How She Does It: Katie Cunningham CEO, LYFETYMES

Katie Cunningham

About Katie Cunningham

Katie Cunningham is the Founder Of LYFETYMES, A Startup that is disrupting the entire Party Industry and improve the way people plan and celebrate milestones. Prior Katie spent her career in Banking, Finance, And Consulting leading Consumer Acquisition, Revenue Strategies and Sales Organizations.


LYFETYMES, A Startup that is disrupting the entire Party Industry and improve the way people plan and celebrate milestones.

Deb Bailey: Welcome to the Secrets of Success blog, Katie. Nice to have you stop by. Could you begin by telling us how you got started as an entrepreneur?

Katie Cunningham: Happy to be here, Deb. I spent the majority of my career leading and being part of programs around where I was able to create, implement and execute consumer programs both at Fortune 100 companies and startups so it comes naturally. However, it came down to four things:
1) I was fed up with my future being controlled by others
2) deeply unhappy and lost passion for what
I was doing
3) I knew I had a solution to a major problem for moms that had not been disrupted
4) knew that I would think everyday about the idea of LYFETYMES and would only regret not being brave enough to go for it.

Deb: Are there any “lessons learned” that you’d like to share?

Katie: I have TONS of lessons learned - it would take all day. Your time is precious and your most valuable asset, so guard it. If someone you don’t know wants to jump on a call to find out more about your company, don’t be afraid to ask first about the point of the call (kindly of course). I spent a ton of hours speaking to people that wasted an hour to sell me a $25,000 program at the end of the call, I could not afford bootstrapping. In retrospect, if I had simply asked ahead the goal or agenda for the call, I could of saved both of us the time.

Deb: Totally agree with that approach! Who are your ideal clients?

Katie: My ideal clients are busy moms that are juggling so much already that time is their new currency. There is not enough of it to go around. Our moms are wanting a party planner experience - but not at a party planner price - they want a digital event planner. They want to be able to DIY and have all the resources in one place and make it Pinterest worthy. They want one place to go for all Celebration planning from birthdays to baby showers and a repository of past celebrations to make it easy to duplicate.

Deb: What are some of your successes and challenges?

Katie: Success is seeing people sign up for LYFETYMES everyday. We are launching new
functionality to wow the customer. We love getting great notes from customers on how much they love the value that we bring. The challenges are wearing so many hats while bootstrapping.

Deb: What inspires you to do the work you do?

Katie: Knowing LYFETYMES is part of creating lifelong memories and bringing friends and families together to celebrate a milestone or a holiday and making it easy to do so. Busy moms are the designated family party planner for the most part and we give moms a secret weapon to pull it off while looking like a rockstar and allow them to enjoy the moment also. I am so inspired thinking that we could be part of billions of happy memories! This helps me sleep well at night and get up excited to work the next day.

Katie Cunningham

Deb: What’s your vision for your business?

Katie: It’s huge. I look at technology and where we are heading and what we can do to enrich the most important moments in peoples lives, from birth to life celebrations. We want everyone to think of LYFETYMES to help bring your friends and family together to celebrate the most memorable moments in LYFE.

Deb: 7. What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs who are just starting

Katie: It is tempting to hire people for parts of the business that you don’t feel are your strength, but really challenge yourself first on how long or hard is it to learn or do this skill set. There are certain skill sets you can learn, but would take too much time, you may need to hire in the interim. But really take the time access your capabilities. Even if you hire down the road, you will be able to guide that employee if you have done the job yourself and understand the basic mechanics.

Katie Cunningham

Deb: Very helpful advice. So, what do you think are the top 3 traits an entrepreneur must have?

Katie: Guts - it’s a huge risk to look your family in the face and explain why your well-paid, M-F, health benefit job is being swapped out for a zero salary - 24/7, zero benefit idea.

Resilience- Can you keep going? Are you going to give up? No one wants to hear the struggles that you are going through, they care about the end game- even your family in some cases. Are you willing to drag yourself and your family through the hardest years of your lives?

Confidence - Can you bust through the fear and ask people for what you
need? Can you ask 3 times? Can you stomach all the no’s?

Deb: Katie, thanks so much for sharing that, and telling everyone about your business. Please share website and social media URLs.

Katie: I enjoyed it, Deb. Here are the URLs:

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