I am so excited to have Amy and Nicole of Smocked Auctions here to share some insight on their business and personal life. Amy and Nicole’s success with Smocked Auctions is truly inspiring and incredible. Their business began in their living room and now has turned into a multi-million dollar business. They have answered some questions below that give some insight on where they started, where they are now, and where their business is going. I hope you enjoy their interview!
1) Congratulations on a very successful business together! As many can see, y’all are one of the leading online shops and auction sites for children’s smocked clothing and accessories. How did this success ultimately change your lives?
Our business has changed our lives in ways we could not have ever imagined. We’ve grown a two-woman operation selling Southern-style kids clothing from laptops in our living rooms into a multi-million dollar business that designs, manufactures and sells a wide variety of children’s clothing.
2) Tell us a little bit about how y’all chose to become business partners.
It chose us. It all started when we had our boys. We were looking to get back into shape. We met by happenstance in 2008 at a baby boot camp and became fast friends. By 2010, we both had the bug to start our own business, as well as find a way to get great children’s clothes that suited our champagne taste on a sippy cup budget. After scouting a few lines of children’s clothes, we opted to host a trunk show in Nicole’s living room. The show went well and friends from out of town were begging to see the overstocks. Facebook was the logical way to share the photos of the items we had left to sell.
3) As working Mothers, how do y’all balance work and home life?
We have a lot of help. It takes a village and we are thankful for our families, our nanny, and our amazing friends that help us make it all work.We do our best to work when our children are in school and asleep. We schedule around our children’s activities. It is important to us to be able to give our kids our full focus when we are with them. We are blessed that our kids are the same ages and great friends – so they think it is a treat to be together.
4) Why did y’all choose smocked clothing?
It’s what we wore as children and we loved the timeless, classic look. This type of clothing was expensive and we wanted to find it at an affordable price ~ and our friends did too!
5) I read that y’all’s children were the inspiration for Smocked Auctions. How have they impacted the business?
Our children were the inspiration for our business. How have they impacted the business?
We founded our business on bubbles. Our girls were about 18months old when we started Smocked Auctions and we LOVED the girls being in bubbles. Smocked bubbles were not widely available at the retail stores. They were so easy for them to walk around in – and they were cool for the Texas weather.
6) Today, social media is huge and necessary for growing your business. What have y’all found to be the most successful way to promote Smocked Auctions?
With the public nature of social media, the best way to promote SA is to provide great customer service. The old saying goes, if you provide a great customer experience they will tell one friend. If they have a bad one, they’ll tell all their friends. This is especially true in our business. Great customer service has been the foundation of our organic growth.
7) What advice do y’all have for other Mother’s who are wanting to start their own business and live out their dream?
There is no time like the present. There is never a perfect time to start something. We started this business when we both had two children under the age of three. Our children loved helping us with our business. Every Friday night, we packed packages and every Saturday morning our kids went to the post office with us to mail the packages. We look back on the first year when we worked out of my garage and laugh. If you have an idea, go for it. Passion and drive take you a long way – especially if it is a product or service that you believe in.
8) What has been the most rewarding part about the business?
The most rewarding part of this business has been the people. Smocked Auctions grew into the company that it has become from amazing people along the way. Our families and friends encouraged us as we started with this little idea. Our customers are the biggest delight of all. We have loved getting to know so many wonderful people across the country as they have shopped with us to outfit their children for special occasions, holidays, and birthdays. We absolutely could not run our business without our amazing team. The first two people we hired to help us with our business were close friends – and they are both still leading the way as our business grows.
About the Southern Living partnership:
We still want to pinch ourselves that our company that started from a simple idea now has the premiere children’s clothing line for Southern Living magazine, a staple of the South we’ve always looked to for great style and inspiration.
Thank you so much Amy and Nicole for being here today to answer some detailed questions about your business and personal lives. I hope the readers enjoyed getting an insight into the creators behind Smocked Auctions. I know your story will inspire other mom’s to live out their dream in doing what they love.