Cay Stout, Mrs. Ohio 2006 and the CEO and founder of Arm Candy Hair Tie Bracelets, is our newest obsession. Stout is an extremely dedicated, hardworking, successful, and inspirational woman. She has accomplished so much and we could not be more honored to feature her. Check her out below, on Instagram @arm.candy.bracelets, on Facebook @armcandyhairtiebracelets, and at https://www.armcandy.store/
What exactly are Arm Candy Hair Tie Bracelets?
Arm Candy Hair Tie Bracelets are designed to bring simple elegance to an otherwise ordinary accessory. These sleek and smart cuff bracelets feature clever slots to conveniently and comfortably hold an elastic hair tie until needed.
Where did you get the idea for Arm Candy Hair Tie Bracelets?
As a single mother, serial entrepreneur, travel addict, and yoga enthusiast, I’ve always appreciated simple, stylish solutions to everyday problems. Harnessing this passion, I founded Arm Candy — designing and merchandising fashionable, yet functional jewelry.
Where do you get your inspiration?
My mentors! I have cultivated what I call my Personal Board of Directors. These friends are women who live life with integrity, courage, discipline, optimism, and grace. I watch and listen.
How did you start producing Arm Candy Hair Tie Bracelets?
I started, as many have, peddling my first batch of bracelets from the trunk of my car. Popping in to meet with the owners of my favorite boutiques, I sold my entire inventory in one sunny afternoon. By the time my stock was replenished, these boutiques were ready to reorder. Since then, demand continues to accelerate with the launch of e-tailing through the Arm Candy website and even more boutiques joining the Arm Candy family.
What is your favorite part of running Arm Candy Hair Tie Bracelets?
It’s definitely the wonderful feedback received from Arm Candy’s customers. Of course, my friends were my first customers — and it was so much fun getting their feedback on how to improve the design or marketing. Now that we sell nationwide, every day I get a call, email, or sometimes even a handwritten note saying how much a customer adores our bracelets, has loved giving them as gifts, or simply appreciates our excellent service.
What are your dreams for Arm Candy Hair Tie Bracelets?
My dream is candy on every arm — and I’m completely serious about this! Arm Candy Bracelets appeal to so many women, and some men, and I really would like to get one bracelet into nearly every home.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a young woman wanting to start her own company?
Get ready to work, and I mean work hard. It is so rewarding creating a business from the ground-up, and shaping and cultivating it, but these rewards come at the price of demanding work. I often hear that it will take at least twice the time, money, and effort that one expects.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
Oh boy. It really varies from day-to-day, but the most important thing I do on a daily basis is set my priorities. One of my mentors taught me to spend the first and final 30 minutes of each work day planning and prioritizing. When setting priorities, I often use Stephen Covey’s system of A, B, and C. “A” tasks must be accomplished today, “B” tasks should be accomplished today, and “C” taks ‘would be nice’ to accomplish today. Most of my day is spent communicating — emails and calls to our customers, retailers, distributors, and suppliers. My favorite tasks involve collaborating with other small business owners to promote each other’s products and services.
What is the key to all of your success?
The key to all of my successes is collaboration. Competition is what challenges me, raises my game, and gets me out of bed without setting an alarm, which I haven’t done in over a year. But collaboration with my retail partners, vendors, distributors, bloggers, community organizations, and countless other small businesses created synergies that opened doors and impelled each of us forward at a much faster pace.
To use a cheesy metaphor: Competition fuels business, but collaboration is the engine.
Describe yourself in one word.
How would your best friends describe you?
Driven and tenacious.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have?
What is your guilty pleasure?
Graeter’s Hot Fudge Parfaits — there is nothing more delicious on the planet! I always take my children there when I visit my hometown, Cincinnati. Their desserts remind me of childhood treats shared with my family, awkward teenage dates, and meeting up with friends during college breaks.
Side note: There are a few Graeter’s stores in Indianapolis and they’re totally worth the drive.
What is your favorite quote and why?
“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”
Thanks, Cay. Be sure to check out Arm Candy and stock up for your holiday shopping!