Interview

Sweet Peach Kids—How one Entrepreneur Turned her Expensive Shopping Habit Into a Business

Sweet Peach Kids got its start earlier this year by 'mommypreneuer' Laura Miller. Although a fairly new shop, it's already been featured by several prominent bloggers and has continuously sold out of its marquee pieces. 

What is Sweet Peach and how'd you come up with the idea for it?

Sweet Peach Kids is an online boutique where you can find clothes as sweet as your little one at an affordable price. I came up with the idea when my obsession for shopping for my own little girl was getting out of hand. I was having a hard time finding quality pieces without the high end price tags.

How do you manage being a full time mom and business owner?

I am definitely still trying to figure this one out, ha!  For me it's been A LOT of very late nights and early mornings. Also, having an extremely supportive husband definitely helps.

Your photos look great, and as we all know kids can be a bit crazy when it comes to taking directions. How do you go about your photoshoots? Is it hard to make the kids pose?

Thank you!  I have learned that there are three things to making a successful photo shoot:

  •  ALWAYS hire a professional photographer who is great with kids
  •  Come super prepared with more than what you think is needed. For example: extra hair pins, backup clothes, props, shoes etc.
  • 3 bring bribes! (I find candy works the best.)

Photographing little ones is a challenge but always so worth it in the end.  

What's been your biggest challenge in running a children's clothing line so far?

The biggest challenge for me is the business side of things. The creative comes to me pretty naturally, but there are far more things that go into running your own business than I had ever imagined. 

What advice could you give to other stay-at home moms and dads who would like to run a business and grow a business?

Just go for it!  Realize that there will be some sleepless nights, and some days that the dishes just won't get done, but I promise it's so worth it. There's definitely a certain amount of pride that comes with being able to say "I did that." 

What are some of your favorite apps you use to manage your business?

I couldn't live without Shipstation, it has made organizing my business and my orders so easy.  Obviously Instagram has been huge for my business (it is by far my biggest marketing platform). And when it comes to editing photos for my feed, I really love Pic-Tap-Go. 

Where can we find you?

You can find me at sweetpeachkids.com or on Instagram @sweetpeachkids.   

 

Please note that Bookly’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of Bookly.

Dream Leaf—Turning Dreams into Business (Literally)

Dream Leaf

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

Dream Leaf is a fascinating company based out of Utah that uses herbal supplements to purportedly facilitate a variety of cognitive functions such as "Lucid Dreaming, Dream Recall, Balanced Sleep, and Longer Dreams." They have a passionate fanbase with over 40,000 followers on Facebook and a recent invite to appear on the TV show "Doctor's."

Dream Leaf's flagship product claims to promote restful and lucid sleep sounds like something out of the Matrix. You start by taking a blue pill before bed, and wake up 4 hours later to take a red one. We sat down with cofounder Alex Southworth to see what inspired this unique product and how they've reached such success.

Co-Founder Alex Southworth

Co-Founder Alex Southworth

1. How’d you get into lucid dreaming and what inspired you to build a business around it?

I’ve always had a fascination with dreaming in general.   And Intuitively, I guess I always sensed that there was more going on in dreams than people realized.  So when I first learned about lucid dreaming, the idea really intrigued me because it seemed like an opportunity to explore that mysterious world a little more deeply.  I was a little skeptical of the concept at first but after I started having some success with it, I realized how incredible these experiences could be.  It really does give you a unique glimpse into the power of the mind and I think that’s something everyone needs to witness. I guess that’s really the reason I decided to start Dream Leaf.  I was sick of being that weird kid that was into lucid dreaming and wanted to help the world realize that this is not just some mystical practice but is a scientifically sound practice with real life applications.  Dream Leaf was my attempt to help give the skeptic a chance to verify the reality of conscious dreaming. It’s a thing, and I think it’s important for the world to realize that.

2. How long was the R and D process, and what was involved?

Surprisingly there is quite a bit of scientific literature that either deals with the concept of lucid dreaming supplements, which is really where our research started. The general formula took about 2 years to put together.  Since a few academics had jumped into the topic and studied the effects of certain dietary aids for conscious dream induction, this helped us get our foot in the door initially. But we built upon that kind of research until we were able to come up with the Dream Leaf formula.

3. How would you explain lucid dreaming to someone who’s never heard of it?

I would explain lucid dreaming as any dream in which the dreamer is able to realize they are dreaming. The aim of a lucid dream is typically to control the dream to your liking, which is an ability that you develop with practice.  Some lucid dreams are highly controllable, where you can literally change just about anything in the dream, not just your behavior but the environment of the dreamscape too.  In these dreams, you can choose to do things like fly, visit a past memory, or even have a conversation with a role model if you wanted to.  The cool thing about lucid dreaming is that it taps into your subconscious mind so you can literally smell, feel, hear, taste, and see in your dreams just like you do in waking life.  Your lucid dreams can often cause you to wake up feeling deeply moved, as if the experience were real.

If you’re interested, here’s a little article I wrote that explains my first lucid dreaming experience in full detail.

4. You don’t just have a successful product, you’ve got a vibrant and active community (40,000+ on FB)…was this something you’ve built, or just tapped into?

Thanks!  I mean, we’ve worked hard to get our product in front of the right people and we definitely have to work in order to get our content in front of the right people within this community but our progress has developed pretty organically.  People seem to really enjoy our product and what we are about.  We’ve been really impressed with how cohesive of a community that we engage with.  For the most part, the people we interact with on a regular basis are very intelligent and open-minded individuals who are willing to try anything that makes logical sense.  We get a lot of shares and people bring us up in conversation a lot, which is really why I think we’ve been able to see so much progress.

5. Lucid dreaming is a lesser known and very specific niche, how do you find people that are likely interested in your product? Do you find it arduous to educate people on the benefits?

We don’t focus so much on trying to convince people to try lucid dreaming or educate them on the reasons why.  There are enough people who are trying to lucid dream that we simply help them enhance what they are already doing. 

6. Were there a lot of hoops to jump through in regards to FDA/creating a consumer product?

We work with a great manufacturing company that is FDA compliant and they do most of the heavy lifting.  It was hard work to get things rolling but once you know the right people, and have a trustworthy source for your ingredients, it’s not all that difficult to keep moving.

7. You recently appeared on the TV show Doctor’s, what was that like and how’d they find you?

It was interesting.  Still not sure how they found us.  The exposure was not all that exciting to be honest.  It was dealt with by someone who was not very informed about our product and it was blurred out anyway so it really wasn’t anything worthwhile.

8. What are some of the ways in which dreams have impacted your life?

At this point I look to my dreams to track my sleep health, but also to look deeper into my emotional and spiritual state.  I find that my dreams are very intuitive and as I’ve become more familiar with the metaphor of dreams, it’s helped me understand what’s going on inside in ways that are really quite unique. 

9. From a layman’s perspective, it seems that lucid dreaming would affect your mental focus throughout the day. Does lucid dreaming take away from the mind’s “down time” and how are your energy levels throughout the day?

Actually, I haven’t observed lucid dreaming reducing my focus through out the day.  In fact, there have been a few studies that have shown that lucid dreaming actually correlates with a larger prefrontal cortex and many presume it actually increases cognitive function.  Here’s a little article on that from one of our partners

10. What’s been your strongest marketing vehicle and why?

Strongest marketing vehicle has been our blog and just sharing our content on social media.  There are a lot of people who want to know more about this topic and we really do a good job at helping people see results so I think that has just helped us develop some credibility with our product.  

Please note that Bookly’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of Bookly.

London's 'Juice Gee' Talks Fashion, Going Hyper-Niche, and Building a Shoe Empire

Juice Gee London

By Austin Miller, Content Marketing Manager

This week we sat down with Jess Gavigan AKA "Juice Gee" a London-based "fashionpreneur" who has passion for streetwear and a soft spot for trainers. Her unique online store SFBK (Small Feet Big Kicks) sells only trainer shoes and targets sneakerheads with smaller feet. With the shoe-space being ever dominated by the likes of Amazon and Zappos, we wanted to know how Juice Gee's been able to carve out her own piece of the pie

Where does your love for shoes come from and how did you get into the kick game?

I got into the kick game through my bf at the time (2007)  and now my best friend. He was mad into kicks and had some of the sickest ones i'd ever seen.. so it spurred from there really!

You’ve got a strong following on Instagram and your account has been featured on several websites. Would you say Instagram is your main vehicle for business?

A lot of my work/business started actually through me being known through Small Feet Big Kicks - as I was featured on an IKEA advert a few years back relating to SFBK and how many kicks I had.

Instagram has only become serious for me in the last couple of years, in which time I started a blog with my friend - "The Unisex Mode." So really the blog and the website are my primary means of business, Instagram comes after.

Was IG (instagram) always the goal? 

IG was never really my "goal" I never saw it as a business opportunity until about a year ago - I was just obsessed with taking photos of friends and stuff I did. I wouldn't say it's my goal, as IG is a fad - it will come and go, and changes IG makes to the app will make it more difficult for people to use it as a means of business. It's nice to have a strong following - and even more rewarding when I meet people in real life that have followed my journey from Tumblr to Instagram to the blog. 

Nike Trainers

How does your personal IG account tie into your shop “Small Feet Big Kicks”? 

I occasionally post images of new kicks we have on SFBK, or any pictures I take of my own kicks as a 'crepcheck' picture i'll occasionally upload to SFBK. 

It doesn’t get more niche than smaller shoe sizes, trainers only, and for females only. What are some of the positives and/or challenges of this hyper-niche approach?

The main positive is it makes people feel like they have somewhere they belong and can have something they are a part of, like a club. It's the one stop shop for cool or one off kicks that you can't necessarily find on the high street.

We started off labeling it as something purely for females - but actually through selling at Crepe City for so many years we have many male customers - from boys to smaller footed males. 

Small Feet Big Kicks

There are so many shops that cater for males and male sizes, so we wanted to create something different - to ease the hassle for people that find it hard to get decent kicks in small sizes!

It also allows us to be the go to for many women in the sneaker scene - for example we are often called on to sell at trainer events all over Europe to be their only female sneaker seller, which is nice that there is that outreach.

On a personal note - having my name affiliated to SFBK also allows me to be the go to for many sportswear brands as a UK female sneakerhead representative. :)

London Fashion Model

Who are your fashion icons?

I love the old hip hop unisex styles of Gwen Stefani and TLC etc but when I look at who inspires me on the daily I look to people around me and bloggers that inspire me. Vashtie, Mercedes Benson, Milocuki, Christina Paik - girls who like to dress comfortably and aren't afraid to just wear menswear like me!

Jordan Shoes

What’s your favorite pair of shoes that you own?

I hate this question!! It's too hard! AM97 Valentine, AM95 Redwood Nike Free Woven Inneva

There’s a big problem with counterfeit shoes in the sneaker business. How do you combat this, and how do you assure your customers you’re the real deal?

I only buy from trusted shops or people i've been buying from for years. Having been in the sneaker scene for many years now, I can pretty much tell a fake shoe (or so i hope! haha) - but also as a brand we have been established for 5 years now - and we've never encountered an issue with fake goods! (touch wood!)

sneakerhead

How would you advise other "lifestyle brands” to grow their following/influence in the marketplace?

Stick to what you know, and be you. Don't ever try to be someone else. Don't try to preach too much to people - be real! 

How do you source your kicks and what makes a "good sneaker” in your opinion?

That would be telling!! Wouldn't want to give away all my good spots!  A good sneaker.. nothing too crazy like additional straps or attachments.. good colours.. and premium materials. 

How to Keep Up with Juice Gee

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Facebook

Instagram: @juicegee

Twitter: @juicegee_

 

 

Please note that Bookly’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of Bookly.