You Sell What? Meet a Mom With A $1M Online Bachelorette Party Store

We had the awesome opportunity to talk to Steph Storm – the Founder and President of

A Little Background

Steph Storm has 22 years’ experience as former Retail Executive and has worked for White House Black Market, Eddie Bauer and Sears to name a few.

Her rise from a major event is what attracted me to her story and, not to mention, she sells bachelorette party items and we love a good party.

Steph had a major setback in 2009 when Eddie Bauer, the company she was working for at the time, was facing major problems and had to let go of some key people, including her.

What a blow!

She became unemployed and didn’t know what to do. She did know, however, that she needed to make something happen.


Steph would say that getting laid-off was exactly needed to happen for her to create a life she really wanted.

Also, around the same time she was getting married and planning to expand her family (she has a two year old son now).  What a perfect time to start a business from home!

How Steph is Hustling from the Heart

You will find Steph to be a gracious, caring and all around fun lady.

After Steph was let go in a down economy, she did not sit around waiting for that next big executive job to come around.  She spent six months, with the support of her husband, taking classes at a local community college on topics such as web design, Photoshop, Quickbooks and anything she could get her hands on.

She did this for two reasons:

  1. She had a business idea she had been sitting on already
  2. She wanted to save money and DIY what she could

She has built a million dollar online store from scratch (from her basement really), has seven employees and she has started a few other companies due to the success of  She also mentors other women who want to find fulfillment through entrepreneurship while raising a family.

She talked with to share her experiences running an online business and shares some advice for others who want to do the same.

Don’t have time to watch the entire interview?  Pick what is of most interest to you below by time. 

  • 9:35 – Why she doesn’t like to pay too much attention to her competition.
  • 10:33 – The first steps she took to get started and what things she did on her own.
  • 13:40 – How she felt when she hired her first employee.
  • 14:29 – Thoughts on outsourcing functions of your business and hiring out.
  • 15:40 – Recommendations on what to do in the first six months and how she saved money early on.
  • 16:22 – Marketing – Why Google AdWords worked for her business in the beginning to get traffic to her online store.
  • 20: 36 – Why she decided to hold inventory versus just drop shipping (holding no inventory).
  • 25:43 – The moment it occurred to her that she needed to be the one to create what she wanted and not wait for it.
  • 29:17 – Metrics Steph uses to define her success.
  • 30:23 – How she handles the peaks and valleys in her industry.
  • 32:07 – How much money she spent to launch her business.
  • 34: 35 – The ONE website tweak she made that sent her sales through the roof.
  • 36:45 – Steph’s advice for success to others who want to run this type of business.

Have additional questions that I didn’t address in the interview?

Ask them in the comments and I will be happy to ask Steph.

Other Key Insights

  • Advice on Building Inventory Online
    • Go to as many industry trade shows as you can and negotiate the minimum amount to buy from the importer, wholesaler or manufacturer so you can test on your website (she has had more luck with the smaller companies).
    • Visit actual stores that will likely carry products in your niche.  Look for items that your competitors don’t currently sell and test it out.
    • When visiting stores that carry products in your niche, you can easily find out who manufactured or distributed the item by simply looking at the tag.  Then you can call them directly and negotiate your own design, price etc.  This is common practice in the retail world.
  • Technology She Currently Uses 
    • Accounting – Quickbooks
    • ECommerce Solution – Volusion (she is mixed on recommending them)
    • Transactions –
    • Shipping Automation –
  • Cost Reductions
    • Once you can order more volume from suppliers, you can get free freight through some suppliers, which equals huge savings.
  • E-Commerce Platform
    • Steph recommends using an all-in-one ecommerce platform like Volusion if you are not a web developer or have those types of skills.  Plus, some of them will give you discounts on designing your page and they can make your store look more like a bigger player than it actually is.
  • Profit Margins First Year
    • Steph said to not expect huge margins in the first year, but they will come when you become a bigger player because of discounts and negotiating leverage.
  • Other Businesses
    • Steph has launched two other online businesses, including  Her motivation for launching these was because there are peaks and valleys in her industry, which means she sometimes has extra inventory on hand and she wanted to give her employees year-round work.

You can connect with Steph on Facebook or at

What about You?

What idea are you “sitting on” and what ONE small action will you take to move forward with that idea?

None of this information is useful without action.   And….

Sharing your Action = Commitment.

Share in the comments and let us help support you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.