Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball

Work Life Balance with Kristen of Bake Eat Love Box

February 07, 2022 Julie Ball Episode 112
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Work Life Balance with Kristen of Bake Eat Love Box
Show Notes Transcript

#112 - In this week's episode of Subscription Box Basics, Julie interviews Kristen of Bake Eat Love box, who is very passionate about work life balance. Boxes and Babies! As a mom and a subscription box business owner, that can be quite the challenge. Listen to Kristen's story and take notes of her tips that helped her family flourish. 

SUMMARY:

  • Get to know Kristen (3:10)
  • What you can get from Bake Eat Love box (6:44)
  • How Bake Eat Love box started (11:57)
  • Strategies in managing work life balance (20:30)
  • Asking help from family, friends and other resources  (31:32)


LINKS AND RESOURCES


Julie (00:01):

So you wanna 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, grab a coffee, some pen and paper, and let's have some fun. Hey, everybody. Welcome back to subscription box basics. I'm your host Julie Ball. And I just love it when I get to meet a new friend and there is just so much synergy between the two of us. And so I wanna introduce you to my new friend today. Her name is Kristen Bailey's. She's the co-founder and CEO of the bake eat love box and hold onto this because this is a new topic for us. We're gonna talk today about how to grow your family while growing a business. I know what this is like firsthand. Kristen knows what this is like firsthand. And if you're listening, you might be feeling the stress of trying to balance things of the hustle of maybe your homeschooling or just managing the schedule of a family while trying to run a business and it can be challenging. So that's our topic today, and I'm really excited to introduce Kristen, welcome to the podcast.

Kristen (01:16):

Thank you so much. I'm super excited to be here.

Julie (01:19):

Yay. And I love to that. Kristen reached out to me and she pitched herself for the podcast. We previously didn't know each other and the podcast pitch was so good because it touched on a topic that is like near and dear to my heart about empowering women, about helping them manage this crazy life as a sub box entrepreneur. So Kristen, thank you for being bold enough to, you know, just reaching out and telling your story that you have something to share. So a lot of people will be meeting you for the first time today. So why don't you tell everyone a little bit about yourself and your background?

Kristen (01:54):

Absolutely. Um, so I grew up in Western, North Carolina and it's kinda funny because we both found out that we don't live that far away from each other. Right, right now I'm still in North Carolina, but not in the same part you are in. Um, but I always enjoyed baking with my mom and with my Nana. Um, and in my childhood home town, there was a small bakery it's actually still there today. Um, and if you're ever in the town of B North Carolina, I definitely recommend going BR mountain bakery. Um, it's probably the busiest spot in town on a Saturday morning. Um, so prepare accordingly, but I remember going there as a kid and just being so happy to get these amazing danishes and chocolate chunk cookies, but I really didn't think that much about making, baking a career until I was in my early twenties. So my background, um, you know, when I went to college, I went to school for business, um, which dovetailed very well.

Kristen (02:53):

Perfect. Yeah. And, um, but I focused on marketing and what I really, really enjoyed was digital marketing and digital advertising. Um, so I was in Charleston, South Carolina for college. Um, and then stayed there a little bit after college when I met, um, Nick, who isn't my now husband and I followed my heart to Seattle with him, um, because he was getting based out there or Naval submarine deployment, very, very specific, very different. Um, but I was excited because of so many things. Um, but also from a, a career perspective, Seattle has a great marketing scene and I knew I could progress my career there, but I was really looking for the right job and, um, and I didn't wanna into it. So I thought, well, maybe I'll do something fun that I like while I'm job hunting. Um, and I stumbled upon an amazing cupcake shop.

Kristen (03:47):

They did cupcakes and coffee because in Seattle, everybody does coffee um, and it was, it was amazing. I absolutely loved it there. Um, everybody was happy regardless of how dreary or the weather was. Um, people would come in, they'd get their cupcake and they would just light up. Um, so I didn't make a career out of working at the cupcake shop. I knew that was only temporary, but I knew I needed to find a way to spark that same kind of joy that same kind of happiness that a bake can deliver somewhere in my few. So, um, fast forward, about five years later, my parents were asking me, well, what do you want for the holidays? And, um, I don't really like shopping for myself, um, I I'd much rather have surprises, but I started thinking about it and I was like, well, I've always loved baking, but, um, I think it'd be great to have a gift that helps me grow and helps me learn more and more and more about baking to become a better baker.

Kristen (04:47):

Um, I always wanted to try new ingredients that I didn't own cuz it's kind of, you know, that's, that's kind of the annoying part of baking is figuring out, well, where do I get this specialty ingredient or that specialty ingredient. Um, and I wanted to build out my baking tools. So, so, um, I looked online and there are a handful of other, uh, baking kits out there, but I didn't find anything that was exactly what I was looking for. So I started putting together a plan on how I could bring this kind of missing educational baking kit to life and that's how we became baking love. Awesome.

Julie (05:21):

So your tell us specifically then who you serve with the box and then what, what is someone gonna get inside the box?

Kristen (05:28):

Yeah, so we really serve anyone who wants to grow their baking skillset. Um, when I created the box, I was like, Hmm, this is probably gonna be for people in their twenties, maybe mostly women. Um, and maybe in their thirties, you know, just kind of like I wanna activity. Yeah. But what we found out and I definitely wanted to make all of our branding super gender neutral, um, and, and not age specific at all. Um, but what we found out is it's a much wider range than that. Um, some families reach out to me and they say my eight year old made these macarons and I'm like, what? Those are beautiful to go. And then other people are like, Hey, I'm a grandma. And I just wanted to, you know, pick up a new skill. Oh fun. So, um, it it's really been, uh, a awesome learning experience for me to see, um, all of the different customers that we're serving and how that is different than, than you know, who I had originally thought we would be serving.

Kristen (06:27):

Um, and then the problem that we solve is, um, kind of the same problem that I was looking to solve. Like baking is incredibly rewarding, but there's some not so fun aspects about it. So recipe planning, when you're like, oh, I wanna make a treat for this thing, but I don't know what to make. I wanna make something different. Um, that can be time consuming, measuring the ingredients and getting that exactly right. Can be time consuming and it can make or break your bake, um, ingredient shopping. As I mentioned, trying to find those specialty ingredients or trying to find a special tool that you're gonna need. Um, and then last but not least having the skills. So a lot about baking is like having the know how, um, which can come from years and years and years of practice and experience or a lot of trial and error. Um, so we try to make, make sure that, um, we, we help with all four of these things. We pick out some awesome recipes, we measure everything for you. Um, we do the ingredient shopping. We have specialty ingredients in each kit and we provide insight that is often not found in your typical recipe, exactly how you want this to look how you want the texture to be and videos to help you along the way. Okay.

Julie (07:43):

So you do provide the ingredients, right? Yep.

Kristen (07:46):

All the, uh, non-perishable ingredients.

Julie (07:48):

So we don't of course. Yeah. Okay. So the non-perishable ingredients, you provide the recipes and videos. So that's the training do. And do you provide any of the tools, did you say or know?

Kristen (07:59):

Yep. So each kit comes with a tool that you'll use in that.

Julie (08:03):

So it's like you're building up your tool set month after month after months. Exactly.

Kristen (08:08):

Yep. And learning how to use those tools, if it is something that you're like, Hmm. I've never used a piping bag and piping tip together. Yeah, yeah. What we do

Julie (08:17):

that's cool. So fun story. Um, over Christmas, uh, my daughter and I bought a baking box that was specifically made from, it was a collaboration with Duff Goldman. So if you are into baking, you know, Duff, he runs a shop and it's, um, what's the name of it? I can't remember it's in Baltimore, but he does like the fancy cakes and stuff like that. And he's a, on so many of the cooking shows, well, we bought the box and it was a collaborative box. Like he had partnered up with someone which I think is brilliant when it comes to marketing. Like that was the reason we bought the box because McKenna and I, we watch kids baking and kids baking championship on TV. And so we're big Duff fans. Well, my best friend and her daughter bought the same box. And then we scheduled a FaceTime, like cooking date.

Julie (09:05):

And so they, you know, we looked in advance to see what other items we needed and all we needed was milk and eggs. And then we got on FaceTime with our daughters who are pretty close to the same age and we built, or we baked our goodies together and it was super fun, such a great experience. And I imagine that there's, you know, so many of your subscribers that are creating those bonding moments with family and friends, especially in this day and age when we might not be able to travel to see our family or friends for Christmas. So I just wanted to tell that's story, cause it is relevant when it comes to like, it was so super convenient to have those, um, items pre-measured and these beautiful instructions. And I'm envisioning your subscribers kind of going through that, those same motions. Yeah.

Kristen (09:48):

Yeah, exactly. And I, I always love to hear it from our customers when they do what you said is like, Hey, I'm gonna get on law with somebody that I love and care about, but, but maybe I can't go see them right now and we'll bake something together. And um, yeah. So it's all about that experience, all about bonding, whether it's a mother daughter doing it together, or sisters who are living on the opposite sides of the earth. So, um, I love that. Yeah.

Julie (10:13):

Okay. So before we get into like the meat de topic that we're gonna talk about about like maternity leave and balance and all that good stuff, tell us quickly how you launched your box, because I know so many of our, uh, listeners are aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs. So like they have this idea and they haven't launched their subscription box yet. So it's so inspiring to hear a little bit about how other have started their business. So give us the, the quick story of how you started your box.

Kristen (10:42):

Yeah. So, um, it, it kind of all started with the idea and then I, uh, put together a business plan and I feel like when people say business plan, it just, it, it kind of feels a little sterile or like you respond a business school to do that. Um, but even though I did go to business school and I I'm sure I did business planning in, um, in college, I just Googled it and I was like, where do I start with this? Um, and I think anybody can really do that and, and try to figure out cuz it's really about, well, what is your product? Does your product have product market fit and researching and, and getting you to think through all the steps of creating a business before you've taken the leap into doing it, because at that point, some things are gonna be too late.

Kristen (11:28):

So, um, so I started out by creating a business plan, um, with my husband who is my, um, co-founder as well. Nice. Um, and we, uh, we started working with a, um, a group called score if you're familiar with it. Yeah. Typically like retired executives, um, who want to volunteer, they wanna give back to other entrepreneurs and provide them with insight. And so we shared our business plan. We shared, you know, how we plan to go to market with it, um, with them and got some really great feedback. And actually I have a score mentor who I love and I, um, I still meet with her on a very regular basis. So it's not just when you're starting out. Um, they can, they can provide you with support, um, throughout the longevity of your

Julie (12:16):

Business. That's awesome. Yeah. I think it's so important to have a mentor. Um, I like to play that role for many of our listeners, but if, you know, even I had mentors, not in the subscription world growing, like as I was growing my business, because it was fairly new in the industry, newer in the industry. But just as a general business like owner, I've always had mentors along the way. And I think it's so important. And I love the fact that you started things with a business plan, because I think it's really important for everyone to just get things out of their head and onto paper, you know, and that's what a business plan does. It lays it out there. It makes you think of, okay, what problems it gonna solve and who's my audience and how am I gonna market it, all those things.

Julie (13:03):

And it can be really simple. We actually have a program called box business plan, um, that helps people walk through their business plan in a five day period. Um, I'm not gonna talk about it right now because I wanna get deep into our topic, but I'll make sure that I share all that information with everybody later. So let's dive into the topic at hand about this whole work life balance. Why don't you tell your story about, you know, you grew your business and you had a brand new baby, right. While you were growing your, and are, do you have another one on the way? Is that what I read? I,

Kristen (13:38):

I do. You probably can't for our chest up zoom call, but I do look at that. We, we actually were conceiving the idea of a business. Um, while we were also thinking about family play, it just, it just kind of so happened to line up, um, that we are doing those things in tandem. Um, so it was always on our mind that, you know, we are going to start a business and hopefully are going to have a baby sometime shortly after. Um, so we did a lot of planning, as I mentioned, we did our business plan and then there's a lot of, you know, product R and D that, you know, you're gonna be doing, if you're starting out a business or if you've already started yours, there's just a lot of, um, things that you have to do before. You're ready to say like, okay, people can buy my stuff launch.

Kristen (14:31):

Yeah. Um, so we, we launched, um, when we, when I was actually in my first trimester, um, that's when we shipped our very first box, that's when, um, you know, everything started coming together. Wow. Um, so there was about a six month period between when I was like, here's the idea that I want to do. And actually, you know, having the website up, getting customers and shipping those first boxes, so shipped everything during my first trimester, it was small. And, um, I think, you know, every, every business is going to be different. Um, but we'd kind of set our expectations that it wasn't going to the blow up overnight, which I think is a good expectation to have. Yeah, it's and

Julie (15:15):

Then, and you're not racing anyone to a finish line. Like you, you can build your box business in a way that fits the season you're in, because you were, you know, in one season you were about to move into like a newborn season and then that's so different than what I'm in, which I have a 10 year old, like that's such a different season. So you can adjust your business based off of what season that you're currently in or what you're about to move into.

Kristen (15:40):

Exactly. Exactly. And I think like life season, and also like thinking about this, the seasonality of your product too, um, we launched in, um, the, the summertime and not as many people want to bake in the summer. So that also helped us like temper our expectations of like, it's gonna be hot. We don't want, you know, people to, um, you know, feel like they have to bake something in all this heat. So, um, so we did start pretty small and that was, that was great because we learned so, so, so, so much, um, even shipping, just the small quantities we were. Um, and then we, we just put our, you know, heads down and tried to grow the business over the next few months. Um, the other thing I'll mention is, um, when we launched our business, neither my husband or I quit our corporate jobs.

Kristen (16:31):

Um, I actually didn't end quitting mine until, um, November of 2020. We launched the business in June of 2019. Um, so, uh, we stuck with our, our corporate jobs for quite quite a while. Um, and we were kind of just doing both and, uh, and big love was really a side hustle. Um, but eventually it became our full time thing. Um, but you know, as the months went on and, um, we were getting closer and closer to the due date. So Chloe was due on, um, January 1st, 2020. She ended up coming a little early December 19th. Um, and if you have owned a business before, or, um, if you've worked in retail, you know, that December is a bit of a crazy time. It is. And so what we ended up doing was, um, you know, looking ahead and saying, Hey, December's gonna be probably probably the best month we've ever had by a long shot, but we have to cut ourselves off. We have to say, this is what we're capping ourselves at and it needs to be pretty realistic. So if the baby does come early, we're not trying to run to the hospital and the post office at the same time. I love that

Julie (17:49):

So much because I feel like so often people just like want more, more, more, more, more, I want more subscribers, but you really have to think about like, what does your version of success look like? What does, what do you want your day and your week and your month to look like, and you have the control of tapping that like you guys did, because if you just let it like grow and grow and grow to whatever number you may find that you feel resentment, that you feel overworked or burn out. And so I love that idea of capping it and Avi actually saying, sorry, we're sold out. So did you end up, like if you, did you hit at your cap then that December? Yeah,

Kristen (18:31):

We, we hit our cap. Um, I think it was a week with, and some change before we had her, which was super lucky, um, because she was a couple weeks early. Um, but it ended up being like one of the best holiday gifts we could have given ourselves, um, because it gave us breathing room we're we weren't having to ship boxes or make boxes for the rest of that month. Oh,

Julie (18:55):

I love it. And guys, listen to that, that right there. I think if you take away one thing from this conversation right now is give yourself some breathing room. What were some of your strategies then that you used, um, at that point, and then moving forward to manage that work life balance, cuz you have a brand new baby and you've got a successful business. Yeah. So,

Kristen (19:16):

Um, I think I, it can look different for everybody. Um, and in fact, my like postpartum from having my first child is going to look very, very different than postpartum from having my second. Okay. Um, but, but I think in kind of in a nutshell, you need to like really plan for it really be prepared. Um, and that's, that is the best thing that you can do. Um, so I mean that on like multiple fronts. So, um, when it comes to the product, try to get as far ahead as you can, like I would target if you're not already there trying to get at least six months ahead of your due date. So if you're due in March, try to have everything up to September mm-hmm <affirmative> done by time. My time March comes around. Um, and by done it doesn't, I don't mean like order the pro like know exactly how many customers you're gonna have, et cetera.

Kristen (20:14):

Yeah. But know, what's gonna go in your box, talk to your vendors, get them lined up, get your pricing, order your samples. Um, from a marketing standpoint, plan out your campaigns. What you're going to want to have going on. If you have a photographer you work with, let them know, give 'em a heads up, maybe see if they can shoot those early for you. That would be a super awesome gift. Um, social posts, you can calendar those out. You can usually schedule those, um, emails. You can schedule those as well, or just have them lined up in MailChimp or whatever tool you use so that you just upload the, the email addresses they're going to and boom, um, get your website, copy ready for each of those. Each of those boxes, um, packaging and fulfillment. Um, you're probably not gonna wanna join in the fun of the first shipment or maybe the first few you shipments after you have your baby.

Kristen (21:10):

Um, or if you're adopting, you might not want to be a part of it, um, either. So, um, figure out who can help you. Um, and like you said, it's all about finding, breathing room for yourself. And I, I kind of call it, giving yourself a bit of grace figuring out like if there's people who can help you, how can you train them? Um, can you ship them a box of, of whatever you're looking for? Um, and uh, customer service, you are probably already doing so much customer service right now that you're recognizing patterns um, and you can create templates, um, yes. In the FAQ. So, um, you could train somebody on how to get customer service out the door. If that's not an option to you, um, you can create an FAQ page on your website and I recommend doing this anyways, whether or not you're family planning, because it's just a really helpful resource. Um, but if you're like, Hey, I'm, I'm going to the hospital, you can up and out of office letting people know, you're bringing life into this world and you'll get back ASAP. But in the meantime, see, answer, see if the answer to your there's a link FAQ. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So just trying to like, create that space around yourself, by getting ahead of things by planning and, um, and, and getting help if you can.

Julie (22:30):

Yeah. I love that. Um, when you say getting help and keep in mind too, that you could get some seasonal support, just like, you know, um, brick and mortar stores might hire more people in, uh, Q4 because of the holiday, um, increase in volume of sales and, and foot traffic. Think of this as a season that if you are going to take a maternity leave, say you're gonna take three months where you're like, I cannot deal with customer service during those first three months. You can, it's not unusual for someone, for you to hire someone like a virtual assistant or some sort of customer service rep or help for three months. That can be a seasonal position. You know, you may find that you really enjoy it and then you hire them on long term, but it's okay to hire someone if it's just, you know, four weeks or eight weeks or 12 weeks, whatever it is, that's fine.

Julie (23:22):

And I love how you say about, you know, letting people know what's going on. I love to be really transparent in our market. Like this is what's going on, or we're out of office during this time and we'll post it on our social media. We'll put it on the auto reply to our support inbox. And that just allows us to find, give ourselves that grace, we're asking our customers to give us grace, but we have to like accept it on our own terms too. You don't need to feel like, um, you know, it might be 2:00 AM and you're breastfeeding your baby and don't look at your customer service tickets then, you know, like exactly be present, be present with your baby. So, um, the other thing I was thinking about as you were talking about vendors, um, I, I really believe in planning ahead.

Julie (24:10):

Um, I know things can change, especially with supply chain issues, but one thing that's worked really well for us in the past is, you know, finding some of our core vendors and committing multiple products to them. Um, so say I there's this one vendor that I use, it's a, a publisher, cuz we put a book in every sparkle hustle grow box and I say, okay, I'm gonna buy four books from you this month or this year, these are the four months that we want to, um, to feature those books. These are the four titles. Can you touch base with me when it's time to place that order? So I firm up the quantity and so they put it on their calendar and he reaches out to me and says, Hey, it's time to order X, Y, Z, how many do you need? And just that kind of proactive approach to it, the vendors coming back to me, um, they're reserving, you know, a minimum, I'll say I need a minimum of this many, but you know, follow back up with me to firm up that quantity. That's worked really well for us and it's given us more negotiating power because we've committed four titles to them for products for features. You know what I mean? Um, so thinking ahead is definitely something, um, that can work in your favor on so many levels.

Kristen (25:20):

Yeah. And I love that concept of, of like, you know, having a relationship, building a relationship with your vendors, especially if they are core vendors that sell more than one product that you can, you can leverage in your box because like you can, you can also do like go to market things with them if it's relevant. Um and, and kind of like cross market to their audience if they're open to it. Um, and then as you get closer and closer to your due date, you have this awesome relationship with this vendor. So of course they're going to want to support you when you need it. So I love that.

Julie (25:56):

Yeah. OK. So do you have any good advice when it comes to that work life balance? Um, because I know that's really challenging for me. I'm lucky enough to have an office at is separate from my house. But when I, when my office was in my home, that was so challenging to walk away from the business and be fully present. Like, I don't know if you knew this, but when I first started sparkle hustle grow, it was a side hustle and we were, um, living in, I think it was like an 1100 square foot house and my desk and all my office stuff was, I was sharing the laundry room, like the washer and dryer were like my office mates like, it was right there. And that was right next to the kitchen. And while sometimes it was convenient, cuz I could be like, you know, doing something like checking email or whatever while I was boiling some water from Mac and cheese, you know, it just, it was very, very challenging for me to have clear lines and to separate work from like home and being fam like present with my family.

Kristen (27:01):

Yeah. So, um, I think during the pandemic that is whew, the lines have gotten very, very blurry. Um, yes I, I'm very, very fortunate to, um, to be able to have my daughter go to daycare these days um, and her daycare has been super safe with COVID so that has been wonderful. Um, but I think regardless of your situation, um, if you can have somebody else help you with your child or children and you can go somewhere where you have a door, ideally not your laundry room, but gotta do what you gotta do that's right. Um, but you, you know, try and like create your office space as best you can, even if it is in your laundry room, even if it's in a little like Harry Potter closet, like try to make it feel like you in a place where you want to be.

Kristen (27:54):

Um, and please, please make sure it has a door. Um, because once you close that door, you kind of like, like focus your mind a little bit more. Um, and then I also use, um, earbuds, um, turn on some music, just like make it, make it feel like you're ready. Like you are in an office space, even if you're in your laundry room. Um, so that's one thing. Um, and then the other is try as hard as you can to set boundaries for yourself. um, so I, you know, I work Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday I'll keep an eye on things and if there's anything urgent, anything really important, I need to get to I'll do that. Um, and I'll do some R and D because for me, baking is, is still very, very fun. Um, so, you know, if, if there is like a piece of your business that you can do and, and um, and you really enjoy, maybe it's reading books and figuring out what book is gonna go in your next box, when you have your downtime that I think that's okay because you're filling up your cup in addition to working on your business.

Kristen (28:58):

Um, but I do try as, as hard as I can, um, to, to keep those Saturdays and Sundays for my family. And then after four 30, when I pick up my daughter Monday through Friday, I try to make sure that time is for her too.

Julie (29:12):

Awesome. So the, the moral of that story is boundaries. And I think for me, and a lot of my colleagues, we have this drive to always achieve and it's hard to set those boundaries. And I always find that my cup is filled and my family's cup is filled when I stick to those boundaries when I'm fully present for them. And then when I can be fully present and focused for my business. So I think that's really, really incredible advice. This has been so much fun chatting with you about this topic. I could go on forever talking about this and all the strategies and all like the stories along the way of, you know, running a, you know, raising a baby and raising a business at the same time, it's, it's a wild ride, but it's super fun. Okay. So one of the things that I know my family struggles with is asking for help. And that was one of the, you kind of talked a little bit about asking for help maybe with some childcare, whatever. Tell us a little bit more about some of your strategies or, or your advice on that topic.

Kristen (30:16):

Absolutely. Um, so as a business owner, you are like super brave for taking the leap to become a business owner. You're a risk taker, you're a self starter. Um, and you may wanna just try and do everything all on your own all the time. I know I, I struggle with that. Um, but if you're growing your family, if you have kids or if you're expecting, um, you know, we talked about giving yourself some, and that can be a completely new concept of, of finding someone who can help you and it can be uncomfortable. Um, but you gotta get comfortable with the discomfort because in the long run it's going to help you immensely. And I think you're gonna like it. Um, but you know, also think about like, you've probably supported so many other people through your life and now it's your term. You you're going to need some support.

Kristen (31:06):

Um, so if you, uh, I guess areas that you can look into, this are first off friends and family um, so if you think about whenever you moved, if you were, uh, in college or in your early twenties, did you do it on your own? I know I never could. I'm very small. I'm five, three, and petite, and no dresser is gonna make it out of my house on its own, uh, without some help. So whenever I would move, um, you know, before I was married, I would have to get friends and family to come over and help me. And even now that I am married, we still have friends and family and we help, uh, you know, they help us move everything and we treat them to pizza. So if you're in this place where you're like, oh my gosh, my, my boxes are going out in a few days.

Kristen (31:53):

And there's, I'm nowhere close to being able to getting them all, um, ready to go. Why don't you treat it like moving? Why don't you have some friends and family over and then have afterwards give them pizza that's that is totally something you can do. Um, and it's absolutely something that, that we've done on our side. Um, another thing, and then is a virtual assistant. Um, virtual assistants can be from the United States or they can be from any other country. Um, and there's some out there who are focused solely on subscription boxes that can help you even for a few hours a week, say, do customer service or help you move shipments around if there's like operational needs that you have on your backend. Um, but there are people out there who already have experience using some of the tools you use that will require less training and can just plug in and help you out.

Kristen (32:49):

Um, freelancers and contractors. So companies like Upwork or reaching out to your subscription box network, seeing if anybody knows anyone who wants to do some contract, um, with you, that can also be a, a really, really great place to find somebody who can plug in for a few hours and has, um, has some experience on their, um, uh, on their resume. Um, and you know, like they could have experience with a different subscription box that generates even new ideas and new for, for you for your box. So it's not even just the, the bandaid of like, Hey, I need someone to plug in and help me right now. They could also be driving more and more value for your business. That's true.

Julie (33:30):

I like that.

Kristen (33:31):

Yeah. So those are, those are like the first places that I would look to to find, um, help and just, you know, like I said, be try to get comfortable with having other people, helping you and touching the product and, um, and, and really helping you grow your business. Um, because in the long run there's power in numbers and you are going to get way more done, uh, and get your life back as well.

Julie (33:58):

I couldn't agree more. I mean, listen, you guys asking for help does not make you weak. It makes you resourceful. I remember this specifically when I had McKenna, we had a neighbor who, that we went to church with and she kept asking, what can I do to help? How can I help you? And I said, I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. And in typical, you know, like I'll do everything myself mode and which is super unhealthy. And she shows up at my door with a crock pot of food and she says, I want to help stop stealing my joy. It brings me joy to help you <laugh>. And I never thought about it from that perspective where people get their cups filled and they find joy in helping others. So think about your network. There's probably people like that in your network that are just like waiting for you to ask for help. And they wanna be the first ones to jump up and say, I would love to help. And it can be fun. You know, like you said, having the pizza party, having people, people over to help put on some music and it can be a lot of fun. So I think that's really great advice. And, you know, if you are worried about asking for help REM, remember that story about that, I just told about that you are withholding someone from their joy.

Kristen (35:18):

And I love that you mentioned they brought you a meal because that, that, so that there are things outside of your business that people can help you with and that effectively can help you with your business too. I know, um, after we had, um, our first we had a meal train, um, which is just like a website, you can, um, set it up or someone else can set it up for you and ask for people to bring you, um, dinners or meals. Um, and that was so, so valuable to us, like before having the baby, I was like, oh yeah, I guess that could be nice. And then once we had the baby, I'm like, I don't have to think about making dinner, that's huge. That is so great. So, um, but yeah, there's absolutely other things that, um, are outside of your business that can really help you. Um, so, so tap into your whole network, not just your subscription box network, um, and see if there, there are people who can help you along the way.

Julie (36:11):

Yes. And can we normalize meal trains for people starting a business?

Kristen (36:16):

Yes. I think that should be a thing. Absolutely.

Julie (36:21):

Oh, well this has been so much fun. Kristin, thank you for sharing your story and your strategies and tips. Um, you'll have to keep us posted on the new little one. When are you due?

Kristen (36:30):

April 4th. Oh boy.

Julie (36:32):

That's so, yeah. Okay. So where can people follow you and find you all online if they're interested in the bake eat love box?

Kristen (36:40):

Yeah, so we, um, our bake eat love box.com is our website. Um, we have an Instagram page bake dot, eat.love.box. Our Facebook is bake, eat love box, all one word. And then if you, uh, wanna reach out to me for any business purposes, um, if you have any questions about, you know, maybe you're going into maternity leave and you just wanna talk to another mom, who's done it. Um, feel free to, uh, to connect with me on LinkedIn. Um, it's Kristen Burghardt Bailey's.

Julie (37:09):

That's really sweet of you to offer that because sometimes we need someone else to talk to, you know, so I appreciate that. I had so much fun chatting with you. Everybody go check her out, check out the bake, eat love box, and we'll make sure to include all of those links in the show notes so that they can reach out to you. Um, thank you again for joining me on the podcast and everybody we'll see you in the next episode.