Are you thinking about starting a business? Maybe you have a hobby you want to turn into a business. Or are you looking for ways to supplement your income? The Mogul Mom might have the answer for you www.themogulmom.com. Here, Heather Allard, AKA, The Mogul Mom tells us about the site and how it can help you reach your goals. And don’t forget if you sign up to receive The Mogul Mom newsletter, Heather offers free coaching.
Budget Smart Girl (BSG)-What’s your background and how did the Mogul Mom get started?
The Mogol Mom (TMM)-My name is Heather McCarron Allard and I’m a mother of three children, Hope, Grace and Brendan. After Grace was born in 2003, her sleep troubles and strong startle reflex inspired me to invent Swaddleaze, a wearable swaddling blanket & sleep sack in one, and Blankeaze, the first wearable blanket with leg openings for “active sleepers” like Grace. In 2004, I decided to bring my inventions to market and founded 2 Virtues Inc., named after my daughters. I began the arduous journey of the mom entrepreneur and thankfully, met with success. By 2006, my products were sold in 200 plus stores in the United States and abroad, including catalog giant, One Step Ahead, and received favorable press in national magazines like Pregnancy, New Parent and Consumer Reports. Swaddleaze was even on Access Hollywood in the re-creation of Suri Cruise’s nursery! Then, my third child and first son was born in 2006 and everything changed. He had multiple health issues like RSV, chronic ear infections and severe food allergies, and he required (and deserved) my full attention. I could no longer run a growing company and raise a growing family. In 2007, I sold 2 Virtues to Summer Infant, a baby products company in my home state of Rhode Island so I could give my children 100% of my time. Throughout my entrepreneurial odyssey, I received countless emails from other “mompreneurs”, asking me for business advice. These emails continued even after selling 2 Virtues and I decided to start The Mogul Mom blog as a more effective way to offer coaching, camaraderie, ideas, information, resources and recommendations to entrepreneurial moms everywhere. I’ve had many jobs in my lifetime, including waitressing, sales, marketing, customer service, training, teaching and copywriting, and I can say without hesitation that writing The Mogul Mom blog and interacting with other “mogul moms” is my absolute favorite.
BSG-What are some topics visitors will find on your site?
TMM-The Mogul Mom covers any and all business topics affecting mom entrepreneurs, things like advertising, marketing, manufacturing, budgeting, time management, PR, pitching the media and so much more.
BSG-You offer free coaching advice to mom entrepreneurs. Can you tell me more about that?
TMM-Well, when I first started The Mogul Mom, I offered coaching at $75 per hour. Then, I realized that I was charging these women, the people who could probably least afford it and I decided to give free coaching instead. The outpouring of thanks that I receive from women is so rewarding and worth much more than any hourly rate I might have earned before.
BSG-One thing I noticed on the site was your HOD-The Mogul Mom Helping Out Directory, what a great idea, especially during these times when we need to pull together and help one another promote our businesses. Can anyone list their business there? And do you have to be a mom?
TMM-Thanks—the HOD is an idea that came to me last fall after several of my friends were laid off and the economy seemed to be worsening by the day. My husband works for a big investment company and fortunately, he made it through two big rounds of layoffs. My daughters wondered what everyone was talking about when they said things like “layoffs”, “fired”, etc. We had taken them to see Kit Kittredge, the prophetic American Girl movie, and so I tried to liken our current economy to the movie—and they “got it” as much as an 8 and 5 year old can or should. That’s when I decided to start the HOD—as a seasoned mom entrepreneur, I knew that no economy could stop me from starting my business, yet I knew that any mom entrepreneur starting a business in 2009 would have to do it on the thinnest shoestring possible. The HOD is a way for mom entrepreneurs to help and be helped through a bartering system. My site is specifically for mom entrepreneurs, so I’m reserving The H.O.D. for them. Any mom entrepreneur can list her services on The H.O.D. It’s been very exciting to host the HOD and I’m looking forward to hearing the success stories that come from it. I’ve started to hear some buzz…
BSG-We’re in a recession…good time to start a business or should you wait until the economy starts to pick up again?
TMM-I think any time is a great time to start a business if you go into it with a well thought out business plan and realistic expectations. In this economy, I think it would be wise for any start-ups to research, research, research and make sure there is a real market for their product or service. Any mom entrepreneur starting a business now will also have to get convincing and creative when it comes to securing any financing they might need.
BSG-Are you seeing more women interested in starting a business now…maybe because they’ve lost a job or the family needs more income?
TMM-Honestly, I see moms starting businesses all the time—usually for the same reasons—to replace lost income, to contribute to family income, to be home with their children and to have more flexibility in their work schedule.
BSG-Any businesses that you think are going to be really hot now?
TMM-I think that any products or services that help save money, time or both will be hot right now. I think anything to do with social media and working from home will be big. And, in my experience, it seems like the baby and pet industries never suffer, even in tough economic times.
BSG-Any success stories you’d like to tell us about?
TMM-The biggest success story I’ve seen is Twitter—such a creative, quicksilver place for mom entrepreneurs. Twitter can be your test for echo—a place to go to find that you’re not alone in any way, as a mother, an entrepreneur, a human being. Twitter is a great place to find camaraderie and community. Twitter is full of mom entrepreneurs who are kind, helpful, funny, smart and friendly.