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
6 / 50
Dr. Amy Baxter | Buzzy
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Children: Two sons, 10 and 13, daughter, 8 â¢ Age: 41
Inspiration: Baxter, a pediatric emergency physician, got the idea for Buzzy in 2004 from her oldest son, who suffered from a needle phobia. “I was frustrated that I couldn’t find something I could do to circumvent healthcare’s indifference to needle pain,” she explains. So Baxter took matters into her own hands: She researched using temperature and vibration to lessen needle pain and experimented with prototypes in her basement.
Perspiration: Getting the idea was easier than getting the product. Baxter started searching for anything that might have a small motor strong enough to dull the pain, but weak enough to not hurt the patient. “People must have thought I was crazy,” she recounts. “I was asking neighbors for cell phones, going to the local sex store and smashing vibrators to get the motor out – anything to find something to counterbalance needle pain.” After four months of searching, Baxter found the right motor (though she won’t disclose where) and set to the daunting task of turning her idea into a product. “Every single week for the first two years, I had one of those, ‘What am I doing?’ moments,” she says. “I felt like I was groping around in the dark. I was terrified that someone would steal the idea. I was terrified that I was spending vast sums of money on patents. I was scared that I was taking too much time away from my family.”
Success: The company launched in 2006 and by 2008, Baxter’s work paid off. A $1-million grant from the National Institutes of Health allowed her to devote more time to researching how and why the product worked. By 2010, $15,000 from Huggies allowed her to stock up on inventory. There are currently more than 5,000 Buzzys on the market, with the company growing more than 50 percent every two months.