Betsie Larkin has been touring the country performing Electronic Dance Music (EDM) for over 10 years. Along with entertaining an audience with her unique music, she also has to awe her fans with extravagant outfits to wear on stage during her performances. Under the outfits Larkin would wear, she always preferred an undergarment that made her feel more secure while on stage in front of hundreds of people. After countless performances that ended in frustration due to wardrobe malfunctions, Larkin knew she had to make a change in the world of undergarments for all women like herself who wanted to feel more confident in their clothing, so she started her brand called HoneyLove Sculptwear.
Larkin had taken sewing classes and owned a sewing machine so she was confident she would be able to make a version of undergarments that would stay in place and could be a reliable part of an outfit. “My first version worked well, but it was definitely not the most beautiful,” Larkin said. After teaming up with an undergarment designer and a gown maker, she not only had a product that worked but also one that would catch the eye of interested buyers.
She was able to get HoneyLove underway with crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. HoneyLove was wildly successful on Kickstarter. Within the first three days, they raised $100,000 to get HoneyLove up and going, this put them in the top 1 percent of Kickstarter companies. The campaign closed with raising a total of $314,000.
Larkin was amazed by how well HoneyLove was doing and she absolutely Kickstarter to other entrepreneurs. “Kickstarter has a very loyal community so people will see your product. I can’t guarantee people will pledge it, but it will be seen and you will make sales,” Larkin said.
As of now, HoneyLove products are only sold through Kickstarter but Larkin’s goals for the future includes making sales from their own website and potentially selling through big department stores such as Macy’s or Nordstrom. As for her music though, that will be put on the backburner. “I will always love performing, but having my own business has brought me so much joy and fulfillment. Music gives me pleasures still, but my long-term goals are for HoneyLove,” Larkin said.
Starting her own business was such an abrupt career switch for Larkin; she has had to learn many lessons in business along the way. Because of this, she has many helpful hints and advice for other startups. “Never work in isolation. One of the best things I did for myself was find two advisors. These were people who were doing what I wanted to do and were really successful at it. They bought shares of HoneyLove so I benefit from their knowledge and they benefit from my success,” Larkin said.