Monday, May 9, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Melisa Jeffers of Paper Coterie

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you a review on Paper Coterie in my Mother's Day Gift Giving Guide feature.  This newly launched company offers great personalized gift ideas for an occasion.  If you missed my post, click here to read it now.

Today, I wanted to share my Spotlight on Mommy post with Melisa Jeffers, Senior director of consumer solutions at Paper Coterie.  Enjoy!

Name:  Melisa Jeffers, Senior director of consumer solutions
Company Name/Product/Service:  Paper Coterie
Company Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Company Website:  
Facebook URL:
Twitter Handle: @papercoterie
Age of Company:  Newborn
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: I am here to live out loud.  -Emile Zoe
Favorite Book: Right now?  The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I’m a sap.

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

The boy?  He’s 14.  15 next month. One word.  Puberty.  It’s killing me.  The Blueberry?  She’s 9.  10 next month.  That one’s a firecracker.  Makes me nervous.  I think I remember going down that road once.  Had a few potholes as I recall.  I’d love to talk about my interesting and exciting hobbies, but I’m a working mom.  Like so many other working moms, I have a list of things I’d LOVE to do if I had time.  So, I guess you could say list curation is my hobby.  What’s on the list this week?  I’d dabble in photography, cooking, and lots of travel.  I ski some in the winter with the youngsters.  They’re kind enough not to poke fun.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about? 

I work for a Canadian company called Transcontinental and each year they host an innovation challenge.  People within the organization compete for project funding on innovative new ideas for the business.  I thought there was value in creating a place with tools to help people share their stories. They agreed. 

What is a typical work day like? 

It’s crazy busy, fast-paced, challenging, fun, adventurous, a roller coaster.  I wear a lot of hats and switch them several times throughout each day.  That’s ok, it serves my ADD.  I just remember to stop and properly caffeinate from time to time. 

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?  

Navigating the corporate landscape of a $2.5B publicly traded Canadian company has been a learning curve for me.  I’m a little more “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” than prepare a 20-slide, three-year planning document, kinda girl.  It’s taken a year, but I can create a mean Excel spreadsheet.  Still bores me to tears, though. 

What did you do in your past work life? 

I’ve done a little of everything. . . defending some criminals, helping people market their wares, changing diapers full-time, doing some entrepreneur-y things.  It’s about time I start thinking of settling down. 

What have been some of your major successes? 

I’m gonna go with the Boy and Blueberry.  They’re fairly likeable, reasonably intelligent, charming (I believe) children.  They work hard, are mostly honest, and make me pretty proud.  I’m not gonna lie, though.  I’m pretty darn proud of launching Paper Coterie. Sometimes at night when no one is looking. . . I pull it up online just so I can see.

What have been some of your major challenges?  

Oh boy.  The idea of touching that question. . . the thing that comes to mind when I think of major challenges is the difference between how I saw them at 25 and how I see them at 40 (just had a birthday, ya know.  Yep.  the big one).  I used to be big on saying, ‘wow.  If X happened to me, I’d never recover.’ But then I did.  Every time.  I didn’t just recover, something was added to who I am. I’ve come to a peace-ier (is that a word?) place in my life that, I believe only comes from experience and recovering.  I like it.

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

Is there any other option?  In the valuable words of Winston Churchill, ‘if you’re going through hell. . . Just keep going.’  Tomorrow will be different.

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

Staying in the moment.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s one of the hardest things I do, but when I’m with the little people, all eyes are on them.  Phone goes away, laptop goes away.  It’s about making them feel like they are the center of the Universe.  They act like it sometimes, too.  :)  At work, I try not to tell anyone their face is gonna freeze like that, wear a jacket for goodness sake, and rub my spitty thumb on their cheek to wipe of marks.  The moment.

What is next for your business? 

Launch!  We’re going live on May 4.  We’re having an open house with a special message from Dr. BrenĂ© Brown, who is pretty amazing.  I chose her for the launch because I firmly believe her message is one each woman in America needs to hear.  For the open house, she’ll be sharing her thoughts on the importance of story.  We’ll be giving a house warming gift to people stopping by.  Anyone who wants to place an order on May 4 will find themselves with a $40 credit to spend how they like. 

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

Yep. Use each other. We’re a community. Reach out for a mentor, a piece of advice, to bounce ideas with each other. That’s why we’re all here together. And when someone asks you, help them back.

No comments :

Post a Comment