I have decided to take International Women’s Day a step further and celebrate the amazing women who have come in and out of my life all month. These talented and driven ladies have all given me encouragement as I reach for my goals, and I want to honor them and hopefully through their stories touch other women and girls who are trying to follow their own dreams. I present today’s Women of Inspiration featuring Betsy Spaulding of Hank and June.
I am excited to feature a local Montana gal and friend. I think that too often we see women doing amazing things on a grand scale and, while it is inspiring, it can feel unobtainable. I want women and girls to understand that no matter what size your dream is, it is perfect. You don’t have to change the world by the thousands. You can do it one person at a time. Or in this case, one towel at a time.
Please describe who you are and what you do.
I am a single Mama to two kids, Cash and Clara. I mainly run on coffee until it is acceptable to drink wine. I find the best time to crack a bottle is around 3:30 when the cherubs come home from school. (caffeine and wine are often what’s gets me through as well!). I own a small “etsy” type business, Hank&June. Named after previously mentioned cherubs middle names.
When did you decide to pursue your dream? Was there a specific moment or event?
My biz actually started by accident! Weird how that often happens!! I got the idea to sew the shape of Montana on flour sack towels as gifts. I was a stay at home mom at the time and it was something that was cheap and easy for me to do. After sewing and giving away a few, my friends started wanting some to give to their friends and family. With the help of social media, I was able to get my name out there and Hank&June was born! I took a leap that summer and bought a space at Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning. It was scary putting myself out there and not knowing what kind of reaction the public would give. Every Saturday, I would pack up the towels I sewed during naptime and after I tucked kids in at night that week along with some “display” items (mainly things I pulled off my walls!) and sell my goods. People loved them. I couldn’t sew fast enough which was a great problem to have.
Everything bloomed from their. I started cold calling and dropping off samples at various stores in town. I was stoked when stores wanted them! The following year I took another leap and applied for Sweet Pea. I had heard that it had proven difficult for local artists to be invited in. All I had to lose was my entry fee to be taken in to consideration, so I did it. I snapped a few pictures of the towels and sent in my money and hoped for the best. To my surprise, I was accepted! I went on to do the festival 2 years in a row and gained quite a bit of exposure. I recently reached out to Herbergers and was asked to sell my towels in their 6 Montana retail stores. I just participated in a Shark Tank style vendor show for Yellowstone General Stores and was accepted. My towels will be going home with tourists from all over the world next summer!
What has been the scariest or most difficult part of your journey, and what did you/are you doing to overcome?
Scariest moment is putting myself out there. Taking the leap to be “judged” by others. Balls to the wall so to speak. I have been turned down before and it’s not the end of the world. Just move on!
What is the best part about what you are doing?
Best part of what I am doing is the pride I feel. Something that I pour my heart into is appreciated and well received. Since I started the Hank&June journey, I have become a single mom. Having this business to fall back on has been super awesome. I have been able to pay for preschool for the last 2 yrs with TOWELS. Crazy!!
If you could tell all the young women out there questioning themselves one thing, what would it be?
Take the leap!! You won’t ever know what you are capable of unless you TRY. The reward is so worth the fear.
I’m writing because you obviously inspire me, who has inspired you?
I follow so many small business owners on social media, too many to list! Do you know Sara Blakely? She started SPANX. She started selling to friends and blew up! She is a millionaire from putting herself out there. DO IT. Balls to the wall ladies!!
Betsy, I can’t wait to see where this is going to go. Thank you for proving that even single mamas can kick some ass.
Want a towel of your own (the answer is yes, they are the softest cutest things you will have in your kitchen)?
Contact Betsy on her Facebook site HERE.
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