SDH150: How to Create Your Dream Product with the Co-Founders of Birdies

Have you noticed a need for the product in your daily life for decades? Are you tired of waiting for someone else to create it? Do you want to be that person?

The Co-founders of Birdies, Marisa Sharkey and Bianca Gates, took action against this constant void that they faced. For them it was a fashionable pair of slippers that they could wear around the house, entertain in, or wear in other people's houses. They were tired of having to go barefoot, having to wear their socks, or slippers more designed for their pj's. They wanted something that wouldn't compromise their stylish outfits, but also compliment their lives as working mothers on the go.

Upon finding that other women felt the same, and seeing that no one had really addressed this problem,  they gave their idea a go. The two began to think about what they wanted in a slipper, and wanted more than just a cute slipper. They wanted to create a slipper with arch support to create a smooth transition from heel or hard flat to home, and slippers that conformed to their body temperatures. To adhere to the latter, most of their styles come with the option of being quilted or faux shearling lined.

Neither Marisa or Bianca came from a entrepreneurial or manufacturing background. But by working their networks, and watching YouTube videos on how to make shoes, they were able to make their dream shoe into a reality.

Almost every woman introduced to the shoe love it, and through word of mouth, their business sky rocketed and they realized they had a sustainable and successful business on their hands.

Sit and relax as you hear more about their Bianca and Marisa's story!

In this episode you will...

  • Know how to explicitly tailor your product to match what you want and what your customers need
  • Learn how to grow your business organically
  • Understand when to jump on business opportunities
  • Figure out how to ask for help when you really need it
  • Know how to be specific with your 'asks'
  • Find out how to evolve your revenue model with your growing business


"The idea was never to make this into the company that it is today at the trajectory that we see this on. It was mainly, 'Can we solve the problem that we have experienced'...and what would that look like." - Bianca Gates

"We are the target customer; so why don't we develop this for ourselves " -Bianca Gates

"We've recognized pretty quickly that there is a huge void in the market place....Now that there is a solution, women realize...that there is a problem...and thank you for solving this." - Bianca Gates

"It was real authentic people liking the brand... [and] product, and feeling like it helped them in their day-to-day moments at's the story that people are really putting out there... [and] it's a story that we love." -Marisa Sharkey

"When you get specific with your 'asks', people really do want to help; but you have to help them help you." -Marisa Sharkey


Birdies Slippers Website

Birdies Slippers Facebook

Birdies Slippers Instagram

Birdies Slippers Twitter

Birdies Slippers Pinterest



SDH149: How to Show Up, Do the Work and Get Yourself from Point A to Point B with Co-founders of Oars + Alps

Are you seeing a void in the market place? Do you feel you have the knowledge, passion and drive to fix it yourself?

Mia Saini-Duchnowski and Laura Cox, Co-founders of Oars + Alps,  saw a void and had the passion to fix it. They did extensive market research and  found most women are the gatekeepers to men's skin care products. They discovered this pattern starts as early as puberty for most men, when their mother's buy them their first skin products; and follows them to adulthood with their spouses or significant others.

Mia and Laura can personally relate to their research, because the urge to start Oars + Alps began when their husbands would use their skin care products. (Yup! We've been on the same boat..!) They found themselves replenishing their own products faster, and women's skin care products can cost around 5x more than men's, said Mia. Men and women's skin are different and their products serve different purposes, therefore using women's skin products was benefiting no one.

With their research and own experiences,  they created a product for the active man that craves simplicity, authenticity, quality, and ease. Named after their husband's love for rowing and snowboarding, they wanted their brand to represent that ath-leisure lifestyle, that allows their product and message to travel with their target consumer.

Did we mention the brand has three products that all have natural ingredients, are TSA friendly, and are available for subscription service allowing customers to choose the frequency of their deliveries, without the burden of re-ordering.

Come join us as we hear more of Mia and Laura's story, including the extensive branding and story behind Oars + Alps!

In this episode you will...

  • Know how to align your product to your customers' lifestyles
  • Learn how to gain the courage to jump into a career path that you feel you can enhance
  • Understand how to create an e-commerce brand that appeals to consumer senses
  • Figure out how to develop focus groups for your product
  • Comprehend your consumer's psychographics
  • Discover how to do your research and understand your place in your market as a entrepreneur


"We didn't just want to create a skin care line. We...[wanted] to create a community, a sense of feeling and being...that it was a movement." -Mia Saini-Duchnowski

"The guy that wants to use Oars + Alps is doing it because he craves that authenticity from a brand...the brand is bigger than that person." -Mia Saini-Duchnowski

"You're convincing a lot of big people to take a bet on you. You're going to be their smallest and lowest priority. And you need to convince them that you're their number one priority...on the same minute of the same day for things to go right." -Mia Saini-Duchnowskia

"No one is going to help you get from point A to point B; you gotta do it yourself." -Mia Saini-Duchnowski


Oars + Alps Website

Oars + Alps Facebook

Oars + Alps Instagram

Oars + Alps Twitter

Mia Saini Twitter

Mia Saini LinkedIn

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand

Getting Unstuck by Dr. Joy Browne



SDH148: How to Develop a Passion That Aligns with You with Dr. Gabby Pelicci

Interested in becoming a Virtual Assistance or connecting with Molly?

Email Molly at hi (at symbol) academyforvirtualassistants (dot) com. Click below to check it out!


Are you able to see potential in others to be entrepreneurs? Do you want to help them grow into the leaders you know they can be?

The ability to see potential and desire to help is what sparked one of the businesses of today's guest, Dr. Gabrielle Pelicci, who is a Wellness Business Coach for Women in Wellness Career Training, and a leading expert as a Holistic Health Professor. Growing up with her father, who was a physician and constantly treated with antibiotics and other Western medicines, she realized she simply didn't feel good as a whole in her college years. Her diet was poor, as well as her physical health and her mindset as she coped with stress and anxiety.

So she began delving deeply into the holistic health scene and fell in love. She decided to go into it professionally and gained a Ph.D. in holistic health practices. She then began teaching Mind-Body Medicine and Holistic Health at universities across the country for about 10 years.

As a professor, she noticed a lot of her graduating students, who showed immense drive and leadership potential, were having trouble becoming entrepreneurs. She decided she wanted to help them  grow and give them the tools that they needed to succeed. She also wanted to help the students who may not exactly know what business they wanted to start in holistic health, but had an immense passion for the craft. She created a coaching business, Women in Wellness Club, for these budding healers and provided them to have a community of likeminded individuals and resources to start their careers, but also continued to help people who wanted a healthier lifestyle change.

Join us as we hear Dr. Gabby share her tips and her journey in healing at the source!

In this episode you will...

  • Know how to create a business based off of need
  • Learn how to inspire lifestyle change with your business
  • Discover how to develop your craft
  • Understand whether you like your business idea or LOVE IT and want to build a long-term career out of it
  • Know how to not follow a trend with your business idea and create it because you see a need for it
  • Find out how to engage your customer base and create relationships


"I wanted to create a place, and a conversation, and a community where they could easily find what they need and connect with likeminded people who can help them accomplish their goals." - Gabrielle Pelicci

"Even as an entrepreneur, you're going to face a lot of overwhelm, isolation, different types of lifestyle challenges as you're building.So if you're grounded in these holistic modalities, those things are going to help you be more successful in your business and you're career." - Gabrielle Pelicci

"If you're going to make a living doing this you have to develop some kind of strength in your craft if you really want to do this long-term as a business" - Gabrielle Pelicci

"I'm very driven by serving others. That's really what excites me and makes me want to create things that makes life a little bit easier for other people." -Gabrielle Pelicci


Women in Wellness Club

Dr. Gabby LinkedIn

Dr. Gabby's Facebook

Dr. Gabby's Instagram

Dr. Gabby's Twitter

Blissful Business by Dr. Gabby

Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford

Body and Soul by Anita Roddick

Shark Tales by Barbara Corcoran

Dr. Gabby's 5 Must Read Books by Female Entrepreneurs