Single Mom Start-Up: How To Grow + Bootstrap Your Small Business When You’re Not Yet Profitable


You know we love bringing you the wisdom of successful entrepreneurs who have - so to speak - already made it, but we also think there is so much value in learning from entrepreneurs who are actively working in the trenches to build their business. I recently got to chat with my sweet friend, Lauren Strain, a 29 year old single mom and founder of newly launched company, “Pollumination", a collection of eco-chic candles + ceramics. 

Lauren actually created a few custom tumblers for me before, and besides the fact that her products and packaging are so beautifully made, she also has a huge heart for giving back. A portion of all her proceeds goes to the Pollinator Partnership in San Francisco, California to support bee conservation. 

Lauren shares with us the hardest parts of transitioning from a service based business as a photographer to now a products based business, why she chose to make giving back a key element of her business model from the beginning, and how to keep growing + investing back into your business, even when you’re self-funding everything and not turning a profit yet.

P.S. Lauren wants to share the love with you all! Get 20% off your order of $75 or more with code “ELLEN” at checkout:

Favorite Takeaways From This Episode

  • If you can find a niche where people are interested, you can capitalize on that for a products-based business.
  • It’s not about making money, it’s about creating connection & community around an interest that already exists.
  • It’s easier to borrow influence than create it.
  • Do some research as to what will help you cover the costs for materials up front and help you make a profit.
  • Invest your money BACK into your business.
  • Part of being an entrepreneur is taking time to see your business grow and being willing to invest in the process. 
  • In most products-based businesses, it takes time before you make a profit.
  • Don’t be afraid to pay yourself if you have the means. Profit is not a bad thing, and while you have to make sacrifices for your dreams, you still should not be afraid to pay yourself.
  • Connecting with a community is huge to seeing success in your business.
  • For a products-based business, connecting in person rather than online is a great way to build genuine connection and see success.
  • Connecting a personality to the social media profile gives you a one up in your business.
  • You never know what kind of connections you can utilize from different places.
  • Don’t be afraid to take advantage of social media, showing your products in other locations to create connection with locals.
  • Don’t be afraid to rock the side hustle. If you have to, there’s no shame in building as much as you can on the side so that you can still support yourself.
  • Creating your own schedule & pursuing your dreams based on what works for you over what works for others.

Connect With Lauren:

3. Instagram: @pollumination


What Did You Think?

What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Leave a comment below.

Are we not email friends yet? Make sure you download my income report at for my "6 figures in 6 months" case study for a transparent look at how I made $102,721.44 in a 6 month time span in 2020!

If you enjoyed today's episode, please:

  1. Post a screenshot & key takeaway on your IG story and tag me @missellenyin & @cubicletoceo so I can repost you
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Service-based entrepreneurs, are you tired of being on the content hamster wheel + hustling for more followers without more income? I created a FREE, on-demand training just for you on how to use my step-by-step client attraction system to create your first $10K month, WITHOUT a large audience or complicated marketing strategies! Claim your bonus gift by watching


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