Girl Boss Spotlight: Haley Pellan, Owner of Spillin’ Beans
Name: Haley Pellan
Location: Boston, Mass.
Name of Business: Spillin’ Beans
Type of Business: Adult Party Game
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur and start your own company?
Yes! I have known from an early age that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Well, more specifically, a creative-preneur! I used to keep a journal of ideas, clever new products and ways to revamp existing products just waiting for the right time and right product/service to start in on.
What were you doing before?
I am currently an ecommerce Solution Engineer at Oracle, I work part-time with my husband on our board game. We are planning to launch on Kickstarter Spring 2021, once we are finished testing our prototypes.
When did you decide to make the switch and why?
I haven’t made the switch yet, but I have on a past project. I was working on a start-up in college and received an investment offer. I knew I couldn’t accept and go back to school, so I took a year off and pursued my dream. I didn’t want to give up the offer of a lifetime. Did it pan out? Nope. But I don’t regret my decision, I learned a ton and finished college one year later.
What gave you the idea for your business?
In business school I was required to work on a business plan for an original idea. I had done so much market research on games and where the gaps were in the market, I had a pretty good idea of the type of party game people were looking for. The rest of the idea came from wine night brainstorm sessions with my husband. We love playing games, so combining the data I had collected with our creative thinking and knowledge of game flow morphed into a pretty dynamic game.
How would you describe your brand?
Our funny little beans pretty much make up our brand. Each has their own personality! We have Pamela, she is our nerdy bean, Louis Lentil, the awkward goof ball, Knievel Jr. a complete dare devil and Hippie Harold the love guru! Put them all together and you have a hilarious combination that makes up our branding.
What was your biggest hurdle in starting your own business?
COVID-19 … We were planning to test our ten prototypes this summer and it has been incredibly difficult to find people to play. The game requires a minimum of 4 people to play and people aren’t gathering in big groups right now.
Can you give us an overview of what a normal workday is like for you?
I wake up with a HUGE cup of coffee and start in on Spillin’ Beans, then I transition to my job at Oracle and take periodic breaks to check in with Pierre (my husband) on the goals we’ve set. Typically, most of the work that I get done for Spillin’ Beans is done in the evening.
What is your 5-year goal for your business?
Great question! First step, successfully launch our Kickstarter campaign, if you want to be notified when we launch, sign up on our website www.spillinbeans.com. After, we hope to partner with investors, scale (into retail, other countries) and develop a way for our company to give back to bean farmers. We also have some neat ideas to introduce new characters later on to keep the surprises coming in the Spillin’ Beans world.
What is one piece of advice for you have for other women who want to start their own business?
Find mentors! Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. Mentors are a great way to stay on track and to lean on for help. I’ve also found that mentors can be your own cheerleaders. One of my mentors encouraged me to pursue my idea in the first place and is the reason I took the first step.
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