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Welcome to another edition of our Member Spotlight Series on the Madison Mompreneur blog! This series will help you get to know the members of Madison Mompreneur as we ask them questions about their personal and professional life as moms who own businesses in Madison, Alabama.

We are continuing this series with the spotlight on Co-Founder Lauren Hooper, Owner of The Minimalist Wallet. Enjoy!

photo of Lauren during her former Morning Coffee Talk live series on Instagram

Introduce yourself!

Hey y’all, I’m Lauren Hooper! I’m a co-founder here at Madison Mompreneur, and I am a finance and lifestyle coach via The Minimalist Wallet.

How does your business help people?

The Minimalist Wallet provides 1:1 coaching, group courses, and printable tools to help people find a financial lifestyle that allows them to live their best life while also doing good for the people and planet around them. If someone is in need of the lifestyle guidance that will help them live more ethically and sustainably, TMW is where to find it!

How long have you lived in Madison?

I’ve lived in Madison since 2015. My family and I re-located to Alabama right after my husband graduated; we moved up here from Gainesville, Florida (Go Gators!) for a job offer that fit exactly what he was looking for. We didn’t know anyone in the area, and he had only been up here once for the job interview so it was a big leap of faith!

What inspired you to start your business?

I went back to college in 2016 with two babies at home (I have boy/girl twins), and I knew right away that I wanted to do something personal finance related. My first attempt at college resulted in no degree, but $32,000 of debt from student loans, credit cards, and tuition owed to my university. I didn’t have the financial knowledge or support system that would have made getting out of that debt easier, so it was a big learning curve to say the least. I didn’t want to make the same money mistakes that led me into debt again so I spent years educating myself, cultivating better lifestyle habits, and paying off all that debt. Working in personal finance is a way for me to ‘pay forward’ all the help and support I got along the way from many different financial start-ups, bloggers, and authors. It wasn’t until my last couple years in college (I was a part-time for most of it) that I realized there was no job out there that would allow me to teach people about money in away that aligned with my own values and education on how to live a joyful, but frugal lifestyle. CEO of my own business was the only option that would give me that freedom. So in 2019, two years before I launched The Minimalist Wallet, I snagged the URL and related social media handles so that they would be ready for me when it was time.

photo of Lauren’s workspace while creating content for her business Instagram

What sets your business apart from others in the industry?

I don’t have a one-size-fits-all method for personal finance. Personal finance is PERSONAL. So I like to create programs and tools that mirror the same, bespoke experience someone would have if they are doing 1:1 coaching. I also find that most financial programs are centered around the individual, and I think that so many of the systemic issues we have in our society that are related to money are because people are told to focus on themselves and their needs only. But a lot of financial security comes from having a community that supports you whether it’s the grandparent who moves closer to provide childcare, a job that has paid maternal and paternal leave, or a government that sees the benefit of providing universal pre-k and free meals. When we recognize that the decisions we make with our money everyday have a ripple effect on the change we want to see in the world, you can both build your own individual financial support while also supporting people and planet aka community.

What do you consider to be your biggest success so far?

Honestly, I think I am my own biggest success. I was my first and longest-running client. The methods and tools I have developed for my clients were workshopped on myself. The things that I teach are how I also choose to live my own life. I also have a few people close to me who have remarked on how they see the world differently after meeting me. They are less concerned with having an aspirational life and more concerned with just living a joyful, intentional life. My influence has effected how they see themselves, their relationships, their personal finances, how their household runs, even the jobs they are and are not choosing to take. Knowing that I have effected that change in them is really wonderful. But as a business owner, I have slow, stagnant periods when I had no clients. When I base my success on the outcome (or lack) of my business relationships with others, it doesn’t provide the steady stream of motivation I need to keep going as a business owner. But my relationship with myself never ceases. So I can wake up each morning, reminded of the amazing things I have accomplished for myself and will continue to accomplish, and it keeps me going.

How does your business contribute to the local community?

While I market globally, I have had many local clients, all women and many mothers. 1:1 coaching has a special bonus for local clients because we have the opportunity to meet in-person just for conversation or to take action on a project that needs guidance, like creating a capsule wardrobe or decluttering a kitchen. I also have the ability to give very detailed suggestions about lifestyle changes because I am deeply familiar with the routines, businesses, school schedules, etc. that affect their lives. I also have business proceeds that are donated to local charities like the Kids to Love Foundation, Crisis Center of North Alabama, and 89.3 WLRH (local NPR affiliate).

How do you see your business evolving in the next 5-10 years?

I would love to take the case studies from my 1:1 and group coaching clients to help write books and physical workbooks. I also really enjoy public speaking so any opportunity I have to speak in front of a large audience about the intersections of personal finance, intentional living, and sustainability, I will take!

photo of one of Lauren’s favorite finance books she recommends to clients

Who are your typical customers, and how do they find you?

My typical clients are women, ages 25-45, with children, often married or divorced, living in the United States or Canada. They are looking to reduce overwhelm, feel more secure in their financial future, live simpler, and do some good for the people and planet around them. Often find me via Instagram or a podcast (I’ve been interviewed on a few over the years).

What do you enjoy most about running your business?

Brainstorming short and long-form content, writing, doing deep dives and continued education on the topics that I know would benefit my audience are all really enjoyable. I also love the freedom that comes from not having to convince anyone else about business decisions. I can follow my gut, move out my own pace, and rest in the confidence that I have experience and the knowledge to take my business in the right direction.

How do you stay up-to-date with industry trends and changes?

Before I was a personal finance business owner, I was a consumer of books, podcasts, Youtube channels, documentaries, articles, magazines, software applications, social media accounts for anything related to minimalism, personal finance, ethics, and sustainability. While trends in intentional living and finance are noted, I am the most interest in what businesses are doing related to ethical and sustainable living. I consider myself to be in that same industry, but I am just focused on the financial aspect along with the lifestyle changes. In terms of the coaching industry, I follow a few voices that reflect my same views on the ethics of life coaching.

What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business in your industry?

Having a passion for a topic is not always enough to sustain a business. Unless you can immediate outsource all of nitty gritty things that need to happen to someone else (or multiple someone else’s) you have to be willing and able to do all the back end work like filing paper for an LLC, opening up accounts, creating and managing a website, writing copy for advertisements, creating images/videos/graphics.

My job as a personal finance coach is similar to the traditional financial planner or consultant jobs that many people hold through large investment firms like Edward Jones, Charles Schwab, or Vanguard. Often people also choose to become a Certified Financial Planner meaning they have a fiduciary responsibility to their client (not to the product they are selling). Having a formal or informal education in what it means to be a fiduciary is something I would highly recommend to anyone that wants to work in finance. I have a Bachelor’s in Finance which mostly focused on managing funds for business or large brokerage accounts, but also included some education on personal finance and individual and small business taxes.

There are also a lot of coaching certification programs for people who want to be life coaches. If you don’t have a strong grasp of what a life coach does, one of these programs would be beneficial. Find one that will teach not just what to do, but what not to do since there is a difference between coaching and therapy, and you will want to know what practices are considered ethical and which aren’t.

photo of the Aligned Money Questions card wrap, a free printable on The Minimalist Wallet website

What product/service would you like for us to highlight at this time?

I offer 1:1 coaching year round and I stand by this as the best bang for your buck (and your time).

My Aligned Values Workbook is a low risk, high reward, printable tool for learning about the concept of values and creating your own custom set of values.

And I have a self-led email course coming up in September for those that are interested in decluttering and analyzing/adjusting their spending habits – get on my email list to be the first to know when sign up starts for that!

Do you involve your kids in your business? If yes, how so?

They know all about what Mom does so they are always asking questions about what I’m up to. They are often a part of the content I am creating for marketing. My daughter created a “Earth Savers Club” complete with hand drawn cards make when I showed her the first prototype for own business card. My son hopes to one day be a part of any YouTube videos I make for TMW. They definitely don’t actively work in my business, but the lessons I teach my clients are the same lessons they learn from me.

What do you find is the most difficult part of balancing motherhood and business life?

Where to begin…..being a mother (or more accurately the default parent) is a 100+ hour work week, especially if you don’t have childcare, but even when you do. You are thinking about them, making decisions based on them, doing things directly for them. Owning a business, especially as a solo business owner, is a 100+ hour work week. So now we’re looking at 200+ hours of work in a 168 hour week. You need to sleep, you need to eat, you need to do essential care for yourself, but then your brain is also constantly switching from making lunches to creating a Reel on Instagram to finding a pair of clean socks to answering an email to remembering to donate to the PTA fundraiser to remembering to pay your business taxes. You can gain freedom from a rigid work schedule, but that is substituted for an endless work schedule crammed into the margins and often not given full, undivided attention. Being a mother is often thankless and isolating, and in business, mothers (below childless women) are the least valued and most underpaid workers; unfortunately that transfers to how the world sees moms who own businesses. Even when you are, by all usual metrics, considered successful, people still see it as a cute, fun hobby that you should drop at any time if your children (or your partner) need something. One of the motivations for starting Madison Mompreneur was to help moms take their own businesses seriously and for the public at large to take mom + biz owners seriously. Systemic and cultural challenges mean that moms have to work twice as hard to get half as far. It is endlessly frustrating.

photo of Lauren’s twins on the last day of school

What business in the Madison area is your favorite?

I have worked part-time as an instructor at Pure Barre Madison (located in a Downtown Historic Madison) for about 5 years. And I was a client for another two and half years before I started teaching. I really can’t say enough good things about the clients and staff there. I joke that all the friends I have, I made at PB Madison (which is mostly true). It is a community that I feel really honored to be leader in.

Do you have a business bestie?

I have been so lucky to connect with many, many mom entrepreneurs in the past couple years. But one of the personal & professional relationships I value most is with my friend Camila Montanhani, a family and branding photographer in Westchester, NY. Camila and I connected in a Zoom call with fellow stay-at-home-moms looking to navigate the complexities of the pandemic in May 2020. We were both passionate, outspoken, and crunchy (a synonym for people who lean towards the natural and alternative). We also both have a heart for advocacy work and are very in tune with how mental health affects motherhood and entreneurship. In early 2022, we decided to start doing regular Zoom meetings with just the two of us, to help keep ourselves accountable in our businesses. We meet every Monday from 9am-11am (Central Time) and our sessions are part co-working, part strategy, part therapy. We’ve only met once in person, but we have such a strong connection, and I’m so grateful to have her in my life.

Anything else you would like for us to highlight?

As a life coach, I feel uniquely positioned to give advice to moms and business owners. And as a minimalist, I’ve seen the immense change that happens in people when they change their surroundings. And I think that advice applies to being a mom and business owner – be unwavering in what you allow into your life. There is so much noise, some much distraction, so much that isn’t applicable to you. Take only what you need and ignore the rest. It will give you so much more peace of mind and will keep you consistent in your belief in yourself and in your action. Consistency is the key to success in business and in parenting even when you don’t have the skill, time, talent, money, all the things we think are essential.

photo of Lauren’s cozy, minimalist living room and one of her three rescue dogs

Where can people find you?

On Instagram at @lauren_etc and @theminimalistwallet, via The Minimalist Wallet website, and at the Madison Public Library every Tuesday from 11am-1pm (aka Madison Mompreneur co-working) during the school year 😉

If Lauren’s experience as mom and business owner resonates with you, we would love to hear from you in the comments. And if you are a mom and business owner in Madison, Alabama and would like to be featured in a future Member Highlight post, email us at

Member Highlight

September 1, 2023

Member Spotlight: Lauren Hooper of The Minimalist Wallet