This week we’re rewinding it back to when I sat down with Trina Small, the founder of Supermom Culture. After leaving her logistics job, growing her blog, and blowing up on social media, Trina took a leap to start her brand that empowers mothers through streetwear.
Starting off on her own packing orders with her daughter out of her apartment, Trina took risks and bet on herself to build a solid brand.
In this episode she shares:
- How she slowly and steadily scaled her business while supporting herself and her family
- How she landed press like Good Morning America and Oprah Daily
- The real challenges of being a solo entrepreneur
- Plus so many laughs, this episode felt like chatting with a girlfriend!
Links mentioned in this episode
Click here to subscribe via RSS feed (non-iTunes feed): http://sidehustlepro.libsyn.com/rss
Join our Facebook Community
If you’re looking for a community of supportive side hustlers who are all working to take our businesses to the next level, join us here: https://sidehustlepro.co/facebook
Guest Social Media Info
Supermom Culture: https://www.instagram.com/supermomculture/
Trina Small: https://www.instagram.com/heytrinasmall/
Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:00
Okay, I have a new challenge for us this month, August. Let's spend less time sitting at our desk and more time outside soaking up the sun. Let me explain. It starts with bringing AI power tools like HubSpot CRM into your workflow, because the latest research says that employees who use AI are already cutting time spent on manual tasks, things like pulling reports or summarizing data. They are cutting that time in half from five to two and a half hours per day. You heard that right. And that adds up to almost four weeks a year so you can do the math. Just saying that gives me this infinite surge of energy. HubSpot AI power tools can help you work smarter not harder by streamlining how you do business from research and strategy to content creation and optimization. Things like chat spot and content assistant are baked right into your HubSpot CRM. So you can whip up reports, get copy inspiration, pull data summaries and much more with just a simple check command. Tap into HubSpot to stop staring at your screen and start enjoying your summer pizza to learn more and get started firstname.lastname@example.org You're listening to side hustle Pro, the podcast that teaches you to build and grow your side hustle from passion project to profitable business. And I'm your host Nicaila Matthews Okome. So let's get started.
Okay, Hey guys, welcome. Welcome back to the show. It's Nicaila here and today in the guest chair. I have Trina small Trina is a full time lifestyle influencer and founder of supermom culture. She's based in Atlanta, Georgia, and her pursuit to amplify the voices of motherhood began a little over a decade ago through her blog Hey Trina, which chronicles her life as a mom and continues to serve as inspiration to mothers globally, reminding them that moms can still live their best life in this motherhood journey. As a blogger and an influencer. Gina has worked with brands like Kohl's, Disney, Walmart, Verizon and more. The saga continues with the inception of her streetwear brand, supermom culture which you may have seen all over social media, especially in the last two years. I know I did and I bought up as much as possible. So supermom culture is an extension of her blog and love for fashion. But most importantly, motherhood. supermom recognizes the superpowers that each mother has inside of her. Motherhood is not about being perfect. It's about being super in Trina's words, even in difficult situations. supermom culture is a global phenom that is gaining huge momentum. It's worn by your favorite influencers. And it has been featured on Good Morning America the view Black Enterprise and Oprah daily. I love my conversation with Trina we had so much fun, as you will hear. So let's get right into it. Trina, welcome officially to the side hustle pro guest here. Hey, thank you for being here. I'm really excited to chat with you. You're someone who I have admired from afar for a while I have my supermom, gear. You know, when I became a mom that was so just empowering for me to wear like the hat, the t shirt, all of that. And I need to know more about the woman behind the brand. So I understand that your initial career path was in logistics, and with like trucking and train. So tell me a little bit about that. How did you get into that? And how did that go?
Trina Small 3:43
Okay, all right. Well, I'm Trina, I'm so happy to be here. I feel like I'm on Oprah. Because I wanted to be on your podcast forever. So when I got the email, like one way to say your song, super excited about that. And that just shows me what God has in store for me. So I'm very excited to be here. So yeah, my career path is, you know, when I tell people what I did full time, you know, I was 23 years old working on trucks. I wasn't physically working on trucks and training. But I used to coordinate the trains. So I knew where they was going, where they was coming in, like what was on him, like I did all of that. And then I went into trucking, just regular trucking. I dealt with cargo. I did all of that. So I was in the logistics career for about almost 15 years.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 4:31
When did you start your blog as a side hustle? And why did you get into blogging?
Trina Small 4:36
So I started my blog as a side hustle when I had my oldest daughter who's now 12. So she was about one, almost one year old when I started the blog, because I was always dressing her and cute stuff. And I just one day I was just like reading blogs, of course, you know, we're looking for information and stuff. And I saw this thing that was like free blog and I just clicked on it. And then the rest Since history here we are like almost 12 years later, and I'm still blogging and you know, we got supermom, now we branched off I got another child like, you know, everything has happened in those years. But that's how I got started. And you not only got started but the blog your blog took on a life of its own right. So
Nicaila Matthews Okome 5:18
what was it called at the time? And what do you think contributed to it taken off? Was it you your personality or just what you were talking about?
Trina Small 5:26
Well, so yeah, the blog was called Baby Shopaholic because I was buying everything from my kid like, she had all the related. You know, first kid now my son just came out. I was like, girl, you were in Garanimals from Walmart. I'm sorry. We went on it no more. But I started out just sharing, you know, things that I bought for her deals that I found my outfits. And when I started sharing my outfits, that's when it really started to take off. You know, people like the kids outfits, they got a lot of inspiration from my daughter. But then when I started sharing what I was wearing, you know, trying to have the full buzz now I had a seat. I wasn't back where I wanted to be. But I still wanted to be cute. So I started sharing my outfits. And I just put it out there. And to tell you truth. I don't even know how people found me because Instagram wasn't even a thing. When I started blogging. I did have Facebook, I started that kind of like a couple of years in I started a Facebook page that did very well. Okay. And then Instagram came up, I was so scared of Instagram, I felt like I was like putting stuff out to the world like Hello. So that was a little nerve racking. So I was kind of slow to Instagram. I think Instagram probably had been around for a few years before I even got on it because I was so scared. So that's how I started and that people just kept coming in and sharing. And I think I resonated with a lot of black moms. Because when there was no Instagram, you would really read blogs every day like you will look at your feeder and go to each blog. And I would go and look and I there was no black moms. So I was like, I want to see people that look like me that flavor. And you know, having fun. Like everything was all about feeding your kids broccoli, and stuff. And no, because I want that stuff too. But I like the whole deal like me and my girls went out we went to this concert, we had a mall done. And other than that my job could relate. And I think that's what helped take baby shop out then baby Shopaholic take off but now they don't have any babies. I have rebranded about four years, three, four years ago to Hey Trina. So it's just one lifestyle brand, because I had started getting more into decorating my home recipe. So it was just the full gamut on hatred,
Nicaila Matthews Okome 7:45
like lifestyle content. You know, you just took me back to when I used to read all these blogs via Google Reader. I was so devastated when they got rid of reader. Why would they do? That was hard kept up all my girls like and you're right. Like once you found a black blog, you put it in there because you wanted to get all their updates in time. So you just took me back to those were the good old days. And I think that really helped blogging, that really helped blogs too, because now you almost forget about people's content unless they put it in front of your face on Instagram. And we work so much harder podcast to we have to work so much harder to put it in people's faces.
Trina Small 8:29
Absolutely. And that's what I was saying like Google Reader, my pen dreams were through the roof. They canceled Google Reader. I was like, where's everybody like, nobody's coming? And so how do you keep up with them? So yeah, that's
Nicaila Matthews Okome 8:44
Yeah. So you had to make a choice, though. At some point. You had to say, am I going to be a full time blogger influencer or continue with my logistics role, which you were killing it? And yeah, talk to us about how you made that decision to leave your corporate job. What went into that?
Trina Small 9:01
Okay, so like after maternity leave, and all that stuff and the dust settle, my company had did a little restructuring. So I ended up at a team Lee, I didn't like you know how that goes. And so Oh, this is really kind of what happened. So again, I didn't like my team league. But then I was in I was featured in Atlantic magazine or Atlanta. I was actually in both, but there's an Atlanta 10 and Atlanta magazine, and they had like a whole page on me with my daughter talking about our blog, and one of the high level managers saw it. And he was like, Trina, you're in this magazine. And I was like, yes. I don't know what you're talking about. I'm working. I talk to you later, you know, because I didn't really like you know, in a tank. I didn't tell people what I did. I just would come to work, work, go home and I'd be blogging on the internet. And then I didn't do it at work, but then it started being like every time And they started watching me. So there was like, Oh, she brought it over that because they didn't even understand. They're like this really wild, they whole fantasy football stuff is going on there like, is that Twitter on your computer, so it kind of got real, like, you know, they was watching me. And then I got an opportunity with McDonald's where they flew me to Chicago to do a video for them in their test kitchen, in their corporate office. And I had to time off, but it was in the middle of the week. So I had to take like Tuesday and Wednesday off to do this. And it was like, why are you taking a Tuesday when he was asking me that, and I just left. I was like, I got my time I'm off. That's all you need to know, to witness that. And they were like, kind of just it was just really watching me. So then it came to a point where it was like, I can't take certain opportunities because I got this job. And I knew if I stay with the job and let the blog go, that it would like crushed me because the blog was such a big part of my life at this point. So that's I had to make the decision, like, I'm gonna have to quit this job, and I'm gonna have to figure it out, like you're gonna have to work like retail hours, so I can have the flexibility or something, I'm gonna have to do what I have to do. So then just got up, put a plan in place started trying to pay off debt, paid off cars, and, you know, got to where it would make sense, you know, as far as you know, replacing my salary, you know, now we don't have to pay for childcare at that point. Because she was still little she wasn't at school full time. So we had to make that work. And then when I started crunching numbers, I had to get to it. I remember the first day to quit, I was like, so
Nicaila Matthews Okome 11:39
let's get let's
Trina Small 11:40
get to work. I'd never pitch the brand. All of everything came to me. So I was blessed that all the blog opportunities came directly to me and I didn't have to go look for but when they don't come and he was like, What did you do? I was like, well, so that's
Nicaila Matthews Okome 11:58
I'm glad you touched on making that plan and paying down debt and you know, doing all those things that you need to do to just get prepared. Because sometimes it's not just about saving, it's about cutting Well, it's always about cutting expenses because you know that this entrepreneur lifestyle, it's not going to be as consistent as your nine to five job.
Now, at what stage did you start supermom? Culture?
Trina Small 12:30
Okay, so supermom culture has actually was brewing while I was doing the blog, because I wanted some cue I was very into fashion. Right. And I wanted to do so I but I just didn't know what to do. And then I was like, everybody got a t shirt. I'm not doing T shirts. That will represent that made us feel good that we can give to other people and you know, things like that. So I was really trying my best not to do a shirt. I was like, everybody got a t shirt, but I actually love t shirt, but I was like everybody got a t shirt. So I started out doing like aprons and bags. I was selling it was a bad
Nicaila Matthews Okome 13:10
bag. Oh. It was weird aprons. It
Trina Small 13:18
I don't know what I was thinking. But it was cute. Because it says all count all and it said Jesus and like you know meal prepping. It just had little fun stuff. So I mean, they didn't do that good, but a few people. Okay, so I like that we're
Nicaila Matthews Okome 13:35
talking about the start, because you have to start somewhere. So that's
Trina Small 13:39
how that's the initial store. It wasn't doing that. Well, the little reusable bags did good. And then I was like, you know, above it, I'm gonna do a T shirt. Everybody else had t shirt now like everybody got a t shirt. I'm just go ahead and do a T shirt. Well, I had this white t shirt. I took like, oh, white t shirt. And I had this idea. Like, I liked supreme and I liked the idea of it. So I was like, you know, I was thinking like, what some cool that moms can wear but that will signify like, you know, for moms, so I looked at the supreme brand, and that's kind of where I like, you know, I kind of smoothed it a little bit. And I was like, I'm gonna just reminding them because like, you know, we're supreme, we're moms and you know, all this type of stuff. And I like had a friend, she helped me make the little block and I cut it out on a piece of paper and just made it on the shirt. And I was like, you know, to get the sizing right. So I was like, Okay, well then I went and got the vinyl cut. And I just put it on the shirt. And then I wore my at the time eight year old daughter took pictures of me in the shirt right in front of our house. Wow. And I posted it and there was no it wasn't even called supermodel culture. It was just training supermom shirts like that's what it was. So I ran it on her blog. Yes, I just ran it through the blog and that's really how I started then it it kind of took off as people bought it. You So I had to do its own Instagram, I was fighting it because I was like, I'm not running to Instagrams. It's hard enough to keep up with what you got to do wearing it and sharing it. But then it's my platform that I'm still getting sponsored content. So it was hard to do both like, I'm sharing somebody else's. And I'm like, people come to a page saying on EU pages because I'm sharing everybody else. And they're supermom stuff. And you know, so I was like, You know what, let me let it live over there. And when I started the page, I was very intentional about it being about the moms. So that's why you'll see me all over the place. It's all the moms the community of supermodel culture, then I had to come up with a name. And then I was like, I don't know what to call it. You know, I was gonna call it black supermodels. I had all these different ideas. And I was like, You know what, this is a culture. It's a community, we just gonna call it Sue. I'm like, I'm not going to wrack my brain. And then. Yes.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 15:55
So you mentioned a few important things. Like first of all, you you started where you were with what you have the fact that you were literally doing a cut out by hand to get the sizing right. You know, you weren't in Photoshop, like tinkering around on your own, like you really took this in your hands. And then you know, God got the final cut made and all of that. But it started out with your own two hands. And you could have easily then jumped to Oh, no, I need a website for this. I need to put it up here and there. But you tested it first. Right? You shared it with your audience, because you've already done products and seeing that, okay, those weren't a hit. So you made sure to prove the concept first. And then at what point did you realize though that, hey, these shirts are a hit? Like they're not just I'm not selling? Were you selling like 10 a month? Or was it when you said okay, this is like, I'm getting 1000 orders a month that I need to make a site for this. It was definitely
Trina Small 16:53
was a slow drip. So you know, I put it out there. And it was like, You would have thought that I had wagered like a million dollars in Vegas, because I was like, one shirt, I was like shaking like, Okay, I'm gonna put this shirt out here for $25. And you know, there's somebody with that, you know, 25 $30, I then went and bought four more shirts, did the same thing. And then I just kind of upcycle because I really started everything. So even at that sold a couple of shirts, I made like $500 And I took that $500 Then I went and ordered the vinyls already cut and ready to go. Because I was heat pressing on myself at the time. So I did that. And then I bought a heat press that was just like a lot of money. I'm a stay at home mom, things were slow when I started it. So I didn't have 1000s of dollars to just throw in to see what happens. I'm very cautious about my overhead. And you know, the investment because, again, I don't want to go broke and my dad just spent all this money and I and so but one shirt, you know, so I kind of just flipped up flipped up flipped up and then you know, then I started getting 10 shirts a week, then it went to 100 shirts a week. And then when I hit 100 I was like, Oh, we got like, we want to do this. And so I started getting like, like 100 sales. I was like, Oh my gosh, like this is something here. And then that's why it was only one shirt, one white t shirt. I didn't have no hoodies, I have no nose. And then I just kept flipping it up flipping it up and then do my other products that I could afford and and things like that. And that's kind of how I went for the first year. That's what I did one shirt. I
Nicaila Matthews Okome 18:40
love that as well you guys you hear that like one shirt, one SKU if you're in the retail world, like one color one product, so that you are not spending money on all of these different materials. And people are only buying like one or two like you really double down on that. I love that reminder. And also, how did you know that you wanted to heat press it versus, you know, upload a file and have it dropship from a t shirt printer.
Trina Small 19:07
So I'm a marketer, in my background, I have a marketing degree. So I was very heavy on research the school that I went to. So I was I'm a big researcher, I'm gonna re watch YouTube videos like I'm gonna go down the rabbit hole. I'm gonna watch YouTube videos. I went on those print on demand places and stuff. And when I was breaking it down, I was like, I ain't gonna get nothing but three phone hours if I sell No, I'm all about it until I can't do it no more. I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna keep going until it don't work. So I had When did all that research saw don't make no money because you know, T shirts are you know, it's very low. It's not like a million dollars, you know, you're not gonna Oh, my shirt. So I was like, you know, what if I can keep pressing them, because it was a lower quantity. So I was like, Oh, I can handle this. You know what I mean? And I had gotten to where I was doing like 100 shirts a day by myself. Personally Oh girl, I was grinding honey. That's the research and I started doing that. And then I would go to the wholesaler. And then people that were in the line, I don't have no problem talking to anybody. And I was like, So what do you do? How do you show and he was like, Oh, I have a vinyl place that I get the vinyl cut. I was like, Oh, what's that man? You know, and then that's, and then I go research that. And that's really kind of how I got to where, you know, I don't do that anymore. But that's how I started. And that was a good, like, budget friendly way to get started.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 20:32
Thank you for sharing that. So I hope that encourages someone who is thinking of something or you just have this really powerful slogan or phrase that you know, would kill on a t shirt, but you're like, oh, T shirts don't make any money. There's a way to do it. Because you're right. When you do look at those sites, you're like, Oh, I'm not gonna make anything if I do it this way. And yes, and no, like volume, you know, times a lower margin, you can keep that in consideration. You can consider you know, what your bandwidth is and what kind of space you have at home to do this. So I like that we're sharing options, because that's yes. What we need to know about like the options that are out there
how did you handle quality control? Because I know my hand is crooked. That's one reason why I don't do no DIY anything like I cannot give you no straight line.
Trina Small 21:26
So I love DIY, so I went dry. And that's how I was like, doing all this stuff. Because I was like, you know, I was very DIY but let me tell you, girl, when I say I was sweating, like imagine, don't mess up this shirt. Don't mess up the shirt. Like I didn't miss the last one you got left like don't mess it up. Because girl, I asked for shirts. The minute I didn't press it, the heat went out high enough girls a hot mess. So it was a lot of trial and error. And you have to make a little budget for that. You know, even if you take an old kid shirt or something, just take it and figure it out that you can you know that you can discard if it doesn't work out just to get ready for it. But I use a lot of measuring rulers, I got rulers, I still use a ruler, sometimes I have to do an emergency shirt. You know, for somebody like I need this and then I want to use it for this shoot. And then I'll like make one real quick if I don't have one on hold because now I have a warehouse. So I have a lot of stuff in the warehouse. I don't have a lot of stuff on hand. But if somebody needs one, I need to get it to him. It's easier for me to just do it.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 22:27
Okay, you mentioned warehouse now we have to know what was that transition like So how long did it take you to go from Trina making sure it's herself to getting a warehouse. What was that process like? And when did you decide you were ready for that?
Trina Small 22:46
Well, I will then decide what they say by good problems demand. Yeah. Yes. So that's kind of how it happened. So a little over a year into supermom, culture and the pandemic started right. blew up. We did like a viral video. That's where everybody started doing the reels like reels were coming in and tick tock and all that stuff. Saw a video went viral. And then like the sales just went crazy. But I'm like home, I'm like, oh my god, like everything's closed. So that's how I went. So I was still doing everything myself at this point. But we were making a lot of shirts, like it was probably it was hundreds a week, at least you know, started off, which was like big for me. But I think probably even more than that a few 100 I should say. And then out of the blue, I get this email from this woman that says hey, I might supermom and I bought some stuff or whatever. Have you ever thought about going on? Good Morning America. And I was like, what you're talking about? Why are you playing in my computer, or whatever? So we set up a call. We talked to her and she was like, Yeah, I do this. I was like, Are you serious? Like the whole time? I was like, Are you serious right now? She's like, Yeah, she's like, Okay, well, I'm gonna take this to them, and then I'll get back to you. So I'm sitting here like, okay, like, what does that mean? Wow. So then she comes back like a couple of weeks later, she was like, they love you. They want you to go on. On this day. We need 10,000 shirts. Bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. I'm sitting in my guest bedroom with 300 shirts in packed. I was like two with three zeros. Like, I'm like, let me understand what you're saying here. So she said that I was like, yeah, that's not gonna fit in my house. And yeah, I can't do that by myself. So I'm like over here. So now I'm scrambling. I'm like calling everybody I call my friend that has a she has a screen print. I'm just calling everybody. I was like, I don't know what to do. And you know, I was like, let's figure it out writing notes and stuff like that. So there was like, Okay, you need this. You need millions of dollars insurance, bla bla bla bla, contract, ABC. I was like, Yo, this is crazy. So then like people got it. me to where I am now. So it's not my 100% warehouses of fulfillment. So I have my own in the warehouse, and then I do all my shipping and receiving for me. So I went to them and I had a meeting with them. I was like, Look, I don't know what's going on. But we got to push all these orders out when we got GMA, and it was like we down we've done it before. So own brands. So this is the black owned warehouse. So they work with other black owned brands, so they were familiar with the process and stuff sounds like Oh, good. So now truckloads of T shirts coming grow. It was crazy. I was like, I'm serious. So that's I was pushed into the warehouse like I had no other app.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 25:41
I'm sweating. Just hearing that story of the product bus hosted by Jacqueline Schneider and Mina koulos setup is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Take your physical product sales strategy to the next level to create your dream life with host Jacqueline and Mina as they deliver a workshop style strategy hour of social media and marketing strategies. So you can up level as the boss of your business. So I just finished listening to their latest episode. It's called Keep your day job, grow your product based business. And it's all about how to maintain your full time job while growing your product based business on the side. So of course, I know you side hustlers are interested in this. And it's a really good episode 20 minute lesson. So definitely check it out. Listen to the product boss wherever you get your podcasts
what does that look like? From a financial perspective? That's the part that usually kind of makes me jitter a little bit. It's like you have an upfront financial investment to make Yes, to fulfill these orders, even though you're about to make a lot of money. How does that even out? And then do you surpass that? Or is it just one of those things where you kind of break even but you get these returning customers?
Trina Small 27:03
Right? So when I got the call and I tell my 10,000 shares, I'm like, should I have enough time buying 100 out of pocket? Yeah. So what was crazy was I always tell people wasn't nothing but God, like he just guided me through because I told you I blew up and we were selling hundreds you know what I mean? Like, so the money was coming in. And God told me don't spend that money girl, don't you spend that money because I'm ready to go get a Gucci bag. Some extra money because I was trying to stay at home mom, so we were on a tight budget, because I was like, going back to work. So I was like, I'm gonna make this budget work, you know? So I'm like, the guy was like, don't spend that money. So I was just letting this stack stack stack into the account. And then I got the call. So guess what, I got the money. Because I didn't know anything about like nobody was giving grants the whole black lives matter. You know, the tears of people trying to help black people business. Nothing right then. So nobody has given you anything. I think I got like a Pay Pal like working capital thing. It probably $5,000 But girl truck loan and T shirts cost me wholesale was $25,000. So every little bit helps. But I was able to, you know, take those little bits here and there. And then of course still trying to sell to keep the money coming in and have fun going on. Good Morning America. But Good Morning, America. When I went on and ended up being a hit. You know, you don't make a whole lot of money. I always tell people it's more of a marketing because now people call me like they get the email to go on there like Trina. So tell me to tea and I'm like, listen, it's not a money grab. It seems like it is but it's exposure. I mean, you're on a national stage. Great to be on there. And but I was like, you know, you really got to have your numbers tight. And that was that was the hardest part. Because you know, there was mistakes and moving stuff. Now you talking about 10,000 shirts, who found the shirt, who found to have a whole crew for a week to have all of these shirts. Like I had three people four days from like 10 because I was trying to get budget friendly people so they were struggling. Like, where did you find these people? Like I had reached out to a friend that was like kind of young and I was like you got some home because it's the pandemic a lot of people weren't. So she was able to rally up a couple people that paid them like 15 bucks an hour. Like I said they strolled in and I cashed out for them at the end of the day. They may came back the next day and they may not you know, but I was like look, he's got to pull the shirt out hold shirts, my daughter shirts, everybody was folding shirts and I was recruiting my girlfriends because you know they still were working. So I was like if you off Saturday, let's go. You know what I'm saying? Like so that's what we were doing. And it was it was a whole It was just a whole community project. So he was just getting it done. Because you don't think about all the little stuff that is needed to pull this off. Right? Like a big undertaking to go on there. But I'm gonna tell you, it was almost like a bootcamp. Like they got me together. It's like I got a master's degree. It was like I got warehouse because of them. I got business insurance because of them all my LLC or my s corpse because of them. I got, you know, DUNS and Bradstreet, like I had to level up. And I hate doing admin stuff. But it forced me to get my stuff together. So like, I got trademarks because of them, because I was like, Okay, we got me on here, I gotta get these trademarks. But I was doing all this stuff, because I was like bootleg entrepreneur, just sitting back selling real websites. Out there grind, and I was just like, hey, mistake is sick, like, you just have
Nicaila Matthews Okome 30:52
to start somewhere, you have to start somewhere. And I want you, I want everybody to talk about this, honestly, like, I think everyone thinks everyone else is more buttoned up than they are. And then that stops you from acting because you're like, oh, I need to do this, I need to do that. They did that, Oh, they're so smart. They knew to do that. And they did it. And it comes as you grow. And that's okay, that's alright.
Trina Small 31:19
I'm telling you, I'm the poster child of grinding and lugging it out in business. Because the way if you would have seen some of the stuff that we're doing my night and like I said she was eight or nine. So when the pandemic started, she was nine ship packing orders, it was getting them right to so she got a whole lesson. We were packing, we were shipping 100 orders a day. And she was the one that was in charge.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 31:42
Right? That exposure that she's getting,
Trina Small 31:45
put the letter on it and she was checking me she was like, Ah, this ain't right, this one says. And she was getting it. So she got a hold. So she knows how to run a business pretty much because she was right there with me in the thick of it
Nicaila Matthews Okome 32:05
if you were to start over again, though, I know that we talked about like you can learn as you go like you don't need to, when you start out, have everything buttoned up like LLC trademark, it's almost impossible to because number one, you don't even know if you're going to use that trademark unless you actually start doing it. So what are a couple of things, though, that you wish you had done sooner.
Trina Small 32:25
Um, I probably would have like, many have sold some things if money was tight to bring more money in because I worked way harder than I should have. There was things that I can do now. Now I'm like, it really wasn't that much. But back then $25 on some felt like a lot, you know, at the time. So I'm like, you know, I could have sold one of my old bags or something and bought a better machine or things like that. So I probably would have did that just button up a little bit tighter. But to tell you the truth, I wouldn't change anything else with the process of everything that I did. Like, I don't need to go straight to a warehouse. Even now I'm contemplating sometimes I'll go back and forth. Like do I just need to get my own little you know, little section and do the shipping myself when times are slow then when they pick up and I'm like where where's the warehouse at? You know, I need them. So it's a journey and you just learn so much so now it's You can't stop me because I don't went through everything like we did. I'm problem solving, and everything like that. So I just take those as all lessons. I don't feel like you know, like, Man, I really screwed up here. Yeah, I lost money on stuff. I want to tighten up on certain things. But it's all a learning curve. So now by doing this stuff in my sleep, so I've been on Good Morning America two more times. And nice and nice. Again, yeah. So I don't know why this is. So
Nicaila Matthews Okome 33:50
this air this month, y'all this is January kicking off the year New Year. Blessings, okay. Now you've had so many different products since that initial t shirt. So tell us about how you know when to introduce a new product.
Trina Small 34:02
Who girl now that's a hard part. So you put it out there like I don't really do sneak peeks. I like the element of surprise. But there were some things that didn't go well I got all these bucket hats made and then I put like 12 likes on the bucket hat, you know what I'm saying? Okay, because normally people these days,
Nicaila Matthews Okome 34:28
not gonna tell you that
Trina Small 34:32
I thought the McGahn was cool everybody else wearing Baganz why can't we were buying gas because I was thinking like we just saw I was like, You know what, y'all right? Y'all wanna look like LL Cool J saw scrap that I got a bug if you want to bug out i'll see you I still got but you know, so it's like you just put it out there and I'll start with now the sweat suits is definitely a gamble because they're expensive. I get a manufacture heard overseas? Oh, wow. Even just the sample, and I will say that if you're doing anything overseas what a manufacturer always get samples. I don't care if that one sample cost you 500 or $1,000 I'm so serious. Get a sample. I had a whole one. After data made me 1000s of sweatsuits. I had a whole new one coming out. And when I tell you they jack the whole shipment up.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 35:25
Wow, I had samples. Yeah.
Trina Small 35:28
But it was only because I had bought 1000s from them that they weren't able, they redid them, but now I'm another 30 days out because they jack them up. So always get samples. And this was a manufacturer that I still and I hadn't even gotten two or three of the one that I presented, you know, I had already had it. So that took a photoshoot. I was like, Okay, this is it. This is why we got to keep going with did a photo, shoot everything and then get the whole shipment. Girl supermom look like my seven year old wrote it on. Here like y'all knew better, y'all knew better. That worked out but you know, again, it's a lesson to like, how do you do that put enough time in just in case you get a shipment. Now go through inspect everything and make sure like the whole thing. So you know, definitely do that you gotta get samples.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 36:24
Let's talk a little bit more about the money piece for a second before we go into the lightning round. We always share here that a lot of people lose money in the first few years of your business. A lot of times you're breaking even or you're just making enough to reinvest in your business. You know, the profit piece isn't always a given when you start this business. So what has been your experience with that?
Trina Small 36:44
I don't need it at all. So when I was doing everything myself, of course, because I was the workhorse. I was seeing the money kind of pile up. And that was the money that I reinvested to go and Good Morning America. And then the money I made from Good Morning America, I reinvested started buying the sweatsuits and getting those manufactured. So I've been basically reinvested, saw your girl and gotten okay, I paid myself you notice, but I'm close. But like, it's hard, it's hard to get to that point where you really making that kind of money that you can really pull out for yourself and live a certain type of lifestyle. Because it's all a grind, and you want to be you want to be mindful of the future. And I would have things don't sell because yeah, Black Lives Matter. Everybody sales were crazy. But then now it's not there no more. So now we got to go back and kind of reinvent the wheel. And then when I went on the view, I had added more products that I let them promote on the view, but that it didn't do as well as it did when I went on GMA. So I had to take a big L on that because I had like 1000 Couple 1000 Fanny packs, I didn't sell all of them. And they were you know, they came out of manufacturers. So that was like a hit that I took and you know, things like that. So you just have to be ready for that. And it's all a gamble. But again, just reinvesting and you know, making sure you can pile it up. When you start getting it don't go out and spend it right away and just piling up so you'll be ready for that. Then I did Superman weekend, which was amazing. And I hope to do it again. Um, what was that? I did it last year last February. Okay. Is it like a conference? Yeah, so it was like a whole weekend. It was just not like mom's gone wild. It was so much fun.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 38:31
Okay, my calendar.
Trina Small 38:36
I'm trying to do it again. You know, I had a crazy year. So I'm, and we don't get it together and stuff like that. So I'm just in talks was fine. Take your time. Take your time. Yeah, that was a lot because it's like, my name is on it. One thing I'm not gonna do is half do something. And you know what, I think that's important, too. You don't want to put something out there. You want it done, right? Like you can do it scrappy, but just give it 100%. Like, you got to put forth the effort. You can't just be like, this shirt is crooked, like Superman like this. And I'm gonna just ship it out. No, my name is it is connected to me. So I'm not going to do that. So when I did Superman weekend, it was important for all the moms to have a certain level of experience, even if it was off my pack. So I'm, you know, flying people in, I'm getting this I want to make sure these goodie bags and stuff. Like when people didn't come in, they were like, Oh, I'm gonna continue this mini. I'm like, I'm gonna buy the rest because I want it to be a whole experience. I want everybody what you know what we're giving them, I don't want half the bag to have this and half. I'll just pay you for the rest of them. Like I was doing stuff like that, because I just wanted to be a full blown experience. And if they were like, oh, we need an extra, you know, person serving, so to go off right and things like that. So I just was like, I mean, I was bleeding money at this point. I wasn't out to care, no more just making good you know, because I want people spend a lot of money to get here a lot of money, you know, in the building, and I just want them to get the experience that they deserve.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 40:00
That's why I haven't done another live event yet because I'm like, I just want like, I'm like, no, no, I'm flying you and I'm paying for this. You're getting this and so it is a whole beast. But that's exciting. You know, we'll keep our eye out for the next one because that sounds really really good. If you don't know Trina, if you follow her on Instagram, you see that she's very fun like you want I want to be your friend. You know, I want to I want to go party with you.
Trina Small 40:28
But I'm alive like, you see, like,
Nicaila Matthews Okome 40:31
I remember you posted some story. I think you lost your phone in Uber. I'm like, now you will still be losing.
Trina Small 40:40
40 some years old losing my phone and Uber. And here I am doing one day.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 40:52
All right. All right. So before we get into the lightning round, I want to know how you handle the emotions and the mental peace of entrepreneurship. Of like you said, like having high seasons having low seasons. You know, like some people might be expecting, oh, you You did this and that you must be balling. Now you're living in a mansion, you're doing this, you do it that, like how do you deal with the reality of entrepreneurship staying in your lane, and the highs and the lows is hard.
Trina Small 41:23
But I think the biggest thing for me is just having that muster, see faith, like, you just have to have faith, I've done it before I can do it again. You know what I mean? It's experience, I know how to do it, I know how to ride a bike, so I can continue to ride a bike, I might have to practice a little bit. And so I kind of do it like that, because it is hard, you're all over the place you see it everybody else with success. I'm not a jealous person. And I like to celebrate other people. But you do me like sometimes, like there, I just need something to pop or hit again, you know what I mean? Because I got all this going on. You know, I'm a newly single mom. So I got a lot on my shoulders now like, Hey, I can't play no games anymore. Like, this is real life, like I gotta get to the bag, you know, but I just have to have faith that provided for me before he's gonna do it again. So I just really have strong faith and knowing that things are gonna work out. And that's kind of how I move. And then speaking of working out, working out really helped me a lot because it's like you work out, you're able to clear your mind. And you know, you feel strong, and you feel like you can really take on stuff. I don't know what it was. But I feel like working out in conjunction is busy I was I would go to the warehouse after the gym, like I was crazy. Like I got to work out and it got me in my mind, right, like, you know, let's fight like we got it like, and I would just keep on going my day. So that was a big thing that helped me out too.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 42:49
And one thing we didn't get to touch on as much. But I do want to just mention that you have had such a smart approach to marketing your business, like you said, you know, it comes from your years of experience as a marketer. But the thing you focused on first was building that audience. And I just want to remind everybody that it's a lot easier, such a complicated word because nothing is easy. But when you focus on building your audience and community first, it is more natural and organic when you start to introduce whatever you decide to sell. So can you talk a little bit about the audience building piece and your approach to that? Was it intentional? Did you never know that you would end up selling things?
Trina Small 43:29
It wasn't intentional, but me being a pro I'm a sociable person. So that's all I know how to do I know how to talk to people communicate, like I said, I'm gonna have a good time. I'm gonna bring you in. I want everybody around me to have a good time. You know what I mean? Because if I see somebody I'm there, you know, like I speak to people. That's just that's my personality. And I think I guess it translated with the blog so I was able to connect with you don't have followers on a different level like they felt like they knew me and community and then I think a lot of businesses what you can't be scared to talk to your customers get to talk to their customers. Ask them questions. What did you like if somebody is like, upset about sidelined on our system, like, now tell me so what what do you think I could do better next time and then they like, you know, they let it off. And then they feel seen? And even though they might have had one bad experience, they back because I took care of him. I listened to them. You know, I don't do that no more because there was some people down. Yeah, no,
Nicaila Matthews Okome 44:31
I like to say that sounds a little toxic.
Trina Small 44:35
Out of that, but when I was doing it, that's what I did. You know? You gotta listen to your people. They tell you everything that they want. Like people are like, you don't have any messages I'm getting about supermodel weekend. So I know they want it. And the biggest seed like I asked him for the feedback after supermind we get everybody else said please do this every year, twice a year if you can, you know, other day. People are in my DMs now like are you doing it? This year because you're telling me that they want it so I gotta get
Nicaila Matthews Okome 45:08
so listening to your audience and creating content you guys so before you know what it is you want to sell or create a business around in the future start with just sharing start with just creating content around what you like what you do because it will get you far I'm a testament of that train as a testament of that. So please, this is your sign to create content and 2023
Trina Small 45:31
Yes, I mean telling you I can't say I can't there's nothing life changing about me you know. I'm just a black girl from Chicago on the internet talking crazy. People and putting supermom on stuff like CSC we all do it we often
Nicaila Matthews Okome 45:55
so with that, let's officially get into the lightning round. So you know the deal already? You just answered the very first thing that comes to mind. All right, number one, what is a resource that has helped you in your business that you can share with the side hustle pro audience Canva number two who is a non celebrity black woman entrepreneur who you admire and why
Trina Small 46:16
girl so many you committed the name. Um, I know people that have went through trials so Chantelle or play pants I know she's been on here. And Tiffany from lash the hook. Those two have is incredible. Follow them.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 46:34
Amazing. Amazing. Number three, what's a non negotiable part of your day?
Trina Small 46:39
Working out I try to schedule around my workout. You know, I want to be cute
Nicaila Matthews Okome 46:50
before oh, what's a personal habit that has helped you significantly in your business?
Trina Small 46:55
I think running my mouth I think I'm finishing or focusing on one thing and getting it done.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 47:06
And then finally, number five, what is your parting advice for fellow woman entrepreneurs who want to do their own thing and be their own boss but are worried about losing their steady paycheck?
Trina Small 47:18
Just jump off the cliff you got to I know that sounds scary, but you got to be okay. Like that's where that faith comes in. Not don't do it. I mean, you went wide wild outside hustle, but do it just start stop. I can't stand when people like Oh, I gotta get this website. Like you were saying? I gotta do this. I gotta get an LLC and trademark. What am I trying my baby shopaholic. I'm done in a long time. Now we trademark and stuff the stuff that sticks you know what I mean? You'll know when it's time. So
Nicaila Matthews Okome 47:50
you'll know when it's time. Do it. That's your That's it. I'm not gonna add anything else to that. That's it. Trina, thank you so much for being in the guest chair. Where can people connect with you and supermom culture after this episode.
Trina Small 48:03
Okay, so you can follow us on Instagram at supermom, culture it's so fun over there. My personal blog is at Hey Trina small, and the website is supermom culture.com email@example.com.
Nicaila Matthews Okome 48:19
And I will link to all of those in the show notes. So there you have it. And with that, I'll talk to you next week. Hey guys, thanks for listening to side hustle Pro. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe rate and review on Apple podcasts. It helps other side hustlers just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at side hustle Pro. Plus sign up for my six bullet Saturday newsletter at side hustle Pro, that CO slash newsletter. When you sign up, you will receive weekly nuggets from me, including what I'm up to personal lessons and my business tip of the week. Again that side hustle pro.co/newsletter to sign up. Talk to you soon
Transcribed by https://otter.ai