How this wellness entrepreneur accidentally started her own biz

When Kristen first sat down at her dining room table to string a lava rock bracelet, she had no idea that she was actually starting a wildly successful business. One that would allow her to leave her 9-5 to spend more time with her kids. Kristen chats with us about her business journey, the biggest challenges she faced in getting started, and why she makes collaborating with other female biz owners her number one priority.


1. How did you get started in your industry? What led to your passion for your career?


I had just had my first child and was returning to my 9-5 office job and I needed a way to diffuse essential oils in my office. We all sat in one big room and cranking a diffuser all day wouldn't have worked so I made a lava rock bracelet, dropped some oils on it and it worked great. I didn’t really consider making anything a “business” but I was having fun making them for myself and some friends and family and just decided on a whim to create an Etsy store. It was a fun little hobby for a few years but when I was pregnant with my second child I realized I was making just a much money with my little Etsy store as I was at my 9-5 and working for myself would allow me more time with my kids, and more flexibility so I took the leap and started working on HHC full time!


2. What were some of the bigger challenges you experienced in getting started?


Oh goodness - I feel like everything about being a business owner is a big challenge. For me it is the administrative, legal stuff (like sales tax, business filings, etc…) that I always struggle with. Once I found a team of professionals that could help and guide me along the road it became a lot easier. The other constant big challenge - when I first started until today - is time management. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes and even though I have some amazing talent helping out it's hard to get it all done and turn some of the visions into reality, all while taking care of a family and doing the whole mom thing. Getting into a good routine and finding that work/life balance is hard and something that I think I’ll always have to work extra hard at.


3. How has your life changed now that you’re pursuing your passion and living your dream?


I can’t even begin to describe how it has changed! The freedom to work from anywhere on my own schedule has been a game changer. Additionally, getting to work with so many amazing customers has given me so much life changing perspective on life, family and work. It has truly enriched my life and made me a better human.


4. What’s your favorite part about owning your own business/your career?


I think my favorite part is the freedom and the ability to do what I want to do on my own schedule. I also like that the business is a creative one so having that outlet to create and design and make pretty things just makes it fun!


5. What does supporting women-owned businesses look like to you?


To me, it means collaboration. We love to partner with other female owned businesses to bring new and exciting things into the store. If we’re scrolling through social media and find a shop with products I know my customers will love, I immediately message them to find out how we can work together.


6. How has your brand/packaging/website changed or improved your business?


I feel like our rebrand was the final piece of the puzzle! It really brought everything together - the print, packaging, website. For so long it was just a hodgepodge of random fonts and colors but having it all cohesive, creates instant brand recognition with customers and also takes a fraction of the time to come up with new website banners, social media posts, etc…


You can follow Kristen on Instagram at @harpershandmadeco. Check out her website here.


Know of someone we should interview for our MoneyMak(her) series? Send us an email here.



hey, I'm meredith

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