Featured Interview: Emily Hill, Co-Founder of Georgie Tees

The following interview was written by new Startup Princess writer, Jessica Cryer

Today’s featured Startup Princess is Emily Hill Co-Founder of Georgie Tees. Emily and her best friend Le Shan always wanted to start a business together…that dream became a reality in June 2005 with a fun, upbeat infant and maternity apparel company. The company is geared to providing humor during pregnancy and motherhood by adding witty comments to their fashionable tees. Think about baby onsies with “I Scream” or maternity tees with “No longer childproof.” While fashion is important to Emily, so is comfort. That’s why all their tees are tagless and made from the softest cotton, says Emily. Emily credits motherhood with the inspiration for her humorous tees.

The Georgie Tee website also offers a link to their blog which features everything from fashion to recipes and information on other ‘mompreneurs.’ It’s an opportunity to get an inside look at the women behind the humorous tees for mom and baby. The humor isn’t just about the business… it’s survival for this busy mother of 4. Great outlook, Emily! Thanks for making us laugh!

Enjoy meeting Startup Princess, Emily Hill!

Hometown: Fremont, California

Current Residence (City, State): Sandy, Utah

Education: B.S. in Business from Brigham Young University

Professional Background (brief, please): Office Manager, Project Manager, Communications Director, Business Owner (current)

What you wanted to be when you grew up: An elementary school teacher, and my name was going to be Miss Nancy (perhaps that came from the old Romper Room show)

What you are: Co-owner of georgie tees (unofficial school teacher, nurse, peace officer, disciplinarian, chef, maid, crisis manager, and all the other “professions” that go along with being a mom)

Company Website? http://www.georgietees.com/

What inspired you? My girlfriend and I wanted to have our own business, do our own thing. The idea came to me, of all places, in the middle of a rather long church meeting. Having kids of our own it was easy to come up with the humorous phrases you’ll find on our tees. Motherhood continues to inspire us.

How long have you been in business? Name registered June 2005; website opened December, 2005

How did you fund it? With about $2k each of our own money; now we’re more savvy using a 0% interest credit card transferring our balance (albeit low) whenever the introductory offer is up!

Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? Not specifically but we do ask advice from other ‘mompreneurs’ in the business. We’re all in this together so they’re always willing to help! We reciprocate whenever possible.

Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? We just joined Startup Princess and couldn’t be more excited!

Current Business Challenge? Growing the business on a very small budget, often passing up great advertising or promotional opportunities because we don’t want to up the balance on said credit card, all the while making sure family comes first.

What are you doing about it? We are still experience a good learning curve on this one. We try to weigh every opportunity, whether it’s an ad in a large publication or providing product for a promotion, to see if we’re comfortable enough to make the investment. We often have to turn things down even though we’d love to do them (e.g. an ad in Us Weekly), but we always try to leave the door open for a future opportunity. We’re currently working on doing our first tradeshow so anything not in line with this goal is put on the back burner for now. Like we always have to remind ourselves, we’re as big as we need to be right now!

Favorite motivational quote: “Are you giving the least to the things that matter the most?” (not an exact quote but close!)

Family? Three daughters ages 10, almost 8, and almost 4 months; one son, age 2; one husband
If so, how do you balance family and business? It’s actually out of balance a good part of the time. I’m working on this—it’s an early New Year’s resolution. I heard someone ask once, “Are you giving the least to the things that matter the most?” Too often my answer is yes so I’m trying to focus on family (when “family” isn’t taking a nap or swimming laps at practice) and then focus on work when little ones are in bed. It means late nights but at least I don’t have little hands “helping” me send important emails!

Favorite book? Too many! My latest favorites are The Secret Life of Bees and When Crickets Cry

What do you do to relax? Relax? What’s that? Actually, I fill a large glass up with lots of ice, pour in a Diet Coke, and get on the computer after all the kids are in bed. Eating some dark chocolate helps too. If I can sneak in a nap during the day, I’m a new woman!

What do you want to change most about your world? I’d just like to turn down the volume on the kids and the TV once in a while.

What are you most proud of? I am proud of my children, who despite having far-from-perfect parents, are healthy and happy and continue to amaze us with all they are learning and doing. I am proud of my husband, who despite having a far-from-perfect wife, is my biggest fan and continues to amaze me with all he does while still taking time out for his family. And I’m even proud of my far-from-perfect self, who despite knowing very little about being an entrepreneur, is running a successful business with her best friend and raising a healthy and happy family of six at the same time. Now that’s a lot to be proud of!

What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses? We’re still in the stage (and probably always will be) of listening to lots of good advice rather than offering it, but one thing my partner and I always tell ourselves is “we are as big as we need to be right now.” Our family comes first and if that means we don’t get to put 8 hours a day into our business or travel here and there for shows then that’s okay. We’re doing the best we can, and if it takes twice as long to make our first million because of preschool, play dates, school homework, and swim practice, that’s okay!

Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)? I love VistaPrint (www.vistaprint.com). It has great prices on marketing materials and stationary. If you’re willing to design your own product and wait for a great VistaPrint sale (they have them all the time), you’ll be able to pay pennies on the dollar for your next set of business cards, oversized postcards, or other business identity products.

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One Response to “Featured Interview: Emily Hill, Co-Founder of Georgie Tees”

  1. S.Blatzmire on December 11th, 2007 8:40 am

    Your story gives me hope. Although my children are grown now, I remember trying to find a business that would be conducive to staying home with my children. I am teaching at present ,but am encouraged to look into a business I can do mostly from home in my retirement. Your’s sounds like it is enjoyable to you.

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