Monday, September 12, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Denise Whitney of D. Whitney LLC/Parking Pal

If you have young children, then this product is definitely one you should consider buying.  The parking pal, created by Denise Whitney, is a magnet that you place near the gas tank or back end of your car, and when they exit the vehicle, they place their hands on the magnet and wait for you, while you finish unloading your other children, etc.  What a novel idea.  Like Denise says on her website, "Children are automatically drawn to the unique, colorful, fun designs. The Parking Pal™ gives kids a safe spot to stand, helping to reduce parking lot injuries!"  Just look how vibrant these Parking Pal magnets are -- they will surely catch and keep your young child's attention.

And, for only $7.99, you can't go wrong with this price.  Not only will it provide you with peace of mind while in a parking lot, but you will not be spending a bundle.  Head on over to Denise's website today to find a local retailer or order your Parking Pal today.

In the meantime, please enjoy my interview with Denise.

Name: Denise Whitney
Company Name/Product/Service: D. Whitney LLC/ Parking Pal        
Company Location: Frankenmuth Michigan
Company Website:
Facebook URL: Twitter Handle: @parkingpal
Age of Company: 4 1/2 years
Favorite Book: The Purpose Driven Life

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

I'm a homeschooling mom to 3 boys ages 10, 8, and 5 1/2.  I enjoy reading and working out.
Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?   

After having my 3rd child, I found myself constantly telling the other two kids "don't move, stay right by the car".  I was like a broken record....and  very stressed out in parking lots.  I knew that it wouldn't take more than 1-2 seconds for one of my kids to dash out in front of an oncoming car. That is when the idea popped into my head and Parking Pal was born.

What is a typical work day like?  

First thing in the morning, I check my email and take care of the important ones.  Then the next 4-5 hours are spent homeschooling the kids.  In the afternoon, I make phone calls and answer more emails.  My mom is my business partner, so she does a ton of work.  That gives me more time to spend with my boys.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

We have had several personal struggles that have made it very difficult to put the time needed into a new business.  Shortly after starting the company, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery, chemo and radiation.  Then I went through a difficult divorce.  About a year later, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and died seven weeks later.  This put a halt to the business for about 8 months.  Then this last Feb. 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I had surgery and am currently undergoing chemo.  I will be finishing with radiation in November.  That about sums up our personal struggles in the last 4 years....all which have made putting the time into a business very difficult.

What did you do in your past work life?  

I work part time as a labor and delivery nurse. 

What have been some of your major successes?

We have been on a few daily deal sites and sold out super fast...with in an hour.  This was pretty amazing to us!

What have been some of your major challenges? 

Marketing....because this is a new concept and there is nothing like it on the market, it has been a challenge getting consumers to understand what it is and how it is used.

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

You just never know what tomorrow will bring, and for me that is very exciting.

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

Family first....there is enough time in the day to meet the needs of my kids and still spend a few hours on the business.  I also don't stress about how clean the house it.  I keep it picked up and tidy, but there is plenty of dirt to be found!!  But for me, that is nothing to stress about.  

What is next for your business? 

We are heading to the ABC expo this fall and plan to add lots of new retailers to our list.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business? 

If you have an idea that you are passionate about, go for it.  It will probably take more time and money than what you anticipated, but don't get discouraged.  Just keep going!

1 comment :

  1. This is a clever idea. Parking lots can be very dangerous for children.
    heather [email protected]