I help people bring their product ideas to life! As a long-time product entrepreneur turned guide to makers, I’ve created the Learn to Make a Product™ process, a step-by-step formula for designing, sourcing, and manufacturing physical products.
After starting my first company Bag the Habit, I quickly realized how tricky the manufacturing industry is for beginners. My goal is to help people avoid the same beginner’s mistakes I did, and give them the information they need to go from concept to sellable good as quickly and painlessly as possible.
What is the most surprising thing about being a female entrepreneur?
Getting to be a part of female-focused business groups and how central it is to my entrepreneurial experience! I’m in small circles and then bigger groups like Dreamers and Doers, and I’m constantly grateful for the support and inspiration they provide. I don’t think I’d choose this journey if I couldn’t be a part of these communities… it would be too lonely!
How did your past experiences (school, work, childhood, family etc.) help you get to where you are today?
I don’t come from a family of business owners, but my parents have always been open and supportive, no matter what I did. Everything from dropping out of college to live overseas to getting a divorce at a young age… they never made me feel like I had to follow a particular path in order to be accepted. This helped me trust my gut response to things, regardless of “convention”, which has proven crucial in business for me.
And although I did complete a degree and am very happily married, the resilience and independence of spirit that I cultivated in those early years continues to live on in my work.
Is entrepreneurship something that anyone can tackle? What is the most important thing to consider?
Yes I think everyone has an entrepreneurial muscle they can flex, and I think it’s also important we broaden our image of what an entrepreneur is. To me, being entrepreneurial simply means having an idea of something you want to create - be it a product, a system, a group etc- and then implementing that idea.
If you want to organize a team of community volunteers to clean up your neighborhood, that counts as being entrepreneurial to me. Anyone who creates something out of nothing or improves the way things are done, is doing the work of an entrepreneur.
I think we need to recognize that entrepreneurial behavior is fundamental to the human experience and not something only a select few experience.
What are some ways of motivating yourself in times of doubt? Do you ever feel like giving up? Why do you keep going?
As a mom, I often feel like I’m not doing enough work-wise compared to my peers and this leads me to doubt my purpose, choices etc. What I try to remind myself in these moments is that it’s okay to go slowly! Maybe I won’t accomplish as much as I want to creatively while I’m in the season of young children, but so what?! So many of the timelines that we have for ourselves are arbitrary, and I know I’m happiest when going at my own pace anyway. So even when I have a bit more time in the future, I may continue to “slow cook” my work :-)