Over the years, the word people use to refer to women who run a business from their home while raising a family has evolved, but the meaning remains the same. Whether people call them work-at-home moms, small business owners, entrepreneurs, or mompreneurs, these remarkable women have forged new paths to success, often working around their children’s schedules.
The following mompreneurs can be an inspiration to anyone who wishes to start their own business:
You may not recognize her name, but if you have young children, you’re most likely familiar with The Baby Einstein Company, which she started with her husband after she became frustrated with the available television programming for young children. Aigner-Clark developed the initial VHS program Baby Einstein using $18,000 of her family’s savings. After one year, the company had over $1 million in sales. This number skyrocketed to over $25 million three years later. The company caught the eye of the Walt Disney Corporation and was purchased for an undisclosed amount. Aigner-Clark has continued to develop products and has leveraged her experience to launch additional startups.
Sheila Lirio Marcelo
The stereotypical sandwich generation, Marcelo was struggling to raise her children, work a full-time job, and care for her father, who had recently suffered a heart attack. Recognizing that there were likely others in the same position, Marcelo leveraged her knowledge of technology and the needs of her own family to form Care.com.
Designed to help families locate certified, competent care for their loved ones, the subscription-based program has expanded to include recruiting and marketing assistance for businesses. Since its creation in 2006, Care.com has become the largest online destination for care services, with nearly 20 million members around the globe.
Like many moms, Alper found herself singing nonsensical songs to her children when they were young. She would make up tunes or re-word popular songs to include her children’s names. With the help of a few musician friends, she recorded several songs with kids’ names in them and began selling them at holiday fairs. The concept was a success, and she began selling the albums in earnest under the Name Your Tune label.
A recent new mom, Visram was horrified to discover that the baby-food industry was much the same as it had been since its inception in the 1930s. She began researching and created a line of affordable, organic, and nutritious products for babies in 2006. Her company Happy Family has since expanded to include snacks for kids of all ages and pouch drinks made of pureed foods like kale and mango.
In addition to offering healthy food items, Happy Family promotes sustainability and social consciousness. Recently, the company was acquired by a French food distributor, thus enabling more families around the world to enjoy the company’s products.
While working a full-time job and raising two young children, Lanz realized that she was relying on frozen meals and take-out dinners most nights and resolved to serve her family healthier, more enjoyable meals. Her cooking background lent itself to the creation of her subscription-based, meal-planning service, The Fresh 20.
A weekly menu-planning tool, The Fresh 20 gives users a shopping guide for 20 ingredients and recipes for five meals that their families will enjoy. Lanz claims that her service not only helps bring families to the table, but it also helps them learn to appreciate whole foods in a nutritious, delicious way. With nearly 90,000 subscribers, it’s obvious she has met a need.
What do these mompreneurs have in common?
- They recognized an opportunity—Whether through their own need or by observing the needs of others, they saw an opportunity to solve a problem and took it.
- They prioritize family AND business—Mompreneurs are masters at balancing the demands of work and home. They conduct meetings during naptime, have playdates between sales pitches, and take their kids with them to sightsee during conferences. By shifting their priorities seamlessly, they are more successful at running their business and their homes.
- They delegate—Balancing the corporate and home worlds requires precision planning and delegation, and mompreneurs have this down to a science. They delegate tasks that can be done by others, teach their kids to do simple household chores, and hire outside help for things that they don’t have time to complete. These working moms have no compulsive need to do everything—they simply focus on the things they know are most important.
Want to try your hand at being an entrepreneur? Find a need and then figure out how to solve it. Chances are good that your idea has a customer base, and who knows? You could be the next big mompreneur.