We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Beardsley, Gretchen Schubert & Allison Irwin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi ladies, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea for Just Try It came out of a lunch with friends called the annual “Favorite Things” lunch. There were about 12 of us involved in the group and the concept is that each person chooses one of their favorite things from that year (must be $25 or less) to give to everyone else. Over the years, girls have come with anything from a jar of their favorite salad dressing to a new kind of hairbrush to a handy kitchen gadget. Each gal would come home with 11 new amazing products that they didn’t know about before. After a few years, it began to gather some traction – and we would get phone calls from our Moms, sisters and friends asking “What did you get from this years favorite things lunch? What’s new and exciting that I need to know about!?”
Soon after we knew the favorite things lunch was a hit and event everyone looked forward to all year long, we got the idea to take this exact same concept and put it online. So we did!
We want our users to think of us as three friends, telling them about our favorite things – whether it be an experience, a kitchen gadget, a new hose our husband is loving, or a cute sweater at Target.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There are 3 of us, which is unique. It’s not often that you have 3 people running an influencer account – usually it’s just the one person that is the “influencer.” So I think that sets us apart for sure. Each of us have different backgrounds: Allison is an interior designer and very creative. Gretchen was a photographer and is also creative and a visionary. Laura was a writer and editor at a magazine for years and brings that experience as well as her analytical approach. All three of us found ourselves excited about starting this business together and have found that the combination of our skills has been important in the growth of our business.
Starting a business is very daunting but I think you just have to start and then get feedback and adjust as you go. I’d say something we’ve learned along the way is there is no way to anticipate all the obstacles you will have and try to proactively solve them before they happen. That’s impossible and you are just spinning your wheels. Start the business, start “selling” or offering your service to others and see how it goes. Are you too expensive? Too cheap? Who are you selling/marketing to? We always say “learn as you grow” and that is so true!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We get this a lot from people coming to Phx on vacation. For hotels, we would stay at the Phoenecian, as it’s an awesome hotel and the location is great! If it were winter/spring, we would take them on a hike up at the Gateway trail or to walk in the Phx Mtn. preserve on 32nd St. and Lincoln. For restaurants, we would check out AZ 88 in Old Town Scottsdale, then head out to some of the bars there. We also love Lou’s at Papago Park for a relaxed outdoor dining experience – also great for kids as they can run around on the lawn. We also love Brat House in Scottsdale for lunch or dinner and Los Olivos in Old Town for Old School Mexican food.
For shopping, we like Fashion Square Mall in South Scottsdale and Kierland and Scottsdale Quarter in North Scottsdale.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is so hard! But we would love to give a shout-out to our very first customer, Jennifer Russo of The Market by Jennifer. After we had launched our business and proven our concept, Jennifer was the first person to tell us she believed in us and wanted to pay for what we were offering. It was such an incredible feeling to hear someone say that and I think we felt validated that all the hard work we had been putting in was actually materializing in a tangible way.
We are also always thankful for our entire community – and anyone that has ever hit ‘follow’ on our insta account or ‘subscribe’ to on our website. Thank you!! We are so grateful and thankful for you all.
All photos by Fully Alive Photography. (I’m so glad you asked this – thank you!)