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I first met these ladies at a conference in Salt Lake City, UT. It was amusing to me that I had traveled across the US to meet creative women in my business space only to find one of my favorites was from my home state. Small world people! I were struck with how down to earth, personal, and HAPPY these two were. The friendship was sealed when I heard they were also from a large family (eight kids). I LOVE ME SOME happy, kind, driven, confident, and FUNNY women with a big love.
As in-I want to remember you and work with you and tell the world about you so they can buy your stuff-kind of love!
At Salt Lake, they had brought some of their products with them for attendees to see (like me!) and I did the proper uh-huh, cool, that’s nice kind of stuff I did with every vendor wanting a bit of promotion from me. Not listening too terribly carefully (sorry girls…truth stuff!) to their pitch. Then I paid attention. And looked. And SAW. And HEARD THEIR PASSION.
And realized I had overlooked their cleverness, ingenuity, and save-the-world attitude that was utterly unique to product businesses. They are passionate about USA made garments. And being involved with every. single. step. of the process. And donating portions of their profits to pediatric cancer treatment and research. And working with each other. And ENJOYING their business.
And y’all, I have to tell you about them and let them tell you about themselves. I hope you can catch a glimmer of what makes them special and how YOU can bring a little of their passion and drive to your life. Perhaps you don’t have a business, that’s okay. These ladies didn’t until a couple of years ago, either. Pay attention to the lessons they’ve learned and apply them in small doses to your own life. #GIRLBOSSES are stay at home mom’s, self-employed, 9 to 5’ers, retiree’s, teenagers, and everything in between. They are women that TAKE CHARGE, make things happen, and better their world.
THE INTERVIEW (of Maggie):
If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you what achievement would you be most proud of?
The fact that Hi Little One is still growing as a company. (Adding new products to the line, having our product in more brick and mortar stores and adding a couple employees to help with the growing workload) I am so proud of how far we have come!
Who is your role model, and why?
My role model is my mom. She is smart, funny and has spent countless hours giving back to the community; all while raising eight kids. I have no idea how she is able to make us all feel like (each one of us) are her favorite. :)
Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
Honestly starting Hi Little One was the hardest thing I have ever done career wise. Putting it all on the table and asking people to contribute to our kickstarter campaign was very scary, asking people to believe in you and our concept for a company.
What’s your superpower if you could choose any?
The ability to be able to be in more than one place at a time.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made getting your business up and running?
Personally, underestimating the time I would be putting into running the company with my sister. Thinking we knew more than we did about who are customers would be and who they ended up being. We are very proud to sell American Made products, but we had no idea how much work it is to source material in the US and that the cost would be so much greater.
If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired, what would you tell yourself?
To be patient and not to let the bumps in the road seem bigger than they are.
(Hi LIttle One’s Instagram account showcasing their product)
How many hours do you work a day on average?
For Hi Little One, about four to five depending on the day. As a mom? 24/7!
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I think Minted is an amazing company. It has the most amazing collaboration of artists, designers and creatives. They are constantly developing new products, like their new home line, it’s simply beautiful. Toms is another company I admire because of their focus on giving back. They have made such a huge impact in people’s lives by matching their product’s sold, one for one. Amazing.
Which Three Adjectives Describe Your Strengths?
Organized , Creative and Hardworking
Coffee or Tea?
Neither, diet coke
When you have 15 minutes of downtime…how do you spend it?
On the rare occasion when I have downtime my gulity pleasure is watching mindless TV. I cannot wait for the next season of Unreal.
What lesson about business do you feel is most important for new business owners to learn?
Patience- It is really hard to do so much work and then have to sit back and hope people think your products are as amazing as you think they are. Things don’t happen overnight and it is hard to get your products in front of the right audience, everything takes twice as long (or longer) then you think it will.
Is there a part of running Hi Little One that you didn’t realize would be as tedious and cumbersome as it is?
Have you teamed up with others, gained support from other businesses, etc.. and how helpful do you think that was to your profit or your confidence?
Collaborating with other companies and bloggers has really helped grow our social media presence. It is wonderful to work with other companies to support their product or blog. We have met some incredibly talented people- even a couple sisters in our own home town (like Nellie Bellie :) ) Places like Alt Summit are great for meeting bloggers and other businesses interested in growing their businesses through collaborations.
So, what’s your story?
I (Maggie) grew up in MN, amazing parents, seven great siblings and headed off to college in South Bend, IN. (Saint Mary’s College) During my senior year I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma (a type of blood cancer) and spent my second semester going to class while receiving treatment. I graduated College and have since lived in Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Chicago, London and now back home in Deephaven with my husband of 15 years and our 3 kids. My sister Nell and I launched Hi Little One in April 2015. We donate 10% of our profits to organizations dedicated to the treatment and cure of pediatric cancer; which has been an unfortunate theme in my family. I am currently learning how to run a business, work with my sister and keep our family in one piece!
“Honestly starting Hi Little One was the hardest thing I have ever done career wise. Putting it all on the table and asking people to contribute to our kickstarter campaign was very scary, asking people to believe in you and our concept for a company.”
That part there… “asking people to believe in you”… doesn’t that ring true for so many of us regardless of job or career? These women pushed past that and just DID. Ai! What a lesson.
“To be patient and not to let the bumps in the road seem bigger than they are.”
Sigh. Another life lesson applicable to everything. But, I can attest to the importance of patience in business. It takes time and more time for anything good to start happening. Often I think patience is a forgotten and essential building block to any successful business.
“Organized, Creative and Hardworking”
Are you these three adjectives? Maybe it’s time for you to move on that idea you’ve had in the backburner for quite some time? Those three character descriptives are a killer combo and if you have that combo I’m betting you that you can do just about anything you set your mind to. Hopefully, it’s world-improving sort of stuff!
TO ORDER FROM HI LITTLE ONE OR READ MORE OF THEIR STORY VISIT THEIR WEBSITE…