Mom Entrepreneur: Shannon Harrill
Business: Baby Harrill
Babyharrill.com is an online boutique that sells quality handmade baby accessories to everyday moms and boutiques across the U.S.
What inspired you to start your business?
The idea of Baby Harrill started when I was pregnant with my second child. I couldn’t find anything I liked. So I put my design and sewing skills together to create a crib and cradle bumper set for my son. I started to make bibs, blankets, burp cloths, and a diaper bag and everyone loved them. People started to ask if I would make them something or feedback saying I needed to start a business. So I did!
How long have you been in business?
Baby Harrill, LLC was started in May 2007 and I added babyharrill.com March 2008
What did you do in your past work life?
I have been a preschool teacher for the past 16 years. I’m still doing this because I only work a few hours every morning and get summers and all the holidays off. Plus I love the kids and I would miss it.
Describe your ideal workday.
My ideal work day or real work day???
I check my emails before the kids go off to school and I go into work. Come home eat lunch while I check emails and mail, get things ready for the orders I have to fill. Go pick up kids from school. Come home and check emails again and start to fill orders. Eat dinner, take kids to dance and whatever sport my son is doing for that season. Come home and try to relax and watch TV while I’m on my laptop.
What have been some of your major successes?
All of my firsts! The first time I got my products in a boutique; my first online sale; the first time a made a basket of goodies for an auction to raise money for breast cancer; the first time featured in an ad for my baby blankets; and I’m about to write my first check to a well known children’s charity! The biggest success is all the feedback I get from my clients who continue to buy from me!
What have been some of your major challenges?
Trying to market my business online! Because I’m the designer/manufacture/ do-all for Baby Harrill it can be hard to find the time. Twitter has been a big help!
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Cat naps, I do my best thinking when my hurting brain is on a soft pillow!!! Or when in doubt play computer solitaire for 10 minutes to clear my head.
Do you have a motivational quote?
Sleep… tomorrow is another day.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Is there one… It must be a well kept secret!!!!
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
My advice to my kids would be to do whatever makes them happy. There is always work, but don’t forget to enjoy it. My dad is still upset that I’m not a nurse!!!
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
What is next for your business?
We are in the process of designing house plans right now so I will have a dedicated office,workroom, and storage room. Once in the house(about a year)I plan to add crib and cradle bumper sets.
Your two cents sales pitch?
Babyharrill.com offers a variety of stylish, modern, and hip essential baby accessories. I also fill special orders for products that are not on babyharrill.com and fabrics searches. You also receive top notch customer service. I always make my customers, clients, and boutique owners my priority.
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