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10 Mompreneurs Who Made It Big {Part Two!}

You may remember part one and the oh-so-fab mompreneurs I showed off here a few weeks ago. Inspiring right? Well, I’ve got a few more amazing moms who have rocked their mompreneur status. I mean, rocked it. And well now, I am sharing with you the other half; 6 more amazing ladies who are just beyond perfect at what they do! Not only are they mompreneurs but each of them are truly inspiring as they’ve made their dreams come true. Lucky for you — they are sharing a some great tips and a little bit behind their biz with all of us.

After the jump, browse through a few pretty amazing companies {some of my fave!} founded by mompreneurs and meet the even more amazing ladies that have made them a success. See just how they made it big.  Introducing some pretty FABulous mompreneurs…….

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  • Pam + Melisa of Project Nursery 1 of 5
    Pam + Melisa of Project Nursery

    Introducing Pam + Melisa of Project Nursery -- the ultimate children's design resource. Yes, ultimate. It's one of the best websites to get inspired when it comes to your Littles space - from nursery and beyond! And it doesn't stop there. Pam and Melisa bring readers beautiful room tours, giveaways galore and amazing design tips. They have created a website that everyone knows and loves.
  • Kim of The TomKat Studio 2 of 5
    Kim of The TomKat Studio

    Meet the lovely Kim of The TomKatStudio Kim wears many hats and well, she is simply amazing and a joy to work with. From designer to party stylist to working with HGTV and Pottery Barn. She truly defines mompreneur!
  • Rachel of Rachel Florio PR 3 of 5
    Rachel of Rachel Florio PR

    We all know and love the celebrity trend expert, Rachel Florio of Rachel Florio PR. Rachel works with top notch clients and is always in-the-know when it comes to what is trending next. She is one of the most driven ladies you will ever work with; a PR maven. Rachel has passion, dedication, and not to mention, a turn around of like .2 seconds when it comes to staying connected.
  • Melena of Snuggle Bug Kidz 4 of 5
    Melena of Snuggle Bug Kidz

    Melena of Snuggle Bug Kidz started with just a few sales on Etsy and just recently, she finished up a major sale on the well know shopping site, Zulily. She is now a powerhouse shop with almost 1500 sales. She took her dream and made it reality!
  • Maggie of Gussy Sews 5 of 5
    Maggie of Gussy Sews

    Oh, let me introduce you to the oh-so-adorable Maggie of Gussy Sews who is seriously one of the most inspirational mompreneurs in the blogging world. Maggie, otherwise known as Gussy is expecting a baby in March and well - with over 100K in sales, we figured it was okay to crown her mompreneur a few months early. Truly making her dream a reality, she inspires readers on her daily blog and has a beautiful shop full of pretties. Oh, and ruffles.

The TomKat Studio: Kim Stoegbauer

What was your “wow, is this really happening moment”?

I feel like I have experienced this type of moment so many times over the past few years. After my very first styled party shoot a couple of years ago (which was an Alice in Wonderland inspired shoot with Laura Winslow Photography) I drove home absolutely giddy after hours and hours of hard work and realized that styling was for sure my calling. I loved every moment of the shoot and once I saw the photos, I knew that this was my passion and what I wanted to focus on for my career. Another “is this really happening moment” was when I received my first freelance styling projects for HGTV. I mean, it’s HGTV! Who wouldn’t be excited? Now, it seems I always have at least one project in the works for them and they are amazing to work with. I have also styled several shoots for Pottery Barn Kids and at every shoot, I sit back and take a deep breath and pinch myself. The team at Pottery Barn Kids is so fabulous to work with and it is reassuing to have them trust my abilities and talent. It’s been a dream working with them. Oh, and the moment I met Martha Stewart? That was absolutely one of these incredible moments!

What was your start-up cost?

Early on when I opened my shop, all of the items I offered were digital. There was zero startup cost and overhead. It was the perfect way to get started! With our growing business and shop, that has changed significantly. With employees, shop space, advertising and expenses our costs are much higher now, but our product range and sales are much higher as well!

Your #1 tip for other Mompreneurs trying to make it big?

The most important tip for other Mompreneurs is to find something you absolutely love to do and put all of your effort into it. If you don’t do something that you love or you try to duplicate someone else’s successful business, your heart won’t be in it and it just won’t work. I always say “Dream Big” and I truly believe that anything is possible to accomplish if you truly believe in what you are doing!

Project Nursery: Pam Ginocchio + Melisa Fluhr

What was your “wow, is this really happening moment”? 

We started ProjectNursery.com over 4 years ago and there have been a few “wow” moments along the way. One that comes to mind is our first live TV segment on CBS 2 years ago. We were so nervous but managed to stay calm and natural. Watching it back with the kids was really special. It also never gets old meeting a total stranger and learning that they are an avid PN reader. Melisa and I love the stories of how helpful Project Nursery was is in the planning and designing of their child’s rooms.

What was your start up cost when you first started out and what your revenue is now? 

The beauty of starting a blog is that there is almost no start up costs – $10 for the domain and $10 per month for hosting! But it’s a HUGE time commitment. We really let the blog evolve for awhile before we started focusing on revenue. Our first big investment was our custom software we had developed for our Project Gallery. It was a big leap in terms of cost but an investment such as this has been the best thing we’ve done for our business. As our brand and traffic has grown we’ve made it a point to continue to invest a healthy portion of our revenue into the company. We are so lucky that we have been able to bring on a small team to support the site and help get it to the next level. Who knew when we sold our first $20 blog ad back in 2008 we’d have built a business that now generates well into the six figures.

Your #1 tip for other Mompreneurs trying to make it big?

Don’t give up! We know better then any moms how challenging it can be to be both an involved parent and savvy business woman. Having a partner has been so helpful because we both lean on each other, act as supporter and often therapist and who are we kidding, its just more fun to! It’s also so important to know what your niche is and to stay focused and on brand.

What made you want to start your own business? How did you make it happen? 

We had thriving careers before marriage and kids and we both missed that excitement. It was partly out of a passion for design and partly wanting to build a business where we could be based from home that inspired us to start Project Nursery. After a few google searches of the word “blog” and we were off and running.

Rachel Florio PR: Rachel Florio-Urso

What was your “wow, is this really happening moment”?

The fist time I felt I was on my way up was when comedian, Tracey Ulman and I were being shot by Vogue in my firm’s SOHO loft space and then around town vintage shopping. What a thrill! The moment I knew I (my brand) was going to become recognizable was ten years ago when I was on Sex and the City as well as the placement of two of my brands. Then again, when I started making my rounds as a “Celebrity Baby Trend Expert” on the morning shows such as the Today Show, Early Show, Good Morning New York, etc. I get a similar feeling every day as I land new amazing brands and get the “OK” to work with celebrities.

What was your start up cost when you first started out and what your revenue is now? 

When I launched my PR firm over a decade ago my start-up costs were pretty high, over $200,000.  I was on the corner of Broadway and Prince in SOHO in a 6,000 square foot loft with a well-paid team of publicists and interns. New York State tax and New York City tax is astronomical and so is the square footage and the competitive employees. Our monthly overhead was over $160,000. I have worked virtually for the past seven years so Uncle Sam, AT&T and typical office expenses are my only overhead these days. The funny part is that while I love the sexy office space that makes you feel like a powerhouse, I prefer feeling like a mom who is smarter with her finances and here for her kids! Ironically, I have gained more respect over the past seven years working from my cozy home office, hotel room or in flight then back in the day paying the big bucks for rent. I often daydream about building-out a new NYC office space, but one look at my children and I quickly let that go. I focus on the maternity, baby and children markets so it makes sense to do that right here where I am, with my family. If my husband was willing to leave his corporate job and partner with me I might be inclined.

Your #1 tip for other Mompreneurs trying to make it big?

Set reasonable expectations, have a solid business plan and capital to back your dream, and then don’t give up! Success does not happen overnight. We all have to go through the ups and downs with success and failure in order to “live and learn” and become better with time and experience.

What made you want to start your own business? How did you make it happen?

I have always been an independent thinker and a deal closer. I was sitting at my desk at Conde’ Nast as a retail fashion manager for Bride’s magazine in the late 90′s and I felt too micro managed even though I was in a management role. I was earning a nice paycheck, had amazing benefits and loved the daycare facilities, not to mention seeing Tom Cruise in our 4th floor cafeteria, but that wasn’t enough. Corporate was not for me. My family thought I was crazy for taking the risk in resigning to go to a start up magazine and become a panelist of a traveling model search, but it was the best move I could have ever made. It was the “stepping stone” that I needed. The CEO of the model search was fond of my energy and professionalism so he asked me what I “wanted to do when I grew up” and then he handed me an unsolicited check for $150,000 as an investment to start my firm. I have great gratitude toward this man. If he didn’t ask me that very question or believe in me enough to back me, I don’t know if I would have taken this same path.

I feel blessed to have had 13 years of great success with my public relations business and I am honored to to be given the chance to work with some of the biggest media players in the industry. I am proof that hard work pays off!

Snuggle Bug Kidz: Melena Dumala

What was your “wow, is this really happening moment”?

The biggest ” wow ” moment for me was after only 2 months of being online we got a request to be part of the Emmy awards Red carpet lounge celebrity gifting event that also led us to the MTV music awards gifting suite as well. As a brand new ” momprenuer ” I was expecting it to take 1-3 years to get our business off the ground, but with all the publicity and exposure right from the start we were blessed with a fast track success!

What was your start up cost when you first started out and what your revenue is now? 

To be honest I was a stay at home mother of 3 who hadn’t made a paycheck in FOREVER… so over a 6mo. Period of odd jobs and teaching dance classes I saved $500 to start our business. Never in a million years did I think I would be able to make a 5 figure income within the first 12 months with a $500 investment. Simply amazing!

Your #1 tip for other Mompreneurs trying to make it big?

Be yourself, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and be honest about who you are. In this day and age I was afraid to admit to clients and business partners that ” no I don’t know everything, I’ve never taken a business class, and yes I’m a stay at home mom. ” In many ways it’s easy to feel inadequate, but I learned taking that risk of vulnerability is what really sets you free.

What made you want to start your own business? How did you make it happen?

Snuggle Bug Kidz was born out of the desire to afford violin lessons for my son. After repeatedly being asked by my son to take lessons I knew I had to do something. As every mother wants the best for her kids I couldn’t bare telling him ” no” to another thing that he wanted to do. My husband encouraged me to start making the products I already had been making for family and friends for years and sell them online. We started our website and the rest is history.

Gussy Sews: Maggie Whitley

You are almost a mompreneur now that you are with bump! What was your “wow, is this really happening moment” when you found out about your pregnancy? 

Our crib + changing table arrived, and seeing furniture arrive for our little bundle to use in just a few months has made it seem more real. Also this week our baby started kicking a whole lot more. They started happening when I was flying back to California from Pennsylvania and I was totally “that lady” grinning from ear to ear on the airplane — and what looked like for no apparent reason. I couldn’t help but think of how radical our lives will be changing come March. And I can’t wait to see how Gussy Sews will transform, too. It’s going to be great!

What was your start up cost when you first started out and what your revenue is now? 

We started Gussy Sews with about $200 of personal monies. Last year we finished with nearly $100k in revenue.

Your #1 tip for other Mompreneurs trying to make it big?

ASK! FOR! HELP! I feel so blessed to have an amazing assistant and husband, both provide a ridiculously amazing amount of help. Cambria is great at keeping all the details of the blog + shop organized and Zack is amazing at helping me to know when to say “no” to an opportunity.

What made you want to start your own business? How did you make it happen? 

I had recently found Etsy {this was back in 2008} and was seriously infatuated with the fact women my age knew how to sew. AND, they were running businesses selling their handmade items. I had this secret interest in learning how to sew and once I found Etsy it was a secret no more! Within a few months I had bought basic materials, borrowed my parents sewing machine, checked out 30 library books {for real} and was constantly on YouTube, learning. Everything I did with what is now Gussy Sews I shared on my blog, and this community has been there for me since the beginning. Anytime I had a question I would hop online to find the answer. I was also reading a lot of blogs and forming genuine relationships with other successful bloggers and Indie Biz owners. Gussy Sews has since evolved into a source for handmade shop owners, a place to share our adventures, and a host for the ruffly accessories that fill our online boutique.

A big thanks to Citi for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Follow Casi on Disney Baby and read more from Casi & the cupcake team on cupcakeMAG + cupcakeMAG Littles.

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See all of Casi’s Being Pregnant post here, check her out on Spearmint Baby and find her on The Party Dress. Want more? Get to know 25 things about Casi.

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