“OK, read this book. Then let me know if you have any questions.”
[This book being one written and illustrated in the 70’s]
[And yeahhhhhh, like anyone anytime in the history of that conversation ever wanted to prolong it with questions.]
So goes most puberty-prepping convos. That is, that’s how those conversations went before Katie and Brian Sullivan founded Milestone Gifts. The brand serves moms all throughout their momming journey… starting with those who’ve got daughters 8-14 years old.
One thing’s for sure: if an entrepreneur runs smack into a gap in the marketplace, they’re probably going to fill it. That’s exactly how Milestone Gifts came about. The Sullivans have four kids - two are daughters right in that age group.
Katie remembered how “the talk” went for her (or, didn’t go). In talking with mom friends, she realized she wasn’t alone in wanting a better way to welcome her daughters into the world of womanhood.
“Where were you and this idea 20 years ago?” That’s the response Katie gets most often when talking with her audience. Well, better now than never!
The Bloom Box
The Sullivans are passionate about supporting women as they navigate life’s milestones with their thoughtfully curated, fun, and informational gift boxes and complementary products. The first product? The Bloom Box. It features a Cliff Notes guide for the mom so she can feel confident having these discussions - plus a (good) book and well-designed products without a ton of chemicals in them, all in a beautiful keepsake box.
When the idea struck, Katie went a-sourcing. She put a viable product together, then tested her idea with real, live moms attending what she calls Tupperware Market Research Parties. She laid out a bunch of products and let the moms pick and choose the contents of their box so she could see what they gravitated toward - and what price point they’d value most. Katie held three of these events, generated a ton of video and image content, and learned something important:
Moms want this. They don’t just say they want it… they want it for real. In fact, she sold 35 boxes, ranging from $35 to $389. Proof of concept in hand, the Sullivans now have a stockpile of products to make 500 boxes for their upcoming launch.
But wait! What about building an audience first? It’s in the works. Katie’s never been a fan of social media, but she flung herself headlong into figuring it out, and now you can find Milestone Gifts starting up on Instagram and Facebook. She started with a hot list of her personal contacts, then other people showed up through word of mouth.
February is all about content creation. Katie’s focusing on creating three kinds of content: core (about the brand), conversational (about life), and calendar (about holidays, seasons, etc.). She leans on these 3Cs to plan content her people will find valuable.
March will be about a full-blown launch… just in time for Women’s History Month.
The Sullivans also aim to work with school districts and organizations like Girl Scouts and Girls on the Run. Some of these groups have funding for supporting this type of education - and even fund to subsidize the cost for the families who participate.
This Could Be Huge
You beginning to see the potential here? Long-term, the goal is to make the brand a household name, serving women throughout their adult lives as they approach various milestones.
When you talk with Katie, you can feel the sense of purpose and commitment to serve just emanating from her. She’s a woman on a mission. Where she used to think she had to climb the corporate ladder to be a leader and create wealth for her family, now she’s singing a different song. Now, her identity’s gone from being a “rule-following middle manager” to an entrepreneur creating her own rules and growing exponentially. “I look forward to the day when this becomes my full-time, because I know how gratifying it can be to spend all my energy and focus on what’s meaningful to me and impactful for others,” she says.
While the Sullivans are self-funding for now, Katie’s background in corporate finance means she’s seen a pitch deck or 2,873 before. Because she’s in the Capitalism Incubator, she’ll get her chance to make her own soon. (By the way, we just had Pitch Week yesterday - our first all-female founders edition! Watch the replay here.)
A word of advice for you from the Sullivans: “Just take action. Every little step counts. You don’t know what doors will open for you until you put yourself out there. Value yourself and your experience. Just put your foot in the water, then jump right in and get messy… and get going.”
This is a brand to watch, folks! We're rooting hard for the Sullivans. Their brand will make the world a better place and it also has the potential to create generational wealth.
We like that a lot!
In fact, we're on a mission to make one million new millionaires by 2028. We'd love YOU to be one of them.
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