Mompreneur: Beth Ann Bentley
Tell us about your business:
iLunchBox is a resource center and portal of information for parents and caregivers dedicated to the pursuit of a healthier lunch for school aged children. It is an online community encouraging the input and contribution of its readership through weekly blogs; monthly webcasts; and social networking.
The site consists of:
- recipes and menu ideas with a focus on lunch and portability.
- tips and tricks to make lunch easier.
- best “off the shelf” items when making something from scratch is just not an option.
- featured gadgets and products that help us get the job done.
- best products to transport lunch.
- help and inspiration on improving your school’s hot lunch program.
- articles and information on nutrition and children.
- links and resources for more information.
What inspired you start your business?
My children; being a mom; discovering more and more how important the 180 days of school lunches and snacks really are to the well being of my children, of all children.
How long has your business been in business?
one month. The site went live on August 8, 2008; although the blog site was up for a few months before that.
What did you do in your past work life?
I ran restaurants; sold liquor; planned parties; marketing and promotions…all very fun.
What is your ideal workday like?
The kids go off to school without me raising my voice; the email of information I was waiting for is there when I turn on my computer; content writes itself with little to no effort; and companies call me asking if they can advertise on my site.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
My husband, my children, my parents and my friends. I have a great support network and a lot of confidence in what I am doing.
Do you have a motivational quote?
Get with the program or get left behind.
What have been some of your major successes and challenges?
I don’t want to get too deep, but let’s say that two years ago, walking and breathing on my own was not a guarantee. Today, I am active and having fun with my kids, started my own business and going back to school this fall. I walk, run, swim, dance and laugh and do plenty of breathing, especially during Pilates. My challenges and successes are daily and to quote my physical therapist/trainer/friend…small but mighty. Life is good!
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Like every working mom, it is all about organization, setting expectations, and teamwork.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
My laptop. It is all there.
What advice would you offer to aspiring mompreneurs?
Be passionate about your project, look for a mentor in your venture, think it through and then go for it. Being a mompreneur is not without risk and adventure.
What is next for your business?
I have a list of things I think about doing all the time. However, iLunchBox is so very new and I am really excited about where it is going. So I am going to stay focused.
Your two cents sales pitch?
Moms are where it’s at. My site is for moms, by a mom and has been received well by moms. I am my own target market, so if I am jazzed about your product, I bet others reading my site will be too.