Monday, May 9, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Sheena Edwards of Lizzie Lou Shoes

With summer just around the corner, families are beginning to shop for clothes and accessories.  If you are flip flop lovers, you definitely have to check out Sheena Edwards flip flop line -- Lizzie Lou Shoes.  She designs and sells flip flops that will make you stand out and receive compliments.  Here is my interview with Sheena and how her business began.  Enjoy!

Name:  Sheena Edwards
Company Name/Product/Service:  Lizzie Lou Shoes - Women's flip flops
Company Location:  San Antonio, Texas
Company Website:
Facebook URL:
Twitter Handle: @Lizzieloushoes
Age of Company: 2 years
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: "If you can DREAM it, you can DO it." - Walt Disney and "If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can't buy." - Anonymous
Favorite Book:   The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

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

I have 3 children: Emily, 10, Lizzie, 7 and Vince, 3. My husband, Matt, is an attorney and I have been blessed to be able to stay at home since Emily was born in '00. 

I love spending time with my kids and family, traveling, running and hanging out with friends. Our whole family loves movies, so at least once a week we all sit down to watch one. We love to travel, especially to Disney World and the beach.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?

From the age of two, my youngest daughter, Lizzie, had an obsession with shoes. While out shopping one day, Lizzie picked up a pair of $200 crystal-embellished flip flops and said, "Do they have my size?" At that moment, it dawned on me that no one had ever created a mother-daughter line of designer crystal flip flops. It took nearly a year to bring the shoes to market, and our fabulous handcrafted jeweled flip flops launched at high-end specialty boutiques in San Antonio, Texas.

What is a typical work day like? 

I would say it is a constant scramble of kids, housework, errands, homework, after school activities, and trying to keep up with the demands of my growing business.  I have to constantly remind myself that my goal is to be a working stay-at-home mom and sometimes the kids have to come first. 

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?  

Financing the business for sure and all the unexpected costs that really hurt the bottom line.  I knew it would take time to make a profit, but I never realized how upsetting it would be when errors added up to expenses.

What did you do in your past work life?

As a stay-at-home mom who hadn’t worked in 9 years, getting back in “the game” has been a learning experience.  I have a bachelor’s degree in communications, but things have changed a lot in the past 15 years since I graduated.  Luckily, social media has been a good experience for me. If only I could master all the new software programs I use daily!

What have been some of your major successes?

Designing my own shoes and having friends and family wearing them…well, it just couldn’t get much better than that!  I love doing something that I can share with so many people.  I’ve had more support from my fellow moms than I ever could have imagined.  The best is when someone I’ve never met tells me how much she loves her Lizzie Lous.  It’s fun to see people out and about sporting my beautiful flip flops.

What have been some of your major challenges?

I just don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done.  I really can’t afford to hire anyone right now so I often just can’t get enough done.  I would love to have a full-time public relations/salesperson on staff that could take over getting the shoes in new stores.  I know this would really help me expand faster.

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

Success -- I enjoy the rewards of having my own business and knowing that my blood, sweat and tears directly affects the growth and prosperity of my business.  My kids--I  love being able to work from home and be here when the bus arrives after school.  It makes working that much harder because of the constant interruptions, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

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

I would not say that I have a secret to success in this department, but I try to have balance.  I know that my kids are the priority and work has to be second.  Thankfully my family is here and my husband helps with the kids so I can work in the evenings.

What is next for your business?

We are currently working on lots of new things.  We are introducing a line of comfortable flat flip flops for summer '11 and we are in the sampling phase of some new products. 

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

I would do lots of research before you start any business and make sure you are comfortable with the financial projections.  Also, take your time and do something you enjoy or you will get bored and struggle with the time commitment.  Being a Mom an downing a business is very rewarding, but it is a juggling act and I try to make sure my kids are priority.

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