We are big supporters of mom-run businesses here at MMB. Being moms ourselves, we understand how hard it is to run your business, and parent effectively at the same time...
We also know that running a small business is harder than ever, so when we heard that the lovely Angie was being affected, we knew we needed to share her story.
Angie is a stay at home mom of two sweet girls. She's married to Patrick, an IS Manager for a national healthcare company, and she runs a home-based business, Good for the Kids... this is her story.
Way back in 2006, my husband and I decided it would be best for our family for me to stay home with our two young girls, 2 and 6 months old at the time. My teacher’s salary, even with the extra pay for having earned a Master’s Degree, was barely more than daycare costs for our two young girls. We still needed a few extra dollars a month to make ends meet, so I began selling maternity & baby clothes on eBay. I got the bug for selling after I started making extra cash on my own. I felt proud of the little accomplishments in sales I was making.
After having completed a few sales on eBay, I found I needed some Nuby replacement spouts for my girls’ sippy cups, and like anything else, I figured I could buy them on eBay. A few sellers had some spouts listed on eBay, and seeing as I was an up-and-coming entrepreneur, I found out where I, too, could buy and resell the spouts.
Really, it was a massive success. I found my online-selling niche in little silicone parts for sippy cups.
The next step was to start my own web store. I would be selling all of the Nuby spouts that the US distributor was selling out of their office, but didn’t have available online, nor were they advertising the availability of the spouts to consumers.
Total SCORE for me. Next up? World domination.
I started finding other products that were either hard-to-find or created by mom-owned small businesses. The business was growing every month, and I was spending more and more time doing something I could be proud of.
It was not unusual for the store to have 20+ orders a day. Less than 20 orders a day, and I was worried.
Every month was better than the last.
My business was successful.
Until the Fall of 2008.
I was naïve to think I was immune because I was doing so well the 2 years previous.
I was naïve to think that I could pay off the debt I had created that I was steadily paying down in my success.
I had been supporting small businesses, I was helping parents purchase products they needed at an affordable price, and I had a growing return-customer base.
But the damage had been done. Consumer confidence immediately dropped as news reports increased about cutting back on personal spending. I didn’t even need to watch the news reports and see the statistics to know that people were holding on to their money much more closely than they had just the month before.
Yes, people were losing their jobs at an astonishing rate.
Yes, people were becoming more conscious of how they spent their money.
And yes, consumers stopped buying “extras” for themselves and their kids.
This happened seemingly overnight.
I can see the drop-off in my own business’ financial statements.
Where I once had the confidence to be a successful and responsible small business owner, that confidence was now replaced with mounting debt, skyrocketing interest rates, and the inability to help support my family.
My sincere hope is that my customers (and potential customers) will see this article and understand that supporting small businesses, even in the smallest capacity, helps our economy. I, too, have not been doing my full part in supporting fellow small businesses, but when I can, I will.
I am making a concentrated effort to focus more on my customers.
I am selling off most of my inventory to focus on a smaller product line.
I am telling the world about my struggles.
I am hoping for a miracle.
My family and I are struggling.
We need help.
We don’t need handouts.
We need the powers of the internet to guide us and help us with my mom-owned, women-owned, small internet-based retail business.
Angie has a giveaway going on right now on her site for a $50 gift certificate to her store. You can enter two times per day between now and March 24. While you're there, browse around, she has some amazing deals and steals, and could use your help.
Thanks so much.