I have invented, patented (well, patents pending!) , manufactured and am now distributing a new straw design; The Straw-lution Straw (TM) -“The straw that goes in, but doesn’t come out!”
What inspired you to start your business?
My kids were the inspiration! I had three babies in three years and any mother of little ones knows inspiration for less mess and more convenience comes very easily!
How long have you been in business?
I began the patenting process several years ago! I started the company in September of 09, but we just launched the product in April of 2010!
What did you do in your past work life?
I danced before I had kids! I am a classically trained ballet dancer. But once the kids came I was “just a mom”!!
Describe your ideal workday.
I don’t know that there is such a thing! I take everything one day at a time! My days are always different! My kids go to a University Model school so they are only gone two days a week, and we have academics that needs to be done during the off days. There are days where I don’t get any actual work done until they go sleep and days that I count on other people to help me out! Life is definitely about juggling your priorities, and I’m just doing what I can!
What have been some of your major successes?
Typically, it’s simple networking. The more people you talk to, ask questions, and share information with; the easier and faster it is to find success in whatever step you are at along the way! Never be afraid to share your thoughts and dreams. People are willing to help if you are willing to ask!
What have been some of your major challenges?
The unknown is always the biggest challenge! From the beginning it was manufacturing. Straws are typically made through extrusion molding and that is just not possible with my new design. I was told for the longest time that they couldn’t be made, that the technology just didn’t exist.
Starting the company was pretty overwhelming, and another big challenge, just because it’s such a new area for me to be diving into.
And with all start up companies, financing/funding is typically our biggest challenge. Everything cost more, and needs more that you could possibly know to budget for!
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
My kids, Absolutely! I can’t even tell you how many days I have woke up and thought, “that’s it, I’m done”, but then I think about the time I have spent away from them so far, and the entire reason for me to put my heart and soul into this project is so they can see and benefit from it in the future, and also so we can learn/experience some life skills together.
Do you have a motivational quote?
I have So many quotes I love!! I typically love the short matter-a-fact quotes that give you a quick kick in the pants when you need it!!
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney
“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.” – Colette
“And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” – Erica Jong
“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” – Harvey Mackay
“I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.” – Jonathan Winters
But, my absolute favorite quote is about being a mother!!
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Patience, Patience, Patience…. nothing worth achieving comes easily!
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
If I knew that secret, I would not need to be working so hard on launching these straws!!
The only thing I can do is surround myself with loving giving people, and make sure my priorities always stay on track!
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
My favorite business tool/resource is my Patent Attorney!! It just so happens I got very lucky on finding a firm that is excited and generous in regards to helping me in all aspects of my company and product! I could not have made it this far without them!
What is next for your business?
Next, we saturate the market as quickly and massively as possible! We want Straw-lution Straws to be a household name!!
Your two cents sales pitch?
Have you seen my “straw that goes in, but doesn’t come out”?! It works with any child size cup with a lid and a straw hole, or anything with a plastic or foil top you can just push it right through eliminating spoons and mess entirely!!
And, they’re dishwasher safe, so throw them in the dishwasher and reuse them!
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