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
44 / 50
Nina Rappaport Rowan | Kimochis
Location: Marin County, California
Children: Son, 4 â¢ Age: 45
Inspiration: ”When I turned 40, it was sort of like ‘There’s got to be more, something more purposeful that I can be doing,’” she says. “I always had this idea for a toy with feelings inside. I thought that this would be a fun way to talk to your kids about feelings. I [started thinking about it] right after the Columbine incident.”
Perspiration: Rowan started making Kimochis prototypes that would help kids communicate their feelings. She partnered with a friend, made 100 dolls to exhibit at a toy fair and wound up attracting the attention of several retailers, one of whom wanted 1,000 Kimochis by the following month. Rowan knew she created something people wanted. The following year, she had dolls in production and launched a company called Plushy Feely Corp to promote the product. Launching a company also came with a few human resource problems. “Let’s just say this: Put everything in a contract,” she says for other moms looking to launch a company. “Don’t settle on a handshake or you could really get burned.”
Success: After recovering from HR woes, Plushy Feely Corp has tripled in size in the last two years. Rowan has since partnered with a communications teacher and is currently piloting a curriculum to go with the toys in 25 schools.