become, that’s what I need you for. That’s why you’re the right person for this job.

Andrew Warner 54:52
And so now you feel you feel like you, you can do this or do you feel as things get harder that that little voice inside He’s gonna come back, that little sense of doubt is gonna come back.

Erin Hooley 55:03
If it ever comes back at this point, I know who to call. And I’m just like, Hey, dude, I need five minutes because I’m just not in the right place. And, and then he’ll smack me around a bit. And I’m like, sweet, I feel great. You know, but I mean, it does. I think everybody you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. And you need to invite that criticism, to be able to get over yourself faster, because there’s these trends within entrepreneurship, where people fail, and they stay down for such a long period of time. Just kind of muddling around in the mud and the self pity. When, when in reality, you don’t need to stay down there for more than five minutes. So that’s a choice. Get back up. Let’s go. We got stuff to do.

Andrew Warner 55:44
We do have stuff to do. How do you keep your business final question, how do you keep your business growing in a recession if that’s what we’re heading into?

Erin Hooley 55:52
Yeah. You know what? launching in a recession. And you can say that was just because I was naive, and I didn’t know when Better what, but really, what it is, is you have to understand the trends. And the people who are reacting, who are freaking out who are ill prepared who don’t know how to look beyond the weeds. And to get up above the road a little bit and say, You know what, we’ve seen stuff like this in our history before I can predict the trends here. And this is what it looks like when you can predict the trends and you can keep yourself calm, and you can make unemotional, analytical decisions when they’re needed. And that helps clear out all the muck in the noise. So what’s

Unknown Speaker 56:36
in it now?

Erin Hooley 56:37
So ultimately, and this is one of the things I talk about all the time when it comes to I mean, especially in e commerce, I mean, right now, our economy is tanking, people are staying home, the men can’t watch sports. The women aren’t allowed to go shopping. So what’s happening? Well, I venture to say in about nine months, we’ll know exactly what happened. Everyone’s going to have babies. And so then there’s just these big trends, we’ve seen it happen in the past, it’s going to happen again, you’ve got all of these companies that are stocking up on plastics getting ready for diapers now all these other things because they know they’ve been there before. It’s turning to people who have weathered a storm before to help calm your nerves. If this is your first storm and say, You know what, this is not the end of the world, it’s going to be okay. Does it suck? Yes, of course, it sucks. But you look at some past data, it says that right after pitfall, like this always comes astronomical growth, we just need to ride the wave a little bit. And so right now it becomes speak the language that your customers need to hear and pull out the emotion and look for the formula in the business that you do. And by that, and I’ll just share a quick formula for E Comm. So for example, if you’re looking and you’re saying, Okay, well, I’ve got this top line goal over here. top line goals are great, but it’s only a wish unless you have a plan to reach it. So ultimately, if you’re an e commerce, there’s three levers you can pull. You’ve got conversion rate, you’ve got traffic and You have average order value, which one you want to pull today, if it’s traffic, awesome, let’s back into that. That’s conversion rate. Let’s look and see Are you are you putting the highest converting products and categories on the homepage of your website? I mean, there’s there’s a methodology to break it all down. If it’s average order value, what upsells and cross sells are you doing? It’s so many people are throwing spaghetti at the wall and getting frustrated when everything falls off. But if you get smart, you make sure that you kind of declutter yourself and look at it with just a little bit more precision. And you turn to the people who’ve been there before, you’ll see that there are patterns, and there’s nothing the patterns are going to unfold. You just have to keep your cool and not panic.

Andrew Warner 58:47
I do see your website improving so much over the years like right,

Unknown Speaker 58:50
thank you. If I accidentally

Andrew Warner 58:52
hit the Apple Pay button, I will end up buying one of these. What is it called where it’s a full outfit together in one Oh goodness, the jumper I’m looking. Yeah, the

Erin Hooley 59:03
jumpsuit in the rhombus. Yeah,

Andrew Warner 59:04
yeah. Sarah Jane shorty jumpers what I’m on right now there’s just a one button by with with Apple Pay. I’m going to tap that for a second. And then it comes up and says, Can we ship it over to 201 mission Street, which is my office, can we? And you’re up and that is a world of difference from where it was before. Yeah, I first looked at it. Thank you so much for being on here. For anyone who wants to go check out the website. It’s Bally’s. And what was the second business the second site?

Erin Hooley 59:30
Payton breeze his sister brand for tweens and teens sizes six to 16.

Andrew Warner 59:35
All right, and I want to thank the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first is Hostgator for hosting websites go start your business right now. And second is top If you’ve got a company that needs developers need to finance person, go get them from top towel calm. Thank you so much. Bye, everyone.

Transcribed by

Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.