Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball

Behind the Scenes with Allison of Memories in Moments Unwrapped

March 22, 2021 Julie Ball Episode 66
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Behind the Scenes with Allison of Memories in Moments Unwrapped
Chapters
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Behind the Scenes with Allison of Memories in Moments Unwrapped
Mar 22, 2021 Episode 66
Julie Ball

#066 - In this episode, Julie is joined by Allison Carter of Memories in Moments Unwrapped.
Tune in to hear Allison's journey of adding a subscription box to her already successful brand Allison Carter Celebrates and her experience being one of the first cohorts of Sell More Boxes, which is a hybrid coaching program to help you break through to the next level in your subscription box business.

Links:

https://www.sparklehustlegrow.com
https://www.subscriptionboxbootcamp.com
https://allisoncartercelebrates.com
Coupon code: NEWFRIEND 10% off your first box

Show Notes Transcript

#066 - In this episode, Julie is joined by Allison Carter of Memories in Moments Unwrapped.
Tune in to hear Allison's journey of adding a subscription box to her already successful brand Allison Carter Celebrates and her experience being one of the first cohorts of Sell More Boxes, which is a hybrid coaching program to help you break through to the next level in your subscription box business.

Links:

https://www.sparklehustlegrow.com
https://www.subscriptionboxbootcamp.com
https://allisoncartercelebrates.com
Coupon code: NEWFRIEND 10% off your first box

Julie:

So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach and your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper and let's have some fun! Hey everybody! Welcome back to Subscription Box Basics. I'm so glad you're here. I'm Julie Ball, your host, and I have a special guest today ooining me. Her name is Alison Carter and she is the founder of Memories In Moments Unwrapped. It is such a fun box and we're going to talk all about it, but first I'd like to welcome you Alison , welcome to the podcast!

Alison:

Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here.

Julie:

Awesome! So you guys should know that Alison is part of our first cohort of Sell More Boxes, which is our kind of hybrid coaching program. So it's so fun to have her on here. She did not go through the Subscription Box Bootcamp. And so we'll probably dive into a couple of those questions so we can get you some live feedback on the cohort, but first, why don't we start by telling everyone a little bit about yourself and your background?

Alison:

So my name's Alison and I live in the Seattle area and mom of two little kids. I'm married to my high school sweetheart. And we're currently like renovating a house, which is just a whole other thing. So, you know, uprooting your life in a pandemic is a real fun treat and starting over and building a home and all this stuff. So we're rental hoppin'. So we're really just living the life. I am the CEO and founder of a company called Alison Carter Celebrates. And the whole goal of my business is to help make a busy mom's life easier and way more fun. And I help with special occasions and holidays. And just giving you little moments and little memory makers that can really just turn the volume up on something that you're already doing to make things a little bit more fun. Cause I really believe that like this parenting ride, we became parents because we wanted to enjoy it. Not like just claw our way to bedtime every single night. So there's so many fun ways that we can just like insert a little magic into the day without like putting on our Pinterest mom hats. And so I get to do that and I get to show up every day. And one of the ways that I do that is with my box Memories in Moments Unwrapped.

Julie:

I love it because it's so true. Especially when my daughter McKenna was much younger, I used to try and be a Pinterest, perfect mom, like tried to do all those things. And you know , it was like, you, you see this hot mess that I created that was supposed to be this beautiful craft. And I'm like, what in the world? And I find myself to be somewhat crafty too, which is crazy, but I love the way that you've kind of marketed it in a way that you're outsourcing that the hard part of like coming up with the craft and like gathering all the materials. And so we'll dive what that is in just a minute. But the bigger picture here is you have a brand, you have this Alison Carter Celebrates brand. And so you were running that for how long before you started your box business?

Alison:

I am almost five years. I'll be five years on the end , end of February. And so, yeah, so the, I started out with parties. And so my whole business started with a conversation I had with a girl, a couple of girlfriends of mine, my like mom tribe. We were chatting about first birthday parties and like, we all had our babies within weeks of each other. And so we were all like claiming the birthday date, like, okay, I get this Saturday. And then you get the Sunday and like all this stuff. And then one of my really good girlfriends is a working mom. She has a big corporate job and she's just like, I'm not just in it. I'm not going to do a first birthday party. And so I was like, well, let me just do it for you because I have these two kids I'm bored out of my mind. Like, yes, mommy is hard. And like the two kids and I was exhausted and all that stuff, but I also was like, literally have nothing to do. Like they're at nap time, I'm just watching TV. Like I would love to have a creative outlet. And so I planned her party in a digital way. I threw it on a PowerPoint and I made it clickable. And so she was able to see a banner and add it to her Amazon cart or whatever. And she was like, "Whoa, Whoa, what is this? Like, this is freaking amazing because it's everything I need in front of me. I didn't have to open Pinterest because that sucks. And like that's a black hole and nobody wants to go do the hunt and gather from Pinterest, not to mention you go to a Pinterest post a lot of times for craft even too ." And they show these beautiful pictures. Like that's a normal mom, just like hanging out in her kitchen. That's beautifully lit with our kids. Like in queued up. It's constantly like my kids are in jammies with like haven't washed their hair in forever. And tell me what to do. Tell me where to buy the thing. Like here's this beautiful dessert table. I don't know how to do that. Like tell me where to find that tablecloth. Tell me where to find that cake stand and they never do. And so I was like, okay, "well, I'm just going to do like for her because she doesn't have any time." So that was my first official party plan. That was about almost five years ago now. And that morphed into a podcast because people were like, well, "What do you do for tooth fairy? Like how do you make that special? How do you make Valentine's day special?" Like a lot of other things outside of party. I have a party one or two times a year, like, but what are the other times? So my podcast is called Memories in Moments Unwrapped. And it's actually based off of the book that my mom wrote when my sister and I were little called Memories in Moments. And it is very much the basis of a lot of my business. Are there little moments to make a memory that are very easy, like all busy mom approved. So I took that idea to the podcast and then from the podcast was the boxes and the boxes I had been asked for years. And I said, no, every single time. Cause I was like, I'm an online business. Like I am not in physical product business. And they're like, but your ideas are so good, but I'll never do them because I don't have the time. I don't have the time to go cut out those hearts and put love notes on my kid's door. I don't have the time to, you know, do that fun thing for Christmas. I wish that you just did it for me. And then, you know , set me when I needed, so then I could do it. So I was like, "Okay, fine, whatever dude, like, let's try it." I'm an Enneagram seven. So put an idea in front of me. And usually I will jump without thinking of anything. And I was like, "Okay, I guess I'm going to try this." So I tried Halloween 2019 was my first box. It was not a subscription. So I just wanted to see what it was like. And I learned a whole heck of a lot in that one box, like, "Ooh, what's wholesale. Who knows? I didn't know." I got things at target to put in the box, like, cause I had, I just didn't know. And then that went well and then I decided to do Christmas and that one even better. And then it was February a year ago, February 2020, that it became an official subscription month to month product, because I was like, if I'm going to do this, I should probably get like reoccurring revenue and like, know how a baseline of how many people are going to buy this. And you know, it kind of spiraled from there and then it just continued to grow and it's been great.

Julie:

That's incredible. I didn't know the story about the book that your mom wrote. And I think that is so cool that that was your inspiration, but I also love that you had an existing business and you just added this as another stream of revenue. I think that's brilliant. And I think a lot more online business owners and brick and mortar stores, you can add a subscription box just to get that recurring revenue. That it's such a beautiful thing when, when you know that you're going to get that revenue as your baseline month after month after month. So I applaud you for adding that to your business, even though you've fought it for awhile . It's sounds like.

Alison:

Well, I didn't know what all that went into it. And I get asked a lot about like, I'm thinking of a subscription, like, but what does that mean? One of my first steps. And I was like, I literally, I did everything wrong because I , I did not know how to do anything. And it was like, I am very much the person that's like, "Okay, let's do it." And I do it. Like I decide like a month before and then I sell it within a week. I mean, everything in my life is that I started that party plan. And I was like, I got to have a business now, you know, did put an Etsy shop. I started on Etsy and then I, you know, built my own website very soon after once they didn't want to play that game anymore, but that's just me. And so I'm a jumper I've always been and I figure it out and I have learned a bazillion lessons along the way. And as you know, I'm still learning every day because I don't like a lot of the parts that go into the nitty gritty part. I mean, it's a subscription box. I'm the creative one. I'm the thinker. But it's a lot of nitty-gritty stuff that I had to learn. A lot of numbers, a lot of percentages, the thing called margins online businesses don't have that. And so I just made a party plan. I served my mom. I knew her party. I knew she was going to have a successful event. I uploaded that party plan on my website and I could sell as many as I want over and over and over. And I never have like, I update links and stuff like that. But a physical product is totally different. You have to have things living inside of your house. You have to pack it in . Like you have to ship it. You have to learn shipping. Like it's crazy. It's a whole other world. It's a whole other business that I added to a thriving existing business which I didn't realize the workload that would go into that. But now it's good. Like now I'm in a rhythm now it's just part of life. But it was quite the adjustment, but I always, always encourage people to look at their existing business, look at what their customers are looking for. Look at that next step for like, what does it mean to add? It doesn't have to be a subscription product. It could be, but what does it look like to that a product? Or what does it look like to digitalize something and have that be something passive, like there's different ways to approach your business for different learners, different customers. So just because you have one thing that you feel really good about, like there's so many opportunities to really diversify that and have multiple streams of income coming in from something you're already doing most likely.

Julie:

Yeah. And you can ask your audience, what do you want?

Alison:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Julie:

Yeah . And I love, I love that you talked about that you bought your first , um , products at target because that is such a common mistake that newbies make when they're doing this. And in fact, if you listen, if you're listening, you can go over to subscriptionboxbootcamp.com and there's an opt-in. And that's exactly what I cover in that. Opt-in it is how the magic of wholesale buying. Like that's how you make money on your box, not by buying it at Target. So it sounds like you learned the hard way on that one.

Alison:

It was fine. I had , because I came from the party space, like I've been a wholesaler for tabletop things like paper plates and napkins and things like that. I , my parents also owned a brick and mortar, like home decor store. So I knew about wholesale, but I like, I was like, "Oh, I'm just going to do this box and see what happens ." So I didn't, you know , apply and I didn't do the craft supply , like all of that stuff. I was like, "this is pretty cheap and I'm breaking things up anyways. It'll be fine." And then when I actually looked at Halloween, I was thinking, "Oh, okay. Maybe I made like $5. Ooh , go me . Yay. In total. Not per box."

Julie:

Oh gosh! Well, you live and you learn and...

Alison:

You live and you learn. Yup .

Julie:

Yup. Because when I started my box in 2016, I was piecing it all together too . And I likened it to motherhood. I was like, when I get to, when I get to, when McKenna's age too , I'm to learn how to be a mom of a two year old, when she gets to three, I'm going to learn how to be a mom of a three-year-old same thing with the boxes. Like when I hit a hundred subscribers, I'm going to learn what I need to do at that moment. When I hit 500, it's going to be a whole different ball game. So yeah. I can relate to that.

Alison:

Yeah, totally. And you know, it was, I needed to learn. I'm not someone that listens very well to like do this. I am like, I take advice. I'm an action taker. Don't give me the fluff. Just give me the nitty-gritty like, I want to know the steps to do it. But I also am like a lot of times just have to figure it out myself and figure out what works for me. A lot of times, a lot of people's processes and things just don't work with my brain. And so I need to figure out a way to take that, like expert advice or whatever and make it work for me. And I feel like I've kind of done that, especially like with the now the help that I have with fulfilling the boxes. I knew that I wanted to like go to my community. I wanted to go back to my community. I knew that because I was one that's stay at home mom that would die to do something at nap time and bedtime. And I knew that there was so many women that weren't working anymore or whatever. And so I was like hiring employees or outsourcing or something, and it just doesn't fit with me, but going to that stay-at-home mom and having her make, you know, 300 friendship bracelet kits while she's watching The Bachelor at night, that feels like me. And so that's how I've like really been able to build the help aspect too . And now I have an employee on payroll and all that fancy stuff, but it just, it fits me. It fits my brand. It goes that, you know, it vibes well with me and I'm creating a fun community and getting to know more moms and in the new community I just moved into through that way also. So it's just as another way to kind of, you know, like think of an idea and make it and cater to what works for you and, and what you feel comfortable with and what feels aligned to your brand.

Julie:

You've told me before that you have kind of this mom army that you offer kind of like gig work, almost like friendship bracelet kits made. I need these kits together. So that's so cool that you pour back into your community. Why don't you tell everyone what's what you actually put in the box? Cause then that can give the visual of like how, like what it looks like, but then also how you employ that mom army to fulfill the boxes.

Alison:

Yeah. So I help a mom take a celebration off her plate. So every single month there is some sort of holiday or some sort of special occasion every single month. So, you know, St Patrick's day or Easter, mother's day flowers spring, yada yada. My June box of the summer survival kit, which is always been my most popular box , um, which is fun. But anyway , so there's something to celebrate every month and something that we need to have fun with with our kids every single month. And so I get to take that fun celebration and I get to help you with those little activities or those crafts or those fun paper plates and napkins for you to have a fun family date night or fun snack time and put them all in one place. So the holiday, the celebration planned, prepped and done for you delivered to your door. So I have little easy crafts and they are all non crafty, non Pinterest mom approved. I do not like a craft that has all of these steps and like, what do I have to like watch a video to do this? Like just, I want to be able to read like five steps and think that my four-year-old can do that. Or I can tell I, you know, do it with them. So everything's very easy. And I also put only what you need inside of the box. I don't like when I get something like at Michael's where a project needs a hundred pompom balls and I need five and then like, what the heck am I going to do with the 95 extra Pompom balls? Because they're going to get everywhere in my house. I don't want to throw them away because they're wasteful, but I don't like to store a bunch of excess stuff. That's just like live somewhere and create like collects dust . I don't like that. And so I want to streamline the process. So like, okay, we opened the box today. We're going to do friendship kits , everything for friendship bracelet kits are in one spot and you don't have to like root around inside of it. And then you also don't have to do the whole box, like, okay, we're going to do the coloring sheets later, or we're going to do the handprint cards and another time. And I really think about the box. I say, this box is for moms. Obviously there's kids , crafts ages three to 10 ideal inside of the box, but it literally is for the mom. It's like, here's your handout? Take the handout, get the rock star mom award. They are thrilled. You get to feel awesome and you get to actually do something, spending quality time with your family that you didn't have to think of. And I think that's the win because you get to feel good. You don't have this guilt about being like, "Oh great. It's Valentine's day tomorrow. Woo me, let me run to Target and throw some bane together." You don't have to have that. It's just done for you. And it's there. And you were like, "Oh, what's in my box. Okay. Cute paper plates. I know that. Yay. Valentine's day meal done, done, done. I'm ready to just have fun." So take the prep out, take the stress out and then just focus on the fun. So with the moms, a lot of times you get a subscription box and it has like all the products like your box, your box has the book and it has the products and it has everything that you just, you know, boom, boom, boom one in each box. So my stuff is, each craft has its own supplies that need to be prepped. And so let's just take the friendship bracelet kits , for example, like all that yarn needed to be cut. All those beads needed to be counted and put inside the little bag and then attached to the card. So all of that aspect is what I like. I call my, my mom army. I put a spreadsheet out at the first of the month with all the jobs that I need. I send an email the day before saying this is going live at noon and have fast fingers. And then I make the spreadsheet go editable, like edit on Google sheets. At the 12:00 PM or whatever moms raised, the jobs are taken within three minutes. I think the longest they've taken is five minutes. They are gone and they literally come to my house. They pick up the bins of supplies. They take them home. They literally watch movies or TV at night when their kids are in bed, they do something with their hands. They bring it all back to my house. And then one day a week, the last weekend, the last Saturday of the month is packing day for me. And then I have women come in shifts of five because of COVID masked up in stations. And so they come over and then we just bust out all the boxes on that day, but we have lunch. I always have mimosa party girl, and we worked it out and it's fun. And it's like, other moms need other moms. So it's like, we get to have this like fun catch up stash. Also, and, you know, get to see what you're doing in that month, or just talk about mom, men and kids. And it's just as fun. And it's, it's almost like an event, which is literally all I want is people like I am the quintessential seven. That's like, I want to be where the people are. So if I can like be with the people, then I'm like thrilled. But it has been so great. And it has been the thing that has changed my life over anything because running subscription box is hard. Like it is a lot of freaking work to pack those dang boxes. And it would be a solid week out of my time, or like a week of time with me sitting on the floor, prepping and pack and all of the boxes. And that means I run a whole brand in three weeks versus four weeks. And now I get a whole week back of my time. That is like insane because I can actually be building my business instead of just doing the busy work to like get through to the next month, just to do it all over again. So, Oh my God, they have changed my life every single time. I see them. I'm like bowing down at their feet like, "I love you guys so much. You guys are my best friends." And they're just like, "We love it." So, yeah.

Julie:

That's awesome! Do you foresee, as you continue to scale and grow, do you think you'll be able to scale that operation as well? Or do you ever foresee yourself going to a warehouse?

Alison:

I would like to have a space that I own that is in my community that I employed the people there and it is employed by moms. That's my goal . Yeah. Because I was that mom and I would've killed to do something with my hands. I would have cut yarn every night because I just would feel like I was contributing to my family in some as small as it would be. It was like I was getting some fun money or whatever but it would just give me something to do. Like all of them, I asked, I put a request on a Facebook group. That's how I found them. I got 156 messages from people wanting to help. And that right there told me that moms are not okay. And I put on a questionnaire, I gave them like a form to see like, okay, I'm going to whittle it down, obviously. Cause I can't like employ all these people. And like every step got smaller and smaller cause people, you know, didn't fill out the form or they didn't want to give me like the paperwork that's necessary to hire someone and pay someone and you know, different things like that. And one of the questions was like, what's interesting about this? Or like what do you, what it makes you want to do this? Or join my team or whatever. And almost a hundred percent of them. I have nothing for me there. I don't do anything during the day. My life is wrapped around my kids. I have lost all sense of myself. And so I'm like, okay. So I will always pour into that before I pour into anything else.

Julie:

That is amazing. I think you're driven by that mission to pour back into mamas and you can see that you can hear it in your voice when you talk about it, but you can see it in your brand too so I love that .

Alison:

Well, and I like that. It's a box for moms made by moms. Like I, everything about it is we know your life and this is going to make your life easier. Not add something to it. So I want it to be, I want that message to be conveyed. So I'm glad that it is.

Julie:

Yeah. It makes us look good to our families too. So when I got back in February box McKenna was so excited. We tore into it and she started using like the plates and napkins right away with her stuffed animals, pretending to have a party. Now I'm going to put those out on Valentine's day and actually use them with real food, but she's been using them and pretending with them since we got the box. I cut out all the love notes already. So I'm ready to do that. She and I are going to make Valentine's day boxes tonight. And this, I know this episode is going to come out after Valentine's day, but this just shows you how you've inspired me to do other things too. So we are going to do our Valentine's day boxes tonight, and I'm going to put some of the love notes in there and I'm going to hang some of the love notes. And I love that you included a really simple recipe in there as well for Valentine's day pop tarts, like homemade ones. But it's, it's so easy. Like when I looked at that, I was like, "I'm not going to be making this" and then you showed me how it was like super easy. I was like, "Oh we can totally do it."

Alison:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm exactly the same. I'm not don't give me anything. A lot of times the recipes are like a snack mix or an easy treat that you can make and it's like, make it either for your kids and surprise them with it. If you don't like being a kitchen mom or it's something that you can very much involve your kids in making. So it's just another fun thing to do together. Yeah .

Julie:

Yeah. Awesome. Okay. So you live in a couple different worlds with your business. You're in the digital space, you're in the podcast space. Now you're in the subscription box space. What's one of your favorite things about working in the subscription box industry now?

Alison:

I love the fact that that revenue is reoccurring. Like I know that at minimum, I know I will hit this. Like that part is way easier for me to then think about investing back into my business or, you know, getting like joining a mastermind or whatever, something like that. And I love the kids. Like I get messages, I get texts from families with kids. Like I get , there's a couple of families that literally send me a thank you video every single month. Seeing the pictures of the kid , like when I get tagged in stories and or when they're like, "Hey, this didn't really work for us, but we, we turned it like this was better for my kid or something." And I love that because like you do you, like, I give you the tools and that's exactly what I want and parties like the party plan space and the boxes and any idea or content I ever give it's like, you decide to make it, how it works for you, because the goal is that it's going to make your life easier. And so I love when people take it and tweak it and make it their own. And just so like, I've never, you know, been able to show up in this way until now, or, you know, hearing different things like that is so crazy to me. And it's so fun to see all the little kids' faces and, you know, hear their little voices stanky . I always say like, God , I'm like , love it. And I mean, my kids are like in heaven constantly. And so it helps because there's a lot, especially right now building a big business with kids, always here. It helps them understand the impact that I am making also, like I show them every single picture I showed them every single video and they also have so much input when it comes into making the boxes. Like E vie is always right next to me, she's seven when I'm planning the next quarter boxes and I'm showing her like ideas, like, what do you think about this versus this? And so I have a very easy business to like include my kids in which I really love about that also. And because I'm someone who is so in my head ideas, ideas, t he subscription business allows me to always do like something new every single month is new. And so it's for me, I, the process is the same, but every single box is different and I get excited like, Oh, this is my favorite box. Oh n o, n o, no, this is my favorite box. So I get attached to them. But I love that I get to experiment and try new things and you know, find different product, put it up to my audience and say like A or B, which one do you want? Or would you like this versus this? And yeah, that's the community that comes from it. And the kind of like movement that happens when you have a band of subscribers is really fun.

Julie:

It sounds like it really fills your cup then.

Alison:

Totally. Yeah. I mean, my business in general has always filled my cup. I've always said my businesses , my self- care because it fulfills me in a way that is just different from anything else. Like, it's, it just is something that I look forward to that I love doing so much. And that's, you know, all areas of it, but I do really love the subscription because I like having an idea and then watching it be brought to life. And there's something to be said, as, you know, like literally building something out of absolutely nothing. This was nothing , a little over a year ago and like this, you know , organization that like lives and breathes and runs. So it's very weird, but it's cool. And I mean, I love it. I'm very lucky and grateful every single day.

Julie:

Likewise. So what is one piece of advice that you would give to new or aspiring subscription box business owners? Because you've learned a lot along , you know, the past year, some of it the hard way. So what would you, what kind of advice would you give them?

Alison:

Number one, get to resell license before you buy anything. Check, check, check. And then two , I actually really liked, and I tell people this, when I get asked this question all the time, I thought it was very beneficial for me to try a box, not branded as something that's going to be reoccurring, not say that I'm starting a subscription box company, just put it out there in front of my audience and see what happens. Like, do you like, is this something you would like to get again? Is this something you would buy again? And I really built that because I took Halloween. I was like, let's see what happens. And then I felt like I also needed to do Christmas because I knew that Christmas was obviously going to be more of a slam dunk. So I gave myself those two months to see one, if I liked it, if I liked buying, if I liked sourcing, if I liked packing, like if I liked it and I had the the bandwidth for it also.

Julie:

Good point.

Alison:

And so I needed to see that I liked it and I needed to see that my customers were asking for it, but would actually buy it. There's a difference between I would love this and okay, credit card type , we all know we're on business. So like, you can tell me your opinions all day long. Are you going to buy it?

Julie:

Put your money where your mouth is.

Alison:

This is not me just like putting a gift together. And so that I wanted to know too. And so I literally would just having a conversation the other day with someone who was interested about a subscription business. And I told her the same thing. I said, try it, put it out there, see what it feels like to build a box or whatever your subscription product is going to be, sell it, say you have 30 or whatever. See what that feels like. And then, Hey, guess what? That was so great. We're going to do it again. And then surprise . We're now a subscription company. And I think that kind of gets your feet wet a little bit. And then you're also not locked into now, like building this whole brand centered around a subscription. And you're like, I don't know if I like that or want to continue doing that.

Julie:

It's almost like beta

Alison:

Totally. Especially if you have an existing business, like I could have very easily just been like, that's just something we're going to do every now and then, because I had a like a business that I was working on all the time. Think , I mean, for me COVID was a good thing because for COVID doubled my business and I mean it in a good thing, you know what I mean? When I say that, like for business, it, kids are needed to do something. Parents needed to do something with their kids. And so for me, that was something that was really like great for my revenue. But, you know, I don't know then, like, let's just add something else. Like, it , it just depends on where you're at in your business, if you can actually have the manpower probably to be a one-woman show for a while. I mean, that was me for a well over a year of me doing everything by myself. And it is a lot of steps and a lot of jobs and boxes to check off every single day that leads to that flow. So try it out, try it out and see what happens. Nobody says you have to be married to it. And if it doesn't work, you don't like it, then you just move on to the next thing that will, you know, bring in some money.

Julie:

I like it. So it's like non committing, but you're just like dipping your toe in the water to test it out. I think that's great advice.

Alison:

I mean, comes from the non- commitment person. So, I mean, totally makes sense.

Julie:

Nice. Okay. Let's switch gears for just a hot minute here. You are in Sell More Boxes, which is our hybrid coaching program and we're about halfway through the beta. So what's your experience been in , in that program and like, what are you finding to be the most impactful? I know we hadn't talked about this in advance, but I'm just curious here on the fly.

Alison:

I needed next steps. So I looked and I told you this before. I looked a lot for next level things, because there is a million things out there. So many resources about starting a company, but what happens when I'm making consistent money? Like what happens when you are having like five figure months regularly? Like then what, how do you get six figures? Like that's where I was like am and was, and you can't find that anywhere. And so when I saw that you were doing this, I was like, this is literally what I've been looking for for months now, because I haven't been able to ask for help. So now I'm to the point where I've built it to where I've built it, and now I need somebody to help me figure out like where those bottlenecks are and where, what the switches are to go next level and what needs to happen for that like CEO mindset and everything like that. And so that has been the most beneficial is to just look at you and your team and think, okay, this is, you know, something that you maybe not have thought about before, or this is validation to something I have thought about before, but haven't acted on yet. So there's my validation that I needed and moving forward. So I think one, I am always someone who wants , I'm a learner, I've always been a learner and I trust people that are ahead of me. And like I said, I'm very much an action step.

Julie:

I was going to say that, yeah.

Alison:

When you tell me a job, then I will do a job. But for me to be like, I think my job should be, I'll never think of the job, but if you tell me here's your list, check it off, print it out and check it off with a pen. Then I'm all game on like then I can do whatever. And that has been very, very helpful. So I like the no fluff. This is what you need to do. This is my recommendations , move forward. And then let's like , talk about it if you have questions. So I'm that type of person. And so that has been the perfect fit for me,

Julie:

You've been a star student in there too, because when we do give you feedback and like, here's, you know, we can recommend option A or option B, you quickly look at both and then you make a decision and I can really appreciate that because I'm an action taker as well. And I feel like so often we get in our own way, but by having a person that's not actually in your organization, that's looking from an external view. Sometimes it's like, someone just needs to tell us what to do.

Alison:

Totally. Yeah. And I mean, especially when you're at that point of like, okay, I'm continuing to do the same thing and it's working because I'm , I'm selling, I'm making money, but now I'm like, what's next? What does next step look like? What is , you know , the next three months look like, what is, where do I get from that ? You know, I that 20 bucks into a hundred boxes to two 50, like to , like you said, 500 a thousand, what does that step look like? And what does the changes? What does 100 to 250 look like? What does two 50 to 500? What switches to get to those?

Julie:

Yeah. And there's different problems and different like challenges in each of those different stages. And what I found when I was growing Sparkle Hustle Grow is that I would grow, grow, grow, and then I would hit a plateau for about three months and I had to kind of figure out, okay, what's my next step? Just like what you were saying. And oftentimes it was investing in a coach or it was maybe investing in a different type of marketing that was new to my business. And then I would grow, grow, grow, and then I want to hit another plateau, like a three months plateau. And I would sit there for the first 30 days and be like, huh, am I at that plateau again? And then the next minute I'd be like taking action. Okay. What is my next step? And it is just, it's a lot easier and faster. There's less overwhelm when you have someone that's just a step ahead of you or two steps ahead of you, or however many steps that can get you to laser focus in, okay, let's take action. This is what your next step is. So I'm really glad that you're in there. I've been really enjoying your , your subscription box and working with you.

Alison:

Good. Thank you. Well, thank you for doing it because it's needed. And it also like forces you to do the things that you don't like to do. Like all the number things and the spreadsheets, like it very easily could have said, like, I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to click that link, but I did it click that. I filled that thing in. And it was like, okay, that wasn't horrible. That took us way longer than it needs to take me. But...

Julie:

It's important.

Alison:

But I never would have done that on my own because I'm not motivated in that way for myself. But if somebody telling me or giving me a job or saying like, okay, report back in a week or something, and then I'm like, okay, fine. And now I have to do it. So that's helpful.

Julie:

You're so funny because when I gave you the big numbers spreadsheet and you're , you're trudging your way through it. You're like, "I did it. This was annoying and difficult, but I did it."

Alison:

I did it . It's literally my worst nightmare . Just like, just let me do the shopping part. Like, let me do the idea part, let me do the design part. Just let me have that part. Like I know if I have to hear the word margin, like one more time, I'm going to jump off a bridge. Like I can't, I hate it. I hate it, but I know that it's necessary. And I also know that I'm a CEO of a company and I don't want to be the dumb kid at the table. That's not asking questions. That's just being like, "Oh, I'm not a numbers person." I don't want to do that. So this is a lot of this year for me, has been reading that dang profit first and just having a knowledge base and doing steps, like filling out a spreadsheet or even opening this spreadsheet and filling one out for myself like that. I would never in my life even open that part of Google drive. And so, because I don't like it, my brain doesn't work that way, but if I'm going to own and run a brand , then I need to know the different ins and outs. And then I have a baseline and I have a knowledge, then I can like, you know , outsource some of that stuff out, but I need to know where my business is going. And so I know that it's important. So I just needed a little shabby shove .

Julie:

Yeah. And I think there's a lot of people like you that need accountability because when we run our own business, we only answer to ourselves. Like we don't have to answer to anybody else. But when you do in a coaching program or a mastermind or anything like that of what's baked in, is that accountability, that's going to help us move forward. So if you guys are listening and you're interested in, if you're in that kind of awkward growth stage where you're not a beginner, but you're not at thousands of boxes yet you can head over to SubscriptionBoxBootcamp.com and click on sell more boxes. And there is an application there and more details. So you guys should check that out. All right. To wrap this up, Alison , where can people follow you and find you online? Like where are you hanging out and where can they order the box?

Alison:

Everything is on AllisonCarterCelebrates.com. The box is called Memories in Moments Unwrapped on my website on the menu have the big, get a box. And Instagram, all social media is Alison Carter celebrates. It's the link in my bio on Instagram. And yeah, come hang out. You will see me hot mess express on stories on the rag . What I'm doing at home, all those fun, little things that I'm sticking into our day to day and a very normal working parent household day. Just like many of you. So yeah, and then I have, if you want to try a box, that would be awesome of you just put in NEWFRIEND and you'd get 10% off your first box.

Julie:

Sweet. Thank you for that. We will make sure to put all the links in the show notes and you guys definitely go follow her on Instagram because her stories are hysterical and relatable. And like , you feel like you're just besties with you and I can appreciate that. It's super fun. You're doing a great job.

Alison:

I have no filter and I'm very real. And yeah, that's just my life and you guys are just part of my life. Like everybody, I consider a best friend. And so we're just like virtual margarita cheers all day long, like getting to bravo at the end of the day, like I am the prize. We can do it. And you know what? Parenting is supposed to be fun. We can have some fun while we do it also.

Julie:

Awesome . I love it. Well, you are so much fun to hang out with. Thank you so much for being on the podcast and being a part of our first cohort of Sell More Boxes

Alison:

Are welcome. Thank you for having me.

Julie:

Yeah, absolutely. All right guys, hopefully you loved Alison's story and you are going to go check out the box and, you know, outsource this part of, of your mom life. If that relates, if you can relate to that. I absolutely love the box that I received and we were having so much fun with it. So go check her out. Alison Carter celebrates. All right, everybody. Thank you so much for listening today and we'll see it in the next episode.

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