With a thriving blog, conference, and membership site under her belt, there isn't much Hayley Morgan hasn't done.
Not so fast… add designer and creator of an ethically-made clothing line for kids to the list! (Did we mention she has 4 young boys too?!)
Hayley blogs at TheTinyTwig.com where she focuses on helping women to create lives with more passion and less fuss. Hayley is author of the e-book, The No-Brainer Wardrobe and Co-founder of the Influence Conference and Influence Network.
Her newest venture is Wildly Co. – a collection of ethically manufactured kids clothing that Hayley designs herself. Just this month, her husband Mike quit his corporate gig to join Hayley on the business full-time. We love the faith and spirit of this entrepreneurial pair!
Today on the podcast:
03:13 – What Tipped the Scale for Hayley and her Husband Mike
05:15 – Raise Money for your Business without Giving Away Equity
09:03 – How an Item we Use Every Day Became the Inspiration for an Ethical Business
14:55 – From Kindred Friendship to an Event and a Community of Like-Minded Women
19:44 – Futon Marketing and a Resounding YES!
21:40 – The Women of Influence
26:17 – Hayley’s White Knuckle Period of Life (and what life looks like now!)
30:55 – What to Do when You Can’t Eek Out Any More
31:56 – Things Successful People Don’t Say
33:52 – Hayley’s Tips on Crafting a Great Video for Your Brand
36:10 – Her Business Anthem
38:52 – The One Word with a Million Meanings (Hayley’s Funny Mom Moment!)
Heads up: for reasons beyond our control, the internet connection was acting a bit strange for the first half of our interview. Please bear with us; Hayley's message is so worth it! The second half of the interview sounds great! (Hey, if it can happen to the guys at Fizzle, it can happen to anyone!)
What Tipped the Scale for Hayley and her Husband Mike
Hayley’s husband Mike was doing small business development for a major corporation. He’s really gifted when it comes to working with small businesses and helping them to grow.
Mike has been helping Hayley with her blog and other business ventures for quite a while, but the scale tipped when it became way to hard for him to balance his full-time job and their new company, Wildly Co. Hayley simply couldn’t grow the business anymore with just what she was able to put into it. She needed both Mike’s talent and time to take the business to the next level.
Raise Money for your Business without Giving Away Equity
Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money for your business without taking on investors and losing equity. With crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, a lot of people give small amounts of money. Instead of equity, the small business gives its funders something else of value such as a good or service.
Wildly Co. launched a Kickstarter campaign on August 5th to raise $20,000 in 30 days in order to produce their fall capsule of clothing. With Kickstarter, the full goal must be met in order for the campaign to be funded and move forward.
Wildly Co. is offering rewards from Hayley’s e-book, The No Brainer Wardrobe and a hand-written thank you note on a vintage postcard for a $10 contribution all the way up to a paid trip to design clothing with Hayley, see where Wildly clothing is made, and pick her brain on blogging and business for a $1000 contribution. (Sounds amazing!)
Between these levels of funding, there are a wide range of receiving different pieces of apparel from the Wildly Co. collection. The clothing choices that backers make also helps Hayley and Mike to gauge interest in different colors, styles, and designs to help them make the right decisions moving forward. (a win-win!)
How an Item we Use Every Day Became the Inspiration for an Ethical Business
As a mom to four boys, Hayley knows firsthand what a central role clothing plays in the life of a family. As she pulls each pair of clothing back out for the next little boy, she’s reminded of all the memories that have been made.
As Hayley learned more about standard practices within the textile industry around the world, she realized that she couldn’t in good conscience, support her boys wearing clothing made by another mother’s children.
Hayley and Mike created Wildly Co. to provide an ethically-made alternative for children’s clothing. While they fully support eco-friendly practices, for Hayley and Mike, the people have to come first. Their most important focus is on supporting the lives of the people who make their clothing and ensuring that they are paid a fair wage and work in a safe environment.
See their story below:
From Kindred Friendship to an Event and a Community of Like-Minded Women
Hayley Morgan and Jessi Connolly feel that they were put into each other’s lives for a reason. They both connected over having children who were very sick for a time. Hayley says that she watched Jessi walk through that journey respectfully, joyfully, and faithfully. God was watching out for her by putting Jessi on her radar to prepare her for her own difficult journey.
Finally, Hayley and Jessi were able to meet in person in a loud diner with many little kids between them. They walked away with a kindred friendship.
A week later they began planning for the Influence Conference. Their vision was to bring like-minded blogging and business women together to pair a message of faith with a message of strategy.
Hayley and Jessi committed to a conference contract with a hotel that cost as much as a new car, and they both found out that they were pregnant with child #4! (You two are rock stars!)
As both Hayley and Jessi hobbled around the conference (each of them approaching 30 weeks!), they realized that the fun, creative, vibrant group of women who came together for the conference would want to connect for much longer than that weekend in September.
The Influence Network, a membership site, was born and it is a much larger network than just the people who attend the physical conference each year.
Futon Marketing and a Resounding YES!
While sitting on a futon in Jessi’s office, she and Hayley made a list of their dream speakers for the conference. Every single one of them said YES!
These two women “went to town marketing” as Hayley says. They rallied the women they saw, called out what they saw in them, and hoped they would be leaders within the Influence community. As they did this, these leaders brought their “people” with them, and a successful conference was born.
The Women of Influence
Hayley confesses that setting up the membership site for the Influence Network was technical, which she didn’t know when she first started. She’s not sure if she would undertake the project again –knowing what she knows now—but that’s true of most of her projects.
I never go in thinking that I have to be an expert at something. I’m really confident in my ability to find things out and find the people who can help me learn.
Hayley was building the website for the Influence Network right up until she had her fourth baby!
Now, the Influence Conference and Network are run by Hayley, Jessi, and four other women.
Ashley runs the conference. Lindsey is the content manager and lines up interviews and photo shoots for marketing and member resources. Mariah is the customer care person before the point of sale. Rachel is head of member care. She runs the forums and coordinates the care and prayer team for any member who is going through a hard time.
Each woman was hired in January of 2013, and they’ve had zero turnover. All but one are women who attended the conference and were already invested in the community. Hayley and Jessi knew their strengths ahead of time, and they are still doing great today!
Hayley says it’s been a big shift from doing everything herself to delegating and learning people management skills.
Hayley’s White Knuckle Period of Life (and what life looks like now!)
When Hayley was starting the conference, she had one boy in kindergarten, one in preschool, one always with her, and was pregnant.
It was one of those times of life where you kind of white knuckle and hold on and you wouldn’t want to do it for an extended period of time, but you get through it.
Hayley says that she was still good at being a mom for the parts that were important to her, but she let things go like being a great school mom and doing field trips and snacks.
Life with Two Full-time Entrepreneur Parents:
Hayley says now that Mike’s home, life is super fun. They have a lot more man hours to work with.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays they have a nanny who comes to the house from 8AM – 1 PM and stays with their two youngest boys while she and Mike go to the library to work. Then, they come home, put the little guys down for a nap, do quick little chores, and wrap up work around 3.
Their two big boys come home at 3:45, and they are on as mom and dad from that point until bedtime.
Once the kids go to bed, Hayley and Mike wrap up a few more things and try to be completely done with work (computers and cell phones shut down) by 9 PM.
(Sounds like a great system to us! Now if only Sarah and I could get our husbands into this entrepreneur thing!)
What to Do when You Can’t Eek Out Any More
Hayley tries to look for help when she reaches that pain point –the point where you can’t grow to where you want to be with the resources and hours that you have to give.
For Hayley and Mike, this happened when they decided that they needed to hire a nanny, and again when Mike quit his corporate job to do the entrepreneurship thing full time.
Sarah and I were kind of hoping for an easy answer that, of course, the income your business is generating makes it easy to hire on help or quit your day job. Hayley let us know that this wasn’t necessarily the case.
She said that sometimes you have to take the risk before you have the extra income to support it. It helps you to work smarter and better when you take that jump
“I’ve never had a situation where it hasn’t reached that difference in the income gap”
Things Successful People Don’t Say
From any successful person that I’ve seen, it’s never the people who said, “I was really prudent or I played it safe.”
Hayley said they wanted to build up Wildly to match her husband Mike’s income before he made the leap and quit his corporate gig. Yet, that just wasn’t going to happen. There was no amount of her doing that was going to grow it. They needed two people to do both family and work.
(We love Hayley’s entrepreneurial spirit, and we’re so excited to see Hayley and Mike grow it into a huge success! Kudos to you two for not playing it safe!)
Hayley’s Tips on Crafting a Great Video for Your Brand
Although Hayley is multi-talented and so smart she could learn just about anything she wanted to (our words, of course – she’s way too humble to say that!) she realized that creating a video for Wildly Co. herself would not be the best use of her time or talents.
As Hayley put it, the return on investment was way bigger to hire someone else to do it.
• Find a wedding videographer.
• Hire them for sometime in the middle of the week.
(Their gigs are often on the weekend so they tend to be wide open during the work week.)
• If you have an interesting story to tell and you give them a bonus job that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to book, they’re often willing to negotiate on their price a little.
• Be flexible with them – allow them to use their creativity and talent.
Hayley told the videographer “I need “this” to be communicated and these 3 things said, but you can pick and music and everything else!” (A creative person’s dream!)
The end result is pretty amazing, don’t you think?
Her Business Anthem
Don’t wait until it’s perfect to start.
Be steady and don’t quit.
The One Word with a Million Meanings (Hayley’s Funny Mom Moment!)
Tune in to hear about this one. It’s really cute!
Stay in Touch with Hayley!
What are your thoughts? Were you inspired after hearing from Hayley? (I know I was!) While most of us probably won't start an ethical clothing line tomorrow or even start a new conference, what leap are you ready to take after hearing Hayley's story?
For one thing, I know I'd love to have a video made for our business as soon as possible – what a powerful message the video for Wildly Co. conveyed!
Thanks for listening! We think you're all brilliant!
~ Beth Anne
P.S. Haley sure is a busy mama! We all are! Are you struggling with time management? Check out our book, Time Management Mama: Making use of the Margins to Pursue your Passions. It's real life advice to help you manage your time, accomplish big goals, and stay sane!