Have you found yourself cleaning up water or juice spills in your car from your child's water bottle leaking while driving to or from a sporting event or activity? Or, worse, been distracted driving, as you have to reach for loose sports jugs rolling around the floor after falling out of your car's cup holder? Well, a mom from MI experienced the above, like many of us, and decided to find a solution to this problem. After two years of working on her idea, she finally had a product, the Jugg Hub, ready for store shelves and to sell online.
With summer now here and kids heading off to day camps or sporting events with their sports bottles, the Jugg Hub will definitely come in handy for families on the go. We all know the importance of staying hydrated, especially children who run around and sweat a lot. So, the last thing we as parents want to deal with is handing our child their sports bottle, only to find it has leaked and is empty or almost empty, when your child's needs it most, to rehydrate.
Natalie not only shared her personal story about how she turned an idea into a product and how she juggles work and family life, but she was also kind enough to send along a sample of her Jugg Hub for me to review. And, I have been taking full advantage during the weekends and when I take the girls and my nephew to their sports games and activities. Stay tuned on Friday when I will share more about Natalie's product, where really does keep sports bottles in one place. One lucky reader will also have a chance to win a Jugg Hub for their family, too. So, you don't want me miss my review and giveaway post on Friday. But, in the meantime, please enjoy my Spotlight on Mom interview with Natalie Hazen, inventor of the Jugg Hub.
Name: Natalie Hazen
Company Name/Product/Service: Jugg Hub, LLC owns the product Jugg Hub™, Sport Water Drink Holder
Company Location: Freeland, MI
Company Website: www.jugghub.com
Facebook URL: www.facebook.com/jugghub
Twitter Handle: @JuggHub
Age of Company: 2 years old. Product first available July 2013.
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: "Every day, ordinary people do extraordinary things." (Unknown)
Favorite Book: My favorite book is from my childhood, "The King, The Mice & The Cheese" by. Dr. Seuss.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I am a mother of three children. Grant age 17, Riley Ann age 15, Carter age 12. I serve on several Boards in my community and I love sports. I play competitive team tennis and like to run. I’ve completed two half marathons, and that’s far enough for me.
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
My business centers around the product I created. I came up with the idea for my product, the Jugg Hub™, Sport Water Drink Holder, after countless trips in the car driving my children to their sporting events and practices. I became irritated when my kid’s water jugs would tip over and roll around my car leaking water everywhere. Not only would my vehicle carpeting be soaked, but so would my chairs and my athletes’ sports bags. What a mess! I was hydrating my vehicle’s carpeting more than my athlete.
What is a typical work day like?
Since my business and product are very new, I don’t feel as though my workday is “typical” yet.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
The struggles I have faced during the start of my company mainly have been patience and self doubt. I am learning to understand that developing a product from an idea and bringing it into the marketplace takes time. Nothing just happens overnight. I am also learning that I cannot listen to the self-doubt that tries to creep in from time to time. If I listen to it, then things break down. It takes courage to ignore self-doubt. I am glad I have so far or else I wouldn’t have a pretty cool product right now.
What did you do in your past work life?
My previous work life started right after graduating with an Economics Degree at Michigan State University. I started work with Northwestern Mutual Life in insurance sales. This led me to work with First America Bank as a stockbroker in their Financial Division. I then chose to become a stay at home mom, which has been my role for the past 17 years.
What have been some of your major successes?
I consider my most major success in taking my idea and creating the product. My other success was entering my first 2-minute business pitch contest in front of a panel of judges and winning. Another success has been landing a local television interest story after I had a vendor booth at a local soccer tournament. I try every day/week to acknowledge even the littlest successes. Makes me feel good.
What have been some of your major challenges?
My most major challenge is learning the business of bringing a product to market. This is a different realm than I am used to and am learning.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
On my impossible days, I am motivated by the fact that I know doors are being opened for me. Even though things may move slower than I want, if I keep doing things patiently, I feel then I will move through that opened door precisely at the right time.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
In balancing my business and family: I don’t freak out about dishes not being done and socks not being sorted. I figure they will all wait on me anyways so why not complete the task when I am good and ready. My children are older and in school all day, so I have time to workout, work on business and work on my home.
What is next for your business?
Next for my business is moving forward on the ideas I have to add to my product and to continue to make the most versatile product I can. I want to add more colors and more options to my product so I am working on development.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
My thoughts to those who are starting out, struggling, or on the fence: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and follow through with your idea. I feel that if you don’t try then you will live your life never knowing if your idea could be successful. Even if your idea is considered a “failure” by others I feel it can never truly be a failure, because you did something so many didn’t have the courage to try.