Balanced Hustler: Meet Whitney Port, Co-Founder of Bundle Organics
Being an entrepreneur can seem glamorous. We own our schedules, build our companies based on work we love—and sometimes we can even work beachside. But the glamour is second in command to the hustle.
The hustle is what really defines the ups and downs of the entrepreneurship journey. And to shed some light on the work it takes to build a business, I’m interviewing fellow entrepreneurs who are ready to get real about their journeys. I’ll ask them how they manage to balance the hustle with the passion of what they do, and they’ll share what they had to overcome to get where they are today. It’s all in service of inspiring, supporting and illuminating the path for you, and we’re calling it the #BalancedHustler.
You probably recognize Whitney Eve Port‘s face from the golden era of reality TV when she filled the role of reasonable best friend to Lauren Conrad on The Hills. But being a TV personality isn’t what’s defined Whitney’s life since the MTV show ended (though, like everything else in 2019, there was a reboot late this past summer). Whitney took her found fame and parlayed it into a career in fashion, a book deal and eventually, partnerships with brands that promote holistic wellness. When she became pregnant, she also began to pay more attention to the support systems that need to be in place for both pregnant women and new moms to be successful. That’s when she got on board with Bundle Organics, a brand crafting maternal nutrition support products. As the forward-facing personality for the brand, Whitney is striving to open up the conversation around motherhood both by providing easy-to-use natural nutrition products and by creating a community without judgement for moms. I admire how she’s using her personal experience to offer a lifeline to other moms, and how she balances the hustle.
Fast Facts: Whitney Port
When did you launch your business?
Came on board in 2016 after the company launched in 2015.
Tell us why you got involved in Bundle Organics.
I was pregnant at the time, and felt like there was a hole in the market for pregnant/nursing women in the digestibles/edibles category. John, the founder, reached out when I was pregnant—it was essentially a cold call. He wanted to have an outward-facing personality helping to develop the products.
Are you growing your business to sell? Or this is your dream job and you want to be doing this in 10 years?
I always want to have involvement with Bundle Organics. It helped me through a sentimental time in my life. I hope to continue to be an advisor and consultant—it won’t be a necessity for me forever, since I won’t be pregnant or nursing forever, but it’s important to me to keep the space open for younger, new perspectives from those who are pregnant/nursing.
What three business goals do you have for 2019?
- Product innovations. I’d like to increase how many we have by one to two new products.
- Long-term: I’d like for Bundle to become a motherhood lifestyle brand, that can span different categories with approachable, cute, relevant packaging and products.
- More awareness. We were acquired by 1908 Brands [in 2018] and we now have more resources to build awareness of the brand.
How Whitney Balances the Hustle
You transitioned from reality TV star to entrepreneur (and author!). Tell us about that process and how you felt starting a new chapter. Was it difficult to get people to take you seriously? Did you find you had more access because of name recognition?
It was a reality check for me, to go from being on TV where the producers were helping to set everything up for me. There were so many resources behind whatever I wanted to do—now I need to make things happen for myself. I initially started my clothing line Whitney Eve with my family and we really hustled. Social media has played a big part in helping me to grow my businesses because it’s helped me stay exposed and current. I could open up my life to other people again, like when I was on The Hills and The City. I feel much more comfortable in a creative consultant role than on TV, but now with The Hills back on, I find I have more eyes on the products I want to promote, and I can use that as a young entrepreneur to really hustle.
You co-founded Bundle Organics with a mission to support new moms in a way you felt was missing in the marketplace. Why did you feel like you were the one to fill that void?
I was starting to gain a valuable relationship to my followers online—young moms who grew up with me, alongside me. They’re 85 percent women, and in the age range of 25-35, and that’s valuable. Today, traditional PR isn’t necessary in the same way it used to be. Being in Vogue (though I would totally freak out if we were featured) doesn’t carry the same weight. There are more impressions and eyes on social media. With my social presence, and my YouTube channel with my husband starting to increase in engagement, it made sense to me to bring a brand to my followers that I truly support and that I think can actually help women’s lives as mothers.
There’s lots of talk on social and internet about the struggle of being a working mom. Bundle is trying to support moms from fertility to nursing, with nutrition and by building community. Why was is important to you to not just offer a product, but to also create a forum for education and resources?
I feel like the culture of social media can breed comparison, and make people feel lesser than. But it can also be used to your advantage. I want Bundle to be a source of validation, a non-judgmental place where any feeling is okay and valid. We never want to tell people what they SHOULD do—I just want to share what works for me, and how it might help someone else. I want to be a community that stands for something. And it doesn’t just have to be for moms—it can be for any women who want to eat well, take care of themselves well, whether they’re working moms or their staying at home. No matter your choices, what works for you, you shouldn’t feel guilty about doing what’s best for you.
Whitney’s Advice for Entrepreneurs
What failure have you learned most from? How did you overcome it?
It’s hard to even look at things as failures, because I learned something from everything I’ve done. But closing Whitney Eve, my clothing line, in 2014, my baby, something I thought I’d have forever—I thought I’d never recover from that, that my family [who helped me start it and worked with me on it] would never forgive me. But closing that opened me up to start many other projects that weren’t just sucking my energy from me. I love fashion, but that wasn’t really fulfilling me and I didn’t even know that until we decided to close it. Now, my podcast, my YouTube channel and working with Bundle are fulfilling, and I can see how Whitney Eve wasn’t what I would have wanted long-term.
What does being a #BalancedHustler mean to you?
It means making sure you’re checking all the boxes to make YOU happy. If that means having down time to watch TV or sit outside with your family… whatever that is, you get to decide and not feel guilty about it. It’s doing the things that aren’t “hustling” and realizing that it’s okay to be at peace with “imbalance.” The sooner you realize that, the easier it is.
Want more inspiro and tactical advice from female entrepreneurs? Check out our full #BalancedHustler series.
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