Thursday, July 11, 2013

Liz - Part 2: Fly Maternity Wear for Trendy Tummies

Read Liz - Part 1: Love and Marriage...and Five Kids if you'd like to catch up.

Liz stays busy enough raising five children, but she has also built a successful online business, Fly Belly: Fly Maternity Wear for Trendy Tummies (how cute is that?!).  The decision to do so developed slowly over time, and the process started just before Liz had her first baby.  Her husband was a manager of a company that provided a nice salary, great health insurance, 401k, and fun perks like a trip to Mexico.  However, "the hours were long, he was required to work every Saturday, and the people he dealt with on a day to day basis were not uplifting him."  That's when Liz's husband was offered a job with his Aunt in a "great work environment with co-workers who had the same morals and values as him.  The hours would be shorter and he would have weekends and holidays off."  The only catch was that they would lose their health insurance, 401k, and would take a nearly 50% pay cut.  Liz and her husband prayed about this big decision, and decided it was better for him to be happy, so he gave his notice, they moved to a new town, and welcomed their 2nd child into their lives shortly thereafter. 
I admire their dedication to their family's happiness, and the sacrifice and leap of faith they took.  I am also inspired by what Liz decided to do next...
This move and new job meant there was now no extra money in their super-tight budget.  With the desire to have a few extra dollars, Liz decided to sell a pair of name-brand jeans her sister gave her, on eBay.  Liz was shocked when someone bought those USED jeans for $26!  Liz says she has "always been a thrift store junkie and had a hard time paying more than $1 for a shirt, so for somebody to spend $26 on a pair of used jeans made me realize that I could make a business out of this!" 
So how did she turn this process into a business?
"Every Monday morning, I would pack up my kids and line up at the local thrift store before 9 a.m. (I was usually first in line).  When the doors opened, I would rush in and grab all of the name brand jeans that were 99 cents (every Monday a different colored tag was 99 cents).  I would go home and spend the afternoon listing then on eBay.  The auctions would end on Friday and I would start the process all over again on Monday.  Doing this, I wasn't making a huge profit...maybe $30-40 a month...but to me, this was HUGE and allowed us a little wiggle room in our budget!"
For a while, Liz focused on selling used jeans, but after she had her 2nd baby, she realized she had maternity clothes she could sell and ended up selling then on eBay for WAY more than she could have imagined.  That's when she decided to add the maternity section to her Monday morning thrift store runs. 
"I sold used maternity clothes for a while.  Then, while researching on eBay, I noticed that a lady was selling brand new maternity clothes and was making a TON of money!...So I went to a local store that sold inexpensive maternity clothes.  I bought 6 tops and 2 bottoms and listed them...lo and behold, I made a REALLY BIG profit.  I took that money and went and bought enough to do a few auctions.  They did really well, so I re-invested that money into MORE clothes."
Eight years later, Liz is a "powerseller" on eBay under the username "mostly-maternity" and in August of 2011, she launched her website, which has been "extremely successful".  Liz LOVES what she does and genuinely cares about her customers.  She loves to provide trendy, affordable maternity clothes.  I must clarify that Liz does not sell thrift store maternity clothes on her website.  She gets her inventory from several different distributors in order to offer you brand new, and stylish, maternity clothes. 

Pregnant?  Know someone who is?  Hop on over to Fly Belly and check out the seriously cute and affordable maternity clothes.  I purchased a shirt from Liz when I was pregnant and loved it, and I think her inventory is even cuter now.  I can't wait for another baby bump so I can buy up some of her new clothes!

24 weeks prego in my Fly Belly shirt - March 2012
Liz has some advice to anyone who may be thinking about starting their own online business:
1.  Start small - "I didn't get to where I am today by...spending $20,000 on inventory.  Going into debt for my business was never a thought.  I have never borrowed a penny for my business." 
2.  Find something you are PASSIONATE about - "...I am passionate about maternity clothes.  I get such a thrill and adrenaline rush when I get a new top in that I think my customers will love!
3.  Invest a lot of WORK and TIME - "Don't expect it to be easy...there were days when I wanted to throw in the towel and ask 'is it even worth it?, but those who endure will find success eventually."
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  1. Hello if you are doing a pregnancy journal please stop by my blog and link it up would love to have you :-)


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