When I started Mod Mom in our garage back in 2007, I had no idea what I was doing. I merely had a gut feeling, some wood, and a drive to make up the salary I lost when I chose to stay home with our kids after Grace was born.
And then Scott was laid off. Ah, good ole 2008. So many of us went through it.
Mod Mom became a necessity for us. Most entrepreneurs I know can relate to this. Every toy box and play table I built and sold ensured we could pay our household bills.
My initial vision wasn't to expand internationally, it was to sell toy boxes locally and continue to be able to be home with the kids like I couldn't when Noah was little. So many families struggle with this and for me, entrepreneurship was the answer.
The icing on the cake was when Mod Mom grew nationally and then internationally in a very organic way. I'm forever grateful for all of you out there who have supported Mod Mom in one way or another. I wouldn't be where I am without you.
Now, I even consult with entrepreneurs helping them scale their businesses and/or get their products manufactured or licensed. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I did not get here alone; a whole host of folks helped me along the way and I love being able to share what I've learned over the past twelve years.
To all of you out there who risked it all—ridicule by naysayers, stability, hours and hours of your life, crying in your pillow (er, sawdust), the hard AF choices you have to make, and all the rest that comes with entrepreneurship, I have the utmost respect for you.
You are the risk takers. The brave souls who continually push through fear. You inspire me and I hope that in some small way, sharing my journey has helped you.
Happy National Entrepreneurs Day to all of you!
It doesn't feel that long ago that our kiddos sat with me in the garage workshop making sawdust cakes and talking about their day at school while I polyurethaned a toy box.
Cliche, I know, but I really do wonder where the time went.
Now, our kids aren't kids anymore. Noah is 21 and Grace is 17—a far cry from the ages they were in my SHARK TANK episode.
I always hoped that seeing their mom in the garage working hard towards something that others said was ridiculous would help silently encourage them to trust their gut, work hard for what they want and for who they want to be, and ignore all of the haters along the way.
Now, I'm not saying I had anything to do with their general awesomeness but maybe, just maybe, they did take something from the journey both Scott and I have been on since they came into life and stole our hearts. Oh, and maybe all that sawdust (and going against the grain) that filled their childhoods really did make a tiny impact.
Noah is now doing the bravest thing I've seen anyone do—he's changing genders. We are so proud of him (he's not changed pronouns yet) for having the courage to fight for what he knows is right for him. There's nothing more important than feeling comfortable in your own skin and he's finally on his way. Also, Noah is continuing to pursue his love of illustration and he's wowing us with his creativity. I've said many times throughout my life that I believe both Noah and Grace are here to teach us more than we are teaching them. Our old soul first-born is a shining example of what an incredibly fearless leader looks like who is shining so much light on the world without even knowing it. Noah's just being Noah but I know he's encouraging all of us to be more compassionate and to love ourselves and each other with our whole heart. noahhathcock.com
Grace—our caring, strong, talented, heart-centered spitfire—is bravely stepping out in major ways with her music. She's been singing and writing songs since she was little, not to mention she taught herself piano and guitar. We're blown away by her heart and creativity—she brings audiences to tears when she sings. Her capacity to feel and to help others move through their pain is unmeasured and it's certainly one of her gifts in this life. Recently, she opened up for music industry giant, Andy Grammer, at Northern Arizona University and received roaring applause for being exactly who she is on-stage and off-stage. She looked as cool as a cucumber up there while her Dad and I were practically hyperventilating. I love her courage and faith in herself as as musician to follow her own path and stick to her guns about what she knows is right for her. gracenoelle.com (She's currently in the recording studio recording 5 original songs-- they'll be released in 2020)
To say I'm a proud mama is an understatement.
I'm inspired by them daily and so grateful for the time I got to spend with them when they were little—even if it meant we were all covered in sawdust.
When I started Mod Mom Furniture in 2007, I had zero carpentry or design experience and I didn't have funding. I had a gut feeling that what I was embarking on would work. The first few toy boxes I built were horrible but I got better over time. I built everything by hand for three years in our 400 square foot garage, designed my logo using PowerPoint, built a not-so-easy-to-load website in Microsoft Publisher, handled all sales, marketing, invoicing, and shipping (aka, loading up a toy box in my minivan with a toddler in tow and dropping it at UPS.)
I couldn't be more grateful for those early days in the garage. And for the many naysayers. At every turn, I was forced to check my gut and go against what everyone else was saying I should do. I got better at doing this over time. I got better at trusting myself.
Entrepreneurship is so much about risk taking and believing in yourself—far more than it is about being an expert in your field. I wasn't an expert in any of what I was doing but I believed in myself.
Today, I'm back in the garage exploring collaboration ideas/designs with Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Talk about surreal!
Moral of the story: Trust your gut even when others say it won't work.
I had the honor and pleasure of being part of a brand new docuseries about entrepreneurship called TRUEFUTURE.
And the icing on the cake was Flagstaff (and so many amazing local entrepreneurs) were profiled in Season 1! We even had a docuseries premiere at The Orpheum Theater in downtown Flagstaff.
I'm super grateful for Dan Kasprzyk of Poba Medical for encouraging the production team led by Joe Mullings to include my story in their series. It was truly a wonderful experience!
Above is the episode I was featured in.
Below are a few photos from the premiere...
Look for TRUEFUTURE on Truefuture.tv as well as your TV in the near future.
P.S. Our daughter Grace played the cocktail hour, too! We are so proud of that girl of ours. You can find more about her music here: gracenoelle.com.
(Click the video above to watch 2018's 1st Annual Hathcock Christmas Variety Show - 30 minutes long)
Singing has always been a huge part of Scott's life and he's always wanted to host a variety show. His musical idols growing up were Dean Martin and The Rat Pack. Scott's parents (Larry and Judy Hathcock) are very talented musicians and singers so naturally we thought why not put on a Christmas variety show reminiscent of the Dean Martin Christmas Show from the 1960s.
We went live on Facebook Christmas night 2018 (split into two videos but merged into one above). We had a blast hamming it up and loved the fact that Gracie (our daughter) and Scott's mom, Judy, and our awesome neighborhood audience played along with us during the LIVE portion! I make an appearance in a silly White Christmas duet with Grace but mainly I was cameraman when I wasn't on stage. And I built the stage out of plywood and 2 x 4s and ordered a lovely winter scene photo backdrop from Amazon. (It was that easy -- anyone can do it!)
We've left the stage up without the backdrop and Christmas decorations in the living room so we can sing and play all year round.
Thanks to all of our friends and family for joining us on Christmas night! We love you all! <3
I'm honored and grateful to have had the chance to present a Ted Talk in Sedona last weekend.
The full video will be available in the next couple of months but I wanted to share the beginning of a very emotional "talk" I gave last Saturday. I'm beyond grateful for my family and friends who have supported me through some of the darkest times in my life.
Here I am speaking on the TEDx Sedona stage about narcissistic/emotional/verbal abuse I endured from 2014-2017 and the tools I used to help rebuild my life and heal deep wounds that kept me locked in the cycle of abuse. Hopefully, the video will be uploaded to TED within two months! Super grateful for the opportunity to tell my story in hopes it will help others know they aren’t alone. We have a silent epidemic on our hands.
Here's a sneak peak of the beginning of the talk...
It's hard to believe it's been eight years since Shark Tank aired my pitch. I can say without a doubt that A LOT has happened since my time in the tank.
I wrote about the initial "after the tank" back in 2011 and then again in 2014. And I speak about it as I travel the country talking about my entreprenuerial journey and lessons I've learned about trusting my own intuition and never giving up. I'm forever grateful for my time in the Tank so I thought I'd give you the nutshell version "where are they now—Mod Mom.”
If you're an entrepreneur, I have a sneaking suspicion you'll relate to my timeline below.... (Read more below by clicking READ MORE.)
I have the best partners on the planet! And they just relaunched The Gracie Toy Box today! Click the photo above to purchase, or check out the blog post about the relaunch....
You don’t have to be around the home furnishings industry long to realize that integrity is, well, not a must-have when it comes to design. Or management. Or marketing.
You will see copies of furniture designs everywhere. It’s how it’s been for years and designers are constantly fighting back. And in some cases, they know the fight is long and hard so they just don’t fight at all. I've fought back when companies in the US and Canada starting producing exact copies of my copywritten designs. It's pretty mindblowing that it happens as much as it does. (Read more below by clicking READ MORE.)
Happy Easter! Happy Passover! And Happy April Fools' Day!
I'm sitting here eating a pink peep, drinking a little coffee before the rest of the house wakes up, and it dawned on me: it's April 1st.
Somehow, this day has become a "day" for me in my life.
On April 1, 2011, Shark Tank aired my segment for the first time. What a night! We had so much fun watching the show with our friends. I was one part nervous (to see how they would edit my time in the Tank) and a million parts excited beyond belief. And I have to say, I was proud of myself for going for it. I've always known I could do "hard things" but that was the first time in my adult life that I really put my neck on the line and pushed through the fear I felt. I'm glad I did! Little did I know, I 'd learn to do harder things down the road and that was just a warm-up.
On April 1, 2014, I landed in North Carolina, excited to represent Stanley Furniture as their Young America spokesperson and finally sign the licensing deal I'd been working on for eight months. The moment I was able to turn my phone on, was a moment I will never forget. So many text messages were lighting up my phone. Apparently, while I was in the air, Stanley released the news that they were shutting down their youth division. I'd lost my job (as the main breadwinner of our family, at the time) and my licensing deal and traveled the hard road—doing hard things—for the next three years. So much growth, healing, and love came out of a mountain of pain and trauma. For that, I will always be grateful.
Today, April 1, 2018, I am beyond happy to be writing this from a new home with my beautiful family sleeping down the hall. I have the best licensing and manufacturing partner in the US. I am blessed with a wonderful family, amazing friends, and the gift of seeing all of the puzzle pieces of my life coming together.
The April Fools' joke has not been on me, even though it felt like that in 2014. I cherish this day as a day that put me on the path to a bigger purpose in life. One that I couldn't see at the time. One that I wasn't ready for, at the time.
One that I'm ready for, now.
No joke, this is just about the best day ever, in my book. It's a day honoring transformation and healing across many years, and a day when I get to eat copious amounts of potato salad with those I love. It doesn't get much better than that.
Happy Easter, Happy Spring, and Happy April Fool's Day, my friends!