I was so tired of having my purse falling over when I set it on the passenger seat – then the next morning I would have to go out to the car to find my lipstick that rolled under the seat! Add to that my son placing his cleats on my purse when it is placed on the floor mat, not to mention the filth my purse is sitting upon. Lastly, having to stretch to reach my purse when placed in the backseat – I was determined to find a solution.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Ask for help! Even though you know the individual you are speaking to may not have the answer, you never know who they know. Also, don’t rely on the "experts." If I had, I would have spent a lot of unnecessary money. You know your business – follow your intuition.
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
I cannot state enough how WBENC membership has benefited my business. During my first certification process, I mentioned to them how I would like to use a woman or minority firm to do my manufacturing. The day I received my certification, WBENC contacted me and told me they just certified a woman-owned business in Columbus, OH. They turned out to be an amazing partner for my product launch.
The national meeting was instrumental in allowing me to present my invention to the major retailers: Walmart, Macy’s, JCPenney, Target, and Disney. These organizations were very inviting and wanted to learn what all the women and minority businesses have to offer them. ‘Consultants’ ask for a lot of money plus part of your sales to help you get in front of these firms. While there is a charge to attend the National Conference & Business Fair, it is nothing compared to what I would have had to pay a ‘retail consultant’ for the introductions.
The Ohio River Valley – WBC [WBENC's Regional Partner Organization] provides very insightful training sessions, luncheon meetings to meet corporations, as well as excellent networking opportunities. Plus, they are a delight to work with!
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
Counterfeits. Amazon is an amazing partner in selling my product, but they do nothing to stop the counterfeits. Over 90% of my licensed product were counterfeits on Amazon. Once I received my patent and took my product back from the licensing firm, I began working closely with Customs/Homeland Security to help stop this terrible problem.
What's one of your favorite career moments?
On my birthday in June of 2014, I signed a licensing agreement with one of the largest consumer licensing firms and they sold over 1MM units in a little over a year.
If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Play more tennis and take more MBA classes. I am getting my MBA so that I can be a professor when I retire.
What's the best way to start your day?
I exercise! Using my phone as my office, I can get so much work done on my 5-mile walks and it really helps me think through my day. Best advice I can give to every business owner is to exercise.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... exercise as well as talk it through with my brilliant girlfriends and husband.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself... verify then trust.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is... exercise.
By this time next year, I will be... (hopefully) taking more MBA classes and having my retail business 100% up and running.
The best thing that happened to me last week was... we decided to fly to NYC last minute and tour the Statue of Liberty and see The Lion King on Broadway.
To get my creative juices flowing, I... speak with others about their experiences.
Car Caché® is car accessory that holds your purse so that it is accessible, clean, upright, and out of passengers’ way.