Moms Supporting Moms ... in Business
Mom Inventor Interview: Lindsay Coleman of LadyEdison
One-size-fits-most insulating sleeve for baby bottles and sippy cups
When (month and year) did you have your "aha" moment that became the basis for your business?
Describe your moment, the problem you solved, or reason for starting your business.
In October of 2012, my son Landon was sitting on my lap as he was drinking his cold milk out of his sippy cup. He reached back and put his little hand on my cheek and it was FREEZING. I chuckled and said to him "burrrr, you need a koozie for your sippy cup!" So, I marched upstairs to the computer to search for baby bottle/sippy cup koozies, thinking they would be found at any retailer. Well, much to my surprise, I found NOTHING! Immediately the light bulb turned on and the idea was born!
During that time, my husband and I were going through a divorce and since I had been a stay at home Mom, I was now faced with the reality of having to find a full time job and have my son raised by someone else while I worked. I decided to take my idea and turn it into a product and business so I could provide for Landon and still be a stay at home mom while working around his schedule.
How did you come up with the name of your product?
Kid + Koozie, then changed the letters around a little to become Kidzikoo.
What were you doing prior to starting your own business?
I was a stay at home Mom. Prior to becoming a mom, I worked for a bank for 5.5 years
How did your spouse or family react to the idea of you having your own business? Do they participate?
I didnt tell my spouse about my idea because I knew we wouldnt be together and didnt want him to try to get any rights to the business. My family and close friends were VERY supportive in every step of the journey. Even now, my family helps get large orders packaged and ready to ship. My Mom calls herself my personal assistant!
How long was it from the time you had your idea until you had your first sale?
6 months I started pre-selling before I actually had my product in hand. It was a total of 8 monts from the time I had the idea to the time I had product in hand.
What skills from being a mom or from your previous work helped you in your business?
The skill from being a mom is patience and determination. Not everything is going to go as planned and you will hit lows as well as incredible highs. As my Grandmother said about raising kids "No one said it would be easy, but its absolutely worth it!" and I think that fits with the business as well.
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far? How did you overcome it?
Honestly, this journey has been amazingly easy. Since I've never created a product and built a business around it, I've had zero expectations. Of course there have been days where I wanted to give up, but then I'd look at my son and would find the strength to get over the hurdle and keep plowing forward. I have done a lot of following my instincts and relying a lot on my faith to get me through, and so far, they havent steered me wrong!
What are some of your favorite business tools and/or resources?
Other Moms in business who have been "successful". There were some key Mommy inventors that helped inspire me. I felt "if they can do it, so can I"!
What tricks or traps did you discover in your business journey that you would caution other moms to avoid?
Follow your instincts and try to do as much as you can without hiring or paying others to do it - especially before you know if your product/business is going to be successful or not. I know many people who have put a lot of money into an idea, then havent had much luck selling. I did everything from logo/website/packaging design, to filing my own trademark and sourcing my manufacturing/shipping broker myself. I just started small and began growing at a pace that was comparable to my sales, so my business has been an is continuing to be funded by itself without taking out any loans or debts.
Who do you look up to, follow and/or admire in business? Why?
My Dad. He started out climbing telephone poles in his early 20s to retiring at age 49 as a successful president and CEO of a telecommunications company. He is my hero and the best teacher I could have.
What retail stores are you in? Do you have any advice for moms trying to get their products to retail shelves?
Kidzikoo is currently in about 20 boutiques around the US, HomeSense and Winners retail chains in Canada, about to be distributed in Australia, India, and Japan and will be in Target stores in July of 2012.
The advice I have is attend the ABC Kids trade show. That was the how I got my foot in the door with so many people in the baby/kids buying industry. Also, I know this much retail success in such a short amount of time is not common, so I feel I have been very lucky and blessed.
What are your goals and plans for your business? What challenges and/or opportunities are ahead?
To continue to grow so that I can provide for my son. I dont need to make millions, just enough to give him the best life he deserves. I am in the process of expanding my line with other neoprene products and hope those to be a success as well.
If you were mentoring a mom starting her business or developing her idea, what advice would you give her? What steps would you recommend?
Set your priorities and goals in the very beginning. Follow your instincts and dont model yourself after anyone or anything you read. Everyone's business and products are different so there is not one thing that will or wont work for you. Go at a pace you are comfortable with and know there will be times when you want to cry, scream, and quit. Dont give up because there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Give yourself a realistic time frame where if you arent making money you will stop and try a new route. And lastly and most important - have faith and dont let anyone tell you you cant do something!
When you get time to yourself (if you ever do), what do you like to do that is unrelated to your kids or your business?
Honestly, I had my time of doing my own thing before becoming a mom. I am very content with my life being a Mom and business woman and find joy in that so I really dont care to do anything else at this point in my life.