Tag Archive for Mailbag

Ask Hoopalicious: Advice For Hoop Entrepreneurs

Ask Hoopalicious [Multiple people recently asked Hoopalicious questions about becoming a hoop entrepreneur. This week she’s combining the key points of their questions in one very special Ask Hoopalicious]

Dear Hoopalicious,

As a full-time hooper and hooping business owner, what is it like when you face obstacles or when things aren’t going as successfully as you’d hoped? What would you say is the most important thing to consider before you set out to create hooping as a career?

– Hoop Entrepreneurs

Dear Hoop Entrepreneurs,

I get asked this question quite a bit actually and first I always like to dispel some myths. I think from the outside it may seem like I just have my business all together and everything is hunky dory. My life is wonderful and I wouldn’t do anything else, but it hasn’t been a walk in the park either and I still have yet to meet the financial goals I’ve set out for myself. Success exists on other levels besides financial though (thank god) and those other less quantifiable ways are much of what keeps me doing this. Watching the community grow to what it is and feeling proud of my part in it helps me not quit when the going gets tough. But, I digress… It’s a complex question. While part of me wants to say “Don’t quit your day job”, the other part of me knows how important it is to follow your heart and do what you love, even if it is risky.

First off, my general advice is if you do have a job that you enjoy and pays your bills, keep it as long as you can, even if you eventually want to make Hooping your full time career. Like any creative service industry job, a Hoop Dance business takes time to build and has a lot of moving parts. There are so many times over the years that I wished I had another job that I enjoyed to take some of the pressure off and make the whole process a little more comfortable. The problem is that hooping is so much fun that you may want to jump ship immediately and take your chances. I advise keeping your bread-winning occupation and developing your hoop skills, network and business on nights and weekends. I urge you to BREATHE and take your time with this!

Any career around Hooping (unless you have millions of dollars to invest) is generally a small business with many ups and downs. As large as the hoop community has grown, and continues to grow, it is still a very small niche market. Hooping is making its way into the mainstream, as an option in alternative fitness, but that is also a niche market, if not a slightly larger one. So here are some things to ask yourself before you embark on a career in Hoop Dance:

Ask Hoopalicious: How Do I Become a Performer?

Ask Hoopalicious Dear Hoopalicious,

How did you get your first paid performance? Did you seek it out, someone approached you, etc?

~Braelyn Z

Hi Braelyn!

This is a great question! I don’t actually remember my VERY first paid performance gig. When I first started hooping I was mostly selling hoops and teaching others how to hoop, but over time, being at various festivals to vend, people began asking me if I did performance as well. I also pretty much hooped EVERYWHERE I went… night clubs, the beach, parties, etc. It was one of those things that just built organically on it’s own.

I met my contact for Cirque du Soleil because I took my hoop into a little night club in Santa Monica and was just hooping on the dance floor. Eventually I did get an agent, but honestly I built a bigger network and got more work by just being visible and talking to new people. Word of mouth is a powerful force! This can take a while though, so if you are looking to begin performing, you can help fast track this by doing a few things:

How to Make a Hula Hoop in Australia

mailbag Bec writes, “Im in Australia and I have been searching for months for “hoop connectors” instead of using pop rivets and I have had no luck Ive been to the local hardware store bunnings with a picture of a connector and they have no clue it seems the only way I can get them is online and they are not cheap at all! I’m starting to think I will just have to try pop rivets like I was recommended to by another hooper… Unless someone can suggest an alternative…”

Often the hardest part of making your own hoop can be finding the supplies. Here in the U.S. most hardware stores don’t carry the materials you need either. Even the large chain stores are hit and miss, but places that cater more to farming irrigation and plumbing are your best bet. While a couple of our advertisers sell and ship connectors, given all the hoopers spining things up down under, there must be another solution. Any of our Aussie hoopers have tips hooping making in Australia?

Mailbag: Do Hoop Directory Names Expire?

Thumbs Up Linda writes, “First off, thank you for doing an incredible service to the community by maintaining the Hooping Names Directory for Performers and Businesses. I’m writing because there is a name on your directory list that I am interested in and the link is dead. It has been for months now. Do the directory names ever expire and become available? If so, can I be the first to claim [a particular name]? Thank you – Linda”

Hey Linda, the Hooping Names Directory for Performers and Businesses is there for people to use to ensure that they choose a name that isn’t already in use, or even confusingly similar to one already in use, when they start hooping in any professional capacity. Your letter came at a perfect time because we were just talking about this very issue. Natasha and I updated the list last week and went through the listings and realized there were a number of hoop names now with dead links connected to them. The purpose of having an active web link is to a) help us see that the name is still actively in use, and b) ensure that in the event there is a conflict, that people are able to contact you about it. Given that people are not allowed to sign up for the list without an active link, they will no longer be allowed to remain on the list with an inactive web link either. All hooping names with outdated web links will be removed in one week. If the name is no longer on the list next week, then, at least in terms of Hooping.org (which does not take into account any other potential problems) the name will become available. In the meantime, we strongly urge you to do everything in your power to make certain the name you’re interested in is truly no longer in use. Happy Hooping! – Philo