Today MudLOVE co-owner and boss mama Whitney joins us for a special edition of MudFOLK
Whitney has always been part of the MudLOVE team, but this year she's taking a role front and center in the shop. Read on to learn some of the ins and outs of owning and running a business!
How long have you been part of MudLOVE's story?
I met Luke in 2011, about two years after he founded MudLOVE. Around that time, Luke was working, throwing pots and making bracelets in his garage shop. Then after getting off work and grabbing a quick dinner, he would package online orders in his house. When we were dating, I remember he had a goal of packaging 17 orders a night. I didn't officially join the MudLOVE team until we were married in the summer of 2013 and I became a co-owner. My original role at MudLOVE was organizing all the financials, bookkeeping and I took on human resource responsibilities. After taking some time off for family, I re-joined the team, managing our brick & mortar shop, Belove. Currently, I am leading the team as a CO-CEO alongside Luke with a focus on relationship building and sales for MudLOVE.
We're so excited to work with you! What do you wish we knew about your job?
Leadership is humbling & an incredible honor, but it is also a burden. While it's one worth carrying, it can be very difficult. Luke and I don't take our responsibilities lightly and the ups and downs of business can weigh heavily on us, our marriage, and family. We are continually working to maintain the equilibrium in all these areas. It can feel lonely at times, too. But, we are the luckiest to have some wonderful friends that are entrepreneur-ing and leading in our community alongside us, so we are often carving out time to connect with them.
#selfcare, amiright? If you could describe your MudLOVE superpower, what would it be?
I would say that my superpower is connecting. I am continually engaged and tracking with other like-minded entrepreneurs, brands & organizations. I thrive on learning about them, their mission, stories, what makes them tick, then coming up with creative ideas to partner with them, as well as our customers. And finally, connecting the dots with our sales & marketing team to make it come to fruition. It's all about connection and I love the challenge of making things happen, not just for a sale, but to create meaningful opportunities for everyone!
What that *one* thing you're really into right now?
My little one, the caboose in our family, Golden Holden. He can do no wrong. He wasn't really in our plan but clearly in God's! Our party of 6 is much healthier and more joyful than our party of 5, partly because of him. And being a mama to a baby at 40 has been a refreshment. I'm so thankful for the experience of being more seasoned and confident during this time. And humbled that I am still able to stay at home for one-on-one time with him; it has been a gift.
Honestly, too cute! What's your favorite MudLOVE product?
The classic bracelet... because it's just that. Classic. It never goes out of style, always looks good with my arm party of other metal bangles and my favorite rose gold watch (Daniel Wellington, in case you're interested). It's amazing to me that a classic bracelet can feel new just by changing a word and an elastic color. And I always need reminders in life that can come from the words that I choose for my bracelets. My first MudLOVE bracelet said "grace". I started wearing it the day that I removed my wedding ring from my first marriage. I wore it for a year without taking it off once. It carried me through some very dark days, always reminding me of God's grace & mercy that was covering my life.
Where else can we find your work?
I am an entrepreneur at heart. I had a dream to start my own business since I was in high school and in an effort to stay at home with my littles, I started a jewelry business 13 years ago, called Bel Kai. It has changed & morphed so much over the years. Now I design jewelry for a wholesale collection that is available on Faire and also for our brick & mortar shop. You can read more about its beginnings and see some of my work on our website, www.belkai.com.