What do moms of twins want? Well, other than two more arms and 15 hours of sleep? Cute outfits to dress their babies in - especially for special occasions. 

Sounds simple enough. Especially if you have single sex twins. Just buy two of something - problem solved. But for moms with boy/girl twins? You’d be more likely to get to take a long, relaxing, and uninterrupted bubble bath than to find what you want.

So, Tanya did what any great entrepreneur would do. She launched a business to solve this problem for her person. Luke and Lulu specializes in boutique clothing for special events for kids.

How she did this is pretty freaking cool. 

Years ago, Tanya was a chemist. Then she became a high school chemistry teacher. Growing up, she wasn’t one of those girls who doodled fashion designs non-stop. In fact, she didn’t even know how to sew until she taught herself by watching videos on YouTube.

With her new skills, she whipped up the most adorable outfits for her twins, Ava and Aaron. 

(HA! You were expecting their names to be Luke and Lulu! But imagine this nightmare of a domain: avaandaaron.com… thus, it’s Luke and Lulu.)

YouTube video

Of course, she posted these cuties on social media and other moms started asking if they could buy outfits from Tanya, too. Soon, Tanya went from, “I don’t sell them” to “Wait… what if I did sell them?”

And Then, She Was In Business

She started selling these outfits on Facebook. Then Etsy. And then, Amazon. Now, you may know that clothing is a gated category on Amazon - it’s not particularly easy to get permission to sell clothes there. Tanya could have tackled the 800-column form required to list on her own, but she followed the Owner’s Model before even knowing it was a thing. She went on Elance (now called Upwork) and hired someone to do it for her. 

Fast-forward a little bit, and Luke and Lulu is now also on Walmart.com. Tanya says that was pretty easy. But to be honest, she’s making this whole thing look pretty easy. Her small team of three should easily break the million-dollar mark next year.

Not only that, but Tanya has expanded the brand’s reach. Where it used to be just for twins, now she’s gotten into the birthday niche as well. It’s a much bigger audience, so it’s more competitive, but it’s also a much bigger piece of the pie. It’s already paying off with an influx of orders.

The Owner's Model

“I don’t want to be the world’s best seamstress. Or the world’s best graphic designer... or the world’s best bookkeeper. Or the world’s best heat presser. I just want to be the world’s best business owner.” If that doesn’t sound like the Owner’s Model, what does?

Tanya used to do all the sewing. Like, an order would come in and she’d stop whatever else she was doing, sew it, and take it to the post office. But ever since she did a caveman costume (awwwwww) that went bananas on Amazon, she’s worked with cut and sew companies to help her with production. Now the process is: she comes up with a concept, creates a prototype, and tests it on Amazon. If the new piece sells, it goes into production in China. Like clockwork, folks.

But it might have never happened. For a while, Tanya had been kind of obsessed with growth hacks. She went down every rabbit hole out there, got on every marketer’s list, and got overwhelmed. “That’s not where the success is,” she says. “Now, I know it’s my mindset that matters most.” With her mentor Leslie Kuster’s guidance, Tanya learned to celebrate all her victories and milestones. She also developed a mantra she can whip out daily to stay in a good space (even when 925 of her SKUs got suppressed recently at Amazon - yay). 

It’s this: “I trust myself to make the right decisions for my business, to earn the money I want and to meet my goals.” As Tanya says, this sounds really simple, but if she didn’t believe it, she’d be spinning her wheels in the growth hack mud rather than getting real traction.

Tanya joined the Capitalism Incubator recently, and loves it so much she compares it to going to church. There, you’re surrounded by people who are going after it just as hard as you are… people who are primed for massive growth in a short period of time.

She’s working on her pitch (pitch week is 11/17!). While she’s bootstrapped her way thus far, she’s also open to bringing on an investment partner to help Luke and Lulu grow faster. 

What a Vision!

When you consider her long-term plan for the brand, sharing some equity makes a whole lot of sense. She wants Luke and Lulu to become the Hobby Lobby for children’s apparel. She says, “If you want to plan a party, you go to Party City. If you want to decorate your house, you go to Hobby Lobby. I want to be the place people think of for special occasion clothing for their children. It’s more than just birthdays, Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. It’s all the major events people celebrate. People celebrate events with clothing all the time - like their wedding gown or prom dress. Clothing is such a huge part of your story in life, and I want to play a part in making it special.”

What drives this mom of 5? She wants to leave a legacy for her family. She just really wants to make her family proud and to leave something for them. Her kids love that she’s a business owner - they brag about her to their friends. She loves being a role model for them. When they get older, they’ve got a business they can take over… or sell. She’s building it for them.

This is a brand to watch! 

YouTube video

Chapter 2: Tanya Higgs Did $820K In 2022… So, Why Was She Polishing Her Resume? And How’d She Get Her Mojo Back?

Brains can be so mean. “Loooooooser. You stink. You can’t do this. You’re failing. Just wait.” That’s the kind of heckling Tanya Higgs of Luke and Lulu was hearing in her head in December. 

December… sucked.

What happened (throw in something about a wardrobe malfunction)

When we last caught up with Tanya, she was on pace to hit $925K for the year. But that was November, before the troubles on the near horizon hit her. As December wrapped, Tanya’s brand finished the year 30% down YOY mostly due to an inventory snag at Amazon HQ. Where she usually makes 80-100 sales per day, that number dropped to 15-20.

Brains Are Mean

The mean part of her brain sounded the alarm, shouting, “You’re done. Just quit. This started as a hobby, and that’s all it’ll ever be. Cut your losses and get a job.” So she updated her resume, went on Indeed, considered getting an IT certification, and even toyed with the idea of becoming an executive assistant. We’ve all been there.

But much like a country song played backwards, things began to turn around. That is, when Tanya took a deep breath and focused on doing what works. Maybe December would be a wash, but January was another story. 

What Did She Do?

A couple of VERY smart things… things you might do, too.

  • On the product sales front, she systematically went through all her top sellers to identify what was already working. Every outfit that sold well, she made a version in every size, color, and variation. She added bow, buttons, trim - whatever tweaks the marketplace had already voted for, she did it. Soon, the FedEx guy was happily visiting for inventory shipments again.
  • On the mental health front, Tanya began listening to brown noise after her son recommended it as sort of a “jammer” for your thoughts. Pop on some headphones and go to a happy place in your brain. She also printed out her last feature in The Grind and put it on her desk as reinforcement against the internal heckler’s voice of doom.

And what happened? A few very cool things happened, thanks for asking.

“Everyone got bloodied in December.”

That’s what Tanya heard from her ad manager at Quartile. She continued, “You’re doing better than most. Most haven’t recovered. Your account looks amazing. You had an 11% TACOS (total advertising cost of sales).” Doesn’t help the numbers, but that’ll do your heart good when you think you might just suck at business.

“Sure, you can pay later.”

That’s what Tanya heard from her manufacturer in China, who’d been holding up her inventory shipment. Tanya asked them to work with her on her payment terms. They agreed.

“Want some money?”

That’s what Amazon Lending asked Tanya. They offered $60K. She took it. This is a nice inventory loan she can use to fund the next quarter. Because Tanya has a grip on her numbers, she could take that loan with total confidence that it’ll give her a great ROI.

“OK, here’s your homework.”

That’s what Capitalism Incubator coach Stan Way told Tanya at the end of their consulting call. She talked. He listened. Then he asked questions and gave her homework about fixing her funnel, hiring a marketing intern, building her audience, running some ads, beefing up her email sequences, and doing weekly giveaways. 

“Um, I can totally do that.”

That’s what Tanya’s assistant told her when she mentioned hiring a marketing student as an intern. Turns out her assistant has taken social media marketing courses. Now, Fridays are content-creation day at Luke and Lulu. 

“Hey, we wanna buy your brand, maybe.”

That’s what a broker for a private equity firm said when he reached out to Tanya. Turns out her brand fits their buying criteria for a European brand that wants to go big in the mom and baby niche on Amazon. They’ve had a call already, and again, because Tanya knows her numbers, she could answer all their questions.

“Let’s get you on the podcast!”

That’s what Tanya heard from her own personal Yoda (aka Ryan). It was Tanya’s brother-in-law who first introduced her to Capitalism.com through the podcast. So, to be chosen to be featured on the Road to $1 Million podcast felt about like winning the lottery. (Yes, we’ll share a link when it goes live!)

Now, normal people (not us!) might see that list of wins and say, “WOW, Tanya is lucky!” But we know better. “Luck” seems to follow smart decisions and targeted work. 

Are YOU Next?

We'll keep you updated on Tanya's progress. We're pretty darned proud of her and the business she's building.

Tanya's making all the right moves and seeing great results.

Here at Capitalism.com, we're on a mission to make one million millionaires by 2028. We'd love YOU to be one of them if you want to build a business that makes loads of money while also making the world a better place for your customers.

Take a page out of Tanya's remarkable success story and ignite your own entrepreneurial journey. Just like Tanya, who turned her passion into a thriving business, you too can build a million-dollar brand.

The 100 Sales a Day playbook from Capitalism.com is your ultimate guide, providing you with the strategies and insights to launch and scale your ecommerce brand to reach that coveted milestone of 100 sales a day.

Let Tanya's inspiring transformation fuel your own aspirations and unlock the door to unlimited potential. Don't miss out on this opportunity to follow in her footsteps.

Get the FREE playbook now and set your sights on building the business of your dreams.