In Conversation with Jennifer Murdock of Lucky Honey
Describe Lucky Honey in a few words?
We are on a mission to create contemporary and cool socks for all your daily moves.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
It honestly was out of a need for something I could not find. As a pilates instructor in NYC, I was required to wear grip socks and really could not find any that I liked. At the time I was also a production fit model. As a fit model, I saw the daily process and all the ins and outs of how a garment transforms from a sketch on a pad and ultimately into retail stores. I asked one of my tech designers friends, ‘If I wanted to make a sock, where would I start?” and it really all started from there!
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
NYC based Pilates Instructor and production fit model with Ford Models and Elite models. These two career paths lead me exactly to where I knew I always wanted to be which was a business owner. Ever since I was a little girl I have had an entrepreneurial spirit.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
YES YES YES! My sister and I use to craft in our garage and sell at local art shows all throughout high school. Our “business” was called Hands at Work and we hand painted furniture that we would find on the streets and repurposed it. It makes me smile just writing this because we really did learn a lot of lessons in those early days!
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
My plan was to grow a community and start with friends and industry professionals. We gifted our socks to every single pilates, yoga, and fitness enthusiast we knew! This was also at the time of influencer marketing taking off and we reached out to every single person we knew and sent socks their way! Several of my closest friends were in the fitness space already which was super helpful! I think when we first launched, I thought it would be an instant “sell out” success. The reality is, it is a slow build but once you build it, you start to drive brand awareness, sales, and growth. Patience and having faith in my product was key.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
I would say the most challenging part about growing my business was finding the right production partners. It took me a long time to land with the right factories to work with. If the quality was not there then it was a non-starter and that has been a huge trial and error process. Today, I have finally found the most ethical and reliable production partners to whom I owe much of our success. I know it sounds cliche but honestly, if you fail..try again and everyday is just one foot in front of the other.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Signing my first official office space and paying salaries has been something I have been so proud of. When I started Lucky Honey, it was out of my apartment -my husband and I literally lived in an apartment full of socks. My entire business was funded by my savings account from modeling and some help from family. When Lucky Honey started to outgrow our apartment, I moved into a shared WeWork space and storage unit. But today, we have our official office space and distribution center in Brooklyn, New York and that sh*t makes me really proud!
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
My team is small and my team is actually my family. The company is run by my brother and I. He is my ride or die! My aunt helps with packaging and distribution and my husband gets tasked with every odd job I throw his way #heisthebest #lovehimsomuch. I also work with an amazing PR team, accountant, bookkeeper and production factory. When hiring contractors like these, it is not necessarily a question I ask that gets them the job, but rather their passion and excitement for LuckyHoney that I can just feel! I know they want this to succeed in the same way as me and that is why I work with them…they believe!
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
With fitness studios being 75% of our retail outlet pre-covid, I really had no idea what was going to happen! Who was going to be our wholesalers? How are we going to go to our trade shows to meet new retailers? We had to quickly pivot and make D to C our main focus. Fortunately for us, people did not stop working out and they did not stop wearing socks. Our grip socks became known as the indoor workout socks. We also have to seriously thank our most valuable collaboration partner, Free People Movement, for believing in the sock category and choosing us to private label most of their FP Movement Socks. We are so proud of the latest fall drop and have more in the works for early winter/spring 2021.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
Growth and launching into new markets. We are launching our family sock collection (featuring kids sizing socks to match adult socks) this month. We are launching our men’s line in early December. And lastly, we are launching our new Influencer Collection where every season we will be working with a handful of influencers and partnering with them to create their perfect sock for their community to shop!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Take nothing for granted, adapt, live in the now and appreciate the most day to day things. Never in my life did I think I would utter the words… I miss the subway! I am thankful for my family and my family’s health and pushing forward Lucky Honey every single day.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Going slow is OK! I was always in a rush at the beginning and feeling so chaotic every single day. Patience, planning, and perseverance is the key to everything!
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
Like everybody else I am just trying my best to stay grounded in this crazy year! When my husband calls and tells me to come home for dinner, it is my reminder that sometimes you just need to turn it off for the day and get back to it tomorrow.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
From the time I graduated college, I have never had a 9 to 5 job but yet today I own and run my own business. When I moved to New York City, and started modeling, I did a million jobs that were just supplemental to support my modeling career. Who knew that modeling, job hustling, and becoming a pilates instructor would lead me to where I am today. In hindsight, everything that I have done played a huge part in creating LuckyHoney.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
- Workout! I start every morning with a Peloton ride or Melissa Wood Health flow because taking care of yourself first is the way you make everything else in your life better. It took me a little bit of time to realize this and has been a game changer!
- Make a To-do list. The first thing I do when I get to the office in the morning is write on the white board (I am obsessed with whiteboarding) our list of what we want to get done today as well as review any of our weekly or monthly goals and where we stand in accomplishing them. As the day goes on, crossing out line items just feels so good and accomplished!
- Focus on one project at a time. This is why the to do list helps so much! When the day gets started and emails come in, it is so easy to get distracted. I really try to cross off a line item on our to do list before moving onto the next.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being an Entreprenista means showing up every single day and turning your passion into action. As women, we have the secret power of our internal guidance and I am always listening to that. I am so thankful and grateful to be surrounded by so many other amazing Entreprenistas. Thank you!