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
28 / 50
Stacey Kannenberg | Cedar Valley Publishing
Company: Cedar Valley Publishing
Location: Fredonia, Wisconsin
Children: Two daughters, 11 and 9 â¢ Age: 47
Inspiration: Kannenberg, quite literally, walked into the idea while taking a stroll with a neighbor who had a 5-year-old. Her neighbor started mentioning “high-frequency words” and other things kids needed to know for kindergarten; Kannenberg – whose children were 1 and 3 at the time – had no clue what she was talking about. So her neighbor suggested she write a book to help kids get ready for kindergarten and submit it to Oprah’s Big Dream Contest, which Kannenberg already wanted to enter. “We were standing on Cedar Valley Road, and I knew as soon as she said it that that’s what I was going to do,” Kannenberg says.
Perspiration: For her first book, Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten, Kannenberg interviewed 300 teachers from every state, enlisted a team of parents and kids to proof it and learned how to market the product. “I learned how to leverage sitters and make them part of the family and how to multi-task and listen to my kids’ ideas once they started school,” Kannenberg says, adding that she also joined several mompreneur websites like The Mom Entrepreneur and eventually started her own called HerInsight. She was up until 2 or 4 in the morning almost every night, but she had fellow mompreneurs keeping her company. “The thing that made it okay was that I always knew at 2 in the morning, there would be someone online to say, ‘Are you up all night too?’”
Success: Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten was released in 2004, and Cedar Valley’s list of books now includes Let’s Get Ready for First Grade and the Spanish/English version of Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten. The books are currently available in 400 school districts nationwide and the company recently closed on its 80,000th sale.