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
31 / 50
Jessica Kim | BabbaCo
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Children: Daughter 3 1/2, son, 9 months â¢ Age: 32
Inspiration: In Kim’s case, necessity truly was the mother of invention. “When I had my daughter, I couldn’t protect her when she was in her car seat in the dead of winter in Chicago,” Kim explains. Since blankets didn’t cut it, Kim invented the BabbaCover to keep her daughter warm.
Perspiration: Kim quit her job with Kraft Foods in late 2007, raised $200,000 in start-up funds from investors and launched BabbaCo in September 2008, just one week before the market crashed. “It was a tough launch,” she says. Kim was getting three to four hours of sleep each night and also had to deal with her mom’s pancreatic-cancer diagnosis. “It was a tough personal time on top of being a tough economic time,” Kim says. “There were lots of times when I thought, ‘Is it worth it?’”
Kim says she survived that nearly impossible first year thanks to posts from mom bloggers and a positive attitude. “Once we finally started doing trade shows, I actually walked up to a rep from Buy Buy Baby and said, ‘I know you might look at me and say ‘You’re a young company with a car seat cover,’ but we’re going to be the next big thing in baby,’” Kim says. “This year, we’re rolling out our products in all 47 of their stores.”
Success: In addition to Buy Buy Baby, BabbaCo has partnered with Diapers.com, received praise from Rachel Ray and The Today Show and received multiple web awards, including accolades from iParent Media and Parent Tested, Parent Approved.