Tie Buddies manufactures and sells my “mom-invented” product to consumers and retailers. Tie Buddies®, a patented product specializes in teaching children to tie their shoes.What’s the big deal you ask? Tie Buddies eliminate the “bunny-ears” or loops which cause much of the difficulty for children. They help children learn sooner and with better recall while making the process fun!
What inspired you to start your business?
Tie Buddies were born when I lay beside my youngest of two girls one night after a frustrating attempt to teach her how to tie. I lay there thinking, “There’s got to be an easier way!”. With books, color coded laces and other various tools, one thing seemed glaringly obvious to me, this is no fun! With this, I began the journey with the help of my two children to find a fun and easy way to accomplish this long-standing developmental hurdle. The result… Tie Buddies™.
How long have you been in business?
This will be our third year.
What did you do in your past work life?
Most of my career was spent in Marketing, Public Relations and Graphic Design for small to mid-size companies. My last corporate job was in the footwear industry which did provide useful in setting up my business and sourcing my products which are proudly “Made in the USA”.
Describe your ideal workday.
An ideal day is a balanced day. An early exercise for me would start the day, taking my girls to school and then having a 5-6 hour window of productivity. Though it’s a shorter workday I can be there after school for my children to help with homework, cheer them on in sports and cook so that we can end our day at a family sit down dinner.
What have been some of your major successes?
Some of the best successes for me have been the reports of success from other parents and children. The enthusiasm for the product has never lost momentum. After many inquiries and accolades from teachers we are currently reaching out to a this group as another way to make parents aware of Tie Buddies.
What have been some of your major challenges?
I’ve had to “re-think” my business multiple times finding that viral media is as important as my wholesale business. I’ve had to balance my efforts between the two and as a very small business I wear many hats. The challenge lies in addressing one facet of my business without ignoring the others.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
My two amazing children and the gift of time I’ve been given to be a positive role model and and active participant in their daily lives!
Do you have a motivational quote?
We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Give your all and believe in your business but demand that your business believes in you!
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Time. If I make time for me I find I can balance the business and family more efficiently.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
Constant contact is a great tool for generating promotions and newsletters.
What is next for your business?
We’ll be rolling out some new marketing campaigns to include K-2 teachers and parents as well as pursuing some licensing opportunities. Most definitely continued growth and with growth additional products.
Give us your two cents sales pitch.
Tying your shoes is a small but essential skill, one you use for the rest of your life. Help your little one learn faster with Tie Buddies®. These cute, kid-friendly devices act as easy pull-tabs for small hands, taking messy loops out of the equation. The happy characters make a game of it, giving your child independence and making your job easier!
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