When SweetBabyTee asked me to do an Apple Sauced interview I knew I wanted it to be a piece that could inspire someone looking to start up a business. She is the HBIC of the online store, Apple Sauced, shared with her boyfran Yomi. Apple Sauced carries independent brands such as Dimepiece Designs, Joyrich LA, Lurk Hard, and Honey B Gold. I have a pretty good sense of brands, I’m not too familiar with the in’s and out’s of online retail, but a b**** love to shop. So I was all for learning a little bit of the Apple Sauced background and yet, she gave me more than I asked for. That’s what makes this Q&A worthwhile. She’s super sweet, stylish and thorough—-all things that make a b**** saucy. Get dipped after the jump!
Name Taryn Principato aka SweetBabyTee
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Most Known For: Selling sauce
Unknown For: Being an unbelievable dog-mother and making the best homemade pizza you’ll ever have in your life!
Sauciest discovery? Palm Springs, online shopping, iced coffee, micheladas, and my obsession with dogs.
What made you start your online store Apple Sauced and how did you come up with the name?
I was so sick of hunting for a job in a field that I wasn’t even passionate about what so ever. I have always wanted to be my own boss and I’ve always been addicted to online shopping. I ran my SweetBabyTee Blogspot at the time where I always featured brands, collections, and items that I owned on the blog. People would constantly ask me where to buy these items and I finally decided that instead of sending tons of people to other webstores, why not just start my own? So one day I called my boyfriend Yomi while he was at school and suggested we start our own online store. He was into the idea right away and we pretty much started the process of getting our business license and resell license the next day! It took about a year before we were able to get all our ducks in a row and actually launch Apple Sauced. I was lucky enough that my family has been so supportive from the beginning. They have given us tons of encouragement and support. I was thinking to myself…’wow, we can really be our own bosses.’ Then the phrase ‘Your The Boss Apple Sauce’ came into my head, and I thought that’s it, we’ll name it Apple Sauced. Yomi came up with our slogan, ‘Get Dipped, Stay Sauced’. It felt like a really good fit and it still does.
I’m so ignorant to retail. Do you pick most of the brands you make available and what’s your decision based on?
Yes, we pick all of the brands we sell on the site. We only carry brands that we have been personally wearing for years. I refuse to try and sell a brand that I don’t personally love and believe in. We won’t try and sell people some bullshit just to try and make money. We will never turn into some corporate machine, we will always keep it a DIY shop. All of the brands we carry are small independent companies like ourselves. They have all been so supportive of Apple Sauced so far.
Girl I notice you rock most of what you sell! What’s it like being both the model and the HBIC of your business?
So glad you asked this question! While I do rock most of the stuff we sell, I am actually not modeling on the wesbite at all! I am strictly behind the scenes. I get mistaken for our main model Kathryn all the time! I have known Kathryn for almost 15 years and she has been with us since the beginning. My younger sister Paige also models on the site, so many mistake me for her as well. I am much more comfortable behind the scenes than in front of the camera.
On top of promoting brands I see you like to show off your nail game too. Who’s behind those tips?!
Yes! I have a true passion for having saucy nails! Your nail game is always on point too!! I go to this place called Tammy’s Nails. My man got me a gift certificate about 4 years ago and I have never been anywhere else since. It is kind of a hole-in-the-wall shop in a neighborhood called Hillcrest and I use to live right next door. I have been going to the same lady and at first she thought I was nuts for wanting such crazy nails and now she knows exactly how I like my nails. She’s the best!
What’s the best part of being your own boss and sharing it with your boo?
I love absolutely everything about being my own boss and sharing it with Yomi. We get to make our own hours, carry out our own vision, and execute everything the way we want without anyone telling us how it should be done. We are truly a mom and pop shop. We do everything ourselves…from the website, to the photoshoots, to the editing, and the marketing. We are the only 2 employees that currently work for Apple Sauced. It’s a lot of work for two people to handle but we balance each other out so well that somehow it just works. Of course we do disagree on things and it can be challenging living and working with someone, but we always seem to come to an agreement. All in all we have the same vision and goals for Apple Sauced and we both grind and hustle equally as hard. I can’t imagine ever trying to run this business without Yomi, it just wouldn’t work.
How did you two meet?
We actually met when I was 16 and he was 19. He worked at my mom’s law office. It wasn’t exactly love at first site. I was still in high school and we didn’t even see each other in a romantic way at all! Then I went off to college and when I came back, we saw each other after a few years and it was on and poppin’! We have been together and living together for 5 years now.
Yall are always on the go, what I refer to as the diamond life! Is this a luxury of hard earned work? How can I get that!
Well, things aren’t always as they seem. Our life is actually not too luxurious at all! We wish it was as amazing as it may seem! We work hard and choose to spend our money on things like trips as opposed to going out all the time. There is nothing I like more than a road trip and an adventure. Traveling is a huge motivation for me to be successful. I don’t care about fancy cars and expensive jewelry, I just want to see the world and be happy.
Were you always doing your business thing on the internet or were you up to other crafts before Apple Sauced?
I have only been doing this internet biz for about 7 months since Apple Sauced launched July 4, 2011. I have had my SweetBabyTee Blogspot for a few years, but that was just for fun. Before we popped off Apple Sauced, I went to college at Chico State, got my bachelors in art history and found myself jobless and broke. I was good at art history but I knew it was not my passion and not was I was meant to do. I was obsessed with all things fashion so I knew I had to become my own boss and stop talking about it and just do it! We are still just starting out and we don’t know how it is all gonna turn out, but going for what I really wanted to do with my life has been the best decision I have ever made. I know it’s corny, but it really doesn’t feel like work when you love what you do.
What has been the biggest challenge for Apple Sauced and how have you learned from them?
Our biggest challenge so far has been just getting the name out there. It is hard because we are a strictly online business so we don’t have the advantage of foot traffic and people who just happen to stumble upon the store. All of the customers we have gained are from word of mouth. It is frustrating that there are probably tons of people who shop for Dimepiece, Hellz Bellz, and the other brands we carry and they don’t even know that we exist. Most of our customers come from our facebook fanpage or twitter. We have learned that it is just gonna take time and soon everyone will be on Team Sauce…(Laughs) well that’s the plan anyways!
I love the movie posts you put on Sweet Baby Tee. Is this your chance to cut back and be personal? When and why did you put together that blog?
Thanks! Yes, my Sweet Baby Tee tumblr is just a chance for me to be personal and give a little glimpse into my own life. It started off as a Blogspot that I just did for fun, just a place for all that inspires me. The blogspot is kind of on the back burner and tumblr has taken over. I take tons of pictures all the time for fun and post them on my personal tumblr. I do tend to do lots of movie posts as well. There are certain movies that I am so obsessed with like “True Romance”, “Pulp Fiction”, “DeathProof”, “Jackie Brown”, “Planet Terror”, etc. All of the women in those movies inspire me so much! I’ve also always been beyond obsessed with Dolly Parton and you will find tons of Dolly pictures and quotes on my tumblr. Dolly can do no wrong! Oh yea, and you can find all my ‘nails did’ flicks on my SweetBabyTee Blog too!
What advice do you have for anyone who’s looking to start a saucy career of their own?
My advice is just go for it!! You never know if something is going to be successful unless you try! We still have no idea how this whole Apple Sauced thing is going to turn out, but we grind and hustle everyday and hope for the best. We started this with hardly any money, no backers, and we did everything DIY…we still do. If we can start a business, trust me…anyone can!! You just have to really want it and keep your eyes on the prize. Our life is completely consumed with all things Apple Sauced. We just want to build this business and brand and hopefully continue to grow.
What do you have planned for Apple Sauced S/S 2012?
Big saucy things!! We will be adding new brands to the site and we
plan to do more events, pop-up shops, and things to get ourselves out
there. We’re just gonna keep doing what we’re doing and keep our eyes
on the prize!