Lindsey Hulquist, Founder & Owner of X Label Apparel for “the everyday boss babes”, & a media agency called Media Wolf inc. Lindsey Hulquist has hustled her way up with no hand-outs from a child with her lemonade stands at the age of 7, to her now 2 businesses at the age of 29 despite the struggles of women having to work 3x as hard to make it, plus throwing in a pandemic on top of it all!
Women On Topp interviewed Lindsey Hulquist to discuss her entrepreneurial style, her love for leading and how she took a leap of faith in starting Media Wolf inc, after working for the largest media company in the world, iHeartMedia, for more than 7 years.
What inspired you to start X Label Apparel & Media Wolf inc?
The inspiration for both companies came at two very different times in my life; I started X Label when I felt an intense passion & need for it. Media Wolf was created later when I learned my potential for what I could offer clients. I remember the “ah ha” moment for each of them.
The birth of X Label came when I was working at my first “corporate” job at the world’s largest media company. I was always told by my family regardless of what it was, to show up & dress for the job you want. That people’s first impression of you was about how you presented yourself. I was in my early 20’s working this big girl job when I realized there was truly no outlet for me to represent myself as “the boss” I wanted to be. I thought to myself, I would love to create a brand for “the everyday boss babes” who were looking for modern, sophisticated workwear, that didn’t break the bank. That’s when X Label Apparel was born!
The birth of Media Wolf inc, came after I had been working this corporate job (selling radio airtime) for many years; I realized I could be doing MORE for my clients. I had just helped a client of mine grow from a small local company to a nationally known brand, and at that moment I knew what I was capable of. What I didn’t know was that I was already playing the part as a CEO but for someone else. Then it just clicked to me, if I worked this hard for someone else imagine what I could do working for myself. I put in my notice with that company & never looked back! Not only can I service my clients with radio, but now also with TV, OTT, billboards, digital, creative, etc, the opportunities are endless! Relationships and helping others grow their businesses is something I take great pride in. For this, I made the WOLF in Media Wolf to stand for “working off loyal foundations”. I have now become a true overall partner.
Tell us more about this, who are your clients, what are they looking for?
For X Label Apparel, the “X” represents literally any & every woman! It’s a place for any woman to go to, created by another woman when they want to elevate their wardrobe & feel powerfully sexy!
For Media Wolf, my clients are any business owner looking to advertise & grow their business on a local or national level. It could be a small mom & pop business trying to get their brand heard around town via radio & billboards, OR it could be the national chain company that’s looking for radio, TV, OTT, all over the country. That’s the beauty of me now being a 1-stop shop resource!
What is the one piece of advice that has impacted you the most?
JUST START! A mentor of mine, Warren Broadnax, told me years ago that the easiest part with anything is just taking the first step & starting somewhere. That advice lives rent-free in my head everytime I’ve hesitated to jump. No one wants to be seen starting from square one, but at the end of the day, we all must start somewhere & work our way up. There’s no shame in the building phase, in fact, I have learned countless lessons all of which have made me the successful business owner I am today. All the fortune 500 companies didn’t just come out of the gate successful; It was years of building, & ups & downs behind the scenes, success is a long game.
The next best thing you can do for yourself, is to find a solid mentor. Someone whose business & drive inspires you and pushes you to reach your full potential! Someone you can go to for business advice & motivation
If you could go back 10 years, what would be a tip you would give yourself or our audience?
If I could go back 10 years and give advice to my younger self, I would have definitely told myself what my mentor told me.. to stop waiting for the perfect time & start now, make that leap of faith, whatever it is- DO IT! Stop waiting for a “right time”, there will never be a right time. If that’s what you’re waiting for you will be waiting forever. When you have that overwhelming feeling of a passion for something- that gut instinct, don’t ignore it, just go for it & don’t hold back!
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
In business, my greatest accomplishment has been helping a small local company grow into a nationally known brand. That’s when I realized the potential & impact Media Wolf could make on the world.
In life, accomplishments I consider to be great are just having the motivation & courage to chase my dreams. The thought of uncertainty is always scary, however just as you’re calculating all the things that could go wrong, imagine what could also go right. That dream is worth going after!
Through hard times, what has kept you going? What can you share about this & what can our readers learn?
With both companies, I have seen both success & losses (which you will see without a doubt with starting anything great). Nothing great comes from a lack of lessons, we must learn from them, and grow from them to produce something that will be unshakable in the end. What has kept me going, is by far my heart & drive for what I do. For both companies, I genuinely believe & know they both have a place in this world & they make a difference. The reason why you started will be the reason that keeps you going when you learn a hard lesson one day. However, giving up is never the answer or solution though. Someday, when you hit that goal you’ve been striving for, you will look back and thank those lessons for putting that extra fire under you’re a** to get there.
What has been your favorite moment in your career?
Working in the media industry; I’ve had the opportunity to meet, talk, & collaborate with many local and national celebrities (DJs, singers, rappers, athletes of all kinds). Working alongside these motivating & influential people opens your mind to the endless possibility of opportunities. To see the things, you help create come full circle & come to life, is a career-high for me while also a fuel for my passion!
Share 2 pieces of advice for female entrepreneurs.
To every fellow female hustler, I’d say 2 things:
1. Show no fear. NEVER be intimidated by anyone whether they’re male, female, whatever their title is, rank, net worth, anything. We’re all human, and you have every right to be at the top, just as they are. Show up, believe in your power, and assert it accordingly. I’ve seen how much harder you must fight to make it in a male-dominated world, but you will be respected as long as you show no fear, & never back down from an opportunity.
2. The things they say make you weak as a female boss in the business industry, like moving with love, empathy & kindness, is what will truly set you a part in this world. At the end of the day, people ultimately remember how you treat them. Therefore, as long as you can bring something to the table nobody else can, like treating your customers as family, & overall helping them in some way, you will not fail. The world needs more compassion than it does savages, & that is why the future truly is female.
What are the steps you would have to go through to launch a second business? Any tips?
Absolutely! It’s the same as if you were launching your 1st business, 2nd business or 10th business, you always need to feel prepared. I of course didn’t just decide on a whim to quit my first job without any plans or funds saved. I used my 9 to 5 as a dream fund. I saved money for as long as I could before I made the jump. I did my research & looked into what all it would require to launch each business. Even when I had all the tools to do so, still hesitated, because people like security. However, I learned quickly if I would have just started sooner when I didn’t think I was “ready”, I would probably be further & better off down the road now! Which Is why I say, build a plan, save up what you can, find a mentor to help you take that jump & JUMP. I’m not saying you have to have it ALL figured out, nor do you need a million dollars to start. Just something small that you can double, then triple, & so on. Write down that reason why you started & let it continue to fuel you down your journey (you’re going to need that constant reminder)!
What are your future goals?
How much time do we have?! They are endless! Health & happiness for myself & loved ones are always my main goal. I’d also love to write a book one day. If ever my story helps to inspire just 1 person to go after their dream as well, I’d feel complete! Lastly, would be just trying to create a life I don’t feel like I need a vacation from. The tricky part is knowing when to take a break. I’m sure other entrepreneurs can relate, that we work so hard trying to “make it” that we never actually feel like we’ve made it, even at our highest point. My goal is to recognize all the accomplishments and milestones, no matter how big or small, celebrate life along the way, & hopefully pass the wisdom on to the next dreamer!