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
20 / 50
Elysse Fleece | Kozzy Bottoms
Company: Kozzy Bottoms
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Children: Son, 2 1/2 â¢ Age: 25
Inspiration: “A year ago, my husband and I started cloth-diapering our son and we fell in love with it,” Fleece says. “He’s in the army and money’s always tight. Kozzy Bottoms started out as a way to spread the word to families that there really is an easy way to diaper on a budget.”
Perspiration: Kozzy Bottoms launched in March of this year carrying a few lines of cloth diapers, but as Fleece learned more about environmentally conscious baby products, the site rapidly expanded. Fleece says that while the site came along nicely, learning how to delicately balance family and the business did not. “I’ve gone out shopping to get stuff for Kozzy Bottoms and realized, ‘Oh my God, breakfast is still on my child’s face,’” she says. “In the beginning, there were a lot of tears and frustration because my husband deploys often. When he’s home, he wants family time, but the business doesn’t stop. It’s easy to think, ‘Look! An extra hand!’” Fleece says she gets through by establishing open communication with her husband, setting small, concrete daily goals for herself and incorporating her son into the business by turning work time into play time. “My two-year-old loves tie-dying our onesies and diapers,” she says.
Success: Kozzy Bottoms grew from a business that sold only cloth diapers to one that carries a wide array of clothing and accessories for children.