Monday, September 19, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Hanna Lim of Lollacup


 

This week I am spotlighting Hanna Lim, the creator of the Lollacup.  What is a Lollacup you ask?  This unique invention is a great cup to have for your infant/toddler.  What sets this cup apart from others on the market is that the flexible straw has a weighted end that anchors in the liquid to help young children drink effectively at most angles.  The straw is valve-free, making it easy for young children to sip, while the handle is easily removable from the base of the cup for placement in most cup holders.  If you child is like mine and doesn't grasp the concept of using a valved sippy cup, then the Lollacup might be the cup for them.  

Look at some of the other features of this amazing invention:

SAFE

All materials are FDA-approved and are free of BPA and phthalates.
All parts conform to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's small parts regulation.

HIGH QUALITY

Made in the USA: All parts are manufactured, assembled, and packaged in the USA, so you can be assured of lollacup's quality.

Our manufacturing facility is ISO 9001 certified and has its FDA Device Manufacturing License from the California Department of Health Services, Food and Drug Branch.

FUN
Lollacup is modern, whimsical, and fun, appealing to both parents and children alike. Available in cool blue, bold red and good green.

If you are interested in learning more about the Lollacup, or would like to buy a Lollacup for your little one, click here to head over to Hanna's store.  The Lollacup only costs $18.00, and there are replacement straws available.

In the meantime, please enjoy my interview with the inventor of the Lollacup, Hanna Lim.  Enjoy!


Name: Hanna Lim

Company Name/Product/Service: lollacup

Company Location: Los Angeles, CA

Company Website: www.lollacup.com

Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/lollacup

Twitter Handle: @lollacup

Age of Company: 1 year

Favorite Inspirational Quotes: “Chance favors the prepared mind.” -Louis Pasteur.

Favorite Book: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies?
Etc.

My husband and I started “dating” in middle school. We got married 14 years later, and now have two daughters aged 2 and 3½. Most of my time is dedicated to my family and lollacup, but I love cooking and doing all things crafty. Before I had children and started this company, I was an adventurous and avid cook. I still cook simple dinners most days of the week, but I don’t have the time and energy to experiment anymore. I also love making things like cards, scrapbooks, and flower arrangements and love learning new skills like knitting and sewing. I recently discovered spray paint and have been using it to repurpose old frames and small pieces of furniture around the house.

Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?

When my first daughter was nine-months-old, she was able to drink from straws at restaurants. Our pediatrician then recommended we wean her directly to a straw instead of a traditional sippy cup because there may be speech and dental benefits to using straws. I purchased several toddler straw cups but found that my daughter couldn’t get a sip out of any of them because of the spill-proof valves. Inspired, I set out to create a stylish cup with a valve-free straw and weighted end so that children could drink easily, even when the cup is tilted – and Lollacup was born.

What is a typical work day like?

I drop my daughters off at daycare/preschool by 7:30 a.m., rush home to my office, and begin my work day by answering emails and taking care of the most urgent tasks. Each day is filled with a mix of dealing with manufacturing issues, customer service emails and calls and sales-related business. I dedicate my afternoons to spending time with my daughters and doing housework (cooking dinner, doing laundry and tidying up). As soon as the girls go to bed, my husband and I spend our evenings assembling product and preparing for the next day.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?

Developing the product, itself, has been the biggest struggle. I knew it would be a challenge to take an idea and turn it into a tangible product, but I had no idea I would encounter this many road bumps along the way.

What did you do in your past work life?

Believe it or not, I was a high school chemistry teacher.

What have been some of your major successes?

My first major success was holding the very first lollacup in my hands and having my daughters drink from it. Every time I receive a nice email or grateful facebook/twitter message from parents who say that lollacup has helped transition their child to a cup or that it’s the only cup they’ll use, it feels like a new success.

What have been some of your major challenges?

I believe there’s a saying that an artist’s work is never done. Since the day I began developing the lollacup, I’ve felt like a struggling artist who is constantly trying to perfect her masterpiece. Trying to execute my vision for the product in the exact way I had hoped has been a major challenge. Working with limited resources has also been very challenging.

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?

The desire to see the exciting things that are in store for lollacup is my biggest motivation on impossible days. My husband and I took a big risk in starting this company, and every time we’ve encountered a roadblock or challenge, a positive thing has happened that gave us the strength to power through. For example, one day our manufacturer called us with the bad news that our mold had broken during production. That meant more delays as well as more money needed to fix the mold. That same week, lollacup received a rave review on a notable blog and made it onto the shelves of a trendy store. Celebrating each and every “victory,” no matter how small, can be a huge motivator.

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?

Making time for myself helps me manage a business and family. I know it sounds selfish, but I try and do something for myself every week. Whether it’s meeting girlfriends for drinks and dessert after the kids go to bed or slipping away to get a pedicure once in a while. These little “treats” keep me sane and rejuvenated to work hard.

What is next for your business?

Lollacup just debuted 2 new colors (proud purple and bad black), and we are busy exhibiting in trade shows all over the country. We have exciting things in the works…you’ll have to “stay tuned” to find out what’s next for lollacup.

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?

Think big and go big! I look at the process of starting a business much like landing a killer job interview. You have one opportunity to make a lasting impression. To some degree, you’re putting it all on the line, so prepare for it, put your best face forward, and give it all you got.

1 comment :

  1. I love the look of this cup and that it is weighted at one end and also that it is made in the USA.
    heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete