When I arrived for my interview at MotherTrucker and co. for the position of an unpaid intern, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. MotherTrucker is a popular apparel company in the Villa Park/Orange County area, one that I have known my whole life having grown up here. I have seen them all over, knowing the brand they had successfully created.

After seeing a post on Instagram looking for an intern to assist the “boss babe,” I knew this would be a great opportunity for me to gain experience and have a fun time doing it. I could get a sense of who my boss, Shannon was, as soon as she signed off her response to my e-mail application with the signature “XO, Shan.”

When I sat down for my interview, there were a few questions about school and what I wanted to do afterward, and almost instantly, I was hired on the spot. My excitement bubbled, as, not only did I love the product I would be promoting, but I also loved the way I would be helping promote it, and the fact that I could gain experience in all parts of what it means to run a small business, which is a goal of mine someday.

The office itself is set up in a business center in Yorba Linda, wedged in between a few other random operations. Though it looks plain from the outside, as you walk in, you are greeted with a beautiful wooden wall, adorned with the brand name and various samples of the products, as well as a small couch and comfortable pillows to make the office feel less formal. Adorning the wall are pictures of celebrities in the infamous MotherTrucker hats, bringing a level of “celebrity” to the room. To the left, behind see-through walls, are the two head honchos, their desks facing each others. Many funny sayings are displayed on their desks, wearing the which truly speaks to who Shannon (right) and her partner Mikayla (left) are. Pictures of celebrities that have worn Mother Trucker hats adorn the wall as well, adding to the glamorous feel of the brand.

The culture of the company is unique and speaks heavily to the geographic influence of Orange County. The workplace is filled with the gossiping of five to six middle-aged women, their topics of discussion ranging from the newest episode of The Bachelor to what their kids’ plans are for Homecoming. For them, this is not just a job, for they also fit the bill for what the Mother Trucker brand has created and cultivated. As one of their most popular tote bags would attest to, self-proclaimed “Mother Truckers” summarize themselves by the phrase: “Suburban housewife who drives her oversized SUV over the speed limit while she’s talking on her cell phone.”

Definition of a Mothertrucker Tote

On my first day, I was eager to see what a small business felt like behind the scenes and to assume my role as a social media assistant. I always have had a knack for social media, but learning how to post in an advertising/promotional way proved fascinating to me, a reason, in part, I chose to pursue my major in strategic and corporate communication. I was given a tour, introduced to the staff, and then sat down to learn my tasks for the first day. I would be learning how to operate on a program called Grum, which allows for social media posts to be prepared ahead of time and scheduled to be posted at a later date. My job was to find content for the children’s page that was colorful, inviting, and exciting, along with adding captions that would promote the brand and the positive brand they wanted to embody.

As an intern, aside from taking the reigns on social media, I also was given the opportunity to help with production, something that intrigues me in relation to a small business. Being able to see an idea to an actual product is something I was able to get hands-on experience with. Helping make hats, ship them out, as well as adding final details is something that made me feel like a helpful part of the team.

One of my favorite days at my internship was the day I got to work at their warehouse sale. To be able to interact with the customers face-to-face, rather than hypothetically marketing to them via social media was something very special and unique. Even though the sale began at 8:00 AM, there were women lining up as early as 7:30, eager to get their hands on discounted merchandise that they had seen endorsed by the likes of Orange County housewives and local moms alike. To be immersed in such a positive, energetic environment outside of the traditional routine was exciting. A large part of being involved with a small business is being able to be personable, level-headed, and persuasive, which is something I was able to practice with actual customers.

Each day I went into my internship, there was something new for me to do, whether that was to organize the pull room, pack orders, or help with the promotion of a new sale. It was such an exciting feeling as I was driving to know that I was going to be faced with a new task, a new set of challenges, and something that would allow me to prove my passion, drive, and work ethic.

I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given by Mother Trucker & Co. to have been a part of such a successful, woman-run, small business. Their products continue to inspire and promote positivity, empowerment, and confidence. To have been a part of something like that, even for a short time, has taught me more than just experience– it has helped teach me to live according to their mantra of “why take life so seriously?” and to trudge forward, despite the odds, knowing that with the passion, drive, and determination of the original Mother Truckers themselves, I could one day have my own small business “empire” of sorts.