Categorized | Shoestring Startup

From Mom to Mompreneur on a shoestring budget

Name of your company?

The name of my company is babybindle(TM)
http://www.babybindle.com/

Date started?

babybindle(TM) was founded September 2010

What is your product or service?

SeatPak(TM)

Currently the SeatPak(TM) is our only product. The SeatPak(TM) is a grow with you bag. During the infancy stage it can be attached to the handle of an infant car seat, eliminating the need for a huge diaper bag, especially during the quick errands moms need to do. Picking up siblings, trips to the bank or grocery shopping will be a breeze with the SeatPak(TM). It can also be attached to any stroller, and during the toddler years the SeatPak(TM) can be attached to the handle of a purse. The latter is a lifesaver during doctor visits, I fill it with toys and books to keep my daughter busy. I have also used it with my 6 year old son, it fits his leapfrog as well as toys and snacks. Moms usually end up carrying the toy bag after a while anyway and this is great because it simply attaches to my purse.

Why did you start your company?

I started my company after inventing the SeatPak(TM). I had my “a-ha” moment after the birth of my daughter in 2009. I was struggling with a coat, a car seat, my huge diaper bag all the while trying to keep a hold of my son’s hand. There just had to be a better way of doing things. I researched a little online and found nothing that would make my life simpler, so I dusted off my sewing machine and made my first prototype.

I also wanted to be an example for my children. I think sometimes as stay at home moms we tend to get lost in the shuffle. We are one of the most important people in our families lives, we are too busy doing for others we forget about ourselves. We forget we have one of the hardest jobs in the world, and one don’t get paid to do, to boot! For my daughter I wanted to show her, you can do anything in this world you set your mind to do. For my son who asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I can say “I love being a mommy” and now I can add “business woman” to that sentence.

Sandra Frawley

How was it financed ?

I used a $15,000 grant I received from Huggies. I won the Huggies MomInspired Grant in 2010. What an amazing validation! Out of 499 applicants I was 1 of the 12 inaugural winners of this grant program.

Date officially launched?

The babybindle(TM) SeatPak(TM) was selling online December 1, 2010.

How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)?

Currently I employ a couple of people for specific projects.

What is the best advice you ever got?

The best advice I received was from another mompreneur. She said “surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, then get out of their way while they do their job” It has become one of my mantras and one I use daily.

What free online or offline tools do you use?

Online I receive emails from HARO, which puts me in contact with journalists looking for tips and stories of small business owners like myself. I am currently reading Retail Bound by Yohan Jacob and SCORE is a great place for small business mentoring.

What is the one thing that you did right?

I took a leap of faith with a blessing from Huggies, as well as, surround myself with people who are smarter than I am.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

I had to schedule myself better. With two children and a household to run, adding a new business to the mix I started feeling a little overwhelmed.

What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you?
I like to say “in my former life” as in pre-children, I was a Registered Veterinary Technician. I worked in the private sector as well as two veterinary universities as a surgery technician. I loved being an OR tech in the large animal department, horses, cows, goats and pigs. This was my very first job which I actually loved getting up for in the mornings.

What would make your business more “Successful”?

Major retail stores placing the SeatPak(TM) on their shelves.

Would you want to be acquired by a bigger company, run it yourself or sell in a couple of years?

I absolutely love my job, I have found the perfect job for me and would not trade it for anything

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I have been given an amazing opportunity. To all the moms who have an invention sitting on their shelf, I say to you…Go for it! Take that step or leap of faith, you never know what can happen. The worst is you fail. I thought like that as well. I have tried so many different things and each time I felt like a failure. Now I realize, they were not failures because each new invention or idea I tried I learned something from it. I have come to understand they were stepping stones to get me where I am today. Believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who encourage and support you.

What is your favorite quote?

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”

Bill Cosby

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