I am a stay-at-home mom of two deliciously wonderful, but absolutely messy young boys, ages six and eight. They are not only my best reason for getting up every morning (sometimes earlier than I’d like to!), they are also the inspiration behind my home-run business, SmartSeat™ Chair Protector.
The idea came to me about two years ago when we purchased a new dining set. I wanted my boys to be able to eat with us at our new table, but didn’t want them to ruin our new upholstered dining room chairs. Frustrated by the lack of options on the market, I decided to create my own design made out of a soft, comfortable and waterproof material. As a mom, I know how picky kids can be about texture and the way things feel against their skin. I used my experience with my boys as the motivation to find a design and fabric choice that would both completely protect my chairs from stains and spills, and get my kids’ approval.
My boys are very involved in the day-to-day operations of my home-run business. They give me feedback on possible future colors, help with sorting the covers as they arrive from our manufacturer, and make deliveries to the mailbox down the street when it is time to ship out an order. My eight year old—who is a budding entrepreneur in his own right having started a very active candy resale business that he operates from our front steps—has shown a particular interest in our pricing and keeps close tabs on our sales. It is truly a family run business over here!
Running my own company has, at times, been challenging. With no background in manufacturing, retail marketing, or website design, the learning curves have been steep. When I didn’t know the answer or was unsure of the next step, I reached out to other women who had started their own businesses. These women were a tremendous resource and very supportive of my new venture. I also relied on the exceptional and diverse skills of my two partners, one of whom I am lucky enough to be married to!
I suppose that the most difficult part of starting my own company was actually taking the first step. It was a risk to invest our savings into inventory that we didn’t know would sell. It also meant less time to myself during the day, which I had very much been looking forward to as my youngest son started full-day kindergarten and I no longer had a preschooler at home. Nonetheless, the sacrifice of personal time seems to have been well worth it and more than compensated for by the excitement of seeing our orders grow every month.
Because I believe that I have a great product, and our reviews have been extremely positive, I don’t lack for enthusiasm. I am having fun every day, even when I encounter unexpected obstacles, and I love to get feedback from our customers about different ways that they have found to use my covers.
Overall, starting my own business has been a lovely way to blend my day-to-day life with my boys with my personal aspiration to contribute to my family’s well-being and financial stability. If I could give just one word of advice to those of you moms out there who are thinking about starting your own business, it would be to just get going and do it! As moms, there is always something else that needs to be done for someone else—laundry, meals, help with homework, etc… But try to find the time to work on your dream project, even if it means doing just a little bit each day.
We ♥ SmartSeat™ Chair Protectors because they’re waterproof, stay safely in place, are comfortable to sit on, and are attractive to boot! But most of all, we love the fact that they were created by one hard working mom on a mission.
Rebecca has extended an exclusive Friends and Family discount to all of you iheartmom fans. From now through Nov. 30th you can receive 20% off on all orders! Just enter discount code “heartmoms20” at checkout.