Mompreneur: Tonjia Coverdale
What inspired you to launch your product line?
Benjamin, my experiences as a mom, and my experience as a babywearer inspired me to start Divas N Babes. Like many new moms, I struggled with being mom-me. I had to trade in my stilettos for sneakers and my skirts for sweats. I had a beautiful baby boy, the love of my life, but it was just so difficult to find clothes that were comfy and not frumpy. I decided to design a “comfy chic” apparel line for mommies, and their babes, that would allow them to be chic, yet comfy. Also, I am an avid babywearer, I wear Benjamin every day, we don’t even own a stroller! I have tried many ring slings, mei tais, pouches, and wraps that were comfortable, but didn’t have the high-fashion edge and sleek look that I desired. I wear my most valuable accessory everyday, which now, instead of designer heels and handbags, is the ring sling or mei tai that helps me to nurture and care for my baby, and I believe that mommies shouldn’t have to sacrifice fashion for function. I wanted to bring fashion to mommies in a different way; Divas N Babes was born.
What are you most popular products?
Mommies always think all our shirts are hilarious, and our “I am at work!” shirts for divas, our “I am NOT a BOY/GIRL!” onesies and “Are Your Hands Clean?” tees for babes are our most popular products this summer, in addition to our DivaBabe Couture Julia Ring Sling and Julia Mei Tai.
What did you do before becoming a Mompreneur?
Before becoming a Mompreneur, I was a professor of Information Systems at a State University and a former IT professional.
What is the most rewarding part of being a Mompreneur?
The most rewarding part of being a Mompreneur is connecting with other moms on a deeper level that only other moms can understand. Seeing them smile as they try on a divas shirt that is flattering to them and helps them recapture their sense of style, watching them giggle as they talk about how they can’t wait to put a certain onesie on their babe, and seeing the love bloom between an mommy and her baby as they form a special bond through wearing one of our slings or mei tais makes all of the hard work and sleepless nights worthwhile. I love meeting new moms, sharing their experiences, and growing together with them as mothers, a sisterhood like no other that withstands time and distance.
How many kids do you have in your household?
I have one son, Benjamin, who is almost 23 months old.
What is the most difficult part of being a Mompreneur?
The most difficult part of being a Mompreneur is trying to have a work-life balance. Since I am a stay at home mom to Benjamin and I have a home office, I am always at work! I work with Benjamin on his various projects, social events, and enrichment activities and when he takes a nap, I immediately retreat to my office to get work done. When he wakes, I am back to being Mommy, and when he retires for the night, I am back in the office working to the wee hours of the morning. It is exhausting, but I am committed to my family and to Divas N Babes and the happiness that I bring to my family and to my client-friends keeps me going.
Do you have advice for someone that wants to start a new career as a Mompreneur?
My advice would be to follow your heart, even when your head is saying “what are you doing and why?” Believe in yourself, will it to happen, and it will. Your love and enthusiasm for your project will shine and make it work for you. Just smile, breathe, and remember to eat lots of chocolate ?
You can find t-shirts and onsies by divasNbabes online now at LaLaBabyBoutique.com.