Megan: Children’s Clothing Boutique Owner

Name: Megan Hines

Age: 30

City: Mobile, Alabama

Main Hustle: Registered ER Nurse

Side Hustle: Co-owner of a children’s clothing company, Sweet Magnolia Smocks.

How did you get started?: I was blessed with a sweet little boy named Sawyer and then another little boy named Charlie, so like any other Southern mama I decided I loved smocked and appliqué clothing. I never could find reasonably priced items in local boutiques, so I began shopping on various Facebook preorder groups. While there prices were fair, they still lacked something.

As I lay in bed one night, I thought,  ‘If these other ladies can start up their own groups, so can I.'”

So I began my mission, recruited a fellow nursing/mama friend, Jessica Sheldon, to be my business partner, did lots of research, and we opened Sweet Magnolia Smocks!

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: All the time….no I really try hard to do it when I’m not working at the hospital or with my kids, so I stay up late a lot! My husband just finished up some remodeling/updating to an apartment above our garage, which is where my office is now.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Making sure that my customers have a good quality, uniquely designed, and reasonably priced outfit. I think another challenge is making sure I balance my time equally between my job as a nurse and most importantly my jobs as a MOM.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I get to design clothes (something I have always had a passion for), meet so many new people, and do something I truly enjoy!

Who is your greatest supporter?: I’m going to say my husband, without him I would lose my mind!! He is always helping and finds ways to do things better (advertising, website stuff, manufacturers). He is definitely a big part of the success of my business.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I would have to say my family—can’t pick any one person but they all have always encouraged me to reach for the stars! They have always told me I could do anything as long as I put my mind to it.

Have you received recognition for your work? If so, please toot your horn below: Right now we are in the running for a Nappie Award in our hometown! There is a local lifestyle magazine in Mobile that does something called the Nappie Awards every year.

The categories are widespread, but we are in the top six for Best Kids Clothing Store, and we have only been around for one year. I SAY THAT’S A BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT considering all the local stores!

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: One day for it to be a storefront and to be able to support my family with it!

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

Don’t stop doing what you’re doing; you have to fail to succeed!

Check out Megan’s website, follow along on Instagram, join the Sweet Magnolia Smocks Facebook group, or reach out via email to connect or collaborate!

Featured Image by Susanna Womack Photography

Brie: Owner of Children’s Clothing Line

Name: Brie Hooper

Age: 34

City: Mobile, Alabama

Main Hustle: Mom of 3, (7mo, 2.5, & 5)

Side Hustle: Owner/Operator of Mustard & Ketchup Kids, a kid-friendly children’s clothing line offering tees, polos, hats, & more.

How did you get started?: Several years ago I was looking for a cute and comfy alternative to my son’s dressy, smocked clothes. Something that he could just wear anytime, whether it be on the playground or to a birthday party. Something cute and kid-friendly. Not too bold, or with inappropriate graphics for his age.

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: The majority of my work comes when my little ones are napping or after they are all asleep. I am a night owl.
I am also able to spend a few hours a week at our distribution office.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: The biggest challenge for me as the sole owner/operator is managing family and work.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: Meeting customers, store owners, seeing kids in our gear.

I love that I started a small business and have continued while raising my family. I feel like there are so many women out there who are multitalented and can do so much but just have not made that leap.

Who is your greatest supporter?: My husband and my parents are my biggest supporters. Both have given me great advice on how to run a small business.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: My three children and all children are my greatest inspiration. As a former first grade teacher, I have always loved kids and being a part of their lives. Running MKK allows me to provide children with a fun outfit that represents something they can relate to.

Have you received recognition for your work?: I have not won any big awards or been featured on CNN (ha).

It is not me who should be recognized. It’s all of us. All of the hardworking women out there who are making a difference. Keep on keeping on!

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I would eventually like to expand our line, but for now I will continue offering the best toddler and youth apparel possible.

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

You can do anything you set your mind to! Don’t have doubts, believe in yourself, and go for it! You might just find the perfect opportunity waiting for you! Otherwise you may always wonder what if…

Check out Mustard & Ketchup Kids online, follow along on Facebook and Instagram, or reach out to Brie via email to connect or collaborate!

Professional photos by Frances Sadler Photography