Oct
22

Boss Talk with Mimi Tsang of hello shiso

Posted in Boss Talk

Boss Talk is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’S site where we get personal and professional with the people behind the beautiful brands we carry.

Boss Talk with Mimi Tsang of hello shiso (pictured with her children, Otis and Bee)

BOSS: Mimi Tsang
BRAND: hello shiso
YEAR FOUNDED: 2011
BASED IN: Berkeley, CA
WHAT WE CARRY: her adorable and stylish hair clips designed for all personalities and seasons

Inspiration comes when I am being consistently creative, and not letting myself get too focused just on the everyday business matters. I’ve found that my creativity is a muscle and it needs constant exercise or else it gets flabby.

The most exciting part of this job is when an idea that I’ve been working and working on finally comes together.

The most challenging part of this job is promoting myself and my business. It is so hard and makes me sweat each and every time, though it’s such an important part of my business.

A goal we hope to accomplish in the near future is move out of my beloved backyard studio and into a larger studio space. The dream would be to be closer to a community of makers and businesspeople.

A great compliment our line has received was every time I see an order come through and I can remember hand-writing that customer’s address in the earliest days of my business. I have several of these customers, and I feel happy and grateful each time I see their name.

Before launching hello shiso, I was teaching in museums.

The last great book I read was A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

The music I listen to when I have to knock out work is the only music being played in my house right now, which is the Hamilton soundtrack!

After work, I most enjoy eating a leisurely home-cooked dinner (with wine!) with my family and friends.

Best parenting advice I’ve received so far is “Pick your battles.” I’ll let you know how it works if I can ever make it happen consistently!

My job would probably go smoother if I delegated work more.

On a rough day, I tell myself “Take a break, and come back to it later, when I feel refreshed.”

I’d like to give a shout out to Baby Jives because the founder Jahje has been really smart about how she uses social media and has built a really great community of customers and makers. She’s so inclusive, and I wish I were able to do more of what she does.

My philosophy of business growth, in a nutshell, is be conservative and make choices that feel true to yourself, though I wish I were more of a risk taker!

The most difficult part about getting this line started was figuring out production that had the quality I was looking for, using business practices that I felt good about.

My advice to anyone looking to start a business is find a way to consistently be positive. It’s so easy to get discouraged by NOs, unanswered emails or the perceived success of other businesses, and you have to just try to stay on track and keep working at it. Success never happens overnight, just keep working away!

Jul
08

Boss Talk with Ilana Scheinker of The Little Biting Tree

Posted in Boss Talk

Boss Talk is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’S site where we get personal and professional with the people behind the beautiful brands we carry.

Ilana Scheinker, owner of The Little Biting Tree | teething necklacesBOSS: Ilana Scheinker
BRAND:
The Little Biting Tree
YEAR FOUNDED:
2015

BASED IN: Phoenix, AZ
WHAT WE CARRY: All natural, stylish teething and nursing necklaces

Inspiration comes when I notice trends with color combinations and jewelry styles. I’m always on the lookout for different kinds of wood and reading about various woods’ and seeds’ medicinal properties and holistic uses.

The most exciting part of this job is hearing from mamas who have fallen in love with our teething necklaces. They share the most beautiful photos of their littles gnawing on their necklaces!

The most challenging part of this job is finding a balance between being a full time mama, a wife, and a momtrepreneur.

A goal we hope to accomplish in the near future is bringing our necklaces to more small shops. Our goal has always remained the same: to provide mamas with a natural teething alternative.

A great compliment our line has received was one of my Little Biting Tree mamas recently told me that our necklaces are “magical.”

The music I listen to when I have to knock out work: I usually work during nap time and I revel in its silence.

A book/movie/tv show I really enjoy: That’s a toss up between “Game of Thrones” and “Orange Is The New Black.”

After work, I most enjoy post nap cuddles with my little one. It’s the best reward!

My favorite vacation was when my family went to Santa Barbara for a few days around Christmas last year and it was just the best. My son had just started walking and his world had become that much more exciting. He loved exploring and interacting and we loved watching his fascination.

Best parenting advice I’ve received so far: Oh, my mama tribe’s mantra of “This too shall pass!” has been a life saver!

An exciting trend in the baby/toddler clothing and/or accessories market I’ve noticed is a major shift towards natural and organic alternatives.

I’d like to give a shout out to Living On The Veg Tees, another small mama business that is unique, creative, and vegetable inspired.

My job would probably go smoother if there were two of me and if I got a full nights sleep.

On a rough day, I tell myself tomorrow is a new day and it will be bright.

My philosophy of business growth, in a nutshell: Growth is important to evolve and continue moving forward. To focus on positive growth that keeps with your mission and enhances your business. Grow within your limits to ensure quality work.

The most difficult part about getting this line started was Knowing where to start. My background is in education, not business, so figuring out how to begin took a lot of research. Everything has been a learning experience. 

My advice to anyone who is considering starting a business: Prepare to give it your all. Even on your busiest day, your business is essential and you will find time for it. Have a passion for your business and believe in yourself, even on tough days when you feel like quitting. Set short and long term goals—ask yourself what you hope to achieve this month, this year, even just on this day.