#FEARLESSFOUNDER Interviews

August 20th, 2014 | hellofearless

How Megan Created Two Successful Companies before age 30

Megan Hunt

Founder of Princess Lasertron & Hello Holiday

In this episode of #FearlessFounders, we’re spotlighting Megan Hunt, the founder of two successful online companies before age 30. She started her first business, Princess Lasertron, fresh out of college with zero entrepreneurial experience, and relied only on her intuition and drive for designing wedding bouquets. She rapidly garnered a die-hard cult by being actively involved in every aspect of the brand and building relationships with each of her brides. Her successes led her second company, Hello Holiday, a platform that features up-and-coming designers.

If that isn’t enough, folks, she’s also a mom.

This lady is the definition of Hello Fearless. Here’s the three important tidbits you’ll learn from Megan:

  • How she built a brand that is uniquely, authentically her, and people love her for her vulnerability
  • How she used Friendster, MySpace, LiveJournal, Instagram,Tumblr (basically, every social media platform out there) to build her brand and companies. You name it. She’s tried it.
  • How living in a smaller market actually worked to her advantage (Shoutout to all Omaha peeps!)

Check out this interview to see how this woman took the world by storm and broke all the rules while doing it.

Connect with Megan

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Official Bio 

Outspoken, provocative, and possibly best known as the intuitive and driven leader of two successful online companies, Megan Hunt has been referred to as a “new media maverick” with a fresh and approachable branding philosophy. Her reputation for mixing her design and business prowess with a dash of magic earned her cult celebrity status in the wedding industry with her first company, Princess Lasertron. In 2012 she launched the indie fashion company Hello Holiday, offering a charming and exuberant approach to style and online shopping not yet seen in the market. Unafraid to go off-script and steadily building brands with legions of loyal followers, her message will inspire and connect with any audience.

Megan’s work has been featured in dozens of publications including Forbes, The $100 Startup, Where Women Create, Brides, Cosmo Bride, Country Living, Omaha Magazine. Her 2014 book, Fabric Blooms, sold out of its first printing in under 24 hours.

 

READ FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Sara: 0.01.40
Hi!

Megan: 0.01.41
Hi Sara!

Sara: 0.01.42
I’m so excited to have you on here. Guys, Megan is one of my favorite people on the Earth and, years ago, before I even considered being an entrepreneur, she, as a young professional, just started her own company and she’s one of the women that I have always truly looked up to in being unapologetically her. She’s just totally fearless, carved her own path and I’m so excited to have you!

Megan: 0.02.14
Thank you Sara, that’s a very sweet intro. That’s really nice to hear, thank you. And we’re excited for your new venture, Hello fearless. It’s very special to be part of your launch and congratulations to you.

Sara: 0.02.25
Thank you so much. I’d love to share with our viewers what is Princess Lasertron. You have such a strong personal brand, one of the strongest that I’ve ever seen, in fact. And, I figure you were doing that way before it was even popular to create something like that, so I’d love for you to give a little bit of your background and how you got started.

Megan: 0.02.50
Sure, thank you. I’ve always been kind of a type A personality. I’ve always been, from a very young age, a bit bossy, I guess I would’ve been called.

Sara: 0.03.00
I love that! We promote “be the boss”

Megan: 0.03.04
Be the boss! I’ve always tried to be the boss and I’ve always wanted to be the boss and do when I graduated high school, I’d always been blogging, I started my first blog when I was eight with a domain that my dad gave me for Christmas. And I had this like, Learning HTML for Dummies book, back when the “for Dummies” franchise was still pretty new. SO I had been writing and sharing my thought online for several years when I graduated college and I was a very creative person, I was making a lot of things and I started out making the bouquets for brides. I was just kind of doing it for fun.

Sara: 0.03.45
Had you always been a creative person?

Megan: 0.03.47
Yeah, I’ve always been kind of a maker and my mother’s very creative too so she, growing up, did a lot of that with me and my brother as well. But as I started sharing what I was creating through my website and through the social media that there was there at that time. Little Friendster and the beginning of Myspace and LiveJournal.

Sara: 0.04.08
LiveJournal!

Megan: 0.04.09
Yeah, LJ.

Sara: 0.04.12
I checked out my LiveJournal the other day by the way.

Megan: 0.04.14
I have not done that in years. I should, because there’s some really bad things on there. But, please everyone go find my LiveJournal, that would be great for me. So I started sharing these things that I was making and it started getting attention from a lot of press. I started getting a lot of interest from magazines, from other bloggers, I started getting a lot of attention from popular bridal blogs that asked me to do guest posts, interviews, things like that. And also, I got a lot of customers from that, which surprised me because I like my aesthetic, I liked what I was making but I was really surprised at the time that there was really such a market for the work that I was making as a crafter and as a maker.

Sara: 0.04.57
So when you started the blog, did you have a brand, kind of, established? Or was it kind of a random website or with the intention to sell? Because I know, looking at your blog, and following it for years, that you share a lot more than just your process of your business, right? You’re pretty vulnerable in the things that you’re talking about.

Megan: 0.05.20
Yeah, I could say that that’s a little bit strategic. I can’t deny that being vulnerable on my blog and sharing a lot about my personal life from my dating life, to my marriage, to my child, to starting businesses. I know that that has been helpful to me in establishing a brand, in establishing trust with my customer, with readers, credibility in my industry. I think that getting to know someone, not as a brand, but as a person when they have a brand that you respect that they’ve grown, adds a lot of value to that burden. And so I can’t come in here and be like “Oh, it’s just me, it’s just who I am, I didn’t even think about it…” I know that sharing who I am is good for my company but I also can’t do it any other way. That’s just who I am. I’m not a naturally private person. I’m not shy about sharing what I think about things, I’m pretty outspoken. And so having a blog in addition to a platform for my company, and for the products that I create and the other organizations that I work with in my career, has also been very therapeutic for me at times as a woman, as a mother. And I’ve gotten a lot of support and personal development from my readers that I have because I developed those readers.

Sara: 0.06.44
So you’re creating these bridal bouquets…

Megan: 0.06.49
This is what I started with. This was when I was like nineteen, I started doing this, yeah.

Sara: 0.06.53
Did you have the Princess Lasertron brand then? Already developed.

Megan: 0.06.57
Yeah, well I started doing the flowers, it was under the moniker Princess Lasertron. Because I wanted it to be kind of bad ass, I wanted it to be like, not too prissy, but kind of funny to because I’m kind of funny. I kind of always plan to change the name. I was just sort of what I thought of at the time, but people liked it and it stuck and the URL was available so that’s what it was.

Sara: 0.07.21
I love it because it’s feminine but edgy.

Megan: 0.07.24
Yeah, I like that.

Sara: 0.07.26
Yeah, absolutely. That’s great. So you started blogging and started to create this community, and this following and people actually started purchasing your products. And at the time, were you making them all by hand?

Megan: 0.07.39
Yes, everything has always been made by hand. I started doing bridal bouquets and also just flowers for the whole wedding party and that was really how I got my start as an entrepreneur. I was doing boutonnieres, and corsages, and pins, and for a while I was doing jewellery, which I suck at, I shouldn’t’ve done that. I was making these banners and like screen printing them to say like “Just Married” for the back of the car. I was making anything that people would pay for because I was hustling and I was starting to realize, even though I was in college and I had this plan. Plan A which was gradually becoming my plan B with my degree, as my business kept picking up. I just wanted to try everything, I wanted to see what I was good at, I wanted to see what my customers responded to and it just kept rolling, kind of whether I was doing it or not. Customers liked it, the press liked it and it was a pretty lucky start for me, as an entrepreneur at a young age.

Sara: 0.08.38
So, luck, right? Luck. But you were

Megan: 0.08.42
A lot of luck, I’ve got to say. A very lucky person.

Sara: 0.08.44
No, well you’re lucky but you were busting your ass and, what I love about what you’re creating is that it was coming from the heart, it was very passion driven, right? And you were delivering that. You weren’t like “Is there a marketing opportunity? I’m just going to create something that sells” if it wasn’t aligned with who you were at that point in time.

Megan: 0.09.06
Well I think that when you’re doing something you’re passionate about and, even not just using the word passion, but if you really love what you’re doing, you’re going to be good at it because you enjoy doing it. And if you enjoy doing it, odds are there’s at least a couple of other people in the world who want to consume that and so that’s why following your passion, that’s why cultivating what makes you happy, what you’re good at, whether it starts as a hobby, whether it starts after hours, after your day job, after you put your kids to bed for those three hours a night that you maybe have to yourself. Maybe you put the dishes off for one more day and work on your project. That’s when magic happens. That’s when it happened for me.

Sara: 0.09.48
Ok, so you’re doing this all on your own, so you were not only manufacturing your own products, but you were managing the marketing of it, the promotion of it, all as a one woman job.

Megan: 0.10.01
Yeah, I eventually expanded into dress design. We released three collections of wedding and party dresses at Princess Lasertron and we grew into a space in downtown Omaha. I had four employees at the time and we were turning out hundreds if bridal bouquets every month. Everything was handmade, I oversaw everything and I touched […] so it was quite an enterprise at its height.

Sara: 0.10.33
Was there a reason that you didn’t decide to potentially manufacture and not hand make the bouquets and things you were doing versus always, like you were sacrificing that quality?

Megan: 0.10.45
Yeah, I definitely didn’t want to sacrifice the quality because I knew that’s really what the customers were paying for and I thought that as long as the customers were willing to hit that price point, I could provide that for them. Also, I had a lot of luck scaling my company with employees. I knew that if demand just got too out of control, I could just hire someone else and I did that over and over again. And that way I could still keep my hands on every single project, I could still interact personally with every bride and, to every bride, this is, until then, one of the most important days of her life and so, for her to know that I’m the person the she’s gotten to know through the website, who she’s looked forward to having her bouquet created by, and she knows that I’m the one in charge of that. And I think that that’s worth of a lot of really unquantifiable value in a company. It’s just the brand equity that comes from the trust that you can build with your customer.

Sara: 0.11.41
That is so smart. It’s like you were selling before you were selling. Before it even became brides, they were reading everything you were writing and seen all the photos.

Megan: 0.11.53
Well I did a lot of marketing, I would do a lot of marketing towards the 19 to 25 demographic. Not just engaged people, not just people reading brides.com, not just people on Weddingbee, not just people on Style Me Pretty. I kind of actually ignored the wedding blogs, because they were giving me plenty of coverage from the weddings that I was doing. The market that I focused on, when I was advertising, was more the younger women because if I could build cachet with them and trust, they would start to recognize my brand other places in the media. That’s who my customer is ultimately. And then when I launched the dress line, they became my customers as well. There was then something for women to buy even if they weren’t getting married.

Sara: 0.12.38
Right, so you extend the lifetime value of a customer. Because, in the bridal industry, it’s like turn and burn, like “ok you’re done”.

Megan: 0.12.47
There’s always more brides, but you don’t get a lot of repeat customers that way.

Sara: 0.12.52
Yeah, right. Well hopefully! You never know. Right, that’s a different conversation.
Ok so was that pre-Etsy when you started business?

Megan: 0.13.05
That was when Etsy just launched. I started my first store on Etsy a couple of months after Etsy started.

Sara: 0.13.11
Ok, so did you diversify your selling or did you have an Etsy store as well?

Megan: 0.13.17
Yeah, I had an Etsy store since they launched and eventually I moved into like a self-hosted store online. And then Etsy had a huge fit about it and they said like, I can’t be selling the same product in my personal store and on Etsy so I decided to just leave Etsy behind and just sell in-house.

Sara: 0.13.37
You own it then, right?

Megan: 0.13.38
Yeah.

Sara: 0.13.39
So you drive a lot of traffic, obviously through blogging, through social media, you got a lot of press coverage and, I mean, honestly you created a cult following. People were die hard Princess Lasertron…

Megan: 0.13.51
I tried to.

Sara: 0.13.53
Yeah! Ok so how did you do that? Were you personally engaging with people on social media? What was your strategy?

Megan: 0.14.02
I really like my readers and I think that I attract the kind of reader that I would want to be friends with actually. So when I look at their Twitter accounts, I mean I got TweetDeck open and I can scoot over and see them in the other window right now. I follow all of my customers and I’m friends with them of Facebook, my personal Facebook account, Instagram for sure, Pinterest, and I get to know them a little bit and I really like them. And I hope that they can kind of feel that, just the genuine relationships that this business has created for me and what it means to me, it means more to me. I mean, I’m not rich off this, I’m not doing this for the money. I would like more money, that would be fine, but it’s not about that for me.

Sara: 0.14.48
Well we’ll get into the business that you’re going to get rich off of, here, very soon.

Megan: 0.14.53
It’s really about the relationships, and as I alluded to earlier, in every entrepreneur’s journey there’s a lot of roadblocks, there’s a lot of hurdles. And without the base of support from my readers and customers and fans, who, many of them are real friends to me, I may have given up. I can’t say for sure. I’m not a quitter but times get tough, you know, I can’t say.

Sara: 0.15.20
What I love about everything that you’re doing is like, I feel your business is so aligned with who you were as a person and you’re projecting that so you’re attracting the right type of customers, right? There’s all these shiesty bullshit internet marketing tactics where you can attract all the by things, but you’re not actually going to build a community, you’re not going to build a brand.

Megan: 0.15.43
No, people don’t trust that.

Sara: 0.15.45
Right, yeah I love that.

Megan: 0.15.47
I mean, whole forums pop up just to talk shit about bloggers and marketing gurus and life coaches and all these things that can be really well done, can be valid careers, can be very fulfilling to both the customer and the entrepreneur. But people talk, and it’s a small world and you’ve just got to be real with people keep your name clean, you know.

Sara: 0.16.10
Have you been somebody that really follows your intuition on things? How do you know to jump, or to do this or to do this or, like “Screw it, I’m going to create a fashion line”?

Megan: 0.16.25
All I had was my intuition. I didn’t take any business classes. In college, I studied German language and intercultural communication with a minder in radio science.

Sara: 0.16.35
Oh, that’s relevant for what you’re doing right now.

Megan: 0.16.38
Yeah, so not really. I can’t say I know very much about that, but I have anything to go off of an intuition. I’ve read a lot of books. I enjoy reading business books, so I’ve learned a lot from that. But other than that, it’s just experience.

Sara: 0.16.55
When you started your business, so we lived in Omaha together, now, in the Midwest especially is growing into a much larger entrepreneurial ecosystem, but did you know any other women entrepreneurs or did you have any friends or people in your life that were like “Dude, you’re crazy! I can’t believe you’re going after this”, what was it like back then?

Megan: 0.17.20
I think, probably the worst thing I dealt with, is just people diminishing my work a little bit or saying it’s cute or saying like “Look at your cute little business. How nice of you to be trying”. Stuff like that.

Sara: 0.17.40
Seriously?

Megan: 0.17.42
They don’t know behind the scenes. I’m employing five people.

Sara: 0.17.46
Busting your ass.

Megan: 0.17.47
I’m creating hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue that’s coming into our state, like I’m a huge asset to this community. That’s not really something that you talk about at a cocktail-mixer. One story that I like to tell is, I was at an event at a local publication receiving an award, it was a Forty Under 40 award, and I was receiving a special award for business achievement and I was there with my husband and a guy at our table was talking to my husband and he said “Oh, brought the wife along, eh?” And he said this to me “It’ll be over soon, these things are so boring” and I just looked at him and I didn’t say a thing.

Sara: 0.18.24
You were like “I’m the one getting recognized!”

Megan: 0.18.27
He just turned white when it was me that walked up on the stage.

Sara: 0.18.31
That used to happen to me with my consulting business. I would show up at meetings with a lot of my subcontractors, who were a lot older than me and very experienced or whatnot, and they’d be like “Are you the intern?” and I’m like “No, I actually hire these people.”

Megan: 0.18.49
I’m at the head of the table, so there shouldn’t be any confusion.

Sara: 0.18.52
I’m running this shit! That’s amazing. Ok so you did all that, it was amazing, and you created this beautiful brand. So when I would see you, I mean you just have our own style, you have your own flair, you were Princess Lasertron, you know. That was so epic. Did you, in the middle of the country mind you, because if you were in San Francisco or any other market and you were as fashionable as you were, or as forward thinking as you were, what kept you doing that, you know, even though no one else looked like that?

Megan: 0.19.36
I don’t know, there’s no other way to be. I have a lot of friends who looked like me. I’m a hipster, dude, so like, we all dress like this. I’m just kidding.

Sara: 0.19.44
So you still care what other people think?

Megan: 0.19.46
You can’t care about what other people think, like, what is your life if it doesn’t make you happy? What do you think you’re going to get in exchange for an unhappy life? Nothing. And so you have to lose. People laugh at you? No they’re going to think you’re really cool. Or if they’re laughing at you, it’s because they’re uncomfortable and embarrassed because they wish that they were as brave as you to do what they want to do to. I just think the more you represent who you truly are in your business, in your personal life, in your relationships, with your children, with your family, nothing really bad can come of that. And if it does, maybe that’s not a relationship or an opportunity that was right for you anyway.

Sara: 0.20.25
Yeah, it’s the same thing with customers for your business, right?

Megan: 0.20.30
Oh, yeah.

Sara: 0.20.31
It’s so like that. It’s like, you’re not marketing to everyone and if you’re authentically yourself in your business and what you’re creating, you’re going to attract all the right customers, and screw the haters, right?

Megan: 0.20.47
I love my haters. I love to fuck with them.

Sara: 0.20.53
That’s a great conversation, I’m going to get into that. So you did that, and then you’re like “Ok, I’m going to create this co-working space”, which, for people that don’t know, co-working spaces essentially, it’s a building or an office space that people rent desks or office space and they get to work amongst one another.

Megan: 0.21.15
Sure, it’s a shared workspace and the principle of it is, if you’re an independent contractor, if you’re a freelancer, if you have a small company, a co-working space is a really great space for you to grow because you can kind of draw from the community, the collective intelligence and support of a community at your office instead of maybe being alone in your basement or wherever else, a coffee shop, you know.

Sara: 0.21.38
Yeah, we, at Hello Fearless, we co-work too in our accelerator.

Megan: 0.21.41
Awesome!

Sara: 0.21.42
Yeah, so you did that, you were the first person, or team of people to do that in Omaha, right?

Megan: 0.21.49
Yes.

Sara: 0.21.50
So how did that work out? And what was the intention behind creating that?

Megan: 0.21.56
The intention was I was expanding my business and I needed a space to grow into. And so I thought like that was an opportunity to explore something like co-working in the Omaha community. I got a couple of friends to join me in this space, as we opened, I was there with my employees in the beginning. Eric Downs of Downs Design was there. Soon after, two people from a company called Image Made came on board. Steve Gordon from RDQLUS Creative, Matt Secoske from Nimble Logic, at the time. I think those were our original tenants and more came and went as time went on. One company actually was creative in this space, from two small companies that decided to merge together, which is really exciting, and now they’re doing amazing work in Omaha.
And, short version, I ran that for a couple of years, I got interested in other things, I didn’t want to be a building manager, so I decided to close the space instead of hiring someone to manage it and keeping that on my books for any longer. And since I closed it, several other co-working spaces have cropped up in Omaha. I don’t think that the movement is a failure, I don’t think that it’s dead. I think we have lots of opportunities in Omaha for collaborative workspaces, and I’m happy to have played a role in the early stages of that.

Sara: 0.23.23
Yeah, ok so, wasn’t a huge money maker though?

Megan: 0.23.26
No, no money. No profit. Zero.

Sara: 0.23.30
No profit and it took time to manage I’m sure. And it was awesome, I remember when you guys were doing that, that was so huge.

Megan: 0.23.38
We had a lot of great events.

Sara: 0.23.40
You had you fashion show there.

Megan: 0.23.42
Yeah, I had a secret show. So there’s Omaha fashion week here which is where I debuted all of my collections. It’s the biggest fashion event in the Midwest, so in our market, that’s a big deal to be able to be in that show. But, every season before I did my collection, I would have a secret show, in the building where our co-working space was, in the hallway. And so just invite press, just friends and family, and just use it to drum up some interest in the fashion week show and in the lines so, maybe we got some pre orders from that.

Sara: 0.24.15
Did you get a lot of business out of that, or did your business remain mostly outside of the market, like online?

Megan: 0.24.23
You mean locally?

Sara: 0.24.24
Yeah.

Megan: 0.24.25
Yeah, it definitely helped. I suppose it helped me build my reputation as a business owner in Omaha, which is valuable, which leads to other opportunities. When I closed Camp, I was able to kind of cash in some of that goodwill, I guess, to move on to other things. I think that anything you can do in your community to help strengthen the networks and relationships in your entrepreneurial community where you live, is so important. It’s so important for you, you can look at it from a selfish perspective, but really, the better your city is to work in for everybody, the better it is for you.

Sara: 0.25.05
Ok, let’s talk about that for a second because when you started your business, Omaha wasn’t a thriving entrepreneurial community necessarily. I mean, a few lost their business but it was very fragmented.

Megan: 0.25.17
I was really on the brink though, wasn’t it?

Sara: 0.25.20
It was on the brink.

Megan: 0.25.21
Everybody was just starting to do something big, I feel like. And I’m really lucky to kind of be in that, you know, one of the first waves of that.

Sara: 0.25.31
Totally, but you also have dipped your toes in the water of different, whether it was Barcamp, or different initiatives I think, for the greater good that helped build that community.

Megan: 0.25.44
Yeah, just different community development initiatives and projects and collaborations and conferences. I love stuff like that because I want to build the kind of community that I needed when I was starting out.

Sara: 0.26.00
So you don’t have to move? Is that why?

Megan: 0.26.02
No, so other people don’t have to move. So that the little Megans’ and the little Saras’ and the little Hello Fearless girls don’t grow up in Omaha, or in Royal Nebraska, or Iowa and go to school at UNO, look around them and think “there’s nothing I can do here.” That makes me so sad because I did everything here and a lot of that of course is thanks to the internet, because all of my successful companies have an ecommerce company, you can do business anywhere. And with the low cost of living here, with the low cost of education, I just think it’s a really great place to grow a business because then you can really save your capital to invest back into your company. Or you can travel and go to the coast, you can go to the other markets, you can make a name for yourself in other markets and regions, all from here in the middle.

Sara: 0.26.56
Well, I think that’s such an essential point that you’re making because, I mean I felt that, and a lot of women who don’t necessarily live in these larger markets feel like “Is it really possible for me to do this where I’m living?”

Megan: 0.27.13
Well, you can do anything from anywhere, but I would even argue that it’s a little easier in a small market or a mid-sized market like being in Minneapolis or Kansas City or Des Moines.

Sara: 0.27.23
It’s a little bit easier to create a cupcake shop, perhaps in a non-saturated market.

Megan: 0.27.30
It’s easier to be a big fish in a small pond. If I had started this in New York City, there’s no way I would be where I am today. No one would’ve given a fuck. Another girl designing clothes, who cares? But in Omaha that was a story.

Sara: 0.27.44
Right. And I would say that even the Omahas’ or the Des Moines’, they’re like third tier cities comparatively to New York, Chicago, and I would say that the fourth and fifth tier cities, now, are actually starting to really boom and create a lot of economic opportunity for women to create companies, right?

Megan: 0.28.06
Just look at Nebraska, Omaha, a whole region, as an economic landscape as well, we have so much investor capital here. We have a huge concentration of resources for small business owners. Just because more people live in an area, doesn’t mean there’s more money there. It doesn’t mean that there’s more customers there. It doesn’t mean that there’s more infrastructure to support a small business owner or a new entrepreneur or a start-up. That logic doesn’t follow. I am a big proponent of going where you want to be, like find where you want to live, and grow there. And grow the community, grow yourself and make it better for the people coming up in the next round as well.

Sara: 0.28.54
I love that. Ok, so you crate your fashion line, you did the co-working space and then you have this new venture called Hello Holiday, I love it. Hello Fearless, Hello Holiday.

Megan: 0.29.09
I love Hello anything.

Sara: 0.29.10
Right! I love it. Ok, so tell everyone what is Hello Holiday.

Megan: 0.29.17
Hello Holiday is a company that I started with my partner Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik a couple of years ago, and our goal is to offer financing and distribution to small indie fashion designers. So, from the customer’s perspective, it’s an online store, we sell at HelloHoliday.com and as a customer you can find a wide range of sizes, we’re very sensitive to different body types and body shapes and offering cute clothes to everybody. We like to joke that we’re clothing for ageing hipsters. You know, we’re all at different places in our lives, the 25 to 35 career woman who as a personality. I mean, Sarah and I came up through the hardcore rock scene, we were both like “fucking punks” when we were younger, and now we’re just like, two mums, in the office, selling our clothes.
But we love to work with small designers and that’s our biggest focus, is just helping them with their manufacturing, helping them get their collections off to a good start because in my previous life, when I was a designer, that was my biggest fear to entry. It was just like “I can’t make that many clothes, so I need to sell what I have so I can buy more materials to make more clothes until I get big enough to have a manufacturer”, and that climb is so prohibitive to so many brilliant designers. Not all designers have good business minds. And so I realized that design wasn’t really my passion, and more of the business operations, organizational side was what I was interested in. So I take my experience and apply it to Hello Holiday and now we help designers get to national distribution.

Sara: 0.31.01
Ok, so let’s talk about that for a second, because I think that what we teach women is to really know who you are, what their strengths are that you have or your weaknesses or what you’re good at, what you love doing and what you don’t, because you might be making clothes but you’re better suited to actually run the business side of things. Or maybe you’re better suited to actually just make clothes or whatever type of product you’re making by hand, and then you need to hire somebody or have a partner to run that for you so I’d love for you to touch on that.

Megan: 0.31.37
Yeah, partners are amazing, partners are everything. I also think that sometimes things you just have to try to find out. I thought I was a designer, I thought that was kind of my lot in life, and I was good at it but I didn’t love it. And so, just because you’re good at something or it’s glamourous, or people think that you’re hot shit because you can do it, if it doesn’t make you happy, maybe you’re on the right dartboard but you’re not hitting the bullseye. Maybe I was close, it was almost designing but actually I should be managing designers. And so that’s how I was able to kind of hibit that career into something.

Sara: 0.32.17
That’s so huge, that’s so important though for your happiness and also you existing more in that zone of genius is going to make you so much more fulfilled, so much more profitable, the company so much more successful, I love that.

Megan: 0.32.32
At least it looks successful, that’s the important thing.

Sara: 0.32.35
You’re getting there. So talk to me about how you found Sarah and why you chose to have a co-founder.

Megan: 0.32.44
My partner, Sarah, she was here and her son is here and he’s like 4 months old but this is her, I can show you her picture. That’s Sarah.

Sara: 0.32.52
She’s hot.

Megan: 0.32.53
She’s a sexy cop, as you can see. She and I were good friends since we were teenagers and, I guess just friends, we didn’t know each other that well, but our boyfriends lived together, were roommates and so we would just kind of see each other in the hallway all the time and we both went to shows all the time, house shows and hardcore shows, we were both kind of punk kids in Omaha. And we grew up a little bit more, she’s working in a lot of retail, she was a social worker before this as well, and one day she came to my co-working space at Camp, and she was steaming a prom dress because she was styling like a music video that’s now on MTV, she’s also an amazing stylist, it’s her background, and we both just started talking about what’s next for us.
I was talking about how I like these dresses, but this isn’t my career, I don’t want to do Princess Lasertron forever, i want to do something a little bit more sustainable, a little bit more challenging, so she was kind of on the same path. She was like “I’m close, but not quite there. I don’t know what I want to be doing. I kind of want to be opening a store, an online store”, and I said “I do too. I really like working in this independent design space, I’m really good at ecommerce, I’m really good at online marketing”, she is to because she’s got a huge blog following herself and so that night we decided to do it, and we cried, and we hugged and we were like “Oh my god, we’re starting a business”, and it was like… It happened that night. And then that week, we were meeting every night, we were writing our business plan. It took off very fast and we don’t regret it at all. And that all happened just from that little conversation that we had, or we wouldn’t be here at all.

Sara: 0.34.43
So what’s her role versus you’re role?

Megan: 0.34.45
Well, we’re equal partners. My role is more on the operational side, I do a lot of the numbers, I look at our trends, I deal with the accounts that we use and the investors that we talk to, the advisors that we work with. I do more on that side of things. And she does more off the customer facing work. She does customer service, she answers the emails, she updates a lot of the social media, she makes sure that our orders all get out on time. And in the beginning, we both did a lot more of the roles equally, but now that we’re bigger and we got a little bit more help in the office we’re kind of settled into our own roles.

Sara: 0.35.33
The last thing I want to touch on is like, for Hello holiday, one of the things I think you do so brilliantly is leveraging social media to really get your products out there and to tell that story. So I’d love for you to touch on that, just really quickly.

Megan: 0.35.51
One thing that we’ve learned the most from is Instagram and Tumblr. They’re killers right now, especially for apparel retail clothing. We incentivize our customers to share their purchases on Instagram and Tumblr, we give them a discount code when they do, share that with their followers and it really helps keep our return customer rate up. Our return customer rate is extremely high for our industry, it’s one of the highest that I’ve ever seen from people who have published their numbers. I know that these types of strategies definitely work, just getting a loyal fan base, having them share their purchases with their network, incentivizing them to do that, it keeps them coming back for sure, that’s what I learned.

Sara: 0.36.34
Do you use a particular platform that actually attracts and manages that for you?

Megan: 0.36.39
We use the discount codes to kind of attract that. So we’ll only use a certain code for a certain person, or a certain channel and then we can track where people are finding the code.

Sara: 0.36.51
Got it, ok.

Megan: 0.36.54
We got to be in Instagram, but there’s no stats on that right now, which sucks but…

Sara: 0.36.58
Right, I get it sister. Ok so where can everyone find you and find out more about Hello Holiday?

Megan: 0.37.05
You can follow me on twitter @lasertron, and my personal blog is PrincessLasertron.com and you can also just Google me, I think that’s the best way to just delve into what the fuck this is all about.

Sara: 0.37.22
Megan Hunt, everyone. Alright, thanks girl.

Megan: 0.37.26
Thank you Sara.

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