Big visionaries behind small businesses share their insights and experiences in this series. Learn how to share your brand story here.
MY AH HA MOMENT: As they say, "necessity is the mother of invention. " Well, that was certainly true for me. My littlest got carsick every time she got in the car, and cleaning up after her was not only messy, but took so long. After wrestling to get the car seat off, and reading the care instructions, I noticed that they said, "hand wash." I thought there had to be a better way, so I searched for a solution and came up empty. I knew that i wasn't the only one with this messy problems, so I decided to design something that would make cleanups easier, and that was my ah ha moment.
My next challenge was to come up with a fabric that was soft again the baby's skin, absorbant and didn't leak through. That is when I met with some "fabric sourcers" (who knew there was such I field?). Together we were able to come up with 3 fabrics together that accomplished all of this. I also wanted the design to be simple and work with the original design of the car seats, so you could slip the covers on and off easily without having to undo a single strap or take it out of the car. I was able to come up with a clean sleek design that allows you to slip it on and off in seconds, and is super soft, AND washing machine and dryer friendly!
When I came up with the fabric and design, I filed for a patent, and received one 3 years later. In the meantime, I worked with wonderful creative people to develop a website that is easy to use, and began selling the car seat covers on the Nomie Baby site, as well as many other etailer and retail locations.
NEW ADDITIONS: I realized that the Nomie Baby brand began to stand for products that solve problems for parents with style and ease, so the next products I designed and launched had these features as well. The Cozy Stroller Blankets have a wind-resistant outer layer and a super soft fleece inner lining. They work with all typles of strollers, and have a small pocket on the outside so when you are out for a stroll or run with the jogger, there is a place for your phone, keys or pacifier.
Next came the "Strittens" - stroller handle mittens, which fit on any stroller's handles, and mean that you will never be without your mittlens or gloves again.
CHALLENGES & CHEERLEADERS: There are many challenges in running my own business, but I find that being a part of entrepreneurial groups, has been invaluable. Not only are the resources and brainpower helpful in solving problems, but they also provide the much-needed cheerleading. It is also important to surround yourself with people who are truthful, but also encouraging.
GIVING BACK: Double thrill of a sale The other part of the business that was very important to me in making Nomie Baby successful, is that I decided to give a percentage of all profits to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) at the hospital where my littlest spent over a month, since she was born premature. It makes each sale that much more of a thrill. Not only is it spreading the happy-mess, but it allows me to give back. That feels great!