What inspired you to start your business?
As a mom of three boys with too many chaotic cleanups, I brainstormed a better way to both cleanup and contain toys with small pieces. LEGO was my #1 pain point. I started with the 60” Original Lay-n-Go then added a smaller “on-the-go” LITE solution for toys. I continued adding various sizes, patterns and additional innovative collections that included solutions for women, men, tech, pets, and most recently military solutions for our U.S. troops.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
I would advise other women entrepreneurs to follow your passion. If you do something that you love, it will never feel like a “job”. Focus and follow these fundamental lessons: work hard, don’t find problems -SOLVE them, treat people with kindness and respect, never stop learning, practice patience, know when to move on, strive to work smarter not harder, operate with integrity, focus on giving back, believe in yourself and never take no for an answer.
What three traits define you?
GRIT- GRACE- GRATITUDE. I wake up every morning not knowing what obstacles, challenges or opportunities I am going to face that day. No one day is ever the same. I learn something new every week. Change is inevitable. I move fast, I have to. I wear lots of hats, I have no choice. I make tons of decisions in one day, sometimes in an hour. I repeat it all again the next day. I always try to do this with GRIT– GRACE– and always with GRATITUDE!
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
After striking a deal with Target, we got word that we were accepted as a WBENC-Certified WBE. We immediately decided to use this as a marketing tool for our new packaging that we were designing and developing to hit the shelves in February 2020. Target thought it was a great addition to our new packaging. Women love to support and help elevate other women-owned small businesses. We have a great story to tell, why not start by sharing the Women Owned Logo. It makes for a fabulous product differentiator on a big box store shelf!
What do you love about being a business owner?
I love being an entrepreneur with the ability to design smart innovative organizational solutions. I enjoy challenges. I love being my own boss, creating my own rules, and building my own future. Lay-n-Go has allowed me to build an incredible life with my family (my husband is my business partner) and friends. What’s not to love?
What’s your favorite career moment?
My favorite career moment is the day I received my first U.S. Utility Patent. We worked for years. I spent hours in and out of the lawyer’s office, hours in and out of the patent office. Hours, days, months, years working on submissions and re-submissions. Waiting. More waiting. Lawyer bills. More lawyer bills. Rejections. More rejections. After almost four years our lawyer finally called and told us we got our first Utility Patent #9, 084,4459. It was a day I will never forget. I have since received two more U.S. utility patents.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I have two speeds — on and off. I love to sleep and could sleep for days…literally! BUT, if I didn’t have to sleep I would spend more time with my sons, probably doing some sort of sporting activity and spend a lot more time painting in my studio and or working out to clear my mind.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian. My neighbor was a vet and he had lots of dogs and horses. I wanted to be just like him. Live on a lot of land, have many dogs and horses and help animals.
How do you unwind after a long workday?
I hang out with my husband and three sons. We all sit down together for dinner and catch up on the day, watch the nightly news and then I head into my art studio and listen to music and paint until I can’t keep my eyes open.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... see it as an opportunity.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… to not sweat the small stuff. Life is too short.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family (including my rescue, Belle).
By this time next year, I will be… on 900 Target store shelves!
The best thing that happened to me last week was… watching my husband and three sons all be groomsmen together in a family wedding. What an amazing memory!
To get my creative juices flowing, I… work out before I start my day.
Lay-n-Go manufactures innovative organizational solutions for life, play, and travel. Their solutions solve cleanup and organizational challenges in daily routines to improve peoples' lives. Their commitment to quality, style, durability, and innovative functionality will always be a priority for Lay-n-Go and their promise to our customers.