Sally Honeycutt | Founder of ANDERS | A Sustainable Lifestyle Boutique
I first met Sally, founder of ANDERS a few years ago at a local market where we were both selling. Not only was she selling amazing products that were all ethically sourced (that's right.), but she was also down to earth and completely genuine, not to mention a wife and mama of two. Babe can do it ALL. When we started up this blog I knew I wanted to sit down and chat with this woman. So without further ado: Watch Her Hustle with Sally Honeycutt of ANDERS.
Poppyseed: Hi lady! So, first tell us a little bit about yourself and how ANDERS got started.
Sally Honeycutt: This is so much fun - thanks for having me! So, I spent my early twenties modeling, traveling a lot and spent a few years living in New York and LA. I'd always been obsessed with design in all forms - fashion, interiors, architecture - but I never felt drawn to actually being a designer. I did a ton of random odd jobs - as a production assistant, server, office manager, and so forth, but found myself working retail more than anything. After a (very brief) stint at NYU, I moved back to the PNW, where I'm originally from, got married, and then we had our daughter and that's when I kind of fell into a new career as a portrait photographer. A few years later we had our son, and the flexibility of the photography career was really great while the kids were little... but while I love photography, I found myself really still just wanting to be in the design world. The concept of the store was in the back of my mind all the time; I wanted to be able to shop for things for my home and to wear that were chic and cool but also sustainable. And once my kids were both school-age, it felt like the perfect time to get it started.
PS: Why did you decide to open in Ballard?
SH: Well, aside from Ballard being my personal favorite neighborhood in Seattle, the shop location is only a 5-minute drive from where we live, so it's super convenient. I would've totally considered Capitol Hill or Pioneer Square or something, but I just couldn't see myself sitting in traffic to get to and from work and still manage all the kid drops and pickups. (Seattle traffic has gotten crazy over the last couple of years!)
PS: What are 3 things you wish you knew before you started ANDERS?
SH: Oh, that's a good one! Um, first of all I wish I'd known that it costs a small fortune to ship a basket to the East coast! We definitely lost money on some of those first orders and had to re-evaluate which items made sense to sell online. Second, while it is definitely possible to start on a shoestring (as I did), it's very helpful to have more capitol and a bit more inventory to begin with - there were a few times when items were featured by some influential blogs and we sold out of our inventory faster than I would've liked! Third, it doesn't have to be perfect - just start something and grow from there, because if you wait until you think you're ready you may never get there.
PS: How did your past jobs prepare you for starting your own business?
SH: Well, it's funny to think about now, because to a conventional, corporate employer my extremely varied career path probably wouldn't look super appealing, but I do think every job I had laid a solid foundation for running my own business. All of the retail and service industry jobs gave me customer service experience, and hands-on training for in-store operations. I do all of the photography for Anders at this point, so having that knowledge has been really useful (and I love styling and shooting all of the decor things). Also, just the flexibility I learned from all of it - and often managing a few jobs at a time - is really important, because (as you know) - no two days are the same when you're running a small business!
PS: What's a typical day look like for you?
SH: 6:18am - Tear myself out of bed after hitting snooze for the second time, head to the kitchen to get my coffee (that my husband, Jeff, so kindly makes every morning) and then relax in the living room with my husband and the kids for a bit before the crazy of the day starts.
6:55am - Breakfast time. Jeff packs the kids' lunches, and I make breakfast - usually a smoothie (because I can sneak a serving of kale in there) and toast or sometimes eggs or pancakes. In between prepping food, I sneak a look at our calendar and emails just to get a feel for what the day has in store.
7:40am - Out the door to get the kids to school (they start at 7:55am this year - so crazy!)
7:55am - On an ideal day, I go for a walk after the school drop. As cliche as it may sound, I really am way more productive if I get even a 30-minute walk in first thing.
8:30am - Make the bed (I do it every morning, because it makes me feel like I've accomplished something, ha!) and then shower.
9:15am - Respond to emails, instagram messages, etc.
10:00am - Make a latte to go and pack a lunch (if I'm being good) OR stop at my favorite little place, Coyle's Bakeshop, for a latte and pastry to take to work with me.
10:30am - Grab my laptop, sometimes camera, and what seems like a million other random things (I'm realizing as I speak that I should invest in a cute work tote) and head to the shop (luckily just 5 minutes away).
10:45-2:00 - Work at the shop until it's time to pick up the kids from school. Sometimes my business partner, Molly, will cover the afternoon shift, or my cousin, Lucia, who works for us part time.
2:20pm-5:00pm - Pick up kids, take them home for a snack (or lately, we've found ourselves quite often at Frankie & Jo's, the plant-based ice cream shop that just opened a location in our neighborhood). The next couple of hours are usually for homework help, dinner prep, etc. and I'll sneak in a few emails or photo editing.
5:30pm - Dinner at home, and sometimes I head back to the shop to close. We try to stay off our phones and laptops until the kids are in bed (around 8:00pm), and then I usually hop back onto Instagram to do a post and catch up with messages.
10:30pm - Off to bed and I read for 30 minutes or so to get sleepy. Lately it's been a lot of Harry Potter because my daughter is 8 1/2 and reading them and she got me hooked!
PS: Who has inspired you the most to start your own business?
SH: My grandparents ran their own family business - a golf course and development, and my stepdad was a dentist and my mom worked with him and ran their business, and my dad has always been entrepreneurially spirited as well, so I think I just grew up assuming I'd work for myself eventually. I really love the freedom and autonomy it gives me, but of course there's a lot of stress and responsibility that comes with it, too. All worth it, though.
PS: Poppyseed and this blog in particular is all about empowering women. So... what's the best piece of advice you've received?
SH: You know, awhile ago, a woman I worked for, Karen (she owns the lovely Mercer stores in Seattle and Sammamish), said something that stuck with me. I was worrying about something to do with raising my kids - I don't even remember what exactly it was now - and she said, "If it matters to you, it will matter to them." I think of that all the time - when I question how often I have to work, the purpose of my business; I think of that and I feel empowered to keep going and set an example for my kids, of what a woman and a mom is capable of. Also, it reminds me not to stress so much about the specific things I'm trying to teach them, and just lead by example. Hopefully it will work, ha!
PS: And since you've lived on both sides: East Coast or West Coast?
SH: Ha, that's an easy one - the West Coast is the best coast, for sure! (Don't worry, I still love you, NY.)
AMEN! No offense East Coast, but we do love the West over here. Thanks for chatting Sally! You are truly inspiring and we're so glad you are making things better, more beautiful AND sustainable in Seattle. To keep up with Sally follow ANDERS on Instagram and Facebook, and be sure to check out their shop both online and their storefront in Ballard. Keep up the hustle, mama! #WatchHerHustleWithPoppyseed