Top 50 Mompreneurs, 2011
They cook, they clean and, between naptimes, they run kickass companies. For those who run their own mom-centric firms, the responsibilities of motherhood are only half the battle. Babble is running our first ever salute to the top 50 mompreneurs who pull all-nighters, suffer enormous financial set-backs, and balance business and baby every day to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true. Here's how they did it.
- Christina Couch
18 / 50
Caroline Epstein & Carrie Garramone | Time to Play Baby
Caroline & Carrie’s Rankings
Company: Time to Play Baby
Location: Palm Beach, Florida
Children: Caroline, son, 7, and daughter, 5; Carrie, three daughters, 4, 6 and 8 â¢ Age: Caroline, 38, and Carrie, 40
Inspiration: While Garramone attended and enjoyed Mommy and Me classes with her firstborn, Epstein missed out on them with both of her kids – the first time, because of her work schedule, and the second time, because her older kid wasn’t allowed to tag along. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this on our own time?’” Epstein says. “And that’s how the idea was born.”
Perspiration: Epstein, a former fifth grade teacher, and Garramone, a realtor, spent four years creating the DVD, selecting the toys, developing the packaging and defining the Time to Play Baby brand before launching the product. “We did so many things backwards that first year,” Garramone says, like filming before adding music, which made it harder in the end to match the music up to the moms singing to their babies. The product design also had people thinking they were selling bath products instead of baby classes. And to top it all off, one of them was pregnant every year. “It was a huge learning curve,” Garramone says. They made it through year one by meeting at night after the kids were asleep and simply asking for outside help. “We joined business networking groups and just started saying, ‘Hey, do you know a videographer? Do you know a manufacturer?’” Epstein explains. “That’s really the only way we made it through.”
Success: Five years after the idea sprouted and one year after the official company launch, Time To Play Baby is in 15 stores throughout Florida and is sold nationwide through Epstein and Garramone’s website.