A message from CEO, Tisha
Call me a mom. Call me a business woman. Call me an entrepreneur. I wear all those hats.
As we celebrated mothers this past weekend I was reminded of all the strong mothers that are out their killing it in their business. I know personally that running a business while being a mom is no simple task and I have appreciated all the supportive women that have offered advice, encouragement and supported my business (with their own dollars). I wanted to answer some common questions I have received on my journey of growing my popcorn business, while keeping my family a priority.
1. When did you start your business? Were you a mom at this point?
I incorporated by business in September 2015, and started sales in Spring 2016. At the time I launched my business, my daughter was a bit more than a year old. Since it wasn’t too long ago that she was waking up in the middle of the night, I decided to use those hours to work on my businesses.
2. How many children do you have and what ages?
Now I have two children. My oldest is 7 and my youngest is 5 years old.
3. How do you balance running your business and being a mom?
My kids and my husband are very much a part of my business. If you ask my son, he will tell you that his role in the business is being the official PrePOPsterous™ Taste Tester and the factory tour guide. Anytime a batch comes out of the kettle, he tastes a kernel or two to ensure the quality of taste meets company standards (but really, that’s just his excuse to get some popcorn…he thinks he’s slick!). My daughter loves helping with labeling packages. She also has helped sell popcorn before. In the picture below she was three and helped me sell popcorn during a local yard sale. These are just a few ways I incorporate my children into my business (and they love it!)
My husband serves as the maintenance man. He is an engineer by education, so whenever there’s an issue with one of our kettles or poppers he’s pretty comfortable pulling out the machine blueprints and troubleshooting the issue. Most of the year, maintaining a good balance between family and the business isn’t an issue. However, the holiday season is the busiest time of year for PrePOPsterous™, and balance is a little harder to come by. During these times, I enlist the help of others to help expedite the production and packaging process. There’s also a fair amount of production between the hours of 10pm-2am, which allows me to maximize time with my family during the day.
4. What was the biggest barrier and/or challenge to starting your business?
Starting. It sounds silly, but it’s true. Just starting was the biggest hurdle because I’m a perfectionist. I wanted to have the perfect packaging, the perfect branding, the perfect sales plan…in reality, those were just all excuses I used to not get started. There’s also FEAR. Most initially think of fear of failure, but I was more fearful of success because I wasn’t sure if I had a solid plan to scale my business. At some point, I just had to move forward, and I’m glad I did.
5. Lessons I have learned
The journey of entrepreneurship isn’t linear… kids or no kids. Specifically speaking to women entrepreneurs that are also mothers, I would suggest finding meaningful ways that your kids can engage with the business. If they feel like they have some ownership in the business it will help minimize the time you’re not with them.
I’d also say embrace failures, however you define those for yourself and your business. Failure is a part of the journey, and you will learn a lot in those moments that will help you make informed decisions about the future growth of your business.
Lastly, be sure to stay connected with other women entrepreneurs (those with and without kids) because it can be a great community to vet ideas or identify resources necessary to grow your business.
On a more personal note, as moms it can be easy to lose sight of our individuality and personal dreams once we start a family. Starting and growing this business has been a dream since before I was married, and it gives me a sense of personal accomplishment that is different than that I get from being a mom. The timing will be different for all of us, but I encourage all moms to pursue those dreams!
Don’t be afraid to succeed!!