Mom Boss Interview: Livvy Cunningham from Ruby Ribbon

Ladies and gentlemen: It is Wednesday and it's time for your weekly dose of #momboss inspiration! You know how we love setting big goals here at Side Hustle Mom and and today's interviewee is MAJOR goals! 

Last month, we introduced you to Anna Zornosa, the founder and CEO behind the amazing Ruby Ribbon, which offers women (and men!) the opportunity to own their own boutique without the traditional MLM format. After speaking with Anna, we wanted to keep the conversation going, which is why we reached out to Ruby Ribbon about speaking to one of their talented stylists, which is where the lovely Livvy Cunningham comes in!

Livvy is a super mom to FOUR kids (ages 1, 7, 12, 15), owns a boxing gym/fitness facility with her 2-time world champion boxer husband, and styles women in super comfortable and stylist Ruby Ribbon clothing. 

Here she is!

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Livvy, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself:

I am a wife to a great husband, coming up our 15th anniversary this Fall and mom to 4 awesome kids ages 15, 12, 7 and 1.  My husband and I own and operate a boxing gym/fitness facility and in short, life is beautifully crazy.  My days are busy, but they are also a lot of fun and very fulfilling.  Being that my life is so busy, I don't have time to hang out with girlfriends in "real life" so I really value the relationships I am able to build online and through social media.  I laugh a lot (mostly at myself) and I'm an entrepreneur to my core. 

What is your professional background? Have you always been in a sales-related field?

I have a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Boston University.  I have held corporate positions in administration, marketing and corporate sponsorship, as well as managed my husband's professional boxing career for the last 10 years.  Before entering the direct sales industry, I had never held an actual sales position. I'm not naturally a pushy person, so I never thought I would be any good at it – I thought you had to be like a car salesman to do well in sales.  But since entering the field—and after a lot of professional development and learning from mistakes along the way—to my surprise, I am good at it and I truly do enjoy it. This industry is so powerful for side-hustling mamas that want to build a business and make money on their own terms, especially when they learn the proper way to sell. 

How were you first introduced to Ruby Ribbon? With all of the different direct sales companies out there, what made this company/opportunity different?

I started as a party host because I saw a post on Facebook talking about a bra-replacing, tummy slimming cami and like every other woman that hates her bra, I was curious.  I ended up setting up a virtual party and it was a major hit. My friends went crazy for the camis, so much so that the entrepreneur in me couldn't resist the opportunity.  I started to research it and really fell in love with the company, its mission, messaging and products.  So I jumped in and haven't looked back.

Ruby Ribbon is very different than other opportunities out there for several reasons. The company offers a $79 solution to a million dollar problem.  We don't have to deal with bras, underwires and back fluff anymore! Ruby Ribbon’s products empower women, helping them look and feel their very best with comfort!!  I just truly believe that when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good... WATCH OUT WORLD!  Beyond that, this opportunity has no competition in the direct sales space, a corporate team with so much heart and lots of room for growth considering that we only have 2,700 Stylists today.  

How do you promote and market your business? 

The amazing thing about this opportunity is that I am able to work it on a super part-time basis and still make full-time income.  I personally promote and work my business online and fit it into the nooks and crannies of my life—15 minutes here, and hour there, while waiting in the car pick-up line for my kids after school, etc.  I primarily use Facebook to chat “cami life” with women that are ready to ditch their bras and I also run a private VIP Facebook group for my business with over 600 members.

What can our readers expect when signing on with Ruby Ribbon? (Ex: Compensation, community, etc.)

Ruby Ribbon Stylists have their very own business to run and build as big as they can dream.  But even more then that, they are joining a very tight knit and close family.  I have never seen a company with so much support and training, nor one that is so generous with incentives, free product credits, and perks!  I've mentioned this already, but this company has such heart that even stylists are offered maternity and bereavement programs!  Our CEO is in the field and truly involved in every level of the business and that is something very special.   

How many hours a week do you spend on your business and what do you typically do during this time? 

I work my Ruby Ribbon business 1-3 hours per day, but usually less on the weekends, unless it’s the end of the month.  I am a wife and mom first. I am very clear about that and in all honesty, our gym takes precedence as well.  When I am working my business, I am "planting seeds" online, connecting with women, posting in groups, interacting in my VIP group, answering questions, conducting virtual fittings and hosting Facebook Lives. I also have a growing team and spend time daily helping them, answering questions, conducting trainings and having fun with women that are building their dreams.

Finally (and most importantly): Do you have a specific Ruby Ribbon memory that stands out as your favorite? Why?

I would say trying on a cami for the first time is my favorite memory.  I had the biggest smile on my face and all I could think was “FREEDOM!!” All of the things I hated about my bra disappeared and I was comfortable and confident.  Our camis initially start with a small ripple of change in our life because we don’t wear a bra anymore.  But, that ripple grows into a major wave that becomes life changing.  When you are on hour 14 of your day and still going strong and you realize, "hey my back isn't hurting like it normally does by now" or you have received compliments all day about how you look (“something is different about you…have you lost weight?”). You have an extra pep in your step and you realize it all comes back to your cami.  For me, even better than that is getting messages from my customers with similar stories and hearing how our products are helping them.  It seriously makes my day.

Traditionally these types of products do not work well for women with larger cups sizes and they feel like they will always need the underwire.  I have a good friend that wears a 36 HH and her breasts weigh 5 pounds each!  She reluctantly tried a cami and the next day she sent me a video practically in tears when she realized that there was a life for her without an underwired bra and she was ecstatic. 

Ready to launch your own Ruby Ribbon boutique? Visit their website now to get started!

 

Mom Boss Interview: Olivia Reiman from SimplyOli

It's another Wednesday, which makes it a great time to introduce you to another amazing mamma who is kicking butt and taking names in both her family and business life! 

Meet Olivia: An amazing wife, mamma, and business-savvy woman who is using her platform to change the world! To give you a little glimpse of her story, here is a snippet from the bio on her website, SimplyOli:

When I was 13 my bipolar disorder reared its head hard, and my world got very dark, very fast. I lost love for my passions, love for myself, my family, and love for life in general. I abused myself mentally, physically, and tried to end my life more than once. I truly didn't think it would end especially after being diagnosed with mild schizophrenia. Attempts at therapy and various medications never seemed to provide a long term solution for me personally.

I'm sharing with you my story, which led me to who I am today. I'm sharing with you my jewelry, because it's become my therapy just as nature has. I'm sharing with you my lessons learned, not to help you avoid yours, but so you can see the value in harder times. And I'm sharing with you my daily life, my family, my world, so that you can see with your own two eyes that happiness doesn't look perfect - it looks however you need it to.

You can read much more of Olivia's story here (which I highly recommend you do!), but in the meantime, here is what she had to tell us about herself and SimplyOli:

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Olivia, your story is seriously incredible! Can you tell our readers a little bit about your life and what lead you to create SimplyOli?

Aww thank you! So yeah, I'm a wife to my super inspiring husband Jim, a mom to two beautiful little girls - Piper (4 years old) and Paige (1 year old), and a pet mom to 2 dogs, and 3 reptiles. Life as it is right now basically is a typical stay at home mom life - I take care of the kiddos, am exploring homeschooling, cook meals, and I keep the house as tidy as possible (which someday's isn't tidy at all haha). Of course in the mix of all of that I run my business full time from home. SimplyOli really started because I became a mom. When Piper turned 1 I realized I wasn't feeling fulfilled and I needed a creative outlet. I had always planned on working in the corporate world and never really thought I would become a stay at home mom. So my work ethic got a little restless, I started playing with some metal stamping, then discovered resin, treated it as a business right away and the rest is history.

What are the different facets of SimplyOli? Unlike most blogs/websites (like mine!), you do not just do one thing, but many! I know that for me, writing and creating is therapeutic... is it the same with you?

Oh, it is most definitely a form of therapy for me! My curiosity paired with my love to just create whatever interests me definitely lead me down an interesting road. So SimplyOli started as pop culture spoon key chains with a little bit of nature jewelry (which has completely flipped), but now I have life vlogs, self help blogs, and short form podcast to help shift women to a more positive perspective within themselves and life. Things kind of went from just jewelry, to more of my life, to sharing my story and helping others in as many ways as I can. Each thing I do speaks to the same message but in it's own way, which is something I didn't plan intentionally but really love.

You are so warm and honest on SimplyOli; what has the reception been? Have you received a lot of feedback from readers?

Everyone has been absolutely amazing and so incredibly kind! I appreciate so much when people take the time to share what something I've said or made has meant to them. It also means the world when they feel comfortable enough to share their own personal experiences and stories with me and we can connect and have a discussion on topics that I know can be a little harder to share.

What are your tips for moms out there looking to begin their own blog/website?

Where should they begin? My tips would be:
1. Start out with something you love or are interested in (I had no idea what I was doing with resin but I had an interest and ran with it).
2. Don't get overwhelmed with what platform to use, just find a place to start and focus more on connecting on a real level with people.
3. Don't wait for validation. Being a mom is just one title you hold and it doesn't define who you are or what you can do with your life.
4. Do what works for you. Especially as moms we might think that we have to hire a sitter in order to work, or that if we can't be productive in business and keep the house clean in the same day that we're not doing a good job. Some days are wife, kid, and house heavy for me, and other days I'm crushing my work to do list but the house is a mess. There's no one way to do it so be okay with being flexible.

Has SimplyOli opened any doors that you weren’t expecting (whether it be financial, new friends, etc.)?

Oh yes! I've met some of my closest friends through starting this. It's also allowed me to be a part of big events and projects that have a special place in my heart, and showed me that really I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to. Being able to help contribute financially is a bonus, but to be perfectly honest is something that can fluctuate and takes time to make more stable. But if you're only doing it for money then you're doing it wrong.

Tell us a little bit about podcasting: what inspired you to start one? What goes into making an episode?

I love listening to podcasts. I have a wireless bluetooth headset that I pop in my ear and no matter what I'm doing (work or kid related) I can listen and be inspired and educated by so many different people. I want to provide that to others and it ended up just not fitting well with my YouTube content. Everything I do has an essence of chaos and craziness to it and I love that the podcast removes all of that and is just me sharing what I've lived and what I know without any interruption and comes from a very peaceful place. The best part is that the podcast is the easiest piece of the SimplyOli pie! I write out an idea when it hits me (which typically becomes the title) and a one sentence description of the premise for the episode. Then at night when the kids are in bed I grab my inexpensive iPhone lavalier mic clipped to a small tripod, sit on the floor of my ridiculously messy closet and start chatting away. I do one listen through and edit out any long gaps where I had to think, then I convert it to an audio file and upload. Pretty simple!

Can you walk us through a day in your shoes? I’m sure there is never a dull moment with your two cute kiddos!

Oh never a dull moment! I just had to take a break from writing to let them use my body as a mini slide for a while haha! So our schedule is definitely not typical and is different every day, but works for us right now. We all wake up sometime around 10am-12pm, we have breakfast and spend time together. I look at my to do list for the day and see what I can do that doesn't need my full attention away from the kids or is a quicker task, and I basically squeeze in what I can while playing with them. Around 5 we go out for a walk and to the park. The girls unwind/nap when we get home and I'll squeeze in work that needs a little more attention. Then around 10-11pm we have dinner the girls go to bed an hour or two after that and I work on things like jewelry, writing, or podcasts that need more undivided attention. Around 2:30am I wrap up, make the next days to do list, and go to sleep around 3 - 3:30. Wherever I can I squeeze in meditation, yoga, reading, listening to podcasts throughout the day. It's all about finding balance with family, work, and self in each day.

Can you give us a little glimpse of what’s to come for your site? I think I saw something about courses coming soon...

Yes! I have plans to offer a resin course to help others avoid all of the trial and error I went through when first working with resin so that they can just enjoy it as a creative outlet as I do now! I also plan on offering a course to help shift women towards a more positive perspective in themselves and in life. I have another big project on the horizon that I haven't announced just yet so keep an eye out for that in the coming months. I'm just so excited to offer more things apart from jewelry that are geared towards helping others.

So amazing, right? To get in touch with Olivia, visit her website, Facebook, and Instagram.