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Welcome to the kids sleep Show podcast where we dive into the magical world of sleep, and all things parenting. Join us as we embark on a journey filled with expert advice, practical tips and heartwarming stories that will transform your little ones into sleep superheroes, and empower you to navigate the beautiful chaos of parenting. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. And I’m on a mission to change how the world view sleep and provide accessible sleep coaching resources for all families to build healthy sleep habits in their home for children, and adults of all ages. As an award winning speaker, author and pediatric sleep expert, myself and my team of consultants work intimately with families around the world to teach healthy sleep habits to children and adults. I believe wholeheartedly that sleep is the foundation for which a happy home is built. So let’s sleep together. Hey, everyone, welcome to this week’s episode. I’m here with the founder and CEO of the most amazing company that I was introduced to earlier this year. So I’d like to welcome Miss Anna fuller to the show. And we’re going to talk all about her organization, Halo. So Anna, welcome. Tell us a little bit about you and your background, and a little bit more about the amazing company of Halo.
Awesome. Thank you so much, Courtney. First off, thank you for having me here. It’s been amazing getting to know you working with you for the past couple months. And I’m super excited to share more about Halo today with you and our audience. So Halo is a social commerce website for new moms. What does that mean? Well, you sign up for text from us and every weekend you get a deal drop we do weekly flash deals on all the products that you need as a new mom from pregnancy through toddlerhood are about age two. And you know, every weekend, we drop a theme set of deals. This could be anything from last weekend. It was World breastfeeding week. So we had deals on nursing and pumping and formula feeding products. This coming weekend, we’re doing sort of a back to school theme. Okay, our toddlers are not going to school, but they may be going to daycare. So we have all of your daycare essentials. And when you shop these weekly, we call them parties. When you shop, these weekly parties, you can get discounts, the discounts grow as more people join. That’s why we call it social commerce. And then if you and a friend are both in the market for the same product, you can actually save even more if you invite them to purchase with you. So a great example of this a couple weekends ago, we did a lot of stuff for activity centers for babies and toddlers, we sold a product that’s very popular these days, or the toddlers that called the nugget play couch and had a bunch of friends, you know, referring others inviting others to join. And it’s just a really good way we know you’re already sharing product recommendations with your friends and their moms. And this way you can shop on Halo and get rewarded for doing that. So that’s what I’m building. And I’d love to share more.
So tell me, where did the idea come from? You’re a mom, you’re a little one just turned one. So you’re kind of in the thick of it of like, okay, these are the products I need. But your background is more in the we’ll say like, e commerce tech world. Right. So I’ll let you explain your background. And then where did the idea for this come from? Yeah,
yeah. So like you said, I’ve worked in E commerce for the past over the past decade. I’ve worked both for big time mall brands, we’ll call them heritage brands. So think Crate and Barrel, Ralph Lauren, American Eagle, you know, also retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Sephora and worked with them building out their web presence on mobile as well as mobile app. So iOS and Android apps. So I really got to understand how these big brands sell online and how they reach customers online, how they think about different advertising channels, or different customer acquisition channels. And then I also spent some time working at Google as a product manager on the Google Shopping team. So if you ever search for products on Google, or if you go to shopping.google.com, you see that we also offer a marketplace there where you can buy products directly from Google, or you can learn about products there. And so on that side of the table, I understood, you know, what does it take to run a marketplace and a platform for shopping versus just a specific brand. And then I was exploring new ideas in the E commerce space, as I became a new mom, so I was pregnant in let’s see, I started Halo in fall 2021 and became pregnant around the same time with my first I was going through this shopping journey that many of you of your new moms have been through before. And as we all know, it’s really hard. It’s all of these categories that you have never considered in your life. You know from how you Gonna outfit the nursery to what type of, you know, how are you going to feed your baby? Are you going to breastfeed? Are you going to formula feed? Are you going to pump? Like, what are you going to do? What is your baby sleeping, I mean, all of this stuff, you just have no idea. So you have to do a ton of research, it’s very expensive. And there’s just so much out there. And the information is always changing that you need to really rely on recommendations from friends, as well as experts like Courtney, you know, like the recommendations on sleep change from time to time. So you need to stay up to date with what products are going to be the safest for your baby. And so I was going through all of this, I realized that there’s this amazing sort of cohort style purchasing behavior that happens. And what I mean by that is, you know, I made mom friends through prenatal yoga, I also had a bunch of friends who went to college with me have a bunch of friends from high school, and we were all expecting babies around the same time. So we were all going through making these decisions together, and sharing these recommendations. And from my ecommerce background, I knew how much money brands spend to reach consumers through, you know, advertising or affiliate channels. Most people don’t realize this, but brands are routinely spending 40%, up to even 100% of the average order value just to get that customer in the door. And all of that money gets dumped into the pockets of Google or Facebook. And what we’re doing at Halo is saying, Hey, you’re already bringing new customers to the brand by virtue of these recommendations, why don’t we just pass a little bit of that money on to you in the form of discounts and savings, and we can make it be a fun shopping environment where you’re getting these stress recommendations, and everybody’s being rewarded. So it’s really a win win for brands and consumers. And I got started just because I happen to have a background in E commerce, while I was going through this purchasing journey for my baby, and thought, hey, I can build something that is much better here. And that’s how I got started.
That’s amazing. And I think it’s so different from like, my kids are seven and nine. And there was still babies or US when I was pregnant. And I walked in with a little gun and said, Let me whack all the stuff that you know, I thought was cute, that I thought I needed on my registry, you know, and you can’t do that anymore to the degree that you could, right there are definitely big box stores that have the ability to start a registry or you’re doing things online. But I think the whole experience is changing. But I also know that has the stuff I bought, I never used to your point, if my girlfriend said get the key, key fit 30 car seat, get that’s the one I bought, I didn’t research any other ones because she said it was good. And that’s all I needed to know. Because it’s overwhelming, you know the number of choices, right? You take their advice, and you’re purchasing those products, right? And so I think what you’re doing is so perfect for the time, and because aren’t the options anymore. And you are you’re dealing it, it’s almost like crowdsourcing with your friends for like your registry lists, right? Like, everybody hit me up with what you need, and you’re taking the guesswork out of it by curating sales, on the products that are bundled appropriately, like I got the text last night, you know, we have a specific one setup for tiny transitions, right, so that the products that are in that shop are curated for the typical person who’s in the sleep Steps program, or the typical parent for where they are in the journey back to school Father’s Day, Independence day vacation at the beach, you know, so you’re taking the guesswork out of it, which I think is cool, but they’re also awesome products that the parents want. And they’re also getting them at a discount. You know, I was talking with somebody this morning about one of the products and I won’t say the name because I know the products change all the time. But I was like, Why would I go to their website when I can get it on Halo for much cheaper, you know, and it’s a lot of products like that. So it’s not like these are overstock products, right? And I think that’s what’s beautiful about this, like you’re delivering it right to my phone via text message, right? Once a week. So it’s not annoying, I don’t have to unsubscribe. And every week I find myself going in with seven to nine year olds going. Oh, you know, because the products are good, you know. So you’d mentioned a little bit about the curation of the products right? And then every time you’re kind of obviously the holidays coming up the fall probably Halloween some fun stuff around there, right like but like, how do you come up with the topics for the parties that you’re going to do and the ever growing expansion of the companies that want to be a part of Halo, frankly,
right? Yeah. Great question. So what you said by the way earlier about being able to walk into a Babies R Us or byebye, baby and just 123, bang, bang, bang, I’ll get these products that doesn’t exist anymore. We’ve kind of, you know, the world has shifted monumentally and how we buy for the past 10 years, but especially since the pandemic, and we no longer have the experience of walking into a store and having you know, one product for sleep one product for Carsey, etc. And having the trusted sales staff there to like walk us through how to understand the category. Now we have the endless aisle of online shopping, which is great, because you know, there’s a lot to pick from, but frankly, it’s very overwhelming. And trust is an issue, right? Like, if you’re going on Amazon, they’re all of these brands that are selling product direct from overseas. In many cases, they haven’t been through the rigorous product testing or certification for safety that we have here in the US, you don’t know exactly what the materials are made of, don’t know exactly, you can’t, you know, be assured that the construction is solid. So there’s a lot of unknown and a lot of untrusted products out there when you’re searching on a site like Amazon. So for us curation is very, very important. We have started by doing all the curation in house, so that was literally me. As a new mom, obviously, as I go through each stage, my friends are having these little chat groups, you know, the experience you described with the car seat, literally the same thing happened for me, we needed to buy a convertible car seat, my friend did all the research picked out the one that she was going to buy, we all bought the same one. And we sold that on Halo, so she got a reward for it. But the curation just started, you know, first and foremost with me, then we started expanding it a little bit to the community. So you’ll see this, if you sign up for our text messages, we don’t just send out a deal drop every weekend, sometimes we ask for your recommendations, we ask for your requests, and try to feature those products because we know those are the ones that are on the ground being used and that our customers want. And then lastly, and Courtney kind of alluded to this, we’ve started working with experts. So like Courtney, she has her sleep Steps program. Going through that program. She’s working individually and collectively with the group, everybody’s in there learning more about how you know, whatever the specific challenges they’re dealing with, they’re learning and sharing. And a lot of those challenges maybe aren’t, don’t specifically have a product need. But there’s a lot of lessons learned. So for example, baby Marlon as a brand that we work with. Your child is transitioning from the swaddle, and they’re not quite ready for the sleepsack. The Merlin sleepsuit is an awesome transition product. So we work with experts in the space like Courtney to curate the products that they typically recommend in the course of their work. And we also so we host all those products that Courtney has selected, you can shop them on Halo. If you check out Courtney’s new book navigating a newborn, you’ll also see I think she has it yeah, there it is. Yeah. So Halo is actually mentioned in there, you can get a direct link to all of the products that Courtney recommends. And these are all the ones that she and her clients have seen success with over the years. And as we continue expanding, we’re gonna we’re gonna keep working with more and more expert practitioners to make sure that the products they recommend are bundled up for their clients. And hey, if we can get you savings along the way, we want to do that as well. And then just the last note, like Courtney mentioned, these are not overstocks these are not products that have you no deficiencies or damaged like brands are not dumping their stock out through Halo. We the the nature of our flash deals means that brands have an outlet to reach a very curated customer set. That’s what we’re bringing to them, which is you know, all of you guys, the new moms who are shopping and who are in the market for these products, brands are willing to do discounts to bring folks in the door, they just want to make sure that those are timed appropriately, so that you’re not, you know, people do wait for sales on Halo, that definitely happens. But from the brand’s perspective, they also want to form that relationship with the consumer that we’re offering through our channels. So we let brands you know, we’re starting to partner with brands in such a way that they can have a presence on our platform and they can also speak directly to our consumer and tell them about the benefits of their product showcase you know the excellent reviews they’ve gotten and offer rewards to consumers who shop with them. So yeah, that’s how it operates today.
I love it. Now I know future state right my mind when I first saw this was like, Oh my gosh, are you gonna do registries on Halo? Because how great would that be is like a pregnant person, you could be like, hey, get all this stuff for me. Oh, and by the way, there’s a discount associated and then, you know, there’s just different ideas in my mind that I know I’ve shared with you. I won’t speak of them, because they may come and they may not. But like, what’s next? Like, what are you trying to do now? Right, you’re, you’re actively growing for the past couple of months to a new community of subscribers. And I know each week that list is growing, which is amazing. What, what’s on the docket? Right? We’ve got some upcoming parties. I got the text last night about four I think it is. But what’s on the docket for you?
Yeah. So this space is so exciting to be working in because, frankly, it’s untapped. Nobody has built a platform that has a social lens to it for this type of shopping. When this shopping is inherently social. We are constantly seeking out and sharing product recommendations. I don’t want to you know, get too boring and market research on you. But this study showed the average mom, you know, of the demographic like Millennial Mom, that’s what I am most moms these days. Yeah, I think the number is like 80% of millennials will age into becoming a mom, millennial women within the next five to 10 years, and Gen Z’s following. We’re sharing product recommendations at least 10 times a month, and our friends are acting on those these are not idle recommendations, these are this product changed my life and my baby’s life, you need to buy it now. And that is such a strong compelling reason to buy. And there is not a baby shopping website out there that facilitates this type of social interaction. So you know, you may have experienced this if you’ve registered recently, but when I found out I was pregnant, you know, first couple months, you’re just overwhelmed. You’re not thinking about registering, when it comes time to register. Usually in that second trimester, I got shared on all of these lists, from friends, but also from friends of friends, you know, they are these Excel documents, or these Google Docs, or these email bulleted lists that just get passed around. And that knowledge is really what’s influencing all these purchase decisions that, you know, that doesn’t exist on any platform today in a way that makes it fun. I think as a mom, you want to be able to come on to a platform and learn about what your friends bought and found success with perhaps even exchange with them directly. Ask them about their experience with it. You want to learn from experts like Courtney and hear about their experience with clients using their products they recommend. So we’re really building a platform to facilitate that community, that sense of like, this is your your mom village. Really, I was really lucky to have that. As I mentioned before, I had a couple of different text chains going with all these different mom groups. But not everybody has that. That’s the reality. Not everybody has that layer of support and that layer of people who have been there first. So at Halo, we want to provide that. So yeah, we do want to facilitate all of this purchasing that happens in this very critical stage. And then the reality that we know is, hey, mom’s by other things, too. In fact, mom’s by 85% of all of the things, okay, so we have a lot of potential room to grow on our platform, and who knows, potentially will offer skincare beauty, that sort of stuff in the future. But right now, we’re really focused on that new mom segment. And so that’s where we’re going to be for at least the next couple years.
Awesome. I love it. And it is so true. You know, like I was saying My girlfriend was like by the Keyfit 30. I’m like, done. Perfect. And she’s like, by the, for the transition seat. You need the diono radian the you know, and I’m like, Okay, done, but like, I didn’t even research it. I’m like, I don’t have time to research it. I’m working. I got two kids. If you say it’s good. I know you’ve done the research check. Okay, great. So I think you’re taking a bit of anxiety away from a new mom, too, which is helpful, because I can tell you, there’s a lot of it in the space we’re in right now. You know, so, and to your point quality of products, like how are these products vetted? You know, I don’t think people think of that in manufacturing, especially with the baby like you’re worried about certain aspects, but you don’t ever consider some of those things that you’ve already mentioned around testing, like, certifications, right? Like, what things we’re doing with these products to make sure that they are safe and things change, you know. So it’s definitely a space of continued growth, but also a bit of vetting, right, like you get that village and I think that’s what I was trying to build with sleep steps and still am is like, you can get quality sleep coaching, with coaching from me and my team with access to all of this education and what I call it takes a village Yes, it’s come on And you come on, and this will be out there when I’m done editing it, you know, to help educate new parents, because some people don’t have a village, you know. So I think that the space you’re filling in the manner in which it’s delivered is beautiful, because I have 52 emails right now, and I have anxiety looking at that number 48 of them are probably spam. But as a type A professional, I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I gotta get through that, you know, and then I get overwhelmed. And it’s like, there’s just so much hitting us between social, and our friends and our family and stuff. But if I know like, that email comes every Wednesday and tells me what the party is this weekend. I’m also consuming it more willingly, if that makes sense. So yeah, I mean, I think what you’re doing is just beautiful. I know you have one little one now. So you’re gonna continue to curate the products based on that, right? The space is zero to two. So tell people like how do they find Halo? Yeah, can they go to get on the text messaging? You know, obviously, in the shownotes, where I post the video here, you’ll be able to subscribe. But what does it look like?
Yeah, so you’ll head over to shop on halo.com. And that’s Halo h a l o, like the halo effect, you know, we’re having this allowing friends to share the positive experience with with a product and help others make that trusted purchasing decision that will minimize their regret later on. So yeah, you head over to our homepage, enter your phone number right now, we are only catering to folks in the US. So if there are any international listeners, sorry, perhaps we’ll be able to serve you down the line. But right now, it’s just us add your phone number, you’ll get a confirmation text back from us. But then, like Courtney was saying, we’re not. We’re not here to spam you. In fact, I have been building software for a long time. And I hate software that just spams people all the time with like, tons of messages. So you will get a small number of curated texts from us a week, once per week, you’ll get that party drop, you’ll have the weekend to go in and shop. Sometimes we’ll do a reminder, especially if it’s a particularly hot party, we’ll say on Sunday afternoon. You know, don’t forget to shop the deals expire tonight. They’re limited quantity, etc, etc. And then once in a while, you’ll get a midweek text from us that says, Hey, these are the upcoming deals Do you have any requests that you must have. So for example, we’re going to run car seats and a couple of weeks. These type deals are always very popular, because it’s similar to strollers, you you may already have a stroller, but you’re already thinking about the next one you need. So if your kiddo is an a newborn, and you have that infant car seat, but you are going to upgrade the convertible car seat, or maybe you need a travel car seat, or the car seat to go in your nanny or grandparents car. You know, this is the type of purchase that is very popular on Halo, because it’s a highly considered purchase. And it’s expensive, right? So you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal in the best quality product. So we’ll take requests for stuff like that. And that helps us reach out to brands and say, Hey, this product is very popular with our audience, we think that you should come join our platform and sell on our platform. And just help us show the demand to the brands so that we can get the right products listed for you guys.
Yeah, I love it. And they are such awesome products like that. I want to emphasize like this is not the like, leftovers, like I go on there and like oh my gosh, this is their that’s their that’s their that’s their this is their like, yes, like, Darn it, I wish that I was having another baby. I mean, I don’t but I do know, because I do
have to warn your listeners, it is addictive. You know, it’s very fun, because you get a little drop each weekend. And sometimes it’s perfect as what you’re thinking of. But sometimes you’re like, I didn’t think I needed any of this stuff. But then you go in and you see like this brand that your friends been talking about or whatever. So we do have high frequency of purchase after people become a customer, I will just warn you guys of that. But you can be assured that you’re getting the best deal out there. And as new moms, we’re buying stuff all the time anyways. So you know, it’s a fun way to make sure you’re getting the right deal on the right kind of stuff.
I love it. My husband and I joke that we don’t ask what the other one spends at Costco as a rule in our area or target
or target. Yeah. Yeah, it’s like, joining there that that group.
Yeah, so you just put it on there as like, we don’t ask what we spend at Costco, or Halo. Exactly. Well, good. I’m so excited. So I’m gonna share all of this information. Okay, you can find Anna and Halo at shop on Halo. And we’ll put all the links in all the places for you. So thank you so much for coming on today. This is really fun.
Awesome. Thank you so much, Courtney. This has been so great. And I really look forward to connecting with all of you who are listening today. Please sign up. I also read the textbook Just so you can text message back if you want to request something or just say hi, and talk to you soon.
I love it. Thank you. All right, bye bye bye