The Craze Catches On
I would have been happy to be home with my kids, be my own boss, sell one pad a month and appear in Real Simple. But a lot of the magazine editors were moms and they were so excited about a round changing pad. The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Baby Talk, Hip Mama, everyone was calling. Retailers in Canada, Dubai and Australia wanted to sell Patemm pads in their stores.
A Learning Experience
Looking back on it I could have done some things differently. For instance I should have researched manufacturers more thoroughly instead of quickly choosing one right here in San Francisco. But obviously I didn’t know a thing about manufacturing and I can’t beat myself up about it. I had to learn somehow. I learned everything on the job.
I’ve always been very focused. I’m one of those people who gives 110 percent. When I was in corporate PR and marketing before having children I was a workaholic. But I actually work even harder now because it’s not about me, it’s about my kids. I have 4 children, I’m and entrepreneur and life is never easy, but family comes first. Being a mom changes everything. My kids come to the office with me on weekends and I’m proud to say they finally know what I do. For a while they thought I worked for my Production Manager instead of the other way around.
Bag The Business Plan
I never wrote a business plan. All I knew was that I wanted to drive people to my site. The word of mouth was incredible because I identified a need and filled it. I also wanted to do my own customer service, nothing automated, no assistant. I love talking to my customers. People are shocked when they call the company and get a return phone call from me. It was never looking to make money. I just want customers to enjoy our product and our service.
You Can’t Do It All
In the beginning I didn’t want to make a mistake so I handled everything. But there are so many things I’m just not good at and eventually, as the business grew, I had to ask for help. Having kids has forced me let go a little because if I want to spend time with them I have to step back and rely on other people.
I’m passionate about my business but I’m a mom first. When the producers from Oprah called asking for a video of me talking about Patemm, my kids, my husband and I tore the house apart looking for the video camera. Then I used my infant son as a model while the rest of the family helped make the video, which took all day. My house is chaotic sometimes just like everybody else’s.
This Featured Lady was profiled by Susie Lacey, Associate Editor, Ladies Who Launch.