When Roxanne Franklin was pregnant with her first child, her husband Keith wrote a series of letters from baby to mommy. Those sweet notes became the inspiration for Baby On The Way, a line of greeting cards written in the point of view of the baby on the way.
Piggybacking on the success of the greeting cards, Roxanne and Keith are currently raising funds to expand the brand into apparel and other products with messages for expectant moms from their little bundles of joy.
We spoke to Roxanne about building the Baby On The Way brand, the barriers she’s faced getting the brand off the ground, her advice for other women in business, and more. Read her full Q&A 4Her interview below!
What is the unique problem or situation your product or service solves?
Our product provides every expecting mother, father, family member and/or friend with the long awaited answers of “what would the baby say at this stage of our pregnancy?”
What in hindsight would you say you underestimated about this particular industry or running your own business and why?
I would say that we underestimated the cost of Intellectual Property filings and continual protection needed in addition to the constant need for raising money for expansion. Well executed and balanced planning is essential no matter how good your idea is. We are now in the midst of launching a new one word brand in efforts to expand our concept into clothing/ apparel, paper/print, and Pharmaceutical categories. One of our latest directions has been aligning with Fundable. This is a great company that allows business owners a way to put together a project development fundraising campaign giving people the ability to pledge amounts towards our project in return for gifts. You can view our latest fundraiser at http:// www.fundable.com/baby-on-the-way. I suggest this as a viable option for any start up and wish that we had this available when we first launched.
What is the best business related advice you have ever been given?
To not sell our concept and to come up with a one word brand that expands our current line to make it more wide open and appeal to a larger audience so that we have longevity in the market space we are already in.
What were the hardest barriers in getting your idea off the ground?
Getting a store to take the chance on a never been done before product like ours. I will say once it went into a decent amount of stores, more and more people wanted it. In addition, we had to get the store owners and managers to agree to train their people on our card line while getting them to agree to re-order and stock it on their own as we were not big enough to have reps for that.
What do you enjoy best about being an entrepreneur?
I love the fact that every day is different. I really don’t think I can say since we launched in 2010 that any two days have been the same, whereas when you have a job most of your days are the same.
Do you feel becoming an entrepreneur has helped you grow as a person? If so – how?
I do, as I stated no two days are the same and with that comes a lot of responsibility to your company as well as your family. You have to make decisions based on what is best for all of it. When you work for a company that pays you a paycheck, you mostly have to do your job description. Being an owner of your own company you have several hats to wear on a daily basis and each of those hats are responsible for the livelihood of your company and your family. I feel that you make decisions much more carefully and I feel that it flows into your daily life as well.
Where can people learn more about your company?
If you had to share one final thought with our audience of thousands of women in business, what would it be?
To never give up on what you believe. It takes hard work and I know everyone says that but being a business owner is not all glam and money. You have to dig the ditch in order to plant the garden and reap the rewards of it. Go into your own business knowing that there is a chance it could fail and if it does you will be OK. DO NOT PUT YOUR HOUSE UP to make it happen. Because then if it does fail you will be broke and homeless. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. Sometimes the simplest solution is right in front of you but you are too involved to see it and someone else can give you that gentle reminder of what you already knew but forgot because of your busy schedule.