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Entrepreneur Mom

with Aliza Sherman

If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.

To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.

Women-owned Home Based 100 Contest

Categories: Biz Nuts & Bolts, Uncategorized

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Startup Nation, along with Microsoft, is conducting its 2nd annual-Home-Based 100 Award (HB 100) to highlight unique stories of home-based entrepreneurs. This year, there will be a showcase of women business owners with successful, innovative home-based businesses. Here are short interviews with several women entrepreneurs from last year’s contest.

Company name: preppymommy.com
Location: Berkeley Heights, NJ
URL: www.preppymommy.com
Your name: Nicole Quiroga
Your title: Owner and Lead Designer

Q: How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

A: I have 2 girls, 7 and 5.

Q: What is your business about and why did you start it?

A: My business is all about making things easier and chic-er (is that a word?!) for moms and really all women! I noticed a dearth of fashionable accessories for mom and baby, so I decided to fill a void with preppymommy.

Q: How did you become part of the Home-Based 100 Ranking (HB 100)?

A: I read about the contest on startupnation.com and saw it as a great opportunity to let people know about my company, as well as to reconnect with past clients.

Q: What are the greatest challenges for you in terms of running a Home-Based business? What are the greatest benefits?

A: There are several challenges. The greatest challenge is balancing work time with family time. This is probably a common answer from work-at-home moms. I haven’t met anyone who isn’t constantly trying to improve that balance. Hands-down the greatest benefit is the freedom to put my kids on the bus in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon! I never miss a ballet class or soccer game!

Q. What is your single most important piece of advice for another mom thinking about starting a business from their home?

A: Make sure you have a dedicated workspace and a supportive family! The rest is gravy.

Company name: The Welcome Committee, Inc.
Location: Home-Based Business in Mooresville, NC
URL: www.TheWelcomeCommittee.net and www.TheWelcomeService.com
Your name: Suzanne Meyer
Your title: President/Founder

Q: How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

A: Three kids; Ben is 11, Michaela is 14 and Briana is 15.

Q: What is your business about and why did you start it?

A: The Welcome Committee’s mission is two-fold. We are a personal greeting service to welcome and acclimate newcomers and new homebuyers to the area. Second, we are an advertising and marketing service for local retail and professional services. Our word-of-mouth introductions pair up newcomers (the newest consumers), with goods and services they need in the community. Newcomers have no shopping loyalties, and they make most of their buying decisions within the first 90 days after move-in. Our Welcome Ambassadors get there at a critical time in their decision making process to help influence their buying decisions. Welcome Committee provides free state, county and local maps, coupons, gifts and gift certificates and community happenings to help get newcomers “plugged in.”

I started the business in December 1998, after my former employer, Welcome Wagon International, abandoned the “face-to-face” welcome visits. No one was providing this valuable community service, so I seized the opportunity to continue where Welcome Wagon left off.

Q: How did you become part of the Home-Based 100 Ranking (HB 100)?

A: Rich Sloan contacted me, encouraged me to enter and I won the Top Ten Best Financial Performers category. I was truly honored!

Q: What are the greatest challenges for you in terms of running a Home-Based business? What are the greatest benefits?

A: The greatest challenge is learning how to “turn off” work. because my office is in my home, I end up working 7 days a week. I still have not learned to carve out my own time….I work too much. The greatest benefits is being home with my children….the reason I never returned to corporate America. I am home when they get home from school. I can take them to their after school activities, to doctors appointments, etc. I never have to ask a “boss” for time off.

Q: What is your single most important piece of advice for another mom thinking about starting a business from their home?

A: Thoroughly research and learn as much as you can about the industry before you invest your time and money. Most importantly, choose a career that you are truly passionate about, because you will be working a lot of hours. If you enjoy what you’re doing, then it will be fun and not seem like work. Lastly, don’t worry about the income, focus on being the best in your industry, give the best in customer service and always be enthusiastic and genuine, the money will follow.

Company name: LTDchix
Location: Sparta, NJ
URL: www.ltdchix.com/index.php
Owners: Nina Frye and Cindi Schmitzer
Location: co-founders

Q: How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

A: We have 7 kids amongst us. I have 3 children. Two girls and one boy. Their names and ages are Elizabeth – 13, Andrew -11 and Claudia – 10. Cindi has 4 children. One girl and four boys. Their names and ages are Claire – 13, Walker – 11, Luke – 8 and Troy - 6 .

Q: What is your business about and why did you start it?

A: Cindi and I actually stumbled upon this idea. We thought of it while herding our kids into our cars after a trip to the beach one day. We have basically taken the less glamorous aspects of running a household, had an artist illustrate them, and came up with a great tagline “Living the Dream.” We took these illustrations and put them on cute t-shirts for moms.

Q: How did you become part of the Home-Based 100 Ranking (HB 100)?

A: LTDchix became a member of Startupnation.com which helps companies start businesses online. We utilized many of their great tools for our ecommerce site. Startupnation.com had a contest last summer of ‘07 and offered companies a chance to enter a Home-Based 100 Ranking contest. You could choose 10 different categories that your company would best fall into. We chose the Most-Slacker Friendly category and placed 2nd overall in our category.

Q: What are the greatest challenges for you in terms of running a Home-Based business? What are the greatest benefits?

A: The greatest challenges for us are working wisely and efficiently. Not spending money unnecessarily, yet grow the business. Working around our children’s schedule is also a challenge. There were many times where we had to find other parents to help us cart the kids around while we made sales calls and participated in interviews. However, the greatest benefits we get out of all this is expanding our product line and watching our business grow. Bottom line - we had an idea and brought it to fruition.

Q: What is your single most important piece of advice for another mom thinking about starting a business from their home?

A: Do not put your idea off. There is no time like the present.



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