Mompreneur: Amanda Zylowski
Company: Zoe & Sprout
Tell us about yourself.
I am 32 year-old stay-at-home mom who lives in Bella Vista, Arkansas. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a Sociology degree. I worked in Madison for several years after I graduated and then moved to St. Louis for work. I met my husband at work and we have been married for five years. We relocated to Bella Vista about two years ago where we hope to raise our family. I have a two year old son and hope to have at least one more child in the next couple of years.
Where do you get all your idea for Zoe & Sprout?
The ideas for Zoe & Sprout designs come from the funny situations I encounter each day as a mom, things going on in popular culture, and suggestions from friends and customers. I don’t really have a formula for developing my ideas – a lot of my best designs come to me in the middle of the night.
What is your ideal workday like?
Ideally I can wake up an hour or two before my son and crank out some work before he even wakes. Then we will have breakfast together and do an activity like the library or park. When he goes down for a nap I work some more. Then if I am done I close up shop for the day, if not I can get a bit more done when my husband gets home.
What is next for Zoe & Sprout?
Right now I am concentrating on getting my items in boutiques across the country. Once I have a good number of established accounts, I would like to expand the line to include clothes for older children and possibly maternity items.
What inspired you to launch your product line?
I wanted to be able to stay at home with my kids, but also earn some income. I was bored with the 9 to 5 world and wanted an opportunity to use some of my creative talents. As a new mom I was frustrated with the clothing I found for boys. I started thinking of ideas I would like for my own son and when I told friends and family my ideas they really encouraged me to start making clothes for others and not just my son.
What did you do before becoming a Mompreneur?
Before starting Zoe & Sprout, I worked in Human Resources for about ten years doing primarily recruitment, as well as some training and employee performance management.
Tell us about Zoe & Sprout?
Zoe & Sprout products are designed to make people smile, laugh, and even blush. We carry onesies and tees (long and short-sleeve available) and currently have about 25 different designs. I am very proud of the quality of our clothing. It’s 100% American Apparel and sweatshop free. I get a lot of comments from my customers about how well made the clothes are and how soft they feel. Compared to a lot of other baby clothes out there, they are extremely superior quality.
What is the most rewarding part of being a Mompreneur?
It’s extremely rewarding to see my ideas and goals achieved. As a business owner, I put in such long hours and it seems like I am never “off work”, but as things start to succeed and the brand becomes more popular it’s so much more rewarding than working for a company that’s not mine. It’s also wonderful to be able to close shop for a few hours and go play in the yard with my son. I would never have those two great opportunities in the 9 to 5 world.
What is the most difficult part of being a Mompreneur?
The most difficult part of being a momprenuer is walking away from work for a bit. Since everything I do is in my own home, I sometimes feel like I am always at work. I could always answer one more email, return one more call, look for one more sales lead….it truly never ends. I sometimes just have to force myself to shut the office door and watch a movie with my husband.
Check out these Zoe & Sprout t-shirts and onsies for yourself at www.zoeandsprout.com. The quality of these t-shirts far exceeds what you would find at your average chain store.