Mom Entrepreneur: Sarah Shaw
I am in the business of helping women launch product-based businesses. I lead a 26-week Tele-seminar that teaches you all the secrets and knowledge needed to build and launch a product-based business from your living room.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was inspired by friends and clients who say they never call or come to see me without a pad and working pen! I love the challenge of solving all the issues that arise with a product-based business. Be it making protoypes, running production, marketing and research or just the fact that you work alone a lot of the time and are lonely, I love problem solving!
How long have you been in business?
I have had my own brand in the accessory business for 12 years and currently sell under my brand Simply Sarah. I have been privately coaching women for 5 years on how to launch or fix their businesses and decided to take it national with my Tele-seminar. I am launching the very first course on May 7th, 2009.
What did you do in your past work life?
I moved to Los Angeles after college to work as a costumer in the movie business. I was only suppose to be her for a few months to kill some time before going off to Grad school in NY but I loved working and postponed NY for a year……and never left LA. After 11 years in the film business I launched my first handbag line, Sarah Shaw Handbags, and was sold in over 1200 boutiques and dept stores nationwide over 5 years. After that I launched an on-line boutique with a friend and we created and patented a handbag hanger AKA the Handy Hold All™ that I market and sell today through my Simply Sarah website.
Describe your ideal workday.
I converted my garage to a beautiful sunny office that is glass along the front. I am mom to 15 month old identical twin girls and start the day off with them having breakfast and playtime. Once the nanny arrives I go into full work mode. Usually check my social media sites for about an hour for new leads and informational links, then move on to check email and website orders. My assistant oversees sales and the order dept so I don’t have to do any of that. I try to write on my blog everyday or find interesting moms to interview or invite as guest bloggers and I also create content for my Entreprenette Ezine.
What have been some of your major successes?
Some of my major successes with my accessory lines have been the incredible press I have received over the years. We still come up on the Oprah.com website when you search for cosmetic bags – and that was back in 2002. I have been profiled in the Los Angeles Times and In WWD as well as featured in ELLE, Lucky, Instyle and more.
What have been some of your major challenges?
I think overall my biggest challenges are marketing to the right people. Since I have 2 companies I am always looking to cross promote when possible but since one is consumer based and the other educational, I usually end up marketing them separately and that takes a lot of time. I have found twitter to be a great resource and spend a lot of time there lately to work those connections and find new sources for both companies.
Of course accessory production has it’s challenges as well. Shipments are late, fabric is ruined,orders are canceled… These are all difficult things to overcome but are part of being an entrepreneur. Overcoming your obstacles is key to being a success. It’s not the mistakes you make, but how you recover from them
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
I often think back to a conversation I had with my father one day when I wanted to quit. He asked me what I loved about my business. I told him that I loved creating new ideas and watching them grow, I loved the challenge of figuring it all out and putting the pieces together, and I loved being my own boss. He said to me,”How will you feel if you quit and aren’t doing any of the things you love to do?” In that moment I knew that I’d be more miserable if I quit and had nothing. I realized that I needed to embrace the challenges and look at them as a game. Now I enjoy playing the game and know that each challenge or mistake is going to lead to something better.
Do you have a motivational Quote?
Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
– Chinese Proverb
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
A Nanny! I love being with my girls but I really can’t get any work done when they are around. They want me to be with them and I totally get that. Everyone needs time to themselves and moms do too. I try to take at least an hour a day for myself to either nap, read, chat with a friend or take a walk. Moms need to rejuvenate too. I am super organized.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
I will tell my children that they must believe in their idea if they want anyone else to.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
My new favorite tool is twitter. But I have just discovered a few new websites that I have found resourceful as well as fun.
What is next for your business?
I am really excited to launch Entreprenette on May 7th and hope you will all sign up to get my free Ezine and free reports. I am thinking about offering a few one day workshops on certain parts of the seminar so am deciding which areas would be best to offer. Am open to suggestions!
What is your two cents sales pitch?
Being an Entreprenette means being committed to your vision and doing whatever it takes to get there. A strong vision puts so much power in your hands mentally, spiritually and physically. A vision will help you deal with adversity and get you through it. Knowing that you have to eat, drink and breathe your vision to achieve success is the key to being an Entreprenette.
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