Today’s episode has Taylor fangirling JUST a little bit over Tiny Tags founder, Melissa Clayton! Taylor is a HUGE fan of the brand and loved hearing from Melissa about thriving as a woman in business. Together, they discuss what ‘thriving’ actually means, some of the BEST advice Melissa has for young women entrepreneurs, and what it looks like to raise babies while building a multi-million dollar business. Find Tiny Tags HERE: https://tinytags.com.
Thriving As A Women Entrepreneur with Melissa Clayton, founder of Tiny Tags
Melissa Clayton is CEO and founder of Tiny Tags, an online jewelry store that designs and creates fine, personalized jewelry for mothers. Clayton is a former CPA who is passionate about entrepreneurship and sharing the lessons she has learned along the way with other women. A semi finalist in Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 New England Regional Award and a sought out speaker on entrepreneurship Clayton has been featured on NBC Today Show, NBC Boston and NY Pix 11. She has been interviewed by Entrepreneur magazine, Inc magazine and many more. Clayton earned a BA in philosophy from University of Massachusetts, an MS in accounting, and MBA from Northeastern. Melissa has three boys, 17, 15, and 14 and lives in Acton, MA with her husband, Mike.
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- What does hustle like a mother mean to you?
- My first instinct was “doing everything,” but with a little bit of guilt. [But really], for me, it has been taking my time and I’ve been hustling. I literally am always thinking about work.
- I like to think that we can have a little bit of that [balance between family and work] as women, but that’s allowed that we can have two things. We can have, you know, a business and a family and they don’t have to compete with each other all the time.
- Tell me more about Tiny Tags and how this started and what your vision was when it began.
- Tiny Tags is personalized jewelry and it’s one of those things that is such a heart gift when you’re giving people something like this, it’s your children’s names or your spouse’s name, or, you know, those things that really mean something to you.
- [Building the business of Tiny Tags] has been a really long journey. I started this business 15 years ago with the first necklace I made when my kids were little. I was sort of that, you know, new mom, just super excited to be a mom and wanting something with my son’s name on it. And I decided, I was like, oh, I’m gonna make my own. I had seen some hand stamp jewelry. So I went online and I found a kit and I started to teach myself. And then I gave up. Fast forward to eight months later, I took a plane ride and I sat next to this woman… who ended up being a jewelry designer. I told her about my struggle with making the letters black and she gave me her business card and set me up with everything I needed to keep making my jewelry.
- One of the topics of this episode that I really wanted to touch on is what it means to thrive as an entrepreneur. Can you tell me a little bit about what that has looked like for you and what thriving actually means for you?
- I think I would say time, right? My husband and I really value our time. And for me, thriving is being able to have my business and know that I can go to every lacrosse game, I can go to a four o’clock basketball game and I don’t have to answer to anyone. For me being able to have the business, but also having time. And for me, that is when I feel like I’m thriving.
- What is some of the best advice that you’ve received from women who have been your mentors or people you’ve looked up to as you’ve built your business? What advice would you give our listeners who are in the beginning stages of this as they’re starting to build their businesses?
- You know, it really evolved. And so much of the evolution of it has been a journey, whether it has been how I have been impacted from the stories I have heard from our moms and our community, you know, from moms in waiting, to moms that are trying to adopt. All of those stories changed me and impacted where the business is today.
- What I would say to anyone starting out is [to take] the time to understand your why.
- I realized that part of the storytelling and what we do at Tiny Tags is a way for mothers to own their journey, see themselves in someone else’s story, and love their own story. This whole second chapter of Tiny Tags is really allowing myself to be vulnerable and share those stories because I know that’s gonna help another [mom].
- So I feel like for me, my advice to any young entrepreneur is to take the time to know your “why,” because if it’s money, that’s usually not a why. And you’re gonna tap into so much more when you really take the time and reflect on what that “why” is.
- Is there anything else you’d like to leave our listeners with before we wrap up?
- Just that, I mean, I feel like I’m very passionate about talking with other women entrepreneurs. I love chatting, love sharing my war stories and things that I’ve done wrong and things that I’ve done right. I’m an open book. And that there’s a lot of joy in the slow growth.
- Can you let us know where we can find Tiny Tags on the internet so that everybody can go check it out?