Mom Entrepeneur Q&A: Tara Mediate of KooKoo Bear Kids
Get Mom Entrepreneur Insights from a Mom Business Woman
By: Kelby Carr on: Sun 12 of Aug, 2007 [19:59 UTC] (810 reads)
This is a question and answer interview with Tara Mediate. She and her husband run KooKoo Bear Kids, and she offers insight on starting and running a mom business, as well as tips on balancing life as a mom and a business owner.
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QUESTION: How did you turn the dream of owning a children's store into reality?
ANSWER: It had always been my dream to own a children's store of high quality, unique products not found in the malls of at super centers. I knew what kinds of products I wanted and where to buy them, but I needed capital to be able to inventory products.
I was fortunate enough to get capital from a business that my husband ran and sold. He also knew how to start up a business, which was a tremendous help to me, as he handled all the legalities and operations from the start, leaving me to begin acquiring the products I wanted to sell.
My sister, who is also one of the co-founders of KooKoo Bear Kids, had experience designing and developing catalogs, so it was a natural fit to have her work with us. We gathered inventory, set up order processing and shipping, created our first catalog, bought a mail list and mailed out the catalogs. The phones have not stopped ringing ever since!
Q: What have been the benefits of being a mom entrepreneur?
A: I find it very satisfying to be a Mom entrepreneur, both financially and emotionally. I've never been able to sit still for very long, so this fast pace really meshes with my personality - and my husband's, too.
As the head of the company, I am able to let my creative juices flow without anyone telling me, "No!" I have even designed and developed some of the KooKoo? Bear products, such as our Nicole furniture collection, lounge wear, baby booties, sweaters, and more.
Q: What have been the challenges of being a mom entrepreneur?
A: Child care, child care, child care. As a mother of 3 boys, no less, it is very challenging to still be a Mom! But I'm lucky that I can share the parenting duties with my husband.
If one of our boys is home sick from school, one of us can work from home while the other works at the office or store. But we make it a priority to put family first, making sure we take time off for baseballs games and school meetings.
Q: Has owning your own business made it easier or more difficult to spend time with your children, and in what ways?
A: Actually it is easier because, as I mentioned, of the shared responsibility with my husband. And owning my own business allows me to set my own schedule. If we want to take a vacation, we do....but we also do a little work on the side, sometimes!
Q: If you could offer just one secret to success for aspiring mom entrepreneurs, what would that be?
A: Follow your dreams and don't let anyone tell you "no!" because you can do it, if you really, really want to. Don't let people get in your way. There are many options out there, you just have to keep looking. I'm glad I did!