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
12 / 50
Michal Chesal | Baby K’tan
Company: Baby K’tan
Location: Davie, Florida
Children: Two daughters, 5 and 7, son, 10 â¢ Age: 38
Inspiration: Chesal’s son was born with Down Syndrome and had low muscle tone, so regular baby carriers wouldn’t cut it. Chesal experimented with her own baby carrier and came up with prototypes, one of which she gave to her friends whose baby had open-heart surgery and needed a special carrier. Those friends suggested Chesal make her carriers into a business.
Perspiration: Chesal partnered with her husband and enlisted the friends who suggested the business as silent partners. They created samples in 2005 and launched the company in 2007. Both couples struggled to make time for the company in between raising their children. “We would meet while the kids were playing in the pool, late at night, whenever we were awake enough to meet,” Chesal says. After the company’s official launch, Chesal found herself snowed under with business responsibilities. Unable to fully devote her time to her children or her business, she reached a breaking point in 2009 and realized she needed help. “It was a pivotal moment of learning how to delegate,” she says. “You think nobody can do it like you can or nobody understands it like you do, and you get stuck in a rut. It’s very hard letting go of that.”
Success: Baby K’tan sells about 80,000 carriers a year in 700 stores throughout the US and Canada.