Miley Cyrus walked into a restaurant and spotted Sydney Carlson with a unique handmade phone case. Sydney had dinner with her sister Devon and her parents Dave and Michelle. “Miley Cyrus said, ‘You need to start a business,’ and I looked at her and said, ‘Miley, we have a website by tomorrow,'” says Dave.
This interaction happened Wildflower Cases, a unique and fashionable tech accessories brand that has built a strong cult following in its decade of existence.
Up front, Dave advises others looking to turn a passion project into a product and brand loved by celebrities.
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How to turn your passion into a business
After a surge in demand, the Carlson family had to act quickly to turn Michelle’s side project into a family business. what do you do for fun Can you turn your hobby into a job to earn money on the side? Follow Dave’s three tips for the transition.
1. Always prepare with product samples
Just three weeks after making fun DIY iPhone cases, Michelle was approached by her daughter’s friends to make more. As soon as you see that spark of demand, Dave advises immediately grabbing additional products if opportunities arise. “It was the first day Michelle packed two extra phone cases in the car. We went out to dinner and Miley Cyrus walked in,” says Dave.
Having additional products on hand will prepare you for chance encounters like this one. After Miley met the Carlson family, she tweeted a photo of the phone case, sparking viral demand for the product.
2. Play to your team’s strengths
“It was like a family reunion and we all said go,” says Dave. “So I stayed up until about 5 a.m., opened a Shopify account, and launched the site.” To get the business up and running quickly, Dave needed to make sure his entire family was on board and that everyone had a specific role to play.
With years of graphic design experience, Dave did something extraordinary for him and handed creative control over to his young daughters. “I wanted to empower Devon and Sydney to create a vision for their own fashion accessories brand,” says Dave. It is crucial to put your ego on the back burner when assigning tasks and allowing people to grow into their position.
3. Be flexible as your brand grows
When founders do business with family or close friends, Dave advises that they should anticipate that there will be different stages of expectations as the brand evolves. It is important to continuously reassess responsibilities and, more importantly, to be open to changing roles.
“As time goes by and you all get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, you adjust and shape each individual’s individual responsibilities,” says Dave. Wildflower Cases was launched when Sydney was 16 and Devon was 18, so clear communication was key as his daughters grew alongside the brand’s success.
The family continues to support each other. Wildflower Cases celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2022 when Devon and Sydney represented the brand at fashion weeks in Paris, Milan and New York.
Switch on fully Shopify Master Episode to hear Dave share his homemade career path and how he turned Wildflower Cases from a homemade DIY project into a profitable business employing nearly 70 people.