You’re preparing your aspiration wedding ceremony and an even dreamier honeymoon. When you and your companion set out to populate your wedding ceremony registry, you know you now have all the dishes, modest appliances, and cocktail shakers you want – after all, you’re both equally grown ups. What you definitely have to have is some time absent collectively to start your lives in a unforgettable trend.
Which is what happened to Sara Margulis and her fiancé Josh when they decided to ask their wedding ceremony friends to aid underwrite their honeymoon in lieu of items. They launched their individual organization to enable other folks do the exact, and today, Honeyfund is the most dependable funds gifting website. The platform has authorized 6 million givers to fund extra than $640 million in presents for far more than 1 million partners. I spoke with Sara about shifting occupations from marketing to tech start out-up, the Shark Tank effect, placing out on her individual, and balancing family members existence with running her very own corporation.
Shelley Zalis: You formerly labored as the associate director of marketing at Golden Gate College. How did you make a decision to make a occupation switch and launch your individual business at Honeyfund? What was your lightbulb instant?
Sara Margulis: Honeyfund’s co-founder and I have been engaged to be married and setting up our have wedding day, and we experienced this aspiration of honeymooning somewhere exotic and considerably away like Fiji to get absent from the worry of two total-time positions. But we didn’t have the money right after paying out for our individual wedding day. So alternatively of registering solely for standard housewares, we established a makeshift desire record for the charges connected with our Fiji honeymoon – matters like excursions, resort nights, island hopping flights, and so on. Our wedding day friends overwhelmed us with extra than $5,000 in contributions, but a lot more importantly, they beloved the idea. They requested us to make anything like it for other couples. That’s how Honeyfund was born.
I had just graduated with an MBA in advertising and my co-founder is a software engineer. I experienced been performing at Golden Gate College on advertising and marketing assignments this kind of as the university’s new website, e-mail internet marketing courses, and a CRM implementation. We took the notion and enthusiasm from our have wedding ceremony friends, and all that professional track record, and produced and launched Honeyfund.com from our sofa.
Zalis: How substantially prior knowledge, if any, did you have in the startup field just before launching Honeyfund? How did your time on Shark Tank catapult your journey?
Margulis: We were in San Francisco in the early 2000s when the know-how startup growth was occurring all all around us. We had mates at Twitter when it to start with released, for instance. Neither of us genuinely experienced any direct knowledge in startups, but we could make and regulate assignments. And we equally experienced a aspiration of remaining economically unbiased and having a versatile plan so we could be there for our upcoming young children.
In 2013 we ended up dwelling that desire: the business was supporting our spouse and children and we experienced all the adaptability we envisioned. We experienced purchased our desire property and we had two nutritious young children who were growing up in an idyllic city in Sonoma County, California.
When Shark Tank called, we had to make a hard decision – do we expand further than our lifestyle business enterprise and enter the planet of a quickly-increasing startup? Using on expenditure funds, realizing accurately how we needed to deploy it, figuring out how to unlock the up coming section of development – all those have been all unfamiliar to us. Starting off something is quite various from developing it.
However, we felt it was the proper factor to do for the Honeyfund brand and our member local community. So we applied for the show and received solid. Our episode aired in Oct 2013 and it was a hit! Our internet site crashed from all the website traffic. We were so thrilled to have the focus on the Honeyfund brand. We knew that as soon as individuals experienced listened to of Honeyfund they cherished the concept. So our Shark Tank physical appearance and the deal with Kevin O’Leary launched us on to the nationwide stage. This drove a large amount more traffic and members, but it also introduced us the notoriety to kind higher-amount partnerships, this kind of as our registry integration with Focus on.
Zalis: What are the benefits and down sides that appear with a career transition and branching out on your very own to start a small business?
Margulis: We were particularly lucky that Honeyfund was properly obtained and grew alone to the position that we were being equipped to make a excellent dwelling prior to being on Shark Tank. That was section a single of the changeover from functioning for an individual else to performing for ourselves. It was what we experienced dreamed of. So we felt we ended up making the most of all the benefits of accomplishing our possess factor.
But the business was expanding quicker than we have been. It needed additional from us. We didn’t have enough employees to provide our couples and keep the site. That introduced us into a expansion stage that was genuinely tough to understand how to regulate – we did not have the experience there. In the long run after a extensive and winding street, we break up up and I acquired my co-founder out of the organization. So that section of advancement arrived with a good deal of pressure and challenges. And I felt pulled in so many directions as a mom, wife, and company proprietor. I stopped getting treatment of myself and burned out. Then Covid hit and I confronted another huge obstacle with the company, this time alone at the helm. I had to choose a very long seem in the mirror and check with myself if I had what it requires to make certain Honeyfund could endure a 90% fall in revenues and a pandemic with no close in sight.
I made a decision to move up and do my finest to keep the corporation going for its associates and employees. I invested a ton in increasing as a chief, employed a management team to control the development, and clarified my part in the firm. We released a crowdfunding campaign to invite our associates and present givers to devote in the company’s subsequent stage of expansion. And we got via! But those had been some of the toughest a long time of my everyday living. Becoming accountable for a organization, a staff, and shoppers – it’s a substantial stress at moments.
Nevertheless the possibility to develop and turn out to be the leader of some thing exceptional comes at the time in a life span – so the advantages much outweigh the drawbacks for me. I see it as a journey and I am at any time-evolving together the way.
Zalis: In the previous couple yrs, there has been an raising pattern of women of all ages leaving their jobs to begin their very own corporations for the duration of the Terrific Resignation. Primarily based on your experience, is there a “right” time or are there perfect situations for a profession change?
Margulis: The pull among profession and spouse and children is so tricky. In a large amount of strategies, a occupation with a specified selection of several hours that you can depart and occur dwelling is so a lot more healthy for that spouse and children harmony and your own self-treatment than a start off-up. I would say there is no proper time to begin your individual factor if you’re passionate about it just do it. But with this one caveat: gals with associates and/or little ones should consider extended and difficult about the total of time and concentrate they want to be equipped to give their spouse and children. And then dedicate what is left to a new enterprise. Absolutely everyone will explain to you that you have to give 200% to a startup but that is really not accurate. And it will lead to burnout so speedy if you’re not thorough.
Alternatively, get started your enterprise with a workforce that can give their entire focus. If you are holding the eyesight and objectives, you can and need to reserve time for self-treatment and your spouse and children. I know this can be so tough to execute, but I’m a realist so I crack it down like a uncomplicated math trouble. I look at how quite a few hrs I have in a 7 days and I strive to initial prioritize my personal self-treatment, then my time with my young children and spouse, then my do the job priorities.
I also take into account the seasonality of my enterprise and my children’s university. Summer time is a good time to be equipped to give a tiny a lot more to children and a tiny significantly less to the business enterprise. But if you are commencing a organization (like mine) that has high summer season requires it could be rough. The important is acquiring incredibly true with your self about how several hrs of concentration you are keen to give to a new undertaking.
Zalis: What guidance would you give to women on the lookout to modify their occupation but who feel discouraged or unsure of exactly where to get started?
Margulis: I would say get started with a shift toward the sector or competencies you want to discover and get genuinely good at these even though operating for a person else with constant function hrs, added benefits, and pay back. Or sign up for a volunteer firm. At the time you are assured in your competencies and know particularly how you will manage your time and concentrate, then established up your new enterprise inside of those parameters.