Small Business Interview: Bunnie Hilliard, Giggle Girls Book Club

Meet Bunnie Hilliard, owner  of The Giggle Girls Book Club, a monthly subscription box that delivers hand picked books to young girls aged 4-11. Bunnie has a Master's degree in Business and works full time in her small business which was inspired by her first daughter. She is a wife and mother of two beautiful children, and also a seasoned entrepreneur  - she owned a successful children's party planning business in the past! The purpose behind her business is great and her interview is full of some awesome advice.


Please introduce yourself and tell us about your business. What is it called and what products do you offer?
My friends call me Bunnie Hilliard and I am the Owner of The Giggle Girls Book Club. We are a monthly subscription box (I like to call them parcels!) that delivers hand picked books to young girls aged 4-11. Each month we ship a parcel that includes a few books, a yummy organic snack, and other fun stuff like stationery, or necklace making kit, nail stickers – “stuff girls like.”

Our goal is to help build the loveliest little libraries and to get our girls excited about reading. A super cute box filled with new books and snacks delivered right to your door every month. There isn’t much better than that? Currently you can choose a gift subscription of 1 month. Or a 3- or 6-month subscription (at a disounted price).

Can you share a bit about how you choose this line of business? What transition did you make to owning your own business? 
I have a Master’s degree in Business and left my corporate marketing job after my first child to start a business with a grad school classmate. We were children’s party planners here in Atlanta - Which I loved so much. She has since relocated. And I have continued my life long goal to build a (new) business around my family and daily life.

We are avid children’s book readers at my house and I had started a book club for my daughter as she was learning to read.  Each month we would bring our favorite books and favorite treats to do a story time at a friend’s house or the playground (and we still do). But upon the suggestion of a friend I decided to come up with a way to turn our fun times into a way to share the love of reading (and friends) with girls across the country – The Giggle Girls Book Club.

Do you have any special training?
My business and marketing background definitely come in handy. And I’m a creative person by nature. I’m happiest when I’m making, creating, planning. 

What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a business owner?
My main accomplishment is continuing to grow my business. Each month, we gain new followers, more subscribers and fans. And I am super motivated and grateful for this.

What mistakes have you made with your business?What did you learn from the experience and how did you bounce back?      I’m not sure yet :). We are still in the growing stages and I am continuing to learn and make changes and adjustments from each previous month. What I am realizing is it is very important to stay connected to and personal with your customers. Send regular emails to check in, let them know what they are getting, and when to expect it.

Send another note to make sure they liked it too. I plan to do all I can to keep a very personal touch in my business. Personal notes, checking in, and special treats in each box.

What do you consider the most important elements of running a successful small business?
Marketing. Don’t just think – “if you build it (the store, the website, the blog) they will come”. Do your very best to stay up on current marketing trends and stay in front of people via email, social media, ads, friends - and talking about your business. You’d be surprised how many people had no idea what you were doing and would be excited to support you and share the love.

"You have to get out there at once and Sell! SELL!" – Randolph Duke, Trading Places circa 1983

Do you have any start-up advice you can share with women reading this who would like to launch their own businesses?
Comparison is the thief of joy. I can admit I still struggle with this. Stop comparing your beginning, to someone else’s middle. Make your list, and keep working on it, every day.  

Do you have any advice on managing your small business finances?
Not my strong suit, but I’m working on it. Thankfully, my husband is a finance guy and can help me when I have questions.

How do you balance work and life owning a small business?
I work from home with two small children. It's taken some time to find my groove. I try to work some in the morning before they are awake. A few hours while they are at school and then a bit after bedtime so that I can stay focused on them when we are together.

Trying to work while they are at home and we are together just does not work for me.  I try to schedule my “work hours” and stick to them, so that I’m not frustrated at them for not being quiet while I take a call and they aren’t frustrated at me for not paying attention to them when they want my time.  I leave Fridays open for appointments and grabbing coffee with friends.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Maybe a unique and modern brick and mortar children’s book and gift store in addition to our subscription business.

Please share a fun fact about yourself
I can still do an awesome cartwheel!

Thank you so much Bunnie for a lovely interview!

Bola Onada Sokunbi

Bola is a Certified Financial Educator, money coach, finance writer, business strategist, social media influencer and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a platform that empowers and educates women to make the best financial decisions for their current and future selves and to pursue their dreams of financial independence in order to live life on their own terms.