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
50 / 50
Debbie Wiener | Slobproof!
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
Children: Two sons, 15 and 19 â¢ Age: 52
Inspiration: “Back in 2000, I looked around my house and saw that the white sofa was totally brown, the curtains were covered with fingerprint stains and the walls were stained,” Wiener recalls. Her options: scream at her husband and kids everyday or find peace of mind. “I decided I needed to redecorate with things that would hold up for the slobs I lived with,” she says.
Perspiration: Wiener, who has run her own interior design firm for years, began paying attention to durability over aesthetics and started recommending stronger, stain-proof furniture to her clients. When her story got picked up by USA Today, Penguin publishing called her to write a book. “I never thought that this was a viable business, it just fell in my lap,” Wiener says. She wrote Slobproof! Real-Life Design Solutions in 2008 and decided to design the furniture that, up until then, she had only talked about.
Balancing motherhood, an interior design business, media appearances and a burgeoning furniture company nearly tore Wiener into pieces. “I would work all day, take a break to drive carpool, make sure that everything was cleaned up and the laundry was done and then go back to the basement until 2 a.m.,” she says.
Success: Slobproof! is a full-scale company with 19 products for sale and 41 products in the works. The furniture was praised in The New York Times.