Uganda, LIZ, Saco discussed on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey
Bohannon. Hey let's welcome to the special edition of the happy hour called your last decade. Welcome thank you so much for having me. Well this has been such a fun project of ours by the way because the feedback. I've had heard the most is looking back has been so fun for people and I am someone who likes to look back. I don't want to dwell on the past by any means but I like to look back and learn and see and progress and we over here they are like we have to talk to Liz because a lot has happened in the last ten years of your life. Yes yes and I actually don't look back that much so I'm really grateful for the opportunity to do this. Good back through the memory archives in my favorite parts of writing a book was like it's crazy. How once you open up one door? It's been shut for really long time in your memory. How it can kind of late trigger other memories in. I don't know it's just it's fun so I'm grateful for the opportunity to get Tim. Reflect a little bit because I actually don't do enough of that now woken. Well speaking of Your Book Beginners Pluck which came out over. I two thousand nineteen congrats. Thank you thanks so much. That was a wild ride. I mean you're like the things that I didn't think I would be doing in the last ten years. Will your six months on the other side of it? How do you feel now? I have never done anything. I'm like I am so glad I did that in the idea. It was just so much though. Like I mean it's just like it is such a process but it was search hard work so much mental emotional intellectual Labor that goes into it. I just every time I see it and just kind of catch glimpses of it whether it's on my bookshelf for the office. I just don't really proud of it in really thankful for the experience in. I just continue to be blown away after you get this. Where when people are so generous to reach out and to share their experience to share. How and why? It touched them in inch. It's incredibly rewarding. Overly grateful while you should feel really grateful and you did such a great job at that work and so a lot of it is some of the things we're GonNa talk about today. Which is fun exciting. Because you talk a lot about the story of SACO in your book and I want you to take everyone listening back to two thousand ten now. If my memory serves me right into dozen ten you had already traveled to Uganda and begin the process of starting Saco. Mri Yes okay. Good good you're so good you do the exact launch date union. We're GONNA bury impressed with your chronology. Do a little bit of research on the phone. And I'm actually really grateful when you when you share the concept with me and I was like okay. Ten years back. I was like we'll take about ten years old and then I started doing it and I was like no leopards me about a year in into having traveled to Uganda having come up with the concept in. I'm really grateful to start there because I tell the very beginning story more and I think that It's easier to glamorize or attended for there to be some nostalgia about like very very early days when I came up with the concept in those of you don't know you bought one way plane ticket to Uganda. And I showed up and I met some amazing women and we started these Kinda crappy at the time sandals and made this really ethic promise that was like hey obey if you promised to make these sandals for the next nine months because there is a gap between school and university in. That was the problem that we were trying to solve is basically this kind of gap for limited. Who come from low income backgrounds. That are really academically. Gifted this gap between high school and college where a lot of them ended up moving back home in getting married not continuing on to university even though they want to and even other academically qualified so the challenge that we exist us all as bridging this gap right so that was eleven years ago but if we go to ten years ago. I'm like I've made the promise I said. Live Rama's that you will go to college in. I'm in the midst of then being on the other side of going. Like who crap of its. Let's go back to two thousand ten because you set it up so beautifully and guys get her book and read it. It's it's just a fabulous story as well and you've been on the Happy hour before did not do my research on that to figure out what guests whoever there's a long time ago but with my first son so I do remember that over three and a half years ago. Crazy crazy crazy. Okay let's go back to two thousand ten You have started this new thing at the time I wanNA know. Does it feel like a hobby or do you feel like it's GonNa last year or do you think this is the rest of my life somewhere between there? This point in two thousand ten we had just sold enough sandals probably by the end of two thousand nine. We told enough sandals that we were able to send Mary mercy. Rebecca T. UNIVERSITY. So those were at first three win the women that. I sat down with underneath the mango tree and Here's the deal. You may be sandals. Promise you're going to college and then move back home to the. Us In tried to start selling my car so my gosh. I didn't do that. This is really fun okay. So in the beginning of two thousand ten than we just sold enough to send those three women university in. This is the point in the story. We're we're like okay now. What's next week fulfilled that I promise but then we were at this really interesting place. We're like it work what we do what we call it a day in say like that was like a really fun. Post College Adventure. You know like we enabled three women to go to university and now I need to go get a job like you know by this point. By the way I was six years out from ever being able to pay take a paycheck from saint go so like evidently wasn't making money in two thousand into don't pretend. My husband had a fulltime job in his fulltime job was. He's a project manager will tech company and he was making money but very much so we were living off of his zero entry level salary so it already felt a little scary and a little stretch. You know 'cause I wasn't making any income in the nats when we were. Oh let's make it even more intense. Maybe Vinciguerra his own source of income. That we have we should get rid of and but it really felt like it was a crossroads. Your question about hobby your life or what is this is really interesting because we were asking ourselves. That exact question right. In this moment we were like okay. Worked THE FIRST TIME AND WE HAVE TWO OPTIONS? We can call it a day instead. I was fine or we can really dive in in say. We're doing something really special. The product is resonating people with people. The story is resonating with people. It's actually making an impact. Let's go all in and it was really the beginning of two thousand ten. We're we're like let's go all in. We were making no money. We were continuing to lose. Money is a lot of businesses in the early days. Spending a lot of money in it long cashless cycle. Actually get that money back in. We knew we couldn't hire anybody unless we could go out and raise capital and we knew no one would give money. I mean we couldn't get bank financing. We couldn't get. I mean it was just like okay. You know to like twenty something. Year olds are trying to start a manufacturing company in a developing economy. Like yeah right and Ben happens to have a skill set that is basically the exact opposite of mine and he at the same time you know. He had been working at this company in learning at time in was really enjoying business but really had this desire. I WANNA use my mind love of business. I wanted to do something in the world that I feel really proud of in. That is making an impact That I can really stand behind in in in so we were like well enough. The opposite skill set. You have this basically you wanted. Us business to make a difference in the world lakes. We just do this together. We spent a lot of time talking to other apple specifically that were married had marriages that we looked at like that type of marriage that we WANNA have ten years twenty years thirty years from now because when we first started telling people that is newlyweds. We wanted to run this company together. We got a lot of pushback in for people being like us. Not Wise. Like you're gonNA kill each other like in we really. We really wanted to you. Know He'd the wisdom but also cargo path into the process that we took what you're saying. Okay let's identify four or five couples. We love their marriage. We love their partnership and just go. Lay Out all of our cards in say. Are we dumb? Should we do it when you can actually get feedback? We came to that end of the process. Being like we want to give it a try and we don't know we know what's going to be challenging. We think the ways in which it's going to be challenging or the ways in which we want to be challenged and so it was right around this time that then with job we lost our health. Insurance we sold everything that we own because we know money to finance this trip that we wanted to go on till basically launched a brand so we sold everything that we own including a bunch of the wedding presents it. We had just gotten like this point. We've only been married for like nine months six. So much transition. Liz I it was a lot and we bought a on element and lived out of our car for the next nine months. Ten years ago I was living out of my car. I did NYC snapper co many questions about this okay so the first one is like like we hear stories like this and of course your ten years in Bravo Bravo way to go. You guys followed your dream to your heart and look at this great thing you've done but it could now have felt like that in that moment you had to have felt like this is either going. Did you think to yourself? This'll be the best thing ever. They're worse or did you think this is going to be okay or the worst like where. Where were you after? You guys made that decision. I honestly think I was like this is going to be the best thing ever or it's GonNa be a great tale of epic failure but it will be fun to share. I do yeah. We're having that perspective of someone that I really loved was Kinda lecturing me and telling me why it was a terrible idea. Opportunity costs in 401K's in you know all of this stuff and I just remember thinking like even if this fails literally what I will learn from this process and I mean everything from about how to run a business on Mike. I think running in failing at a business is probably more valuable than an MBA. Even if you don't succeed what what I'M GONNA learn out of this is GonNa be monumental and then also from a character perspective being like. I just can't envision coming out on the other side of this in not being more of the person that I want to be even if I love that And I think that that was what enabled us to have the Let's do it like even if it fails. We're GONNA come out on the other side in. I think I think honestly our marriage was the thing that felt the riskiest than everything else kind of felt like if the business fails we will learn from it. You know if we fail as entrepreneurs we will learn from it but let's make sure we don't damage at graphic that's real you know. That was the only one that actually did really kind of feel scary..