Are you a mom with a “million dollar idea?” Or at least an idea you are passionate about and you think you can make some money with? A baby product? A children’s book series? A new spin on an old solution?
True story. Baby Einstein, the series of books and videos made to teach children about music, art, poetry and language, started out as a small project in mom Julie Aigner-Clark’s basement. She grew it into a multi-million dollar business, ultimately selling it to Disney for $20 million.
I hope her lawyer asked Disney to throw in some Fast Passes too.
I’m starting a new series on Lex Mater called How She Does It. I will be interviewing moms just like you who have turned their great idea into a product or service (and money).
This week I am interviewing Hannah Greenberg, mom to Jonah (4) and Delilah ( 1 1/2) and a 18-year veteran teacher of some of the most well-renowned Jewish schools in the Los Angeles area.
Hannah and her husband Todd are the founders of Baby Stones (www.babystones.com), which provides the perfect alternative to those expensive, time-consuming mall photo studio photoshoots to capture your child’s milestones.
What is your business and how did you came up with your original idea?
We’ve all been there. Your child is turning one year old or he or she is celebrating something and you want a good photograph to remember it. You think the only way to do this is to search for the perfect outfit and props and use some photo studio in the mall that feels like a hospital room with bad backdrops to take the picture. An expensive, exhaustive, and time-consuming process.
My husband and I have two children under the age of four. One day, we thought there must be an easier, cheaper, more convenient way to do this. Why can’t you simply have the outfit, props, and photo capability delivered to your home? Why can’t it be done without spending almost a hundred dollars each time? Well, we think we’ve come up with the perfect solution.
Here’s how Baby Stones works.
You choose from one of the many packages on our website. There’s a lot of choices, including first years, first milestones, and first holidays. Each package was personally created by us to include the perfect outfit, accessories, and other goodies for your photoshoot.
Now the fun part. You open up that fun box of goodies and do your own photoshoot in the comfort of your own home. Don’t worry if it takes a while to get a good one. The fun part is doing the photoshoot and bonding with your child. The picture itself just helps you remember the fun you had.
As soon as you’re done taking your photos, upload the ones you like the most to us so that we can print it and get it back to you. For a small additional fee, you can get your photo back in a frame or on a canvas.
Why did you decide to start your business?
My husband and I have been doing this for years and we thought why not put this together for others to do too.
We launched this business to help make some additional income to provide our children with some side fun activities. We both work two jobs and we still struggle at times to keep everything afloat. It’s not easy raising two kids in Los Angeles.
Where do you operate your business and who runs it day-to-day?
As of now, we operate our business out of our home in Los Angeles and my husband and I run the business.
Who are your customers and how do you market to them?
Parents of young children. We are currently marketing through social media and other online platforms (i.e., mommy bloggers).
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in starting and running your business?
There are many other subscription packages out there. To explain why ours is different has been our biggest challenge.
Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years?
Hopefully expanding to a warehouse with a large inventory and hiring lots of people to prep packages and attending all the latest family events to spread the word.
It’s never easy being a mom trying to juggle running a business with family life. In balancing work and family obligations, what’s one thing that works for your family and one thing you are still working on?
Spending quality time with my children each day even if its for only an hour before dinner.
If you had one piece of advice to a mom or dad trying to start their own business, what would it be?
Planning is key. We noticed quite a few other startups where the ideas were not fully developed.
If you would like to be considered for a future How She Does It post, leave a comment or send me an e-mail.
Photo from www.babystones.com.
Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.