Monday, September 22, 2014

Spotlight on Mom -- Kate Oliver of Kupp’ by Katesplace, LLC

Where did my little girls go to?  It feels like yesterday that I was rocking them in my arms, and singing them to sleep.  But, now each morning I watch as my almost 3 yr. old and 4 yr. old daughters, pick out their own outfits and dress themselves, and then sit at the dining room table waiting for breakfast and to see what is on the agenda for the idea.  While I love watching them grow up and explore things, I sure do miss their baby years. 

I shared last month how we enrolled Savannah in preschool 3 days a week, to help with her socialization skills, as she has been home with me and Bella since birth.  Who knew I had a social butterfly on my hands.  She loves waking each morning, hurries to get ready and then waits by the stairs for me to take her school.  Besides starting school, another first she experienced recently is learning how to drink from a "big girl" cup.  

While I have let her drink from big people cups at home, because Bella is still using sippy cups, I found it easier to give them their drinks in one, so that they wouldn't fight if one was using a different cup than the other.  Savannah came home the first day of school and couldn't stop talking about snack time and how she used a cup and didn't spill a drop of her juice.  From that point on she insisted that I serve up her drinks in a "big girl" cup.  This new transition led me to stumble upon the Kupp' inventor, who is also a mom, Kate Oliver.  

"The 6 oz Kupp' is a BPA free children's drinking glass covered in silicone to 
help simplify your routine, eliminate plastic and teach responsibility."

One of my main concerns about having my girls use big girl cups was that they could drop the cups and the glass would break into tiny pieces and chance cutting them.  I knew that once Bella saw Savannah using a glass cup, she too, would want to try it, and I had to be prepared with safe drinking cups for them.  As soon as I saw the Kupp' which features a silicone sleeve and handle for little hands in mind, I just have to give them a try with my girls.  

Kate graciously sent along two of her Kupp' drinking glasses for my girls to try out.  And, when they arrived, my girls had a blast trying them out.  Now, they have both said goodbye to their sippy and plastic cups, and I finally have more counter space. :-)

Stay tuned this Friday when I will share more about this mom-invented drinking glass, as well as offer one lucky reader a chance to win a Kupp' for their child, in addition to a 10% off coupon code for all Inspired by Savannah readers to enjoy.  But, in the meantime, please enjoy my Spotlight on Mom interview with Kate Oliver, the creator of the Kupp'.  

Name: Kate Oliver
Company Name/Product/Service: Kupp’ by Katesplace, LLC
Company Location: Napa, CA
Company Website:
Twitter Handle: @thekupp
Age of Company: 3 months
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: "Always laugh when you can, it’s cheap medicine"
Favorite Book: Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

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

We have 3 boys ages 6,7 & 9.  I spend most of my days at work, running the household, and spending time with family and friends.  I don’t have any hobbies outside of living life.  Ask me again when the kids leave for college.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?

The Kupp’ was developed from a need to tidy up the clutter that had come from the boys using copious amounts of glassware.  Needing some kind of personalized glass, I searched the web but could only find personalized cups that were plastic.  I decided to make a colored glass for each child, which lead to the invention of the Kupp’

What is a typical work day like?

I always wake up to a hot cup of coffee, my husband is the first up so he always has a perfect cup brewed!  I walk the house with coffee in hand and wake each of the boys then head to the kitchen, wrap myself in an apron and start preparing lunch and breakfast. 

I work from home from home so the day is spent packing Kupp’ orders, working on the computer, doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, going to the store, prepping for dinner, walking the dog.  Pretty much what every stay at home mom does with a small business.

The office goes into sleep mode at 3pm so I can focus on getting the boys from school and getting them to their activities.  Afternoons are a special time to be with them and to prepare for the evening.  It doesn’t always go as smoothly as it sounds, but I know it won’t be long before they will be on their own so I don’t want to take it for granted.

Dinner is my favorite time with the family.  I make very simple meals and let the boys eat on their own while I wait for my husband to come home from work.  I’d rather stand at a distance while the boys eat; I know many moms can understand why.  My husband and I usually enjoy a dinner of scraps with a glass of wine while the kitchen falls into a loud, raucous disaster zone of boy energyFortunately we have a garden so the act of picking a fresh vegetable makes us feel a little bit sophisticated.
After the goat rodeo of getting everyone settled and in bed – hopefully with a book – I clean the kitchen and sometimes jump into the office to take one last look at emails or to fulfill some orders.  This routine runs sort of like clockwork through Thursday.  Friday is the day I take off and spend time getting the house and family ready for the weekend.  Then it stars all over again on Monday!

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

The biggest struggle has been trying to keep my head up on bad days when things haven’t gone well.  I live by the motto, “this to will pass”, and it always does.  

What did you do in your past work life?

I was a chronic traveler and love languages so I worked in the European wine business, which eventually led me to meet my husband and our move to wine county.  Then I worked as a mom, and I always say that I was and am a working mom since I “worked” as a mom.  I think the title working mom should apply to stay at home moms, since it’s a job and requires a lot of work. 

What have been some of your major successes?

My family, hands down. 

What have been some of your major challenges?

Biggest challenge in life has been feeling confident.

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

Not having a choice and perspective. 

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

Having a routine and perspective, we feel fortunate to be working and blessed to have children healthy enough to make a mess and run around making noise.  When you look at is that way it’s a lot less stressful and a little more manageable.

What is next for your business?

I don’t know, I’m taking it one day at a time.

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

Listen to the little voice in your head and make the first step. If it’s not in the cards, you will know soon enough, but if it’s meant to be, nothing can stop you.  Women, especially mothers are blessed with strong intuition and sometimes it’s all we have – use it!

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