Monday, February 21, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Amy Sapirstein of the Mommy Mitten

This week's Spotlight Mommy is Amy Sapirstein of the Mommy Mitten.  Please check out Amy's photo below, with her beautiful family.  Amy is the inventor of the Mommy Mitten, a great stroller accessory for the on-the-go mom.  Stay tuned on Friday, when I will review the Mommy Mitten and share more about this great invention by a mom.

Name:  Amy Sapirstein
Company Name/Product/Service: Active Urban Mom LLC/ Mommy Mitten
Company Location: NY, NY
Company Website:
Facebook URL:!/pages/Active-Urban-Mom/
Twitter Handle: @ActiveUrbanMom
Age of Company:  2 years
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: "Dance like no one is watching, love like you'll never be hurt, sing like no one is listening, and live like it's heaven on earth."- William Purkey
Favorite Book: She’s Come Undone by: Wally Lamb

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

I have a loving husband who I met 15 years ago in college!  We have been blessed with 2 amazing daughters; Blakely is 3.5 yrs and Keaton is 9 mths.  Outside of being a wife and mom, I enjoy running my business and staying fit.  I ran my first marathon, the ING NYC, this past November and I am hooked!  I love spending time and laughs with friends and family.  Oh yeah, coffee and vino rank pretty high up there as well J
Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?  

The concept for Mommy Mitten came about in October 2007 when I was pushing our new baby in her stroller around our neighborhood. It was just getting chilly, and I had not yet pulled my gloves and mittens from the back of my closet. That is when the idea struck. I began working through the process of patenting, trademarking, creating a prototype, selecting a manufacturer, getting my website built, etc.  Two full years later, I launched and since have successfully sold via my website,, and some local NYC boutiques.

What is a typical work day like?

I guess the first thing to mention, is that as a mom of 2, there is NOTHING typical about any day J  That said, I try to do a couple hours of work each day either while the girls are napping or the few hours per week I have a babysitter.  Blakely is now in nursery school each morning to I have a bit more time than I did last year which is nice.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?  

The first thing that comes to mind is the simple fact that it was the first time I ever attempted anything like launching a product, so learning from the ground up was great, but also very frustrating at times.  Also, staying focused and prioritizing to keep things moving forward while making sure your family comes first.

What did you do in your past work life?  

I held a number of business development positions for telecommunications & technology companies.  The last position I held prior to having my first baby, was as a Sr. Client Services Manager for a corporate social networking firm here in NYC.

What have been some of your major successes?

This year I had my first 2 months where my sales beat out monthly costs.  That was exciting!  I also have been recognized by some high profile media.  Most recently I was interviewed for a segment which aired Tuesday Jan 25th on Fox 5 News:  Here is the clip:

What have been some of your major challenges?

At times, staying motivated when things aren’t going as I hoped.  When you work alone, you are your motivator and cheerleader.  You may have a great support system like I do (aka: my hubby), but at the end of the day, I am the one accountable and that can be both liberating and scary.

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

I have learned to tell myself that it is ok if I do not accomplish everything I intended that day.  As long as my family is happy, the rest will follow.

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

Just to keep it all in perspective.  Do what you can when you can and if you feel like thing are not going the direction they should be, work or family, take a step back and recalibrate.

What is next for your business? 

I would love to partner with a charity or non-profit of some sort.  I think that any business owner, profitable or not (I am not yet by the way), should make this a priority and do what they can.

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

Take it one step at a time and prioritize daily.  Write a business plan (I never did and I am working on it now) and be opportunistic when it is appropriate and makes sense.  Join online communities, they are amazing resources to get answers, referrals, and overall support from others going through exactly what you are.  Good luck!

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