Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spotlight on Mom -- Rachel Martinez of Are Your Kidding? Socks by Sebastian

Over the years I have been able to connect and share stories from mom and dad entrepreneurs with you.  There have been a few instances where products came about with the help and ideas of kids.  And, this is the case with this week's Spotlight Mom, Rachel Martinez.  Her son, Sebastian has a knack for style and own over 100 pairs of socks.  Yes, you read that right!  While girls are known to collect shoes, Sebastian loves to collect socks, as well as design fun socks for other kids to wear and enjoy.  This is how Are You Kidding? Socks by Sebastian came about.  

Sebastian's mom show how excited her son was about socks, and how he always went for fun, playful designs.  Then, she had an idea and asked her son to think about and create a sock line other kids, who, like him, love fun, colorful socks.  And, as a result, a new line of socks was developed.  Since then, Sebastian has looked back.  He continues to create fun patterns and designs that he thinks other kids will love to wear and show off, while also raising money for worthwhile causes like Breast Cancer Awareness and Light the Night.  

As soon as you lay eyes of Sebastian, you are captivated by his adorable smile.  Then, you pan down to his feet and can't help but smile at his cool socks, and wish you had a pair like them for your kids...and, yourself!  

Here are just a handful of designs currently available through the Are You Kidding? Socks by Sebastian website...

All of the above socks are 3/$15, plus $.99 shipping and handling -- not bad!

With the holidays fast approaching, why not consider picking up a few pairs of socks to add to your child's stocking.  I grew up always getting plain white underwear and socks as a gift from family.  Oh, how I would have loved to have received fun socks like the ones Sebastian thinks up. :-)

After you are done picking up socks for your kids, please enjoy my Spotlight on Mom interview with Rachel Martinez, who inspired her son to follow his passion and create a line of socks any kid would go crazy for, while also raising a caring and philanthropic young man. :-)

And, don't forget to check back in the end of the week, as I will be sharing photos my girls wearing socks from Are You Kidding? Socks by Sebastian, as well as offering one lucky reader the chance to win socks for their child, in addition to a money saving promo code. :-)  


Name: Rachel Martinez

Company Name/Product/Service: Are You Kidding? socks by Sebastian 

Company Location: Miami

Company Website: www.areyoukidding.net

Facebook URL: facebook.com/areyoukidding

Twitter Handle: @areyoukiddingco

Age of Company: 1 year

Favorite Inspirational Quotes:  
"Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess."
"Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best."
"A negative thinker sees a difficulty in every opportunity. A positive thinker sees an opportunity in every difficulty."

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

I am a 35 year old mother of 2 boys (Brandon 8 years old, Sebastian 6 years old.)  Although I don’t have much time for hobbies with my busy schedule of growing my business, taking the kids to music lessons and basketball practice, trainings, and games, when I do have a minute to myself I like running and mowing the lawn.  I also enjoy analyzing peoples businesses and help them figure out ways to grow…. AKA a free consultant to my friends. 

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?

My son Sebastian has always had an obsession with socks. So much that he owns over 100 pairs of socks.  Last year it occurred to me to ask him if he wanted to design his own sock line.  He was so excited that he immediately sat down and started drawing.  With his designs on paper we transferred it to the computer.  I found an amazing manufacturer in Central America that works hand in hand with us to produce all of our socks.  With tall this done the Are You Kidding? socks by Sebastian line was created. 

I always say, “You never know where you will find your next family business..sometimes it’s right in front of your eyes."

What is a typical work day like?  

A typical day includes speaking to organizations trying to start fundraisers with them in order to help market my brand.  When I’m not doing this I am trying to make as many contacts as possible to try and get editorials and find stores that I can send my products to. Of course at the end of the day I update Sebastian as to our progress.  

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

When starting my company the hardest thing for me is prioritizing.  There are so many things you want to do that it is hard to figure out where to start at times considering everything is important.  Also, since I have been funding the company it is also a challenge making sure that every penny is not wasted. 

What did you do in your past work life?  

For 12 years i worked for Televisa Publishing selling advertising to the luxury industry for all 100+ titles that they publish. I then left to dedicate more time to growing my company and started freelancing selling advertising for Forbes and Robb Report Mexico.  It was a hard decision but I soon stopped the freelance work and decided to dedicate my 100% of my time to my family and business.  I like to tell people that I quit my job to work for my son.   

What have been some of your major successes? 

To me success is having the courage to leave my job of 12 years and have a brand with products to show. Sebastian has been great with talking about his socks and loves being a young CEO.   I have been able to get the brand featured on the radio, with bloggers, in a magazine. 

What have been some of your major challenges?  

Major challenges that I have include properly multitasking and making sure that I complete every task.  There are so many things that I want to do that are very important for my branding that I have to make sure to get to everything.  

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

My family always keeps me motivated.  Sebastian is asking me every day “when are we going to sell socks,” “how many socks have we sold,” so he is a great CEO and is always on top of things. 

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

To me the best balancing secret is just making sure you have a supportive family.  Having your spouse always there to help you with boxes, tag products, fill orders, etc… without this I would feel very unbalanced. 

What is next for your business? 

Our business will be soon introducing adult socks and a line of boys boxer short, girls underwear & tank top, and bath robes. 

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

As an entrepreneur there is no one to point fingers at which is great because you are in charge of your own destiny.   Remember that everything you are doing is for your family.  If you success its because you made it and if you fail its because you failed.  Don’t try and rush. Things will happen in a timely manner.  As much as we want our companies to get big over night realistically we know that it does take some time. 

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