As we walk down memory lane with President and Founder of Gigi Pip, Ginger Parrish, we reflect on the sweetness and sometimes sour aspects of creating, launching, and growing a business. Ginger, in her own words, shares some insight on the beginnings of Gigi Pip, and the triumphs, the unfamiliar territories, and strife that comes with operating a small business.
Why is it called Gigi Pip? A spin off my name - Ginger Parrish
How and why was it started? Gigi Pip started from a literal obsession of hats! Jon told me I was going to be known as the crazy hat lady if I kept wearing hats. Soooo, here we are.
Where did our mission come from? Instilling Confidence in Women! Things sort of fell flat before we defined our mission and tag line. FOR THE WOMAN WHO WEARS MANY HATS. The goal is to instill confidence in woman + it is what keeps the needle moving at the end of the day. The desire to celebrate women in the many roles they lead in life. Everyone is included here + once we pin pointed this mission + motto, things started to come to life.
What inspired you to make hats? The fact that I was buying my hats from men's hat stores.
How long did it take to get your first designs out the door? 6 months
What was your design process? I think process feels like "too put together" of a word. lol! We have been "wearing" many (probably too many) hats from the get go. Jon found a hat manufacturer in LA about 6 years ago + we drove through the night to be there when it opened. When we got there it was closed for the weekend. I remember going to the beach + thinking what on earth are we doing. Somehow we got ahold of them + were able to see the factory + how the process kinda worked. I remember hearing the minimum order quantity was close to like 1000 units or something + knew we were in over our heads. :) We basically asked every single question we could think of + haven't stopped asking questions since.
What was the hardest part of starting a business? Probably learning to get out of my own way? Trusting the process + not being too scared to fail. This is still hard sometimes. Luckily Jon knows a thing or two about business. Learning that work life balance. When you own your own business it never stops. Feels like we are into a good groove now, but it's a constant work in progress.
The most rewarding part of starting a business? The relationships/community. Our mission. Cultivating lasting friendships at work + all around the world. I love spending time in retail, listening to women talk about their lives + share their stories. I also really really really love working with Jon. He owns his own separate business, but is very involved with Gigi Pip + when we find ourselves out on a lunch break on a random Thursday afternoon i still get a little emotional. Just grateful for all of it.
What advice do you have for young women looking to start a business of their own? Identify your next step. If you get stuck on the big picture early on, your hopes + dreams will stay dreams because it will feel way too big. If you can identify what your next step is, you'll be able to slowly climb the mountain + be totally shocked when you turn back around. It feels waaaay too big to digest any other way. Next step will get you there! Also, done is better than perfect!! You can do it differently next time.
How do you try to continue to encompass the mission and values of GP? I am a walking breathing example of the Gigi Pip mission. I step into roles that intimidate the crap out of me almost every single day. But it's when I get uncomfortable + keep going to push through the fear - that is when the real magic evolves. I'm able to learn + grow + bring others with me. It takes a village for sure + I'm so grateful for mine! I try to stay focused on what I can control. It's super important to me that Gigi Pip is a place where our core values are lived internally. We win as a family + lose as a family + that's the beauty of small business, same team mentality. I'm grateful every single day I get to work with such humble, talented, people.