Mom Entrepreneur: Meredith Ferguson
Business: Calm the Crazy
At Calm the Crazy, we believe that life with kids can be made easier. And more ease means more fun. We also believe that your life – your style, your attitude, who you are – shouldn’t stop simply because you have kids. That’s why we’ve created products that are easy, smart, stylish and durable for moms (and dads!) by moms.
In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out a variety of products designed to calm the crazy, without cramping your style. We are incredibly proud and excited about our first product – the Kikou: a fashionable and functional cover-up to protect your clothing from life’s little messes (a.k.a. spit-up, drool, snot). And it’s a great nursing cover, too!
What inspired you to start your business?
I’ve had lots of jobs. But it wasn’t until I took on the hardest job of all—motherhood—that I was really challenged. Not only challenged with what to do with a tiny little baby…and then a spirited toddler…and then two kids…but also challenged with how to balance work and family, life and leisure. In short, how to calm the crazy.I have two girls under five. My husband, Josh, stays at home with them. He is an amazingly patient man and fantastic dad. And, as a stay-at-home dad, I am in constant awe of him. You see, our girls are fiercely independent, active, bright, and full of life. With their seemingly endless energy, our house is at all times…well, crazy!
And they have been the inspiration for me starting this business.
Because, it is my belief at Calm the Crazy that life with kids can be made easier. More ease means more fun. And that’s what I want for my family and yours…to have more fun! I also believe that your life – your style, your attitude, who you are – shouldn’t stop simply because you have kids. That’s why I have created products that are easy, smart, stylish and durable for moms (and dads!) by moms.
How long have you been in business?
What did you do in your past work life?
I started out as an attorney, but quickly realized that was not the creative field I was looking for. I moved on from there to marketing & PR and am currently in advertising.
It’s all fun and interesting, but what I really am is a dreamer with a vision to see what is possible. I have a desire to create change, develop new approaches to old problems. And I’m driven by my need to control my destiny. So, I am and always have been an entrepreneur at heart…and not I’m finally following that dream of dreams!
Describe your ideal workday.
It’s simple–eat breakfast with my husband and girls in the morning and eat dinner with them at night. All the work in between seems inconsequential as long as I’m able to do that everyday…but if I could work on something I believe in and am passionate about…well, that’s just icing on the cake!
What have been some of your major successes?
Defining and understanding the brand before we even launched the first product. If marketing and advertising has taught me anything it’s that so much of any company’s long-term success goes deeper than just a cool product. So, we really took the time to identify what our brand stood for, the tone we wanted our brand to take, ways to foster that brand and then the products that fit under that brand.
What have been some of your major challenges?
Finding the right resources to fit my needs…in my case, I’m talking about a pattern maker and apparel manufacturer. The key is to network, network, network and don’t settle for sub-par workmanship or for someone who doesn’t share your vision for excellence and success.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
See “Ideal Workday”.
Do you have a motivational quote?
“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why; I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.”
Credited to the late Robert F. Kennedy
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
While I can’t say mine is a success yet, I am certain it will be, so my advice to the children would be “Believe in yourself and just do it.”
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Carve out time everyday that’s just for your family–no checking your blackberry, no getting online, no taking phone calls. Erase everything else on your mind for that short period and give all your attention to your family.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
People: people who are willing to help either through their own time and expertise…or by connecting me with someone else who can. Old-fashioned networking has saved me time and time again.
What is next for your business?
We’re rolling out two new products consistent with our brand principle: making life with kids easier while allowing parents to maintain their sense of style.
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