We had the good fortune of connecting with Meg Young and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Meg, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
When I decided to launch Cailini Coastal – an ecommerce shop that offers curated, luxury coastal home décor – I knew I wanted to use it to impact other people in a positive and direct way. I have always been active philanthropically and drawn to organizations that help children and families. Since the business was selling home accents, it made me hyper aware of not only how fortunate those of us are who are able to shop for these little luxuries, but just how many families struggle to have the basic need of a home. In the United States today, one child out of six lives in poverty and families with children make up 35% of the people who experience homelessness. Staggering stats. I chose to partner with Family Promise – a national non-profit that helps low income families and families experiencing homelessness achieve sustainable independence. I connected with Family Promise in February 2020 and told them I would be donating a portion of my profits and would use my platform to help bring awareness to their work. A few weeks later COVID changed our world. I spoke with Family Promise again and they told me about the flood of calls they were receiving and how many families needed their support now more than ever. I was prepared to launch a business knowing it could totally fail and I wouldn’t make a dime…so it was a no brainer that if the business did succeed I wanted all of the profits to go to help these families. I launched Cailini Coastal on April 30th, committed to donating 100% of profits for the first six months of business to help these families most impacted by COVID-19. I launched from my garage with two toddlers at home, self-funded and solo… in my first week I had over 100 orders and I thought, “yep, this business is being used to help others right now and I am all for this!” We work with both the national headquarters of Family Promise and the local South Bay chapter here in Los Angeles. We’re particularly passionate about working with our neighborhood families because we can support their needs in a more direct way. We’ve provided toys and school supplies for their kiddos, decorated the bedroom of two little girls who recently moved into their new home, and supported the build out of their remote learning center for their kids in school. In addition to our monetary donation, we use our platform to spread awareness for their tremendous work. We have a prominent page dedicated to Family Promise on our website which shares loads of information and resources. We also share BTS photos and videos from the South Bay chapter on IG so our followers can learn more about the work they’re doing and their needs. While I’m proud of the seemingly instant success this business has had, I am most proud to tell my daughters one day that mommy launched a business during the pandemic that was committed to helping others and successful at doing just that.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Prior to launching Cailini Coastal, I had a 13-year long career as a beauty publicist working in both New York and LA with brands and experts in the skincare and cosmetics industries. After I had my two daughters, I really reflected on my career, as I spent a lot of time working. I knew I wanted to continue working, but I also knew that if I was going to be spending so much time away from them, I needed to do something that brought me joy. I built a great career with PR, but after a decade I began to lack the passion and excitement I once had for the work I was doing. Like many businesses, the idea of Cailini Coastal came to me through my own personal quest as a design loving consumer. Until our current home (which we moved into just this month), I’ve been a renter my entire adult life. As a renter, I wasn’t able to wallpaper, paint, or make updates to outdated spaces. Purchasing expensive furniture was not only out of my budget, but impractical because I moved so often and there was no guarantee it would “work” in the next home. For all of those reasons, I relied on accents – like decorative pillows, lighting and chic accessories – to really transform my homes. I’ve always had this distinct coastal style and most of the pieces I purchase I discover at boutiques, antique stores or flea markets on the east and west coasts. I love shopping these types of places because the pieces I find feel special and unique rather than items you’d find at more mainstream stores. After having kids, online shopping became almost exclusively the way I shopped, and I realized there wasn’t anything available online that offered what I was looking for – unique, quality coastal accents. There were quite a few places online to shop coastal furniture and select décor, but they were all a bit too mainstream for me and there wasn’t anywhere that focused on just the accents. That’s how the idea for Cailini Coastal came. After a year and a half of countless conversations and research, I made the decision to pause my PR business and focus 2020 on launching Cailini Coastal – the online destination I personally wished existed. I had a few challenges at launch…I had no experience in e-commerce, retail or the design industry, I was solo with no business partner or employees, I was modestly self-funded, and – probably the biggest hurdle – I launched during COVID quarantine with two toddlers at home. What I did have was a ton of confidence in and drive for what I was doing. In our first week, we had over 100 orders and $20K+ in sales (For the record, my goal was $50K in sales year one). Six months in, we have had over 1,200 orders, a team and soon a warehouse space!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My family and I recently moved to Lunada Bay in Palos Verdes. I’ve lived all over the city and I must say, Lunada Bay may be the best kept secret! It looks like a hybrid of Santa Barbara and Hawaii and the people are magical – so down to earth and such a strong sense of community. It’s like a little bubble here you never want to leave. The cliffside ocean views are pretty spectacular. We’d walk the cliffs of Lunada Bay, go to spa at Terranea (another best kept LA secret) sit poolside overlooking the ocean post treatment, and dinner oceanfront at Nelson’s – enjoying some fish tacos, guac and chips and spicy skinny margaritas! If we did leave our little home bubble, I’d head up to my favorite place in California – Santa Barbara.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I love this! To my daughters, Riley & Emmy, who inspired me to take the risk of making a massive career and following my passion and gut. To my darling husband, Brian, who has been my biggest advocate and supporter and extra hands on at home while I work endless hours!