Many of the best products and services around the globe come to be because of circumstance. Motherhood has proven to be incredibly inspirational and has turned many mums into thriving entrepreneurs. Here are just a handful of mums who took the plunge and started their own successful businesses:
Jakki Liberman – Bumkins Finer Baby Products
Liberman is a mother of four who created her Bumkins empire out of pure necessity.
When pregnant with her third child, her daughter started to break out in terrible rashes whenever her delicate skin touched the lining of disposable diapers. The solution was to switch to cloth diapers, though at the time the only option was to hire a diaper service.
The diaper service provided everything Liberman needed – diapers, pins, and plastic covers. As Liberman adjusted the diaper inside the cover one day, a convenient time-saving idea came to mind: to sew the diaper into the cover.
Liberman set to work creating the revolutionary diaper and cover-in-one that would become the first product offered by Bumkins Finer Baby Products. Her diaper was the first of its kind to also feature Velcro instead of large and potentially dangerous pins to hold it nice and snug on babies.
Bumkins products can now be found in over 700 online and offline retail outlets.
Lisa Greenwald – Chewbeads
Greenwald had always loved jewellery. Working in J. Crew’s merchandising department, she noticed that babies couldn’t resist grasping at her jewellery, wanting to hold and put her necklaces and bracelets in their mouths.
In 2009 Greenwald gave birth to her son who, like most other babies, loved to chew on her necklaces. Not feeling comfortable letting him chew on these potentially sharp pieces – not to mention the fear of having her child choke on them or be exposed to dangerous chemicals – she created soft, non-toxic teething jewellery that was chic, colourful, and safe.
Since that time Chewbeads has expanded to offer rattles, teething rings, and bath toys that are easy to clean, soft on a baby’s gums, and don’t contain toxins like BPA, phthalates, PVC, lead or cadmium.
Debra Cohen – Home Remedies of NY and Homeowner Referral Network (HRN)
After purchasing her first home in the 1990s, this mother of two found it incredibly difficult to locate reliable contractors like plumbers, painters, and carpenters. Cohen figured that she couldn’t be the only homeowner to experience these challenges, so she set out to create a homeowner referral business.
With a $5,000 loan in hand, Cohen launched the network in 1997 and soon found her phone ringing off the hook with local homeowners desperate to find trustworthy painters, floor refinishers, and pest control specialists. Shortly after, she began to receive inquiries from contractors and homeowners outside her operating area who were interested in working for her referral network.
In addition to building a successful network, Cohen compiled a comprehensive manual outlining how she built the network as well as a turnkey website package and management software which she offers to entrepreneurs interested in her business model. There are now over 300 HRNs operating worldwide.
Kwany Liu – Bundle Organics
Inspired by the struggles of pregnant friends and family members, Liu and co-founder John Mascari wanted to come up with a delicious and nutritional food solution for pregnant mums. She wanted to create a product that would help mums stay healthy while also treating some of the common ailments and symptoms that accompany pregnancy and nursing.
Liu spoke with nutritionists and other medical professionals all the while concocting new organic juices and teas containing nutrients intended to complement the ones pregnant mums already receive from their prenatal vitamins. In addition to a full complement of nutrients, Bundle Organics products include folic acid, iron, and calcium – nutrients which are great for pre-conception as well as for breastfeeding.
Allison O’Kelly – Mom Corps
O’Kelly was a talented CPA at KPMG and was gaining upward momentum at Toys ’R Us. After she became a mum, however, she quickly found that balancing her career with motherhood was extremely challenging.
Wanting to spend more time with her kids, O’Kelly quit her lucrative position and began taking on freelance accounting work while trying to figure out what her next career step should be. After receiving more contracts than she could handle, she quickly realised that there was an opportunity out there for providing talented people for short-term projects.
O’Kelly launched Mom Corps in 2005. While it originally focused on accounting work, the company eventually expanded into different industries. The company now boasts an annual multi-billion dollar revenue powered by the talents of herself and other work-from-home mums.