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How Melissa Clayton’s Tiny Tags Went from Facet Hustle to Meryl Streep Endorsed – Q&A


Melissa Clayton is the founder and CEO of motherhood jewellery model Tiny Tags. She is a former CPA who’s captivated with entrepreneurship and motherhood and is dedicated to sharing the teachings she has discovered alongside the best way with different ladies.

As of 2022, Melissa has grown Tiny Tags to a multi-million greenback enterprise with out taking over any exterior funding and manufacturing within the USA. A serial entrepreneur, Melissa can also be the inventor of The Matte, as seen on ABC’s Shark Tank and At the moment Present’s “The Subsequent Huge Factor,” the foldable mat that lays over a sink, creating extra counter house to make use of whereas preparing.

We requested Melissa about scaling Tiny Tags from a aspect hustle and her recommendation for fellow feminine founders.

Q&A with Tiny Tags Founder Melissa Clayton

Q: Earlier than Tiny Tags, you have been a CPA within the company world. What motivated you to make the leap into beginning a enterprise?

A: I feel I used to be born with the entrepreneurial bug so once I noticed my associates’ reactions to the primary “mommy’ necklace I made–I knew there was one thing particular there. Once I began Tiny Tags the entire orders have been by way of emails and cellphone calls so I used to be capable of join and chat with different mothers and I cherished that.

Q: I’m certain your accounting abilities have come in useful whereas rising Tiny Tags. What are the standard monetary missteps startups take?

A: Completely accounting has helped me within the early years and nonetheless does. I feel one of many largest errors startups make isn’t pricing merchandise accurately which often means not charging sufficient. Once I initially priced my product, I calculated the price of items in my pricing mannequin but additionally included my time in addition to all the opposite prices of operating a enterprise from IT to the price of tax preparation.

Q: You’re captivated with being open about numbers. That may be scary for bootstrapped startups. Why is it essential?

A: I’m captivated with being open about numbers when somebody is ready of giving recommendation or being held out as an knowledgeable in a subject. It’s important to know each side of the stability sheet to get an actual image of the well being of a enterprise. I’ve sat in loads of occasions the place an knowledgeable offers recommendation and shares their year-over-year development however leaves out how they’re funded or how a lot debt they’ve taken on.

I really feel that if you’ll give recommendation you ought to be prepared to be clear along with your numbers.

Once I was requested to talk on the Feminine Founder Collective occasion about the right way to get to one million {dollars} in income I shared my numbers with the viewers as a result of I wished to present the total image. I feel others are reluctant to share numbers as a result of they wish to seem larger than they really are and I perceive that. I felt very weak sharing my numbers however finally felt it was price it.

Q: Was there a second if you realized Tiny Tags was greater than only a aspect hustle?

A: The second my husband give up his job to affix Tiny Tags was positively when this enterprise went from a aspect hustle to the actual deal!

Q: Your group and tradition at Tiny Tags are simply as essential because the merchandise. How have you ever remained true to your values as a enterprise?

A: Our group makes it very easy to remain true to who we’re as a result of they encourage us each day. One in all our staff members mentioned final week ‘I’m a greater individual from working at Tiny Tags’ and I feel that basically captures how particular our tradition and our group are.

On daily basis we obtain both an e-mail or DM, see a put up or learn a present observe that makes you pause to both replicate on how valuable life is or how a lot all of us want one another. I really obtained a textual content message from a buyer as we speak (sure many have my cell quantity) who ordered a Tiny Tags with the date of her buddy’s final chemo remedy and he or she wished to verify it arrived on the precise date. I pinch myself that folks come to us to commemorate such unbelievable moments.

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Q: Okay. We have to hear the Meryl Streep story.

A: I like this story as a result of it’s about hustling and never taking no for a solution. Meryl Streep was the keynote speaker on the MA Convention for Ladies and I used to be attending in addition to had a desk on the occasion. I discovered the individual chargeable for the audio system and advised her I had the right speaker reward for Meryl Streep—I imply in any case what do you give Meryl Streep? I made a surprising 14k gold circle pendant engraved along with her 4 youngsters’s names and simply knew if she noticed it that she would find it irresistible.

The day of the occasion I hunted down the correct individual and handed her the Tiny Tags field and made her promise handy ship it to Meryl Streep. I defined that I used to be a small enterprise proprietor and that this meant every little thing to me- my hope was that she would really feel the magnitude of what this might imply for us.

Two days later a buyer tagged me on Instagram the place Meryl was sporting her Tiny Tags.

She then proceeded to put on it for 2 main photograph shoots. It was unbelievable and only a pivotal second for the enterprise.

Q: How do you know The Matte can be a great product to carry on Shark Tank?

A: I assumed Lori Greiner, the shark who works with QVC would love The Matte as a result of it solves a common drawback tens of millions of girls have each day–restricted counter house.

 

Q: What’s the worst piece of enterprise recommendation you’ve obtained?

A: The worst recommendation I obtained was that I ought to make child jewellery. Within the early years and even nonetheless as we speak, individuals will make options on merchandise or markets we must always go after, nevertheless, I all the time believed that to construct a model we wanted to have a really particular viewers in thoughts. One in all my favourite books is Model Warfare by David D’Alessandro and Michele Owens the place they introduce the concept in the event you attempt to be every little thing to everyone you might be no one. This actually resonated with me which is why we’re 100% centered on mothers. Not solely do I feel it’s good for constructing a model, it’s what’s in my coronary heart.

Q: What’s the very best enterprise recommendation you’ve obtained?

A: Know your why. As Simon Sinek talks about in his e book Begin with Why–realizing your why is extraordinarily highly effective particularly if you’ll be able to share it along with your clients. Prospects wish to really feel related to a model and sharing your why is without doubt one of the finest methods to do that. I’ve shared that Tiny Tags has been a method for me to specific my very own emotions about my mom and join with different ladies.

I grew up with my father and my mom typically struggled to indicate up, not as a result of she didn’t love me, however as a result of she didn’t absolutely love herself and lacked a group. A lot of what has propelled me in Tiny Tags is sharing tales of motherhood so that each mom feels supported, cherished and never alone. I’m so grateful for all of the moms prepared to share their story with the hopes of serving to and galvanizing others. That is my “why” and whereas it’s exhausting to share generally I do know it’s why now we have the group now we have at Tiny Tags.

Q: We obsessively talk about work/life stability within the entrepreneurship group. Do you assume discovering a stability is feasible?

A: I do assume stability is feasible if you’ll be able to concentrate on the journey and never take a look at beginning a enterprise as a way to an finish.

Q: As a feminine founder, what recommendation would you give to different ladies seeking to begin a enterprise?

A: Discover a mentor who you belief and gives you sincere suggestions.

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