Our second Spotlight Mom this week is Tamara Earnest, owner of Pea Wee Baby LLC and creator of the SwaddleBuddy™ series of swaddles and swaddle accessories.
What is the SwaddleBuddy?:
- The only TRULY bust-proof swaddles
- SwaddleBuddyTM Accessory can be used with ANY blanket or swaddle device
- SwaddleBuddyTM Suit is perfect for swings & bouncy seats
- SwaddleBuddyTM Suit allows best positioning for legs to reduce risk of hip dysplasia
- SwaddleBuddyTM Sack design is absolutely kick-proof
- Eliminates the worry of loose blankets
- Even pressure across torso relieves colic
- No more waking due to startle reflex
- Perfect for warmer climates
- Eliminates the worry of overheating as overwrapping is no longer necessary
- 100% cotton interlock - perfect amount of stretch
- CPSIA compliant
- Invented by a Mom
- Made in the USA.. and always will be!
Head on over to Tamara's website to learn more about her mom-invented product line. I wish Tamara much success with her business!
Below is my interview with Tamara. Enjoy!
Name: Tamara Earnest
Company Name: Pea Wee Baby LLC
Products: SwaddleBuddy Series of bust-proof swaddles
Company Location: Estero, FL
Company Website: http://peaweebaby.com
Facebook URL: http://facebook.com/peaweebaby
Twitter Handle: @peaweebaby
Age of Company: 2 years, 3 months
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their
ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I just turned 40! I’m very happily married. I have 3 children. My 14 year old daughter is from a previous marriage and I also have another daughter that is 2 and my son is 1.
Before my youngest two were born, my hobbies were playing softball, reading, going to the beach, watching movies on the couch with my husband, playing poker with friends. Now my hobbies are.... um....driving my teenager to all her activities, watching movies on the couch with my husband and my company. :)
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
My youngest daughter needed to be swaddled to stay asleep more than a few minutes at a time. The problem was she would break out of everything. There were other swaddles on the market that might have been able to hold her, but I wasn’t willing to try them because I thought they could be an overheating risk.
I came up with an idea for an accessory that turns any swaddle or blanket into a bust-proof one and from there created two more versions. One for use in swings and bouncy seats and one with a leg pouch.
What is a typical work day like?
Up until recently, I was still working part-time outside the home. I would go into the office, work until 1 pm and then come home and juggle taking care of two little ones and working on my business. Once they go to bed, I would work late into the night.
Now, I’m working for my company full-time. I get up around 5:30 to get my teenager off to school, work for a little bit, then get the babies up and fed. My husband works at night, so he takes care of the little ones while I work in the morning for a few hours and then I work more after the kids are in bed. Pretty much, if I’m not cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, driving the teenager somewhere, or sleeping... then I’m working. I
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
The most difficult part was finding a sewing contractor that is reliable and does high quality work. I started out sewing everything myself and I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find a “professional” that could make them as well or better than I could. It took almost a year to find one that was a keeper.
What did you do in your past work life?
I’ve been an accountant for 20 years. I’ve worked in lots of different industries, but it has always been with accounting or financial & office management as the focus.
What have been some of your major successes?
My first patent was issued in June and I’ve received the notice of allowability on a second one. I’m expecting that patent to be issued any day now! I still have two more pending. I’m extremely proud that I was able to figure out how to do a lot of it myself, saving thousands of dollars on attorney fees.
What have been some of your major challenges?
Sales and marketing. I am not a “salesperson.” It’s just not my personality, so it was hard for me to approach retailers first. It’s something I’m still working on. Marketing is another area I’m having to learn and I spend a lot of time reading and researching.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
My customers! I get emails all the time from mom’s that had babies that weren’t sleeping and breaking out of swaddles that are now sleeping better. It really means a lot to me that they take the time to write and that they are happy with my products!
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Team work. My husband and I make a great team. We share in everything from changing diapers, to laundry and whatever needs to be done.
What is next for your business?
I’m currently sourcing organic fabrics to add an organic line of swaddles and blankets.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
Just keep plugging along. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there.