Find Your New Biz Bestie At The Ultimate Product Party
This week on the Product Powerhouse Podcast I’m chatting with the co-creators of The Ultimate Product Party - Allison Carter and Cat Hildner.
Build your Shopify store in just 14 days. This roadmap walks you through exactly what you need to do to design a strategic and beautiful Shopify store.
Join me at theThe Ultimate Product Party happening in Nashville this May! Come to learn new strategies for growing your product-based business, connect with other product makers and sellers, and have the most fun you’ve ever had on a “work trip.” Sign up today and I'll see you there!
This week the Product Powerhouse Podcast I’m chatting with the co-creators of The Ultimate Product Party - Allison Carter and Cat Hildner. We talk about a lot of fun topics in this episode like,
Meeting new people at in-person events
Creating boundaries in your business and life, so that you CAN have a business and a life.
Believing that word you’ve done is the right thing and it will all work out the way it was destined to work out in the end
All the details of The Ultimate Product Party, happening May 17-18th in Nashville, TN.
Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, take a screenshot of the episode to post in your stories and tag me! And don’t forget to follow, rate and review the podcast and tell me your key takeaways!
Learn more about Product Powerhouse and Erin at https://productpowerhouse.co/podcast/
Erin Alexander: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the product powerhouse podcast. I am so excited for today's episode today. I am talking to my friends, alison Carter and cat Hilder, who are the creators of the ultimate product to party.
I've already mentioned this on the podcast. That I get to be a speaker at the ultimate product party this year in may, in Nashville. I am so freaking pumped for this event. So it is a business conference for product based businesses because running a product based business is not like the other business models out there.
And everyone in this industry is tired of people saying oh, just take this. And. Make it work for your business model? It's like, no, we need. Specific. Strategies for selling businesses. And that is what Alison and cat have brought to the table with the ultimate product party. It's completely tailored towards selling your products.
And it's going to be so much fun. They are so much fun. I had the best time chatting with Alison in cat. When you're listening, if you're thinking to yourself, oh my gosh, I need to get to this event. I definitely want to see you there. To get your tickets. You can go to product powerhouse.co/u P P. Really easy to remember.
There, you will find all of the details of the event. And if you listen to this before February 10th, 2023. you can still get. The payment plan option for the tickets to make it a little bit more affordable for your budget, which I completely understand. So again, you want to go to product powerhouse.co/upp. And you will find all the details and I will see you there.
Okay. Now let's dive into this episode with Alison and cat.
You're listening to Product Powerhouse, a podcast to inspire and empower you while you build a powerful product-based business that fuels your passion and feeds your family. I'm your host, Aaron Alexander. I run an e-commerce web design agency that helps shop owners, build, grow, and scale. This podcast is all about actionable strategies specifically for your product-based business.
So friend, grab a nice coffee and let's chat because DIYing your business doesn't mean you have to do it alone.
Hi, Alison and Kat, welcome to the podcast.
I'm so excited to chat with you today. How are you,
Allison Carter: We are so good. Thank you for having
Cat Hilder: us on.
Erin Alexander: I've never had an interview with two people
Allison Carter: Oh,
Erin Alexander: a half years, so this'll be fun.
Cat Hilder: Woo. Prepare
Allison Carter: pretty good. We're pretty good.
Erin Alexander: So you guys are the creators of U P P, the Ultimate Product Party. Tell us what this is. Tell us everything.
Cat Hilder: Thank you for saying it's U PPP and not up. So anyone who's out there, it looks like up. I'm like, please stop calling it up. It's only chatted up on Tuesdays. Okay, so Ultimate Product Party. It is a two day badass business conference. It's not your daddy's type business conference. It is fun and fabulous, and we bring in some of the just most awesome speakers like you, Erin, talking and sharing all your knowledge and all the, our speakers are so approachable.
We are so approachable. We care about. Letting you have a true, authentic experience and showing up as your most fabulous self, whatever that looks like for you to learn all the things that you need, all the hats that you wear in growing a product-based business.
Erin Alexander: Yes, and I love it cuz you told me, like when we were talking about this podcast episode you said, running a project product-based business is different. It's like you, you try to adapt the stuff that people are putting out for your product-based business and it just doesn't work. It's like we need specific tools and strategies and resources for product businesses and that's what you created.
You created a party for us,
Allison Carter: Yeah, we understand that product-based businesses are a totally different type of business than service influencers, bloggers, creatives, in that aspect, and that's really what a lot of events are created for. If. and we were just like over going to events and having to ask how this fit for a product or how we could apply that strategy or whatever.
And we, or like the fact that we were like not really connecting with that many people that had product-based businesses and it was just harder to find, harder to relate. And so you can have a whole network of. Friends, you could be in memberships with business owners and different things like that.
But if you don't have a network of product-based businesses that understand the things that you have to do, the shipping, the inventory, the packaging, the profit margins, like all the things, then we really wanna create that space for you to find those people. But also know that every single session, round table, breakout speaker that you're going to listen to is going to be fully catered to your business without you having to and do the extra step of trying to shove the square peg into the round hole and have it work for you.
Erin Alexander: Yeah. Oh, that's exactly why I even created this podcast and why I like transitioned into this world in the first place is because I started working with product sellers and they were like tr they were trying to fit these. Strategies and ideas that the world was telling them, this is how you grow an online business into their product-based business.
And it wasn't working and they were frustrated and they were like, what do I, what am I doing wrong? But I'm like, it's not you, it's you don't fit mold. Like you have a different business model and that's perfectly fine and great. But this came about because you both have experience in the product-based world, right?
We skipped over the who you are so can you give us a little bit about like your backgrounds.
Cat Hilder: Yeah, so I'm Kat. My business is Kitty Meow. I have a collection of paper, party and gift goods that I sell all over the world, primarily greeting cards, and nothing is really. Cat related. I'm not a crazy cat lady, I'm more of a dog person. But it's just this juxtaposition of sexy design with funny jokes and sometimes sweet sentiments, and a true reflection of a personal brand and products reflecting me and my personality.
Not that it's all about me. I wanna connect with people who, it is about me, people who have similar humor to me. And then I also coach other product-based business owners, how to grow and scale in the wholesale sector if they wanna get their products in stores. I'm a mom of three in the Chicagoland area, and Allison just kind of forced me into this whole ultimate product party thing.
And here we.
Allison Carter: And I'm Alison, I'm the floor sir. I
Cat Hilder: I am the Forcer
Allison Carter: company called Alison Carter celebrates, and the product side of me was a subscription box that was holiday and craft and activities. Centered for moms that just wanted to have all those fun little things for the holidays and not have to think of them just everything prepped and delivered to their door.
That business closed this summer. And now I help business owners with their visibility and creating content that is authentic to them and showing up as themselves on the internet to find that they're ideal people. And I host and coaching groups and I have a membership called the Basic Pitch Club that is a little bit more PR and content focused, but yes, as a former product-based business, which product will be making an appearance in ACC Land?
Again, because I know I re I actually I have, know, I had a manifestation of a print on demand aspect. I don't know that I will have another inventory based, product based business. . I do have a couple things that have come to me lately trying the print on demand aspect. So product will be in ACC Land again, and now I have all these connections and resources, and all of these people in my life that are going to make it wildly successful.
But yes, coming from product and having to like juggle both. Is really like hard and the service. Once I added service and coaching in my membership , it was the first time in business that I was like, oh, this is way easier. Every course I've ever bought is totally for this business. And wow, I made it.
I had it. I had it so hard. I feel like I have to go back and rewatch everything and relearn everything because this is what they were telling me about, not the product side where I just had to forge my way through. So yes, we both heavily relate to all of our attendees and all of the people in our audience that have product-based businesses.
Erin Alexander: Yes. Wanna go back though to this forcing story, because this sounds like a story we need to hear. How did U P P come to life? How did Allison force Kat to do this?
Cat Hilder: Well, Alison forced Kat to Nashville for her Mastermind retreat. No, I'm just, okay. You're going to realize that I'm just dramatic in my personality and I say things and I'm. joking most of the time. But I had signed up for Alison's Mastermind, and this is after us knowing each other for a couple years. We met at a conference.
We kept seeing each other at other conferences, and Alison was just my go-to girl. If I was going to a business conference, I'd be like, Alison Carter, are you gonna be there? She's yep, I'm in the third row right now. I'm waving from the front. And we connected in that way, and I just built this trust with her where.
She was my go-to person when I was like, oh, should I make this business decision? Should I make this investment? And it seemed like a good fit for me to join her mastermind that was focused around pr. And we had our mastermind retreat in Nashville in August of 2021, and we were just sitting down at dinner one day and she was like, man, product-based businesses, they are the OG of all businesses.
We didn't start out. Influencers or selling services. People literally went door to door selling vacuums or whatever it was that they were selling products, and somewhere along the line products just got forgotten about as technology shifted and she's we should do an event for product-based businesses.
And I'm like, yeah, that's a really good idea. I just had another baby. I'm just busy with things and. I knew in my heart, I'm like, yes, this is a really great idea, but it also sounds like a lot of work. So August comes and goes, September, October, November. She's Hey, how about that? How about that event?
What do you think about May? And I'm like it is November. I'm like, okay, if you're. Let's do the thing. And we launched on Black Friday. No one cared about our event. We didn't sell any tickets. We felt like big lazy losers. And then December rolled around, still feeling like losers. I'm still feeling like a loser today.
No, I'm joking. But it was so hard to get people to even listen to us cuz product based business owners are super busy doing their Black Friday holiday sale, whole rigmarole. And it wasn't until the beginning. It wasn't until after Christmas that we finally got one ticket sale after we put money down for a venue that we didn't even go see in person in a state that we didn't even live in.
And in less than six months we pulled this event together, this gorgeous, beautiful, impactful event together by the skin of our deep. But it was a lot of work, but so fun
Allison Carter: just a blast and a half.
Erin Alexander: It sounds fun. I don't think I could host a live event. I would love it cuz I love spoiling people, but that's incredible. What a fun story. I love that you guys just connected at retreats and you just kept . Kept at it. Allison doesn't let go. Like she sticks in you. No, I'm just kidding.
Cat Hilder: In all fairness, Alison is your ideas girl. She will just word vomit all these amazing ideas. But then it's me who's Alison, did you update the spreadsheet? Alison, we have things to do. Alison, did you send that email, Alison? And so she like created this monster in me.
Allison Carter: Kat is the, we say that Kat's the ultimate and I'm the part, so I am all like the, all the things that are fun and what could we do for this and what should this look like in all of the things. And I can get work done when I need to get work done. And then Kat's There are things yesterday she forced me on the phone and was like, we are going through every single email and I will not let you off of the phone.
I don't care if you need to eat. What are you doing? What are you making? We are going through every email and replying to them, and I'm like,
Cat Hilder: Yeah. Yeah. You have to keep this one in line.
Allison Carter: we made each other though, and there's zero chance in hell that we could do this by ourselves. I would never take on an undertaking like this without a partner.
I can't even imagine the stress, the workload alone to bring this massive two day wedding on steroids to life is a lot. And if you don't have that person, like just to split the workload, but also to. She knows exactly what I'm going through and I know exactly what she's going through because we're going through it together.
So we're really good support system. We're very good friends. We're very honest with one another. We're not like we're able to say things to each other without Getting offended or get getting our feelings hurt because we both know really that we have each other's best interests and that we have the best interest of this actual business, which is an actual business.
It's a corporation that we're 50, 50 owners on, and. , we have the same goals. We have the same like mission and vision for this business. And so we're very much on the same page. So we have a very good business marriage that is needing to be nurtured constantly, and we are talking constantly, but thank God we have each other in.
Something like this. And it also just makes it more fun. Like it's more fun when you do things with friends and you get to share that experience and we get to look at each other at the event like, we did this, oh my God, people are actually having fun and like liking each other and whoa. That's because of our idea.
Cat Hilder: I'm so glad you didn't forget. I'm so glad you were like, oh let's do this. Cuz I would've been like, oh no. Maybe next year. Cuz it, it never feels like the right time to take on something new and scary, and it's never gonna feel like the right time. You just need to decide for yourself that you're gonna do it.
Do it anyway.
Allison Carter: Yep.
Erin Alexander: I can completely relate to that. Like I do not wanna be doing the service I've been doing for seven years, and so it's it never feels like the right time to end it, but, If I don't just end it, then I'll do them forever.
Allison Carter: Yep.
Erin Alexander: you, you hit on something that's so crucial is that you both, like you are friends and you are in this together.
And I think whether you are running a business with a partner or you just have another business who gets it, that's the, that's a key piece of running an online business that some people don't make that connection. They don't have that person. and whether they found them, at an event or my business best friend, like I call her my work wife.
We lived on the same street. I knew who she was cuz we we live in a tiny town, like we run into each other. My husband and I jokingly called them the mustard people because they always wear yellow and they drop a yellow car. And like we would see them and they would be wearing yellow.
And she knows this of course, but she had a yard sale and I walked up and I was like, Hey, you don't know me, but I live down the street. I think we would be my best friends. I think we would be good friends. I follow you on Instagram. And then two days later, which I would never have done, she was like, do you wanna come have coffee with me?
And it started now four years of best friend Hood, that I would've never taken that chance because I am not someone likes to ask questions. Who likes to feel stupid? So if she said no, I don't drink coffee, I would've felt stupid and never talked to her again.
Allison Carter: Yeah.
Erin Alexander: And so those types of people in your life who understand running a business, running the same type of business, she's also a web designer.
My in-laws cannot understand how we do the same thing but are not competition , like they just cannot wrap their brains around it. , but having her in my life changed the game for me,
Allison Carter: yeah.
Erin Alexander: that's something that's really special about going to an in-person event, especially in 2023 when things are maybe getting back to normal, we hope
Cat Hilder: The new.
Allison Carter: yes. Everything is normal at Ultimate Product Party.
Erin Alexander: so We wanted to talk about like how do you make the most of an event? Like how did you first connect at that event where you just like, who was brave and just said, Hey, let's be friends.
Allison Carter: Probably me.
Cat Hilder: How dare you. How dare you.
Erin Alexander: she's taking the credit.
Allison Carter: we were at an event that didn't feed us and so we were starving Marvin's and both of us are food people and we knew that we needed to have breakfast. And so both of us, Separately went to breakfast at the hotel that we were staying at, and we were randomly seated next to each other at breakfast.
And so I was by myself, Kat was with somebody else. I forgot even who that was, and she was, I don't know. So I was by myself and then I was like, , here, clearly these two girls are at this conference also. So I'm like, I'm sure I introduced myself and just said hi Nelson, like what is your business?
Or whatever. And then we just started talking and then I gave Cat a coaster cuz that was my business card, cause I was running the party side of my business at that time and I was like, I feel like I know this brand. And she gave me a card, like greeting card. And then we just connected. I have her in my phone still as Kat Kitty. From that event that I got our number at, and we just continued to like, connect through the years. But we've had many, and we've gone to many business events and we've continued to grow our relationship and now God, I can't even imagine my life without my kids are always like one of them.
Why are you talking to Kat again? ? What does Kat have to say today?
Cat Hilder: you're like, cat has. She will just not leave me alone even though I give her office hours. This is a post-it, you probably can't see it, but it says, only contact Alison from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM because she, that's one thing Alison has taught me about I don't even wanna say about being a business owner, just being a woman, a mom, that you need to have boundaries between your business and your personal life.
Cuz I have no boundaries and it's not something I'm proud of. I just Give all of my energy to my business cuz I love it so much. And just even this weekend, Alison was like, you're not going into work on Monday. You need to do like a mental healthcare Monday and just do something different than work on your business.
I'm like, okay, but can we just take this call you and I real quick to go through these emails, baby steps.
Allison Carter: least she was at home and not in the office and she just stumbled into that. But yes, and I feel like we, there are those relationships that you find and that you really. Need each other because Kat also forces me to be way more responsible than I would like to be. And so there's this balance of, okay, she holds my feet to the fire because I don't wanna let her down.
And so I can I want to do the things that I'm supposed to do and be an equal partner because I don't wanna let my partner down. and, but I'm also don't want her to have a mental freaking spiral breakdown and like freak out. And so I'm like, you need to just go read a book or watch a show. Last Friday, she was like texting me about some, who even knows, and I was like, I'm done talking about work.
And she's okay, bye.
Cat Hilder: We were talking about backdrops for U P P, and I don't know about you, but that's very exciting to me, and I could talk about sparkly disco balls all day
I'm like, I met dinner with my family anyway, so I am done talking to you. Thank you very much. See, this is my problem though. This is, oh, Erin, you didn't know that you were signing up for a counseling session between us, but these type of relationships, like I didn't meet Alison at this breakfast at this conference in 2000.
It was 2019. I'm so good with dates. Ah, and just know automatically you are my new best friend. You are my future business partner. You are not getting rid of. No. It just gradually happened over the course of two years organically. And if you would've told me even a year ago that we would be interviewing with on this podcast with you, Erin, talking about something we actually pulled off, I would've been like, oh gosh, no.
That is way too hard. I am not capable of something.
Erin Alexander: That's awesome. I am just laughing so hard cuz I completely relate. I just took a 10 day vacation in Hawaii with my family. I did not take my laptop for probably the first time ever because what if something breaks and I have to fix it? But there was an issue and we're like at breakfast, and everyone's like, put that away.
And I'm like, these people pay our bills. So you shut up . And so I, I do not have boundaries. I am the same as cat. I need more boundaries. In fact, my two business friends. I don't, I'm not working Fridays this year and I'm like I put it as a flex day cuz what if I feel like working ? They're like, no, you take the day off.
There's other things you can do.
Cat Hilder: always feel like working. It's just I don't, and I don't, and I'm not like, Ugh, I have to work today. I'm like, Woohoo.
Allison Carter: There's a difference in. working and knowing that you don't have to work. So Wednesdays are my flex day, so I have, I can work, mostly I do, but I also know in the back of my head that I don't have to, so like I don't have things booked, I don't have a commitment to anybody during that day. So it's like this freedom.
But I'm also someone that doesn't like boxes and like schedule, like I don't like being tied out. And so when the rest of my week, Is like calls and boxes and I am at the disposal of all these other people. I need that breathing day to if I want to work, I can work and if I want to watch housewives and have brunch.
I get to do that too. So I want, I need to know that I can, and also I need to remind myself that like I am not a doctor, so nobody's dying because I don't respond to their Voxer message. And like it's just is one of these things that if a, I wish I had boundaries as a product-based business owner like I do now.
and I don't, and I do really want to help that product community with that, because this is the first time in six years that I actually had a Christmas, I actually had a holiday break. I've never experienced that before because I ran a holiday business . So for six years, every memory of my kids was documented on social media, my blog, email, content, every, I was doing things for brands.
I had a subscription box that was all holiday. It was Christmas Eve. I was designing certificates to print off for emails like for people to put under the tree. Like I spent my whole holiday season always catering to other people and oh my God. Now knowing that I can do that and the things won't burn down and going back and looking on boundaries that I should have had that I would love to help other people be able to implement.
Major like it just has been a different mindset shift that I feel like I needed after being in such a constricted business for six years and I feel like I've meant to be that person for ka I was meant to be putting Kat's life to be like, have more fun.
Cat Hilder: I agree and I joke around about no boundaries and it's healthy to have them and you force me to do it. And for that I'm very grateful. But we still have stuff to do. Okay. We can't have too many brunch days.
Erin Alexander: I think it's powerful to know that about yourself. I wonder, Kat, did you feel like, do you feel like your holiday season is completely devoted to work and you don't get to enjoy it with your family?
Cat Hilder: as a product-based business where most of my customers are wholesale customers, no. So holidays are never super slammed for me. They're busy, but like this right now, January, February, when we're all the stores have money and they have empty shelves and they need to buy product to fill those shelves, like this is my busiest season.
But now I also have a team to where I don't even do a lot of that stuff. They do. For me, with me so I can focus on doing this event or focusing on the education side of my business and just that mental shift of I can have people help me and you don't need to do it all alone, has been a crazy mindset shift in itself, which Alison has also encouraged put the product aside, like more passive.
They can let people help you. And I'm like, no, I need you to do all the things and, but we don't. We just think that we do. And it's not until we get past that holy cow, our business can be so much bigger if we just outsource and ask for more.
Erin Alexander: Yeah, I, that's like a soapbox I've been standing on this year because I have worked with product based businesses for so long, and I get those conversations like, I hate the holidays. I don't get to spend time with my family, and telling them, please schedule in time with your family.
Like it's okay if you don't ship orders every single day, it will be okay. And I am totally like the person inside. Yes, I'm taking a day off. But it's scary, like I get it. So how can we force ourselves to have these boundaries? , especially for those of us who are very easily, like who, who do easily say, okay, no boundaries anymore.
Let's do whatever you ask for. Yes, also raising my hand. But because I, because you get burned out in, just in December October, November, December, I've been dealing with this nightmare client situation and been like such a weight that I haven't wanted to work. Like I lost that fire, like Kat's saying oh, I love to work.
I think about it every day. I want to work on it every day. And like when you get burnt out, because you don't enforce boundaries, you don't enforce your contract in my situation, then your spark is dried up and you don't have anything left to give. And so now I'm like I have to work because this, feeds my family.
, so a big part of it. Also, last year I went through a big health scare. So a big part of it is how can we force ourselves to have boundaries when we don't want to
Cat Hilder: It's just surrounding yourself with the right people and having people who are going through similar struggles. Like we probably got on this podcast and thought we were gonna talk about something else, but now it's turned into this. But we all get each other's struggles cuz we're dealing with the same kind of issues and you don't often have people that you can really go to that are in your corner that you can just shoot the breeze about whatever you're struggling with, which is why you need to get outside your comfort zone, meet people in person. So you could see are these people, my people? Is this someone I could just text on a random Wednesday because I'm on the struggle bus?
That is who Allison is for me. That's who other people in my community are for me, and we wanna create that safe place where you. Come and just let loose, have fun network and feel among your people.
Erin Alexander: I really love that, and I love that you created it in this container for product-based businesses because as we've said, we don't have that. Like I'm not a product-based business, but. They don't have that. The people listening, they don't know other people who sell products or , and so they need other people who sell products, who are dealing with wholesalers, who are dealing with shipping, who hate u p s, like
Allison Carter: Yep. Yep. Yep. Exactly. And we are very much girls, girls like we are not competition people. We like hate that. And we are very much encouragers and supporters and how can we help and I want to share what I know. I want to help you build your business because, You going off and doing something after coming to our event is like beneficial for all of us.
Like it all matters and one of the best things about. U P is the community and is the connection that people make and the safety that they feel at the event, and the supportiveness and the encouragement. And we have in every speaker's contract that they have to participate and they have to walk around and they have to be part of the experience. They're attending the conference just like every guest is, and they're available to be pulled and to ask questions and to eat lunch with everybody, and nobody is better. Kat and I are walking along, like we're sitting in sessions. We're learning right alongside of you, like we're all part of this experience.
We're all like learning. We're all connecting, and everybody is very much included on the same level. There's no hierarchy. That is also very unique to the event space because a lot of events, speakers, hosts are untouchable. They get hidden in secret green rooms. They're like, ooh. And we're like we don't play that game.
We like, we love that the speakers coming are approachable, that you can DM them and get a response that like they are total experts in their field and they're not fan ancy. I'm too good for you people. Like we don't play that game. We want everybody to feel incredibly included and supported and welcome into this experience that is like what we're creating for our family.
Like we really do think of it almost as this like wedding where Ka are getting married and we're like inviting you to our family. This. Milestone that we get to participate in creating for your business. And we love that. We have, like U PPP is on people's vision boards or it's something that they want as like a, to rely on for something that they do yearly as like a resurgent, like a motivator and all that stuff.
And your people are there, you just have to make the decision. To invest in yourself and get outta your comfort zone and go say, hi, I'm so and so wanna be friends. You want me to be the ketchup to your mustard?
Cat Hilder: Do not say that to anybody. You are going to scare them away. Oh my goodness. But seriously, whether you are. Someone who's attending who doesn't even have a product yet, you just have an idea, or you are our most seasoned educator and speaker. We all have so much to share and learn from each other. Just like Allison said, we are in the sessions with you if we're not teaching them ourselves. And cuz we want I'm still growing my product-based business over here. They're the things that I wanna learn. There's things I wanna learn from Aaron, from literally all of the people. And we're just, we're in the trenches with you. We're just maybe at a different stage and we pride ourselves on being relatable and we want you to come into that audience of 200 plus people.
Maybe you're a little scared, but the first thing we wanna make you do when we get up on stage is make youlaugh. By, usually it's by making fun of ourselves. Our mc last year shared this hilarious story of how I had a total outfit malfunction, and I was literally about to pee my pants crying, laughing, because that's just real life, man.
That's what did it's like to be a woman and have things go to hell in a hand basket? You're just trying to survive through the days. Whether you're a product-based business, any type of business. We just wanna be fun and relatable and make people feel comfortable cuz this, it is scary, but it doesn't have to be something that you are not capable of overcoming.
Erin Alexander: I'm. Even more excited to come now. Like I was already excited even before there was another event announced. I was like, I'm excited I'm going to this , but I am I listened to Brene Brown, this video this morning. It was like, don't look for the ways that you are different from everybody else, because you'll always find them. And so I'm always like, I don't fit into places I don't fit into because I don't let myself fit in . And so it's like the people who you know, the people who are having the same issues as you are, the people who are there for the same reasons. The people who are craving that, those are the people that are going to be there and those are the people that are gonna make the most of it.
And it just sounds like a blast. I haven't been to like a big fun event in a long time. Hello Covid, but I cannot wait.
Allison Carter: and it is a fun time. Let us tell you. We don't do anything small like it is fun. Music is blurry. There are sequins like there are photo ops and fun food and just, it really is a party mixed with total business growth. But it is like a time to also just recharge, relax, go let yourself have fun.
Business is supposed to be fun. Like you're supposed to enjoy yourself. You're creating. This thing out of your thoughts and your creativity and something that your idea, you hold in your hand. There's so much power in that, and we want you to experience the joy and the privilege that it is to be a business owner in this supportive learning.
Erin Alexander: I love it. Okay, so I did wanna ask you like some, I know you have a pre-party. I wanna kinda ask you like some specifics about the 2023 event so that people listening like. They're like ready to get out their cards to sign up. So what are some of the things that are happening? What are some of the topics that are being covered?
Just like a little brief interview or like review, we will link to the page so that everyone can check it out, but just a rundown.
Cat Hilder: Okay, so it's a Wednesday Thursday event. Wednesday May 17th to Thursday, May 18th, and last year it was very last minute, but we're like, oh, what if we just had like a pre-event, happy hour? but then we went to this tiki bar and they didn't have any room for all of these people. So this year we're like, let's just do something a little bit more bonafide and can actually accommodate whoever wants to come.
So we are having a pre networking event hosted by one of our speakers, Amy, who's gonna teach you how to make the most of in-person events. So perfect timing, cuz then you're going into the event on. Wednesday, Thursday. So it is at pins mechanical. We're renting out the entire room so you can buy your own food, buy your own drinks, play some what is it?
What was it? Duck Pin. Pin. It's not pinball, but it's a,
Allison Carter: It's like a bowling thing, but whatever. It's a
Cat Hilder: like bowling with like mini bowls. Mini balls,
Erin Alexander: of ball game.
Allison Carter: Yeah. It's a tiny ball
Cat Hilder: Playing with balls. I don't know what kind of balls.
Just some type of rolling of then you come on Wednesday, you check in at registration, you get your name badge, you get your swag bag, you go hit up all the fun photo ops.
I promise you when you walk into Clementine Hall, you are going to get the exact euphoric chills feeling that we got when we toured the venue for the first time. And if you don't, then just get the hell out cuz you're not. No, I'm joking. but you're gonna go into an opening from our mc and we're gonna be like led in a positive, good vibe meditation, which sounds so like woowoo, which it is, but it's more like high energy, not yogi
Allison Carter: No, it's a pump up kick in the booty, start up by the girl named Asia and she's just a doll and she's gonna like help with mindset and just sending intention for the day.
Erin Alexander: think you mean a pump? U p
Allison Carter: A bit up. Yes. Up,
Cat Hilder: but it's still u
Erin Alexander: There's no ups.
Allison Carter: there's no up.
Cat Hilder: Our good friend Hillary, she is the storytelling queen. She is our mc for this year and we know that she is just going to bring so much energy and she's just perfect for the role, and we'll have.
Allison Carter: already.
Cat Hilder: Yeah. We have some keynotes, and from keynotes we will go into breakout sessions where you can not only learn and take it all in, but then you'll actually have time to implement and ask questions like, okay, that's great and everything, but how do I apply this specifically to my business and have workshop time?
We're gonna have round tables where you can choose your own adventure, maybe. Maybe you're not into astrology, maybe you are, but there's someone there who will teach you astrology, like how to use the moon to guide your own business. And it sounds hokey, but I promise you it is so cool cuz I work with this speaker one-on-one.
Literally you wanna learn about opening up a subscription box. You, there's about 25 different topics for round tables, and you won't have time to go to all of them. So you can choose ahead of time which ones are striking your fancy, and if you don't get to make it to one, you can still go up and talk to that speaker and connect with them.
We're gonna have lunch, we're gonna have a marketplace. Alison, help me out here. What am I missing?
Allison Carter: I think some of the, we're really intentional about speakers, so we had a lot of people apply this year, which is wild to us because last year we were like begging on our knees for people to speak and even just come to the event. So this year has been, a real fun treat to actually have people be like, oh, can we see?
Speak we're like really . Ok. We had so many people apply and we really took all of the overview of topics and we're like, okay, what do our attendees want and what do they need? So we really want U PPP to be a place where you are a well-rounded c e o of a product-based company. So we are forcing you to do some of the maybe quote unquote boring topics like taxes, and outsourcing, and a couple other things that maybe you're like I just want.
we're still giving you TikTok. We're still giving you Instagram. We're doing Erin's doing email marketing, and we're still doing all of the things. What we really also want you to be thinking like, okay, my best friend. Her name is Alex. She is corporate Microsoft mom. She has a very big job. She does not have her own business or anything, but she has had major like growth in wellness and in being, in setting boundaries and having a life that your business doesn't run, that your business is part of your life and she's teaching a breakout all.
Just personal health and wellness and having, like setting that intention for yourself and setting up routines and rhythms that work for you. There is storytelling, there's content creation, there's wholesale, there's pr, there's, so many topics that are really targeted to your business, but also.
your mindset and also other things that need to be addressed and giving yourself space to work on some of those things and to put pen to paper and to write down your thoughts and to workshop the outline of your nurture sequence that you're gonna be helping them with. Or to ha. Start filling in that pitch template or start coming up with your leads list for your wholesale plan or whatever that looks like.
Like having some space to work and to talk through some of these things. And then the biggest change this year from last year's event is at the after party. And so we were like, we are in Nashville , we're in downtown Nashville, we. To have fun, like we have to have incorporate music into this event. We have to channel Dolly.
And so we have extended our hourly rental of the venue and we are having everybody go home. Champagne toast. Finishing the event Thursday. Everybody has champagne toast. Yay. Oh my god. We did it. So much growth. Oh my gosh. And you're my best friend. Go home, change, eat dinner, come back. The whole venue's gonna be flipped to honky tonk.
We have a live band that's coming. We're just gonna have a big old line dancing party with drinks and apps and treats and just really Fully have fun. Kat and I will be fully letting loose. We are not responsible for any part of the tear down or clean up or anything, and we just get to have fun, like right alongside of you and just celebrate this really fun thing that we do.
So really we have Tuesday Happy Hour with Amy, who legit is the queen of events like it you, everybody knows Amy's name. If you have met Amy, she you, she will be in your head forever. She is the actual best. So she's hosting that kickoff happy hour, and then going into the two day event, and then going into the after party.
And holy smokes, you're gonna be leaving like so on fire.
Erin Alexander: So it's tomorrow, right?
Allison Carter: God. No. It better not be because we need that Five months.
Erin Alexander: Yeah. . Okay, so we are gonna link to the U PPP website so that everyone can see the schedule of events. You can see the speakers, you can see all the fun that's happening. You can see last year's event. I know you guys have pictures and videos and all sorts of things. We will also link to your guys' individuals Instagrams, but also the U P P Instagram is really fun to follow.
I know sometimes I re-share your little post because they're so good, like such great questions and everyone get excited because we cannot wait to see you at u p
Allison Carter: Yeah. We're so excited. Yes. Feel free to reach out with any questions. Reach out to Erin if you have any questions. And we are happy to talk anything about the event, whether it's for you, do not be scared that you are alone. Most everybody comes alone and does not know somebody there, but you will not leave alone, but you will not be the only one who doesn't have a friend.
It can be very scary walking into a room of women when you have no idea who they are, but we will know you. We, you can come up right to us and we'll be like, oh my gosh.
Erin Alexander: The other thing you have is, Like a Facebook group right now. So if you're coming and you want to get to know people, like just who's coming, get to, the lay of the land, the Facebook group is great. I know there's people talking about like sharing Airbnbs and like where they're flying in from.
So the Facebook group is another way to feel a little bit more comfortable going to an event where you are alone and don't know anyone.
Allison Carter: Totally. Yeah. And ask people like, Hey, I'm from Seattle. Is anyone else in Seattle? You wanna have a drink meet before we go? Like I did that the first conference that I ever went to. I, it had a Facebook group and somebody said I'm from Seattle. Is anyone else would anyone else go have a drink?
And I'm like, Yeah. Oh my gosh guys, I don't know anyone so I would love to know you. And her and I are still very good friends and and as are the couple people that went, who, Tony was part of that group and she's now like a huge helper of bringing this event to life. And it's just when you put yourself out there, magic happens.
It just is hard to explain if you've not experienced it, but it just is so powerful and I'm just excited for everyone to get to experience that
Erin Alexander: sounds incredible. I'm excited to come. I'm so excited to meet everyone.
Cat Hilder: Can't wait to meet you.
Allison Carter: Yeah. We're
Cat Hilder: all the things.
Erin Alexander: It's gonna be fantastic.
So I have one question I ask everyone on the podcast, and maybe this is something you could talk about together or separate. It doesn't matter to me, but I love to show everyone listening.
It doesn't matter how long you've been in your product-based business or if you have a different business model. We're all learning and growing. It's just different levels. Is there something you're willing to share with us in your business, either U P P or your individual businesses that you are currently learning and growing through
Allison Carter: I would say both of us on our own individual businesses and U P P are very much to hold ourself accountable in understanding that what is meant to happen is actually going to happen. And like we don't have to be, we could be working hard and we can be working towards our goals, but we don't have to be like forcing and pushing ourselves way harder and having faith that we are doing the thing that we are meant to be doing and the people that are meant to be brought alongside of that.
Going to be there. So we have full faith that the people that are meant to be in the room at Clementine Hall in Nashville in 2023 will be in the room at Clementine Hall in Nashville, 2023. Like we fully believe that the things that I'm doing in my business, like I know that the eight women that are meant to be at the retreat that I'm hosting are meant to be at the retreat.
And Kat, same thing. She's doing a wholesale intensive. The people that are meant to do, like they've al, it's already been determined, like who's gonna be in. We just have to have the patience to embrace that, and it sounds like so woo and so but I have seen that happen, especially throughout this year, and Kat has really been trying to force me to just calm the F down and understand that there's something bigger than me that is driving this and I have to have faith in myself and we have to have faith in the business that we're creating.
And that's why our big word this year is trust of trusting that process of things happening and not forcing them when they're not ready to be forced.
Cat Hilder: Yeah.
I mean, you still gotta do the work, right? It's, but we've been in that grind, hustle. I just hate those words for so long. And now I think we're both separately at a point where we just have to have faith that everything's gonna come together. Like you put in the work you did your time, and whether it's a quote, unquote failure, whatever it is, it's all part of the journey.
it's preparing you for what's ahead. And if you didn't have all these missteps before you got there, you wouldn't even know what to do with the success once it hit you, nor would you appreciate it. So trying for me, I'm trying to work a little bit less knowing I don't need to be this psycho mental person to make all my dreams come true.
Erin Alexander: That's really powerful. in a lot of ways, and people, they, people will love hearing that. I'm seeing that myself I'll look at my numbers or whatever from last year and I'll think, oh, that's so crazy. And I'm like, no, it's not crazy. It's the effort you put in. It's the, it's because you kept going.
You kept believing you, you worked through the process. It's not crazy. It's not a miracle. It's like when you put in the work, when you are doing the work, the things that are supposed to happen will happen. Not that. I think work means like you have to work super hard. I don't mean that, I just mean showing up consistently.
Continuing to try when things feel hard, continuing to take, make progress, will result in the things that are supposed to happen will happen. Cool. Thank you for sharing. I love it. Like I said, I will put links to the show notes. Look link, I'll put links to everything in the show notes, but do you wanna tell us where we can find you online so people listening can come hang out with you guys?
Cat Hilder: If you wanna hang out with me without Allison, cuz I'm like super. You can follow me on Instagram or TikTok at Kitty Meow Boutique. And if you want to hang out with me and Allison, we love to get down and dirty over on Instagram at Ultimate Product Party, www.productparty.com and Allison.
Allison Carter: I am Alison Carter celebrates on Instagram and Fun Media mom on TikTok, but that might be changing, but either the way. Search Alison Carter . I'll pop up on the ticky talk and Instagram is mostly the behind the scenes of my daily shenanigans and prep that I get into on accident. There's always something, never a dull moment in the acc.
Erin Alexander: I can confirm that both are fun to follow on Instagram and TikTok, so definitely click those links.
Allison Carter: U ppp, TikTok is growing without us doing anything either. So you know, there's also that TikTok, for some reason, somewhat likes us over there, so you can join the fun over in
Erin Alexander: No complaints of that
Allison Carter: No complaints.
Erin Alexander: I still forget, like TikTok ex exists most of the time until my friend will mention it and then I get on and she sent me 65 videos and I'm like, I gotta catch up.
Allison Carter: yep,
Cat Hilder: a different audience over there in the TikTok land. Very.
Erin Alexander: Thanks so much for coming on the podcast. I'm super excited to just. One come to the event this year to have you on the show. Just get your insights. We talked about so many things that are applicable to everyone listening, like the boundaries, finding friends, putting in the work, trusting that the work you have done will get you results.
There's so much we've talked about. I think this is a really fun conversation. You guys are hilarious and I'm just so grateful to have connected with you on Instagram, in the first
Allison Carter: Yay. We love it. Thank you for having us and giving us some space to talk to your audience. We do not take that lightly, so we appreciate your time.
Cat Hilder: Yes. Can't wait to meet you in person.