Mompreneur: Nia Jai
Company: LuxeLife Partners
Business: Babytime Bags™
Tell us about your business:
Babytime Bags™ are pre-packed maternity bags – the bag you pack when you go to the hospital (or a birthing center) to have your baby. We’ve packed a luxurious and well thought out bag for our mommies-to-be. When you’re in your third trimester and feel as if you have been pregnant FOREVER, the last thing you want to do is run around pulling together all the things you’ll need when your baby tells you “it’s time!” We’ve taken care of everything. We’ll pack the best of all the essentials – and more! – that you’ll need. Our bags are great for a mommy-to-be – to get for herself, as a baby shower gift or from the daddy-to-be (who wants to surprise his partner by being on top of things!).
What inspired you start your business?
I had a particularly difficult pregnancy. I had every “symptom” they don’t talk about in the pregnancy books. From extra loose ligaments to carpal tunnel to morning sickness, beginning to end. So the thought of figuring out what I needed to take with me to the hospital and then going out and getting all of those things was just too much for me to handle. My husband is great and super-supportive but I couldn’t trust that he would get all the right things. I realized that what I needed was someone who’d been through this before to pack my bag for me. Out of this experience the idea for Babytime Bags™ was born!
How long has your business been in business?
We’re about to celebrate our first year in business.
What did you do in your past work life?
I am still a practicing attorney and I specialize in intellectual property law. I started Babytime Bags™ (with the help of my business partner) in my “spare time,” while holding down a full time job and taking care of my newborn…a lot, I know. But I was very excited about building this business and I continue to get overwhelmingly positive feedback on our bags and the idea in general. So, even though it’s a lot, it’s worth it.
What is your ideal workday like?
My little one sleeps until 7am. I have something perfect to wear to work. My attorney work day speeds by and I get to home a little early. We receive ten orders for a bbPreme bag. My little one had a great day and is fed, bathed and ready for bed when I get home. Dinner has been made. I have at least two hours to spend on my business and I still have time left to watch a DVRed TV show and snuggle with my hubby.
What have been some of your major successes and challenges?
I think my company’s major success is actually just getting started. We created a business on a small budget while my partner and I were both pregnant and having babies. We’ve sold quite a few bags right out of the box and are continuing to get lots of strong, positive feedback. My major challenge is time. There are so many things I want to do with the business, but they’re taking so long to implement. With a full time job, a toddler and a family, there are just not enough hours in the day. Hopefully, part of that equation will change soon. (Smile!)
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
I have a dream. I can see where I want to be. I can see the path, for the most part, that will take me there. And I’m not a quitter, so impossible days just push me to try harder. I also believe that when things get tough, that means I’m on the right track. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Do you have a motivational quote?
I love the poem If by Rudyard Kipling. There’s not really one particular quote from that poem that I like; I love the whole thing. But if I had to chose one snippet it would be the very beginning: “If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you/If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you/But make allowance for their doubting too”
If there was one piece of advice you could give to your children about running a successful business, what would it be?
Network. As my father always told me, you’re only as good as your network. Not just in terms of getting work or for opportunities, but finding resources, advice and information. You can avoid quite a few mistakes by learning from others. You can also find the best web designer, PR firm, or other service provider right from the beginning (without making mistakes with bad ones first) if you have a strong network.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Balance? What balance? I’ve left behind the need to achieve balance. It was causing me more stress than simply being out of balance. Now, I just put one foot in front of the other. Keep a running list of to do items for each area of my life and try to make sure no one list gets too far behind. I found it’s just about taking inventory from time to time to see if there is any area lacking, and if so, make a slight adjustment.
Do you have a favorite business tool and/or resource?
LadiesWhoLaunch.com, HowIstheBiz.com, my fellow mompreneurs and other small business owners.
What advice would you offer to aspiring mompreneurs?
Make sure you start a business that you are passionate about. It can be difficult at times to juggle everything as a mom. So, on those days that you just want to give up because it’s too hard, if you truly love your business that will motivate you to keep trying. And as I would advise my children – network, network, network! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or make the same mistakes as others if you are networking with other small business owners.
What is next for your business?
We will be launching our premier bag – the bbPreme – by the end of the year and will begin offering custom packed bags (for those who want something extra special and just for them). We also plan to offer add-ons to our bags. So, if there is one item in a higher level bag that you want, but don’t want to go all the way, you can still have it!
Your two cents sales pitch?
Having a baby is a magnificent and beautiful experience, but there is so much to do to prepare for the big day. No need to worry if you will be ready when your baby tells you it’s time – we’ve got you covered!
Babytime Bags™ are the premiere line of prepacked overnight carryalls for your maternity hospital stay. Whether you want a bag that has only the essentials or one that has the essentials plus every indulgent item you desire, we have one for you. We have hand-selected all of the items that you will need based on our own experiences and the experiences of friends and family. We include only the best for the woman who expects nothing less. So whether it’s for you or your favorite mommy-to-be, you’ll love letting us pack your bag!