Boss Ladies: Kaylyn Minix & Michelle Trincia

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Kaylyn Minix and Michelle Trincia, co-founders of bloom daily planners, a Newark, Delaware based company with chic planners for women of all ages. Kaylyn and Michelle share with us what it means to empower women to live positive and organized lifestyles along with advice for future #bossladies.

bloom planners | social stylate

1.Tell us a bit about yourself and the company.
We were both born and raised in Delaware and have been planner lovers and list makers our whole lives. We both attended the University of Delaware where we met, interning at our future company! bloom creates daily planners and a variety of other organizational that inspire and empower women to live a positive, organized lifestyle. Our goal is to help our customers lead a more healthy, fulfilling life and be the best versions of themselves! We are so grateful for the platform that we have created, our amazing team and useful products but most importantly our bloom girls who inspire us every day!

More from Kaylyn: My fiancé and I are new home owners and love working on and decorating our home. We are currently planning our dream wedding in Mexico and Honeymoon in Europe! I love spending time with my loved ones most. Traveling, fashion, shopping, my exercise classes, cheat meals, crossing things off my to do lists and filling up my planner with all of these wonderful activities!

More from Michelle: I am recently married and live with my husband and a giant golden retriever. I love traveling (we just got back from our honeymoon to Paris/Amsterdam/Italy!), new music, new food, new experiences! I am a busy body who is, in addition to bloom, have too many side projects including three Etsy shops and a dogsitting business! I am always on the go and thinking of new things to do/try/create. I love listening to interesting podcasts, reading books by inspiring business owners, and I also try and relax sometimes with family and friends.

2.Where did the name “bloom” come from?
We felt bloom was the perfect metaphor for our brand! Our products are designed to inspire and empower women Dzbloomdz into the best version of themselves. Blooming is a continual process and a lifelong journey. Our logo is a daisy which is a symbol of purity and new beginnings. We believe each year, each day, each moment is an opportunity to start fresh and strive to be better. The name bloom also captures the brightness and colorfulness of our brand and patterns, and it makes for a lot of fun flower metaphors. Wins all around!

3.What does a typical day at the office look like?
Every day is different! There is always something fun and exciting going on! A new deadline, a product upload, a new shipment or event to cover. We are always working on new designs and product ideas, attending trade shows, and making new relationships to help bloom continually ‘branch out’! Our office is very collaborative and open concept, so we’re constantly generating new ideas (designs, products, social media campaigns, etc.) Something really unique about our company is we are able to take an idea from conception to delivery to the public. We’re always brainstorming new product ideas, new designs, and new layouts then working together to bring them into existence. We always say it’s like Christmas when we get our new samples. To then see our customers be helped by these products we created is the most rewarding thing in the world. Our products are truly our babies!

4.What is your best source of inspiration for your designs?
Following the trends that we see in the fashion world, stationery market, Pinterest, travel, really anything that inspires us! We also pull most of our inspiration for new patterns and products from our #bloomgirl community. We take their requests and feedback very seriously and are always tweaking current products and even making new ones to fit their needs! We recently started a cover contest where we literally let our users design their own covers and then let the community vote. The winner gets their design printed, a cash prize, and planners for life! We love incorporating our users into our day to day decisions because we wouldn’t exist without them!

5.What would you consider your best tool for marketing?
Social Media! Twitter has been an amazing tool to create more personal conversations with our bloom girls. We try to connect with girls who love to be organized or need a little inspiration in their lives. It makes our day to brighten someone else’s. We also rely on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest! The best part of our day is interacting with our bloom girls!

6.If you could do a collaboration for a line of planners with anyone, who would it be and why?
Kaylyn: I would have to say Mary Kay! I am actually a Mary Kay rep and see how closely bloom and Mary Kay’s values align. We both focus on inspiring women to be organized, follow their dreams and achieve their goals. I think we could have a great line together to empower women across the world tobe their own girl bosses!

Michelle: I would love to work with TheSkimm or Sophia Amoroso on a custom #GIRLBOSS planner! We love that book and it would be so great to incorporate those concepts into a yearly planner!

7.What is one of the biggest challenges you face as a business owner and how do you overcome that?
Juggling everything in our personal and professional lives is certainly a challenge. It inspires us that bloom creates products to help make a hectic, (but exciting!) life more manageable. Everyone wants to appear that they have it all together but that is not always the case. We have some pretty intense work, travel and social schedules but we ultimately thrive off of this. We know what to expect, we make the most of it, remain grateful for these opportunities and get it done! The environment we have created at bloom has helped us keep a positive and grateful mindset to accomplish this and live a more fulfilling life. This is our goal for women around the world.

8.Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
bloom is growing so quickly. The sky is limit! We are adding more products and employees by the day so we see major growth in all of our current sales channels, new sales channels, new distribution relationships, nationally and internationally, and a much larger team to help us accomplish this!

9.What is some advice that you could give to someone trying to start their own business?
Follow your dreams and never give up! We love the quote “Don’t stop until you’re proud.” Remain focused, proactive, and organized and it will happen.

Set goals, stay accountable, read books, listen to podcasts, always try to expand upon your knowledge. Find a creative outlet to inspire you and help relieve any stress. Keep a healthy professional and personal balance so you don’t get burnt out.

Trust the process. We have had many ups and downs but things always seem to happen for a reason, and for the best!

10. Who is a #BossLady that you look up to and why?
We love Sophia Amoruso and the founders of the The Skimm, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin. They have all paved their way from the ground up and we can really appreciate their stories. With passion and determination anyone can be a #GirlBoss!

Kaylyn’s Moodboard

Kaylyn Minix & Michelle Trincia Boss Lady | social stylate

Michelle’s moodboard

Kaylyn Minix & Michelle Trincia boss lady | social stylate

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Boss Lady: Deanna and Daria

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Deanna and Daria, sisters and co-founders of Hubbell Hille shoes.  While both women still maintain full-time jobs, their main goal is to continue to create and grow a comfortable shoe line that fits their preppy style. They share with us their marketing tools, advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and the challenge of balancing it all.

Hubbel Hile

1. Tell us about yourselves and your career.
We grew up in a close-knit family in Colts Neck, NJ and have been in the City for eight (Deanna) and five (Daria) years.  We’re usually back and forth between NY and NJ and spend weekends in the summer at the beach in Spring Lake, NJ.

Deanna: In high school I had a small business making handbags, which prompted me to go to The Fashion Institute of Technology.  I loved living in New York and started a small wardrobe consulting company helping working women with their style; however I quickly realized that my dream was to work in finance.  Coming from an unconventional background, I started my journey by spending two years underwriting financial institutions in insurance and am now working at a private equity firm.  Though I love my day job and the industry that I am in, my creative side, the constant need to be busy and an unrelenting desire to start my own business, prompted me to start Hubbell Hille with my sister.

Daria: I went to college for elementary education and had the full intention of becoming a teacher in New Jersey.  After a few jobs in varying industries, and a jump across the river to New York (much to my surprise), I am now the Office Manager at an all-women financial recruiting company.  Much like my sister, I love my day job, however my love of fashion and the desire to by my own boss one day led me to say “yes” when my sister came out of the bedroom one rainy Thursday night with the grand idea of starting a shoe company.

2. Describe a typical work day balancing a full-time job and your own shoe company.
Deanna/Daria: We typically leave the house around 7/8AM and don’t get home until 7/8PM so aside from orders that have to go out right away, most of the Hubbell Hille work is done on the weekends.  Once a month, we hold board meetings at our kitchen counter to discuss what needs to be changed and if we are meeting goals.  What’s nice about being the owners is that we don’t have to answer to anyone besides ourselves.  We are fully accountable for the pace that Hubbell Hille will grow at and we are not pressuring ourselves to be an overnight success.

3. What was your inspiration behind starting Hubbell Hille?
Deanna: I’ve always had the desire to start my own company and be my own boss.  Given my inherently creative side I knew that if I was going to start a company it would be fashion-oriented because it comes naturally to me.  I always have such a hard time finding shoes that fit well, are comfortable and hold-up to the taxing NYC streets.  My style is generally preppy so I am of course a huge fan of crests (along with Daria) and while we would easily see them on blazers, we didn’t really see them on many shoes.  There were a few here and there over the years, but the smoking slippers we saw were either $60 and not great quality or $450 european-made, but still not durable enough to stand up to city streets.  This lack of what we were looking for in a shoe coupled with my desire to start a company led me to Hubbell HIlle.

Daria: I love that Hubbell Hille allows us to take what motivates and inspires us and channel that into something that is uniquely ours.  We drew inspiration from everything that impacts our daily lives; the desire for a comfortable, stylish shoe, the excitement of starting a business and turning our shared ‘passion for fashion’ into a reality.  It doesn’t hurt either to have your sister as your business partner.

Fun fact: The name Hubbell Hille came from Deanna’s obsession with The Way We Were and one of the main characters played by Robert Redford.

4. Starting a company with your sister must be exciting, how do you delegate who does what in the company?
Deanna: Though I am four years younger, I have a pretty aggressive personality and usually take the lead on things, however I always consult my sister along the way.  She’s very diligent and organized so I know I can count on her to make sure we’re hitting any deadlines.  We have a very ying-yang balance to our personalities so it works.

Daria: It’s great having a business partner that you can share clothes with!  I think it helped foster our personal style.  As the middle child of two very strong personalities, I have always been the most subdued of the three of us.  This carries over to Hubbell Hille and like Deanna said, it works.  She generally takes the lead on most things and I know exactly what I need to do to play my part.  We always consult with one another, especially when it comes to a design decision.  I’m typically very indecisive though, so she usually makes the final call.

Boss Lady: Hubbell Hille

5. What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Deanna: Being that we’re in the early stages of our company, and doing this mostly at night and weekends, social media has been very effective for us.  It’s the quickest, cheapest way to reach a broad audience and start building brand awareness.  We spend most nights reaching out to various bloggers/journalists/stylists across the country to work with them in promoting Hubbell Hille.  Most of them are very receptive and super helpful!

Daria: Good old fashioned word of mouth is always helpful too.  Just having our friends, family and co-workers wear our Hubblers has generated interest in the brand.

6. What advice would you give to other women in the industry that are trying to start their own line?
Deanna:  I’m sure my advice will be more credible when Hubbell Hille has $20m in annual sales, but my advice would be (and I think this applies to many areas of your life) to just do it!  Don’t overthink it or else you will just come up with many reasons of why it’s not possible, not smart, not easy, etc.  We are now in a time, I think, when it has never been easier to start a brand, between the internet and social media, so give it a shot.  Stop thinking and start doing.

Daria: Start small and don’t expect to be an overnight success.  Prior to establishing Hubbell Hille, Deanna became an overnight expert in all things small business related.  She didn’t wait for someone to give her the answers or show her the way, she found it herself!  Don’t let anyone deter you from pursuing your dream, but be smart and do your homework so you know exactly what’s entailed.

7. Where do you hope to see Hubbell Hille in 5+ years?
Deanna/Daria: We would love to see Hubbell Hille surpass $2m in annual sales, have an expanded product line beyond our “Hubbler” style and have pop-up shops in Nantucket, Palm Beach, New York and Spring Lake, NJ (our beach town).  We also would like to see a portion of our annual revenue going towards a charity of our choice (which we’re working on!) as we think it’s very important to give back to the causes you are passionate about.

8. Who is a #bosslady that inspires you?
Deanna: Any woman who proves that you can have it “all”, whatever your definition of all is.  That working, learning, having a family, being engaged with your community, etc. are all possible to balance.  If I had to pick a specific example, the founders at Tuckernuck inspire me.  I came across an interview with one of the Co-Founders years ago and have been following them ever since.  It’s three young women with very impressive backgrounds and they have built an amazing company over the past few years…their vision and marketing is genius!

Daria: Coming from an education background and currently working in an all-female firm, I’ve had the opportunity to work and interact with women from all walks of life.  It’s the everyday woman that inspires me.  The mom, the professional, the young struggling to start their career and the seasoned veterans who just won’t quit.  My current boss is a mother of three who took her experience from a 20+ year career and started her own firm that has continued to thrive.  She is a female powerhouse!

Boss Lady: Hubbell Hille

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