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
16 / 50
Kelly Meyer Douglas | Itzy Ritzy
Company: Itzy Ritzy
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Children: Two daughters, 3 1/2 and 6, with another baby on the way
Inspiration: Douglas and her husband wanted to escape the hectic New York City life before their children hit school. After moving to the Chicago suburbs, Douglas says the idea to start Itzy Ritzy came to her while investigating business ideas. “We loved children and we loved style, but we couldn’t find anything that really fit what we wanted,” she says. “We found a baby product company based in Orange County, California called Cuter Than a Duck’s Butt. The woman running it was drowning in orders, but losing money because she didn’t know how to make it work. We bought them in 2007, rebranded it, re-packaged everything and started selling what they made.”
Perspiration: Douglas and her husband moved the company from California to Illinois, then set to work making it their own. While they maintained Cuter’s product line, the couple wanted to expand and give the company a PR makeover. “We put every single cent we had into this company, all of our savings,” Douglas says. “It took a good year of being scared before I knew we were going to be successful.”
Success: Itzy Ritzy weathered the storm and expanded by partnering with other mom inventors who couldn’t quite get their products off the ground. It now carries products in 1,000 boutiques nationwide with more than 100 percent growth each year.