Monday, March 14, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Trish Rohrer Babb and Sharon Martin of Chalk Talk Glass LLC

Last week I introduced Trish and Sharon's product, the Chalk Talk Glass. If you missed my post, click here to read more.  Now, I wanted to share my interview with the ladies of this great product.  Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a chance to try the Chalk Talk Glass for yourself.

Name:  Trish Rohrer Babb and Sharon Martin
Company Name/Product/Service: Chalk Talk Glass LLC
Company Location: Milton and Winchester MA
Company Website:      
Facebook URL:!/pages/Chalk-Talk-Glass/172912119419241
Age of Company:  1 year
Favorite Inspirational Quotes:  
Trish: “Stretch beyond your comfort zone.”

Sharon: "Do something that scares you everyday"
Favorite Book: 
Trish: The Help and The Red Tent

Sharon: The Help and My Sister's Keeper

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

Trish: I recently got married to a wonderful man and his beautiful 8 year old daughter. Together with my 
3 year old little girl we’re all adjusting to our new roles in the family.  The most amazing thing to watch    
is how quickly the girls have become true sisters and how much they love one another.
Professionally; I’m in consumer marketing and have my MBA from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management. I’ve worked on some really great brands over the years including Pepsi, Visa, Coors, Sam Adams, Viacord and most recently the USPS.

As for hobbies I love playing with my daughters, working out, biking, entertaining, movies, books, and spending lots of time with family and friends. 

Sharon: I have been married for almost 21 years we have three great kids: Colin 17,
Courtney 15 and Kasey 13. I can't believe I have a son who is looking at colleges, it
seems like yesterday that a fire truck was the most exciting thing for him! Between
football, lacrosse, cheerleading, gymnastics, dance, horseback riding and skiing, we are
very busy!

Professionally, I am a high school math teacher. I went to Villanova undergrad and have
my MTA from Tufts university. Teaching high school kids keeps me on my toes and
more in touch with my own children.

As for hobbies, I make jewelry, sing, ride horses, work out and love the rare occasion
when my whole family can agree on a movie! I love to entertain and spend time with my family.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?

Chalk Talk Glass is co-owned by Trish and Sharon; two sisters who love to entertain and add their personal touch to gatherings. 
"Chalk Talk Glass started with my sister Sharon and a simple DIY project for an upcoming cocktail party. She was looking for an alternative to wine charms and decided to try chalkboard paint on her wine glasses. The initial wineglasses were an instant hit – her guests had a great time writing on their glasses with chalk." says Trish Babb, co-owner.  
Sure enough small orders from friends and family soon followed and a garage-based business was born. 1 year and hundreds of orders later, the two sisters decided to launch a “real” business and sell their glasses online. 
Chalk Talk Glass now features several designs to accent the chalkboard area on each glass; including Grapes, seasonal designs (Holly Berries for the holidays,  Hearts for Valentine’s Day), and of course custom designs upon request. Our biggest seller is Simple Sally but perhaps the design they are most proud of is their "Paws off!" charity design which features dog paw prints. A portion of sales from this design are donated to a local dog rescue program. 
What is a typical work day like? 

Trish: Now that the website is up and running I’m focused on driving traffic and sales through PR, social media, paid search, online advertising and word of mouth. At any given point I’m looking out for influential bloggers, related sites and PR opportunities to drive awareness of our products. I also handle our finances, accounting and reporting. 

Sharon: I am on the production end of the business. It is not unusual for my house to
have cases of wine glasses in different stages of production. I package orders creatively
and ship them out the door!

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

Trish: Finding enough time and resources to go after bigger wins while not letting small opportunities pass by. 
What did you do in your past work life?

Trish: Still in the thick of it.

Sharon: Ditto
What have been some of your major successes?

Trish: Every time one of us figures out something, no matter how small, we get so excited! This whole experience has been a huge success in that we’ve both learned a ton! We’ve done it all: created an ecommerce website, founded an LLC, created great buzz, mastered fulfillment and shipping as well as streamlined our production process. While we’ve garnered some great blogger reviews and are quickly collecting friends on Facebook, my favorite moment is still when our first order came in from someone we didn’t know! It meant our message was really getting to the right target audience and they liked what they heard and saw. 
What have been some of your major challenges?

Trish: I’m used to working with huge corporate budgets – it’s a whole different story when it’s your own money. It’s forcing me to make smarter decisions and to really evaluate all opportunities carefully.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?

Trish: I just keep thinking about how far we come in such a short period of time. I really believe we have a great product; we just need to keep pushing it out to the world and it will catch on.

Sharon: Having a glass of wine out of a paws off glass!
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?

Trish: It’s amazing what you can get done during naps, after bedtime and on a blackberry! I’ve also found it really helpful to create reusable assets so I’m not recreating the wheel each time I need to write or talk about our business. Of course it helps to be really organized. If I let the sticky notes pile up too much I start to go crazy so much of my part of the business is managed online or through excel spreadsheets. 
What is next for your business?

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

Trish: Don’t be afraid. You may fail or succeed but at least you will have done something new. Too many people worry about not being an expert or not knowing exactly how to do something and it prevents them from moving forward. At some point you have to be like Nike and just do it. When I was creating the website I kept laughing ‘cause I had no idea what I was doing but now I’m really proud of what we’ve created.  Once you take that first step you’ll be amazed at what you can figure out and how many resources are out there to help you when you get stuck. Remember, we’re woman and moms, we are amazing. There isn’t much we can’t do.


  1. You are so right about the waiting thing. Let's be honest, if we all waited to do things until we were 100% ready, we'd get nowhere; we DEFINITELY wouldn't have kids!!! :)
    Congrats! By the way, will we be notified once the drawing for the giveaway is over? Probably shouldn't say this but would like to pick up a couple glasses if I don't win.

  2. Jennifer. Yes, I will notify the winner and let everyone know who wins. Thanks for your comment.