Archive of ‘Diva Spotlights’ category

Diva Spotlight: Frittabello

 Diva:  Jennifer Covello
Business Name:  Frittabello, LLC
Website Address:  http://www.frittabello.com
Year Business Was Founded:  2008

Tell us about your business:
Frittabello® is dedicated to the creation of treasured keepsake baby gifts that bring inspiration into people’s lives. Frittabello, LLC was formed in January, 2008 by Jennifer Covello and
is headquartered in Norwalk, CT.

Its flagship product is a baby journal entitled “My Life…A Chronicle of the Journey”. This unique keepsake provides the opportunity for parents to record the story of their child’s life in their own words from before birth through age five. In May 2009, the My Life baby journal won the Bronze Medal in the Jenkins Publishing Living Now Awards in the Keepsake/Gift Category.

In December, 2009, the “From the Heart” baby gift line was launched. This line includes 100% organic cotton, custom embroidered baby layette apparel (onesies, bibs, and hats), custom notecards, mini tote bags, and baby shower gift sets.

In April, 2010, “Frittabello and his Angel”, a children’s picture book was published.  Additionally, Frittabello created and sponsored “Bumps, Babies & Beyond” baby expo in Fairfield County, CT.

What inspired you to start your business?
Many people have asked me the origin of the name “Frittabello”. Some thought it was a word in another language, while others thought it was my last name. Frittabello was inspired by my son, Christopher. When he was learning to say his name, which was a mouthful for a young child, he could not pronounce it correctly. So instead of saying “Christopher”, he called himself “Fritta,” and Covello became “Bello”. Hence “Frittabello”. For a long time I could not help but think that this nickname would one day become so much more.

From the time of my children’s births, I have journaled about their many experiences and milestones. I thought they would like to read about the events that shaped their journey while under my care. It was important for them to be able to look back upon their childhoods and see not only the “what’s and when’s,” but also to remember, and possibly understand, some of the “why’s.” Having all of this information would help them know themselves better and perhaps clarify their purpose.

This is how the My Life baby journal started as the flagship product of Frittabello and then expanded into other baby gifts.

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?
Being a solo-preneur is the biggest challenge as there’s no one to bounce ideas off. However, I belong to a women’s network and a mastermind group so I utilize those support systems to help me.

What would you say has contributed to your business success?
Hard work, not letting one opportunity pass me by. If a door is open to me, I check it out.

What advice would you like to offer to other women/moms who are thinking about starting a business?
I would tell them to do as much research as possible on their business idea before investing one penny. Make sure they test market their idea and get a following. This will not only save time, but money. Most importantly, complete a business plan with the help of someone experienced in small business.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The freedom and flexibility of working when I want and having the time to spend with my children.

What is your favorite tool/resources you use for your business and why?
My support system and network because they are the ones who pick me up when things don’t go well and celebrate my success too.

How do you manage your personal and business activities?
My children are in school, so I work then and try not to overlap into the hours when they come home.

Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
I wish I would’ve not spent monies on some of the endeavors I did hoping for “instant wins” and utilized those monies for other things.

Please share your social media connections:
Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/frittabello
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jencovello
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/frittabello

Diva Spotlight: HATCHEDit.com

 

Diva:  Kirsten Bischoff
Business Name:  HATCHEDit.com
Website Address:  http://www.HATCHEDit.com
Year Business Was Founded:  2010

Tell us about your business:
HATCHEDit.com is a digital whiteboard for family members to keep track of their personal lives through calendars, group chatting, news feeds and online address books.

What inspired you to start your business?
My sister in law and I developed HATCHEDit.com because as professionals in the business world we had access to the best management tools available. And yet away from the office, at home, we were working off of paper calendars or white boards, and stuck communicating through long, inefficient email chains to coordinate pickups and drop-offs for kids, and to organize the various groups we belong to (school groups, activity groups, etc).

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?
The biggest challenge is spreading the word about our existence. We thought for sure that it would be enticing to the press that two people left the finance industry to focus on a tech startup – but it seems that while lot’s of “lip service” is given to companies trying to get the attention of the “mommy market” and women who control family buying decisions, not a lot of attention is given to firms that are trying to provide this market with adequate tools to do their jobs.

What would you say has contributed to your business success?
We have been as successful as we had hoped to be, growing strong and steadily as we roll out our full suite of products. What has contributed to our success has really been the network of friends and family who believe in us and our product and are out there on the ground letting people know about us.

What advice would you like to offer to other women/moms who are thinking about starting a business?
This journey – just to launching a product – has been a year. We did extensive research before we even concluded that the business itself was viable.  We also did not make the move to entrepreneurship because we wanted to
work less. While our daytime hours may be slightly more flexible – in allowing us to see kids, or work around those schedules, we have always worked 50-60 hour work weeks and continue to do so (at least!) because we wanted to put in that time to build something for ourselves and our daughters, not for someone else.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Being able to be a role model for my 12 year old daughter. I know it is making an impact, because she has actually voiced to me that she is so proud that we are trying to do this (and that is a pretty incredible thing to hear from a usually moody tween-ager!)

What is your favorite tool/resources you use for your business and why?
http://www.charbeat.com – which helps us monitor in real time how our site is performing, http://www.facebook.com/www.twitter.com/www.linkedin.com – it takes enormous time and effort to stay on top of the social media aspect – but it is so worth it. They are all places where if you don’t have a big PR/Advertising budget – creativity and hard work can still bring you results in terms of getting word out about your brand and your services.

How do you manage your personal and business activities?
Well – I have no other choice! lol.  Considering the fact that we are selling the idea of a free, online organization system for families – if I wasn’t able to make it work for me, I wouldn’t have much confidence in my business. 🙂
Having a calendar I can share with extended family and close friends (http://www.HATCHEDit.com) allows me to rely on those people (especially my dad) when business and family obligations collide.

Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
Honestly, at this point no.

Please share your social media connections:
Twitter: @hatchedit.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HATCHEDit
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/2372610?trk=pro_other_cmpy

Diva Spotlight: Thoughts For Foods

Diva:  Ling Wong
Business Name:  Thoughts For Foods
Website Address:  http://thoughts4foods.com
Year Business Was Founded:  2010

Tell us about your business:  Thoughts For Foods provides Holistic Nutrition and Wellness coaching to empower transformation in conscious and focused women determined to live more and stress less to achieve weight loss, have more energy, regain self-confidence, attain emotional well being and mental clarity using our gradual yet effective “Eat Your Way to Transformation”signature system.

What inspired you to start your business? My personal journey in wellness and nutrition started when I was trying to conceive. I became so depleted by the multiple fertility treatments that I decided to take a break and seek healing in whole foods and holistic approaches. I used a combination of nutritional approach, acupuncture, Chinese and Western herbal medicine, as well as yoga and meditation, to align my mind, body and soul. Within three months, my thyroid issue improved dramatically. I balanced my hormones and was able to conceive successfully.

I continued this amazing journey by completing the Masters of Science in Holistic Nutrition degree at Clayton College of Natural Health, while using a combination of good nutrition, ample rest and relaxation, as well as appropriate physical activities to achieve a smooth pregnancy and a speedy recovery.

Now, a mother of a wonderful and healthy boy, my mission is to share my personal experience and my knowledge in wellness and nutrition with women of all life stages- with a special focus in preconception wellness, fertility support, pre- and post-natal wellness, as well as family nutrition.

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?  Starting a new practice in a new town in a bad economy.

What would you say has contributed to your business success?  Taking action without worrying about being perfect. You also have to learn from your mistake and take more action.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?  I enjoy having a flexible schedule along the satisfaction of knowing that I am helping people get healthy.

Please share your social media connections:
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ThoughtsForFoods
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/#!/thoughts4foods

Diva Spotlight: Sassy Kat Boutique

 

Diva:  Marnie Gaertner
Business Name: Sassy Kat Boutique
Website Address:  http://www.marnieg.etsy.com
Year Business Was Founded: 2009

Tell us about your business:
This is an online girls boutique featuring adorable custom made personalized tote bags, flip flops, hair bows and more…

What inspired you to start your business?
My daughter. She was very into fashion and I was always experimenting with her clothes, purses and totes. When she started dance class I started tinkering with different totes for her to carry and eventually created the Tutu Tote~ my most popular item. From there I went on to make Tutu Toes~ flip flops and then over the top hair bows, accessories and more…

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?
Time. Everything is handmade by me. This is very time consuming but I absolutley LOVE IT!!I have learned how to become more organized and have really polished up my business in the last 6 months.

What would you say has contributed to your business success?
Word of mouth and soicial media. I have also done some reviews and free give aways on some mommy blogger sites.

What advice would you like to offer to other women/moms who are thinking about starting a business?
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. (Buddha)

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
I love working from home, making my own hours and still being available for my children.

What is your favorite tool/resources you use for your business and why?
Social media. This seems to be the way of the future. It’s easy and fun to do.

How do you manage your personal and business activities?
I try to get to yoga twice a week, other than that my social life only involves my childrens activities. I love my business and devote as much time to it as I can.

Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
I wish I had started this business sooner. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what my calling was.

Please share your social media connections:
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sassy-Kat-Boutique/190864414266828
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/mlgaertner

Diva Spotlight: Coupon Anna

Diva:  Anna Garcia
Business Name:  Coupon Anna
Website Address:  http://www.couponanna.com
Year Business Was Founded:  2011

Tell us about your business:  I have an online shopping site . It has big name stores, coupon codes, printable coupons and grocery coupons.

What inspired you to start your business?  I needed a way to earn money and I love saving money so I created my website CouponAnna.

What has been the biggest challenge in your business and how have you dealt with it?  I’m not a computer wiz. So I’m learning as I go along.

What would you say has contributed to your business success?  I just keep trying no matter how hard it may be. I’m starting to see
some results.

What advice would you like to offer to other women/moms who are  thinking about starting a business?  Find your passion and just keep trying. You never know , it just may come true.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur? I can work at home and work around my schedule.

What is your favorite tool/resources you use for your business and why?  Twitter is my favorite resource to use. It’s really easy to use.

How do you manage your personal and business activities?  I start working in the morning , so I have time for my personal life.

Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done differently?  No. I’m very happy I started my site .

Please share your social media connections:
Twitter:  @twitter17

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CouponAnna

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