Christy Hall did a complete 180 with her career in the middle of her life! She left a secure, high-paying corporate job to launch a company that was based on selling beautiful wooden keepsake boxes (and a select handful of other products) that her husband handcrafts one box at a time. Their business is based completely online through an Etsy storefront and a website and is booming! Christy is working side by side with her husband and doing a job that she loves, while practicing a work-life balance where she gets to call the shots. Christy is a shining example of a wild web woman!

Meet Christy Hall!

Christy Hall and husband Tyler of Mad Tree Woodcrafts
Christy Hall and husband Tyler

What inspired you to launch a web-based business?  I was a corporate VP, and my husband was a corn and soybean farmer. The input costs of farming were starting to exceed the output revenue and I was growing exhausted of the corporate grind. We knew that we wanted to start a business together; but it took us about 2 years to land on a concrete idea. The passing of our dog Reba kickstarted us to jump into an idea we had while selecting an urn for her. We decided to combine Tyler’s woodworking skills with my business savvy and launch a memory box business online.

What do you love most about having your own business? We are passionate about being artisans, making handcrafted products that our clients will cherish for a lifetime.

What is the most challenging about running a business?  We work 7 days a week. It is extremely difficult to carve out a full day off.

What are some of your proudest accomplishments? Our Etsy shop is 4.3 years old. Out of 3.5M Etsy shops, our global rank is 21,154 and our USA rank is 13,097. We are very proud of this! We have had 4,383 sales on Etsy and all of our reviews are 5 stars. Our business has grown year over year, month over month, every month since we started it!

What are some professional risks you’ve taken that led to positive outcomes? To be brutally honest, I gave up a corporate salary of $320k with healthcare and 5 weeks annual paid vacation to work on our business full time and I have not a single regret. I feel so blessed that I get to be an artisan and own a business we are both so proud of.

Where’s your favorite place to get work done? We turned our unfinished basement into a fully finished workspace for our business and I love it. It is a walkout basement with a fully landscaped backyard, birdfeeders, water fountain and nature trail at the base of the yard.

Mad Tree Woodcrafts Keepsake Boxes
Keepsake Box by Mad Tree Woodcrafts

Name three web tools you can’t live without.

Do you have any professional role models? If so, who? All of the Sharks on Shark Tank and my former boss at Kemper, Tim Bruns. He is COO of Kemper Corp. I was Vice President and General Manager of two companies under Kemper.

What is the one book you would recommend other female entrepreneurs read? Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Do you have favorite podcasts? 

Christy Hall Mad Tree WoodcraftsWhat does your typical day look like? Wake up at 8am, cuddle with my dogs until 8:30am. Make coffee, do computer work until 10:30am (responding to customers, creating digital proofs for engraving, purchasing shipping labels). Get ready for day and walk our dogs from 10:30-11:30am.  Feed our dogs and make my lunch – then head to the basement. I work on orders from 11:45am – 5pm.  As I finish orders, I pack and bring them to the front porch. New for us in 2021 is that we do USPS and UPS pick up daily on our front porch. I no longer go to the post office and UPS every day which is a big-time savings. From 5-7pm is dog/ dinner /playtime. Then, I am on the computer from 7pm-midnight doing finances for the business, responding to customers, working on graphic design (digital proofs for our customers’ requested engraving), managing our Etsy listings and adding content to Pinterest. I have Web Marketing Therapy handling Facebook, Instagram and blogs on our website. These are 3 huge items I never carved out time to do and really do not have any expertise to handle which gave me quite a bit of anxiety!

How do you unplug from work? I spend 5-7pm everyday with my dogs. This involves dinner, a long walk, frisbee time and a long golf cart ride around our neighborhood. I can honestly say I am in the moment for these two hours, and I do not think about work at all.

What tips for maintaining work/life balance would you give to other businesswomen? Get a dog! They make you play!

What’s something you do every day to take care of yourself? I drink green tea all afternoon as I work. I also apply Doterra Console every morning and evening behind my ears and on my wrists.  Lastly, I apply Doterra Zendocrine to the bottom of my feet every night before bed.

What is a quote you live by? “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” – Stephen Covey

What investments have most helped your business grow? We started on Etsy and we are still on Etsy. We love Etsy but the investment that helped our business grow was launching our own website. Our customers, whether on Etsy or those that find us on the web, gain confidence in us when they see our website. That confidence inspires them to purchase. Even if they do not purchase on the website, they inquire off the website which is a great lead generator, later concluding in a purchase transaction via a direct PayPal link I send to clients to pay for their order that I helped them construct.

Business-wise, where do you see yourself in 10 years? I see Tyler and I running our business with employees, days off and a large workshop here in Chattahoochee Hills (Georgia) with all of our operations in that one building. Right now, we working out of detached barn/ out-building on our property in Ohio and in our finished basement in Georgia. We are going to sell the Ohio property and move all operations to Georgia within the next 3 years but need land and a building to accommodate.

What advice would you give your younger self? Wish I had read the book The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins in my 20’s. I read it in my early 40’s (I am 50) and applied everything I read which has paid off tenfold. I would be in an even better position had I read it in my 20’s!!!

What is the number one piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to run a web-based business? Do not be scared. Do not try to get it perfect from the start. Jump in and just do it. Learn fast, fail fast, fix your failures and keep going 100 mph.

Learn more about Christy Hall and her business by visiting https://madtreewoodcrafts.com and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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