KNOTEWORTHY: Kristen Hollingsworth, Lolo Poke Beverly

Kristen is a 31-year old mompreneur, with two kids, ages 5 and 2, residing in Lynn, MA. I own two businesses and prides herself on identifying super “niche” product and service ideas in today’s market. 

By trade, Kristen is a cosmetologist, and although she truly loves doing hair, she felt the need to reach a little higher and started her own head lice removal clinic in Danvers (Lice Clinics of America- Danvers). Upon getting her first business under my belt and learning a lot, after falling in love with Poke on a family trip to Hawaii and seeing a hole in the local market, Kristen decided to go for it and opened a traditional poke shop in Beverly, MA. 

As an entrepreneur, Kristen’s goal is to learn something new and make more money each day, always reserving more than enough to give back to her local community. Although balancing life and owning two businesses is hard to put it lightly, Kristen is so fulfilled by her two businesses, and attributes her success to her amazing support system.  

How do you use social media?

Social media is by far the most important, and least expensive form of advertising for both of my businesses. I spend very little if any money at all each month on Social media advertising. I primarily use Instagram and Facebook. My approach is to use both of these websites to engage the surrounding community and create awareness actively. Creating posts that result in a “call to action,” Such as posting questions, contests, or even polls, creates a lot of valuable participation and draws a larger following very easily. 

Creating a social media space where the community, and of course our customers, feel truly valued and involved has not only helped my businesses gain momentum during the growth phase but has also provided us with valuable feedback directly from our target market.

What’s your best hiring tip/secret?

I have to say; staffing is probably my strong suit. I have the natural ability to read people fairly quickly. When I hold an interview, I conduct it as an opportunity to gauge whether I think a person has the right personality to work alongside my existing long-term staff, as well as to get a strong vision of how they will interact with our customers. Having a strong skill set is, but it isn’t the most important part of finding the right person for the job. Everyone can look good on paper, but not everyone has customer Service skills and the ability to be a team player. Social skills, in both the restaurant industry as well as the head lice treatment industry, go a long way. I am always willing to train a person from scratch if they are the right person for my customer base.

When it comes to staffing, my advice is to have specific questions in an interview that will indirectly reveal the personality traits you are looking for, don’t hire anyone that you wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving alone at your place of business, and always go with your gut. Being an entrepreneur offers you the chance to have not only financial freedom but free TIME as well, but that won’t ever happen if you can’t get the right staff in place.

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

I always say that entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. In the beginning, if you aren’t willing to literally drop everything and cater to your businesses needs (I call mine my third child), the growth phase will be longer and more difficult. With my first business, Lice Clinics of America-Danvers, I sacrificed a lot. I missed family events, made large financial sacrifices, missed seeing my friends, and was back at work just five days after having my daughter. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but also my greatest professional achievement to have a thriving, profitable business in the first year.

With business number two, Lolo Poke Beverly, I fell right back into that phase where it’s a constant inner battle of whether or not all this sacrifice is worth it. I can assure you, if you have an amazing idea, good work ethic, and are fortunate enough to have a fantastic support system, you can and will succeed. It will never be easy but it will be worthwhile and can entirely change your life for the better.


Lolo Poke Beverly: