We’re getting up close and personal with mothers who are savvy innovators and businesswomen and finding out their secrets to success. This time, we got the scoop from Christine Deehring, founder of BumpBoxes.com.
The Bump: Give us a quick elevator pitch of your business.
Christine Deehring: Bump Boxes were developed to take the guesswork out of choosing the best pregnancy products for you and your bump. Our team of experts have researched, vetted and approved every product included in our boxes. We've conveniently bundled safe essentials to use throughout your pregnancy. Not only are they clean and safe products, they have been personally used, recommended and loved by real mothers.
TB: What inspired you to start this business?
CD: My daughter. I wanted to protect her and keep her healthy and safe from the very beginning. When I was pregnant, I wanted to make sure the products I used were as safe and natural as possible. I was given the speech about no deli meat and watch the fish, but no one said anything about how you shouldn’t use your normal, everyday facewash, or lotion. Finally, I found products that were not only safe and free of harsh chemicals, but that actually work!
My husband jokingly said, "Hey, you should start a business with all of the time you've spent on this." And that was the beginning!
TB: What are your top 3 pieces of advice for women looking to start their own business?
CD: Be mentally tough and always push forward — People will tell you no…a lot! Don’t let it discourage you. It will pay off; keep pushing forward.
Expand your network — we are all connected. Get out and meet some people! Meet with other entrepreneurs and create a support system.
Assemble your team. No one is an expert at everything. Leverage the strengths of people you know when you're first starting out. You need to get your team in place in order to grow a successful business.
TB: What was your biggest challenge? Biggest joy?
CD: My biggest challenge has been the balancing act of figuring out how to be a new mom and how to start a new business. But it's been an amazing ride and I wouldn't trade it for anything!
My biggest joy was getting that first order...and then I found out it was from my mom. But it still counts!
TB: Looking back, is there anything you’d do differently?
CD: I waited until my daughter was two months old to start the business. If I had to do it over again, I would have started the minute we had the idea.
TB: What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting your own business?
CD: Working together with my husband has given us a new appreciation for each other. A lot of people said working with a spouse is nuts, but we've found that the opposite is true. Sure, we have our days when we get on each other’s nerves (who doesn’t?), but we truly bring out the best in each other and make a great team. He’s my best friend — my rock — he constantly challenges me and Bump Boxes wouldn't be where it is today without him by my side.
TB: What inside scoop do you have that entrepreneurs never tell you about starting a business?
CD: Starting a business is extremely hard. It takes twice as long, costs twice as much and is twice as stressful than you think. People will tell you that your idea is stupid, that you don’t know what you’re doing or that you’re wasting your time. It’s good to listen to criticism, but don’t let it deter you. Use it to correct weaknesses in your idea and to motivate you to succeed.
TB: What’s a typical day in your life like?
CD: I get up at 5:15 AM and respond to email, feed the baby, and get her ready, with help from daddy. I get myself ready and am out the door by 7:15 to get to my day job as a CPA for a fortune 50 company. I pick baby up at 5:00 from the sitter's, feed and bathe her, and play until bedtime at 7:30. I blog, update social media, search for and review new products and work on marketing until 11:00. Luckily, my husband manages the day-to-day operations.
TB: What’s the best part about having your own business – do you think it is harder or easier to balance motherhood and career than when working for someone else?
CD: The best part about having your own business is knowing that the success or failure of the business relies solely on you. It can be a scary thought at first, but if you truly believe in what you are doing, have confidence and work hard, you'll be just fine.
There are pros and cons to working for yourself versus someone else. Chances are if you work for someone else, you can go on vacations and not think twice about it. If you work for yourself, the boss doesn't get vacation days! I love the flexibility of working for myself and creating my own work hours, but I understand and appreciate the struggle of not being able to break yourself away from it.
TB: How does being a mother make you a better businesswoman?
CD: You learn how to prioritize, especially when you’re working from 9 to 5, starting a business and being the greatest mom you can be. There are only so many hours in a day and you have to make them count! You also begin to put things in perspective. My baby’s health and happiness are the only things that matter. Everything else is just icing on the cake!