Ever since welcoming two beautiful little girls into the world in 2010 and 2011, I love buying them pretty dresses and hair accessories. When they were little, they didn't mind me putting their hair up in clips, or throwing on a flower headband. But, as they are getting older, they are more picky when it comes to having me do things to their hair. And, just recently, Savannah has learned how to dress herself, and wants to pick up out her outfits (shirt, pants and sock) and put on herself, right down to the shoes.
I was noticing at the end of each month when I would put away clothes that no longer fit the girls, I had also acquired a large assortment of flower bows, clips, and other hair accessories, which continue to sit on their dresser. I wondered if there was anything out there that I could utilize these items for, as a way to dress up my girl's clothes, etc. This is when I stumbled upon this week's Spotlight Mom, Monica Wreede of Accessory Connectz. Monica's ahh haa moment came when juggling two businesses, a hair accessory boutique and a clothing boutique. She saw a demand for a much needed design, and thus Accessory Connectz was born.
"Accessory Connectz™ are the new and simple way to jazz up flip flops, headbands and even pet collars! Our device is used to clip, pin or button on your favorite accessories to your desired item to get the look you want in seconds! We carry a full line of button on accessories that can be used when you are not using your very own accessories! Attach to your existing items! There is no need to purchase the expensive stuff. You can create your own look on your very own budget! Got hair accessories at home? With our little device, it makes it super easy to attach to your item of choice and feel no metal clips or pins touching you;-) They are super comfy and you don't even know they are there. Flip flops clips can be very painful and cause irritation and have such a limited selection. With our handy new device, the possibilities are Endless! There are no limitations to what you can clip, pin or button to our product! Our product is Mother & child tested and approved! Women, children(boys & girls), bridal, pets and more can enjoy our new & unique product! Guaranteed fun for all ages!"
-Moms & daughters can match
-Children can match their family pets
-Interchangeable & reusable
-Stretches to Fit 1/2 in.-1 1/2 in widths
Please check out Monica's video to see how it works!
Upon reaching out to Monica, not only did she answer my Spotlight on Mom questions promptly, but she also sent along a sampler pack for me to try out. Stay tuned Friday when I will share more about Monica's Accessory Connectz product line, and offer one lucky reader a chance to win a surprise package worth $25 of Accessory Connectz products -- as well as a coupon code to save on your order.
But, in the meantime, please enjoy my Spotlight Mom interview with Monica Wreede of Accessory Connectz® and The Boutique Kids.
Name: Monica Wreede
Company Name/Product/Service: Accessory Connectz®/The Boutique Kids
Company Location: Delphos, OH
Company Websites: www.accessoryconnectz.com and www.
Age of Company: The Boutique kids since 2004/Accessory Connectz® since Aug. 2011
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: "When one door closes, one always opens"
Favorite Book: I hate to admit it, however, I am not a reader. I have never enjoyed reading books, so therefore I don’t have a favorite book..lol
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
When my daughter was born 8 years ago, inspiration for design instantly fell into my lap. I started creating hair accessories as a hobby which quickly turned into a little business I could run from home. I then branched out into clothing design. Amongst clothing, I offered flip flops, headbands, etc. with attached accessories. I saw a huge demand for a much needed design and that is when my “ah ha” moment came to me. My new product & company was soon born! I am currently running both businesses, The Boutique Kids & Accessory Connectz.
What is a typical work day like?
My typical work day is filled with computer work, filling & packing orders, designing & chasing after my 5 year old.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
The # one struggle has been funding to grow my business. I am currently running all aspects of both businesses from making all inventory, marketing and all that comes along with it. Because of this, I do not have time to focus on the areas that need improved day to day.
What did you do in your past work life?
I skipped from job to job trying to find the perfect fit for me. I worked as an assistant manager for a dept. store & pizza place. I have found that being an entrepreneur has been much more rewarding for me than working for someone else.
What have been some of your major successes?
I am proud to say that I got to design for the San Fransisco 49ers, been featured in Inventors Digest, was chosen 24 out of 800 inventors given by Invention Home, one of the 3 finalists for “The Next Big Thing” competition given by The Dallas Market Center, amongst the 200 top leading women-owned businesses given by Startup Nation, and have had many news & editorial mentions. The list continues to grow by the day;-) Besides the competitions and mentions, I am proud to have successfully brought a new concept to market on my own.
What have been some of your major challenges?
Trying to get my new product & company out to the masses has been very challenging, especially on a tight budget. Running all aspects of the businesses has taken a toll on me from time to time & trying to figure out what strategies work.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
My kids, husband and close family & friends keep me going on those impossible days.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
This has been a rough one! I have to set aside strict hours for business & family. My two older kids are in school from 8-3. I have set aside those hours for business and try to be cut off by 3 everyday, which is very hard some days when I have deadlines. My 5 year old son is usually by my side throughout those hours. I try including him as much as possible. Ex: he will sit on my lap while I sew and he gets to push buttons on the machine for mom;-)
What is next for your business?
I have many plans for my business. Once I secure funding we are going to get a professional video made, hire a few assistants, order inventory, advertise and approach big box retailers. I have many product prototypes on the drawing board that I would love to introduce in the near future.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
Please don’t get discouraged and never give up. I have seen so many moms that start a good business model and give up because sales are just not there. These things don’t happen overnight! You need to be very determined and dedicated to be successful. I believe we can all achieve anything we want to with much persistence & dedication of following our dreams & goals! Reach for the stars!