Welcome back to the MomBoss series! It has been a pleasure to share some fantastic mom entrepreneurs with you and the event that has brought them all together here in Tampa. The MomBoss event is an event organized by the owner of Reruns 4 Little Ones (a MomBoss herself) that showcases other moms in business with weekly pop up opportunities at the Reruns store. This event started at the beginning of the summer and continues through fall. (This is an annual event). A wide assortment of businesses have already been showcased and today I have the pleasure of talking to next wonderful mom who will be making her appearance in this event.
Casey Smith is mom of 2 children (soon to be 3 in a few months), a wife, and businesswoman. She created her business Wild Liberty Design Co. literally in her own backyard. Casey strikes me as so many things all at once-driven, friendly, goal oriented, community minded, devoted wife and loving mom. She also strikes me as fun-the kind of mom you’d want to have a play date with so you could chat with her nonstop! I’m drawn to many of her designs for the fun, playful element they have. Who loves a graphic tee? GUILTY here! I’m obsessed with a couple of the tee shirt designs in particular but also the hats, wine bags and graphic baby onesies to name a few others.
Please join me now as I talk to Casey about her business, her family and what being a MomBoss means to her:
Tell me about yourself and your business:
“I turned 38 last month, and from the age of 15 to 36 I worked for someone else, specifically in the Pharmacy Industry. I have always loved people and really excelled with Account Management and management of teams. My oldest child, Gage just celebrated his 14th birthday. He has seen me go from heels and pearls and business trips to converting a building on our property into a print shop, setting up at pop up markets and hustling on the street (literally). My daughter, Julia is 5 and gets really excited when she sees someone wearing “one of her moms shirts”. My husband Allan and I are expecting another baby girl later this year! Allan and I met at work over 11 years ago. He has been so supportive of my career change and still sports his original Wild Liberty T-shirt with pride. We are all excited to become a party of 5 before the end of the year.
Outside of family and work– when we moved back to Florida a few years ago I learned how much I love to paddleboard. If I could pick anywhere to spend the day with my family, it would be the beach.”
Is this your only business/career?
“I left my professional career mid-year in 2017 (after 20+ years!). Wild Liberty Design Co. is now my full-time business. I started Wild Liberty in January 2017 as a side hustle, it became my full-time hustle by June 2017. My 5 year-old daughter just started Kindergarten and spent the summer at home with me. I also have a 14-year-old that just started High School this year. I am 6 months pregnant with our 3rd child, another girl!”
Tell me a little about your business:
“Wild Liberty is a small print shop located in Tarpon Springs, Florida. I started out attending local markets between Tarpon to Tampa. I really wanted to network and build a business in an area I hadn’t lived in-in over 10 years. Wild Liberty has a line of items that speak to me and I also take in custom orders. The backbone of the business is quickly becoming the printing I do for other small businesses that need to brand themselves without the worry of carrying inventory or managing minimum quantities with larger companies.”
Why is this the right business for you?
“I didn’t spend too much time thinking about it, I wanted to start a different business initially, but it carried much more financial risk. When I thought of this, it seemed much easier to get going and would provide me with experience as an entrepreneur before I started something bigger.
I don’t necessarily know that it is long-term. My goal was to break out of my 20 year healthcare technology career and build something on my own to learn what it would really take. Wild Liberty let me do that and without much of a large financial risk. Right now-it is right. I have the flexibility to “Mom” more than I ever have and I also am being challenged in so many more ways. Ways that I never was before in a “real career”. I also love getting to network and meet other local, small business owners. Having worked for other people my whole life, I was never exposed to the sheer number of people out there every day making their own work- it really is amazing to see and be a part of.”
What type of MomBoss would you say you are?
“As far as what type of boss Mom I am…? Probably the same as the type of employee I was-I work hard. I want to succeed. I learn when I can, however I can and apply it. I admit when I do something wrong and need to change (like not going on Etsy from day 1), and I like to be in control-hence why I wanted to start my own business!”
Do you have any advice for a fellow mom getting started in a new business?
“Follow your heart, it led you here, if you listen- it will continue to lead you the correct way.
Meet other moms like you and talk and listen and talk and listen.
Sit through the free webinars that are all over social media, some are a waste but there are golden nuggets within them to be found.
Remember why you started it, more time with your kids? Then take the weekend to play and do not feel bad about it!
If something isn’t working, do not keep your heels dug in.
Listen to your customers and go where the sales/profit are.”
What challenges have you faced in your business?
“Learning how to do each and every component of running a business myself. I have learned that when I get stuck on something, I reach out to an expert for help. It is worth the money to learn and be able to move on more efficiently.”
What are some benefits of what you do?
“My work life fits into my REAL life and not the other way around anymore. I love being a mom, next to being a wife, it is my most favorite role. I now have more time to be the kind of mom I want to be. I take the kids to school and pick them up, I make dinner (most) every night. If an activity comes up, I get to participate.
I get to meet new folks every single day and have real conversations. My print shop is in my backyard, so it is common for folks to come check out inventory. We sit and chat about stuff that is important, in the community and in our lives. I always say the t-shirts are just the tool to have these conversations and build these relationships. Without Wild Liberty I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet some incredible women (and men)!”
What are your goals as you continue?
“1. To continue to build my Etsy shop-I would like this to be the main sales producer of my business.
2. While I know it may be a while until I replace my full professional salary, I look forward to closing out this year and comparing my Y2 sales, I would like to see them double in Y3.
3. To raise our new daughter next year without any outside help, while continuing to run Wild Liberty.”
Best memory of a successful moment doing what you do:
“Every time I can (easily) do what I need to do for my family, that’s a win. My family has always been important to me, but my new career allows me to take the kids wherever I need to take the kids in the middle of any day, without missing any meetings.
When I see someone post a picture of a Wild Liberty product, that’s also a win.
When I get a positive review on social media, that’s a win.
When I get a referral, that’s a win.
When a new customer comes back for the second time, that’s a win.
I no longer wait for a performance review or raise to note a successful moment or win- I celebrate each and every small win as they come.”
I love Casey’s last comment about celebrating each and every small win as it happens. There are small victories in each day to pat ourselves on the back for! I hope you ladies out there take a moment today to celebrate one of your wins! You got that laundry done, you finished that big order for a client..you successfully showered and ate something (some days doing both is a huge victory for a busy mama).
I want to say a big thank to Casey for talking to me today! If you’d like to see more of Casey’s work she will be at Reruns 4 Little Ones on September 21st. You can also find her on her website https://www.wildlibertydesigns.com/, her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wildlibertydesigns/ or on Instagram @wildlibertydesigns.
I’ll see you all back here next week for the next amazing woman in this series. Be sure to keep tuning in for the Step into September series this month as well. I’ll be sharing ideas all month long for stepping into this month on the right foot! x Janet