Finding the Right Online Business for You with Mandi Gubler

From: How to Sell Online  with Alison J. Prince

Download now from your favorite streaming apps below:

Spotify    |    Apple Podcasts    |    Google Podcasts

Finding the Right Online Business for You with Mandi Gubler

If you’ve been concerned about finding the right online business for you, it’s not uncommon. In fact, you’re completely, 100% normal. 

That’s why you’re going to love my conversation with Mandi Gubler in this episode of the How to Sell Online podcast. You may already know her name, as she’s been featured on the Chip and Joanna Gaines network, Magnolia. But you might NOT know her story about how (and why) she went from MASSIVE blogging success to launching a whole new business, Happy Happy Houseplant. 

The DIY blogger…who wasn’t.

Sometimes along the road to finding the right online business, you find something else. Or, probably more correctly, you find a different beginning than you expected. 

For Mandi, though, starting an online business wasn’t even on her mind when she discovered the world of DIY blogging. She needed something to focus on, and the idea felt right to her. (Psst! That’s kind of a common theme here!) 

There was only one tiny problem: she’d never done a do-it-yourself project. 

Still, a trip to the thrift store and a can of yellow spray paint later, she’d finished her first transformation. It was far from perfect, but it was a start. A few months later, she created a custom zebra-print rug for just $60, and it went viral. 

The next dream (and the next.)

Mandi’s blog, Vintage Revival, grew to be one of the first “big” blogs, with followers from around the globe. When she began, her dream was to be featured on an area television program. Once that happened, Mandi’s dream was to be on designer Nate Berkus’ national TV show. And she was a guest on it several times. 

One of her biggest dreams was realized in 2017 when, thanks to her blogging success, she and her husband were able to purchase a 100-year-old mercantile store in southern Utah. And over the next years, they renovated it and turned into their home. (They even made their own bathroom tile!!!) They documented the renovations step by step. 

Now imagine Mandi’s surprise when she learned that Joanna Gaines followed her on social—something that ultimately to her getting to do a project with the Magnolia (yep—that one) Network. The mercantile renovation was featured as the first episode in the series, “In With the Old.” Talk about a dream!

Coming up with a product to sell online.

As a blogger, Mandi’s income was dependent on sponsorships, and she loved the companies she partnered with. But she and Court wanted to come up with a product they could sell. They jumped into ecommerce by selling letterboards, happening to get into the product at the peak of the trend. The money they’d earned helped to purchase the Mercantile, but the couple knew it wasn’t a “forever product.”

You’ll hear some of the other products the couple tried as you listen to this podcast episode. You’ll also learn that Mandi did NOT plan on starting another business, given how busy she already was as a wife, mother of three, and blogger. But a digital download about houseplants ultimately became 

But it just felt right. 

Finding the right online business through connection.

Mandi says she had worked hard to figure out how to make a product line work for her Vintage Revivals blog, but it just didn’t click. But when she launched Happy Happy Houseplant, everything went together almost immediately. And it was built on connection. 

You see, Mandi had always LOVED plants but struggled keeping them alive. She felt like plants helped to make a space look and feel so much more beautiful, so she began doing a ton of research about how to keep them thriving. 

Her experience let her know the exact person she wanted to talk to with Happy Happy Houseplant: her former plant-killing self. She knows that people don’t want technobabble: they kinda just want to understand if they’re overwatering. And my friend, she is fantastic at telling stories that her audience relates to. 

She also has products that really serve plant lovers, from food and fertilizers to planters and clothing.  

Top Takeaways

Mandi’s experience shows that when you’re trying to find the right online business for you, it may not be a straight line. You might find a product you want to sell that leads you to something completely different. But eventually you’ll find the right one for you if you just keep going. 

  1. If you’re on the fence about starting something new, just try it.
  2. Get scrappy. 
  3. Sell the hot trends first and use that to find the clarity for the direction you need to go.
  4. The experience is the value. 
  5. Lean into your heart. 
  6. Everything we experience is a link in the chain. 
  7. Connection is the ultimate driver.
  8. Know who you’re talking to.
  9. You don’t have to be perfect. Just be real.
  10. Take out the technobabble and just share stories.
Additional Resources

About Mandi:

Mandi Gubler is an entrepreneur and creative to her core. She is the owner and creative force behind the popular interior design and DIY blog Vintage Revivals. Her journey started in 2010 with a can of sun yellow spray paint and blind enthusiasm. Over the last decade she has transformed furniture, homes, and people project by project. She is one of the lucky few creatives to be featured on multiple shows on Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network. In 2020 she and her husband Courtney pivoted and took her love of houseplants full time with the creation of Happy Happy Houseplant, a plant care product line and educational mecca for everyone who wants plants to make their homes more beautiful. She lives in a 100 yr old renovated Mercantile store in Santa Clara with her husband, 3 children, and hundreds of houseplants.

Follow Mandi:

Connect with Alison:

An image of three documents in a stack with the first document reads "6 Ways to Make Your Product Unique"

Get great online business info delivered right to your inbox! Jump in and grab ‘em now.

Alison J. Prince holding up mobile phone and laptop with a big smile

I created the 0-$100K System following the process I used to build my own multimillion dollar online stores. Now I’m teaching you the same principles. Get started today.

A Polaroid picture of swag from Alison J Prince; t-shirt, planner, bag

Strut your Because I Can best in our signature tees, shine in inspirational “can do” jewelry, and get our latest drops. There’s always something fun!

Don't Miss a Thing!

Subscribe to the Podcast

Skip to content