Happy March everyone. I still can't believe that we are already into March...boy, does time fly by. Maybe it is flying by as we have been sidelined for what seems like a month now with colds and viruses that the girls and I seem to be passing back and forth to one another. It seems that when one child is healthy the other brings something home, and then everyone starts to get sick. Knock on wood, though, that we have been healthy, minus a dry cough that seems to want to linger around, these past few days. Maybe now that the warmer weather is upon us and we are able to open up the windows and air out the house, that we will be cold-free for a while. Crossing my fingers. :-)
This week's Spotlight Mom is perfect to share, especially this time of year when it seems like everyone is under the weather, and we as parents are looking for ways to cut down on germs entering the house. Kelly Stuart, a fellow Bostonian, is the creator of Scrub Bugs. What are Scrubs Bugs you ask? First, a really cool name for a product, right? I told my girls this and they giggled and wanted to learn more. Here is more about Scrubs Bugs and how this mom-created product came about...
Inspired by the tools surgeons use to scrub up before surgery, Scrub Bugs are pediatrician-endorsed and are proven by independent lab tests to clean hands over 3X better than ordinary hand washing.
Kelly recently launched a Kickstarter campaign back on 2/22 for her product --- head on over and show your support for this mom-created product here: https://www.kickstarter.com/
Scrub Bugs has been a 2-year labor of love for its creator, Kelly Stuart, a mom of two little girls who recognized an unmet need in personal hygiene for kids. It’s cold and flu season now and, while the CDC says hands are the #1 carriers of sickness causing germs, most kids aren’t washing their hands correctly to remove them -- enter Scrub Bugs! Much like the toothbrush for oral hygiene, shouldn’t there be a tool for hand hygiene? Well, thanks to Kelly and her daughters, there will be!
Scrub Bugs will introduce an entirely new category of hygiene with the launch of their innovative, new hand scrubbers for kids. Inspired by the tools surgeons use to scrub up before surgery, Scrub Bugs are pediatrician endorsed and are proven by independent lab tests to clean hands over 3X better than ordinary hand washing.
In fact, real life in-use tests prove that kids wash their hands more often, with more pressure, and for longer with Scrub Bugs. Not to mention they are pretty darn cute!
Kelly found time in her busy schedule to sit down and answer my Spotlight on Mom questions. Below, please find her responses and get to know Kelly and her cute Scrub Bugs, a must have for parents, grandparents, caregivers and even teachers of young children. And, don't forget to support this fellow mom entrepreneur by contributing to her Kickstarter campaign today, which has 20 days left.
Name: Kelly Stuart
Company Name/Product/Service: Scrub Bugs
Company Location: Boston, MA
Company Website: www.myscrubbugs.com
Kickstarter URL: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1686503040/scrub-bugs-new-surgeon-inspired-hand-scrubbers-for
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/scrubbugs/
Age of Company: February 2016 (< 1 Month Old)
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
Favorite Book: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I am a working mom of 2 amazing little girls ages 5 and 2. I met my husband in high school and we have been together ever since. We have many hobbies as a family including skiing, hiking, and most recently learning how to play squash. We live right in Boston so we also feel fortunate to be able to spend time frequenting all of the amazing museums in the city and going for long runs along the Charles River.
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
Scrub Bugs are the 1st surgeon inspired hand scrubbers for kids. They are proven to clean hands over 3X better than ordinary hand washing. Scrub Bugs are so effective they are even endorsed by pediatricians - cleaner hands, fewer germs, healthier kids.
As a Mom of two little girls, I am always looking for better ways to keep my kids healthy throughout the year – especially given that when one of my kids gets sick it inevitably spreads across the entire family. Knowing that hands are the #1 carriers of sickness causing germs, I decided to find a way to get my kids to wash their hands more effectively.
My “aha” moment came while watching my daughter brush her teeth. Using a tool to brush our teeth makes all the difference. Why don’t we use a tool to clean our hands? Surgeons – the best hand washers in the world – use a tool to rid their hands of germs. Why not kids? Inspired by the tools and techniques surgeons use to scrub-up before surgery, I began developing a hand washing tool for kids that would be both more effective and more fun. Thousands of hand washes and hundreds of prototypes later the first Scrub Bug was born.
What is a typical work day like?
I am not sure there ever is a typical day for me. I work full-time in a brand strategy role at a Fortune 500 company. I then come home and spend time with the kids. As soon as the kids are in bed, I work on Scrub Bugs which has been an absolute labor of love for me. Although it has required a lot of late nights and weekends, I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
The biggest struggle with starting my company is time – balancing my day job, my family, and my passion for this new product. That being said, I truly believe that Scrub Bugs has the potential to make a real difference in the world. My company’s mission is to empower kids to live happy, healthy, hand-on lives. Having the opportunity to accomplish a mission like this certainly makes all of the late nights and weekends worth it.
What did you do in your past work life?
I have over 15 years of experience bringing new products to market at leading consumer goods companies like Gillette and Procter & Gamble. This work has given me the ability to know how to translate unmet consumer needs into actionable insights and create new products that truly delight consumers.
What have been some of your major successes?
Some of the major successes in my past work life include launching the Gillette Venus shaving brand in North America and the Gillette Fusion shaving brand globally. I am also extremely proud of my work on the Nice ‘n Easy hair color brand which significantly increased its connection with women due in large part to a repositioning of the brand fundamentals.
What have been some of your major challenges?
The most significant challenges I have faced in my career have always been around balance. What is best for my career has not always been best for my family and in the end my family always has to come first.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Whenever I have impossible days the things that always keep going are a passion for learning and a belief that what I do makes a difference in someone’s life. If you find true self-actualization in what you do there is rarely any obstacle or challenge that can’t be overcome with a lot or perseverance and a little creativity.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
I am not sure there really is a secret to balancing everything. A mentor of mine once told me that you may actually never find balance, but instead you will simply determine what you are willing to sacrifice and what you are not willing to sacrifice. This is what I have done. Once you clearly define your priorities you have permission to let go of the things that aren’t on the list and creatively find the time to do things you determined that are.
What is next for your business?
Back on 2/22, I launched a Kickstarter campaign - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1686503040/scrub-bugs-new-surgeon-inspired-hand-scrubbers-for) with the goal of raising $25,000. This funding will be used to optimize tooling and fund the first full wave of production. My Kickstarter Campaign will run from February 22nd – March 27th. After what I am hoping is a very successful campaign, I will start to prepare for a full national launch.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
The best advice I can give other mom entrepreneurs is to follow your passion and your heart. Don’t wait for perfection to start. You will likely never feel you have the perfect idea or enough time or enough money to start your own business. But if you have an idea you are passionate about and you do start down the journey to bring it to life you will learn how to improve the idea, find the time, and get creative with the funding. You will find a way to make it work and it will become an amazing journey for both you and your family.