Welcome! Today I’m talking to a cuddly broad from Portland, Oregon, who is the owner of Cuddle Up To Me, a professional cuddling service. She is Samantha Hess and has become an expert on the subject of cuddling. In the past two years, Samantha has done over 300 interviews, written a book, opened a 3500 sq. ft. retail space, and hired her first three employees. She recently designed and ran the world’s first cuddling convention and directs the only hands-on certification program to standardize and legitimize the profession. Let’s cuddle up to Samantha and learn more about her interesting profession!
Here’s what Samantha has to say about her journey as a professional cuddler:
- She married her high school sweetheart and then became single again at age 28. “I would pay someone for a good hug,” she thought.
- Her first steps to making her dream a reality were to purchase a web domain and create a website. She hired a lawyer and then passed out business cards and flyers. Within one month, she was featured in a magazine article.
- Samantha views her business as a therapy and not something sexual or romantic. “We all go through moments in life when we feel unloved, unappreciated, and invisible; we have to have somewhere to go.”
- There is sneakiness between the very few competitors in the snuggling business! Samantha explains!
- Samantha says if she had to do something differently, she would have gone more with her gut instinct and intuition rather than listen to business experts.
- Samantha shares her personal story of growing up in an abusive household with a drug and alcohol-addicted parent. She freely gave affection but then married someone who felt the opposite. Listen to her story!
- In addition to Samantha’s family issues, she went through a time of obesity, then lost significant weight, obtained her degree in fitness, and then became a personal trainer.
- She has also been in eight car accidents and suffers from chronic back pain.
- When she posted job openings for employees for her new retail location, she received over 6000 applications! She narrowed the list to 30 people whom she interviewed. It was a tedious process to make sure she hired the right people.
- Her certification program costs less than $1000 and reveals her secrets and techniques. It teaches anyone how they can open and operate their own cuddling business.
- Samantha’s career highlight is her work with a special ALS-diagnosed client who has become a regular. She knows she makes a positive difference in Adam’s life.
- Samantha also shares what keeps her going each day, her favorite business hack, and what she has on her professional bucket list before 2016 rolls around.
- Samantha says, “I’m not in this to make a billion dollars. I don’t care about the money. I care about changing peoples’ lives and making a difference for someone.”