Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Mason Worstell of Hello Family: Navigating Small Business Challenges

In a world where family time is often overshadowed by the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Mason Worstell, co-founder of Hello Family, is on a mission to reignite the bond between loved ones. Reflecting on his journey, Mason shares the challenges he’s faced, the unforgettable impact his products have had on customers, and his plans for the future of his business. Join us as we delve into the world of entrepreneurship with Mason Worstell, a visionary dedicated to making the world a better place, one blue box at a time.

Interviewee Name: Mason Worstell

Company: Hello Family

Intervirew Host: Jesse Samberg

The Interview

Let’s get started. First, we’d like to know more about how you started your business journey

Mason Worstell : It was a summer in 2018 and fellow founder, Fredrick Baily, and I (Mason Worstell) had worked together for several years in the same office building. We were always greatful for our jobs, but we wanted to have a real impact on society and really put our best efforts into something that makes the world a better place. That summer was when he came to me with an idea to improve the bedrock of society, the family.

After collaborating on so many business ventures in the corporate world, Fred and I figured we could make something of this idea, but we needed help. We knew how to make the idea work, but we had no idea how to make it beautiful. So we pieced together and prototype that, if I am honest, we still laugh about today, and we presented it to our designer and good friend Austin Macho. He really made the dream turn into a wonderful reality.

Over the years, we have designed a subscription game catalog that is made to reignite family time. Each box has a fresh new design packed with fun, and is made to engage and create family bonding moments. Whether it be a hysterical monster adventure through space, a clever mystery escape from a haunted mansion, or laugh-out-loud island rescue mission, this subscription offers a new way to upgrade family time and build family forging memories one blue box at a time.

The three of us at Hello Family and have really taken on entrepreneurship. We have made the daily decision to champion challenges, and stand on our mountain of failures. We feel weathered and even scarred by the process of not only starting a business, but shaking up the market. Even more though, we feel blessed by our grit and flexibility. From design to production, research to marketing, and manufacture to distribution, we three are it. At least for now. We have learned to be things we never knew we could, take on challenges we were never prepared for, and most importantly, we have accepted our purpose to make the world better.

Reflecting on your business history, what stands out as the single greatest challenge you’ve successfully navigated, and how did you overcome it?

Mason Worstell : This one is not even close. We have run into several challenges, and are prepared for several more, but a couple years ago we went through an entire brand change. Intending to save money in any way that we can, we did a copyright and LLC ourselves. Now we are not against saving money and doing as much business as you can yourself, but due to our DIY process, we were not adequately protected and neither was our products. We found out that even though our licensing and copyrights were done, a smaller company in another state had challenged our brand name. We had our brand and sales way before they did, but unfortunately because they had done they’re processed correctly, we were forced to do an entire brand name change. That means website, change all of our product lables, we had to throw away inventory, and perhaps the more painful part was the emotional attachment to our brand. Something we had basically created from nothing was just taken right out of your hands. The thought of starting over and rebranding, new website, new email, and everything was daunting to say the least.

We now see that as a turning point where we had a chance to either pack it in, or double down. We had too much in our products, customers who loved what we did, and honestly we are confident that we are accepting a divine purpose. There is no giving up. Hello Family is going to change the world.

Businesses often face ongoing challenges. What does your business consistently grapple with, and how do you tackle these challenges head-on?

Mason Worstell : For us, as our company is growing, our pain points are on two major fronts. Those are production and marketing.

With Hello Family boxes coming with all inclusive and custom games, producing them has been no small challenge. At first a lot of our products were completely custom for each box, but what we learned is that the more variables you have the more expensive each little piece is. At our level right now we are relying on creative production means and preparing for scaling production further. One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned is that you don’t have to do everything all at once. Get creative, get gritty, and always prepare. Have a plan for when you’re overwhelmed.

Marketing on the other hand is an entirely different demon. The funny thing that I wish I learned a long time ago is the simple fact that no matter how great your product is and how much work you’ve put into it, nobody’s going to buy it if nobody’s ever heard of it. Although that’s a simple concept, getting your product in front of the right people at the right time is an elusive and frustrating endeavor. Plus, designing the product has always been the most fun part for me. That said, there is no magic method, but there are smart people out there. Network. Network. Network. Find people who know what they’re doing and work with them as much as you can.

Can you share with us the most unforgettable story involving a customer or client? What made it memorable, and what lessons did you draw from the experience?

Mason Worstell : There are several customer testimonies that I can think back on but one of them continues to bring a tear to my eye.

Our products are meticulously designed to create positive family memories. One of our early customers had a blended family that was not getting along as much as they had hoped. After playing one of our Hello Family boxes they had written to us to let us know that the difficult relationship between parents and stepchildren has changed. Our product has helped give a conflicting family a new foundation to build from. Memories were once filled with the struggles of mixing lives, and now the family has laughter and belonging. That is why we keep pushing. Every family should have a bond built by positive memories.

Looking ahead, what are your current plans for your business when you retire?

Mason Worstell : Our current plan is to get the business to run like your well oiled machine, and then pass the legacy down to our children.

Navigating the small business landscape can be both challenging and rewarding. Can you share a bit about the specific hurdles you’ve encountered in areas like sales, marketing, and adapting to changing customer trends?

Mason Worstell : Marketing is by far the most elusive and difficult piece of the puzzle. It seems like everybody hss the magic trick to make your business launch into space, but from our experience, there’s no replacement for hard work and patience. You can’t do a facebook ad for a short period of time and expect to quit your day job. You have to have several irons in the fire and understand how to track your effectiveness in everything you’re doing.

Leaders Perception magazine would like to thank Mason Worstell and “Hello Family” for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

Interested in connecting with the host of this interview series? Feel free to reach out to Jesse Samberg on LinkedIn: Jesse Samberg’s LinkedIn Profile

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