I’m happy to introduce you this week to an inventive mompreneur! Check out this amazing story:
What is Your Name: Erin Kelly
What is Your Business: Hulabye—Makers of the Happy Changer. The first product that helps take the stress and struggle out of changing a wiggly baby by preventing all the rolling and scooting.
When did you make the decision to stay home with your child (ren) : That was a decision I made before I was even pregnant with my first daughter. I was a doctor pre-kids. I grew up knowing that was what I wanted to do and I imagined I would continue to work after I had kids. As I went through medical school and residency, however, I realized that I was giving up so much to do something that wasn’t making me happy. I also realized the sacrifice would only get bigger once I had kids. I love medicine but it’s a very difficult lifestyle that doesn’t fit with what I want for my family. I was lucky to have the option to stay home full-time, and as hard as it was during those early days with two small children, it was absolutely worth it… and still is!
How/Why did you decide to become a Mompreneur/work from home: The story of how Hulabye came to be is very similar to many “mompreneur” stories—I had a problem and couldn’t find an available solution. My problem was that my younger daughter had become a wild-child on the changing table. As soon as I’d lay her down, she would immediately flip over and try to escape. It became a huge struggle. Sometimes she’d wait until I was in mid-diaper change, which was very inconvenient…and messy! I searched and searched for a product that could just keep a wiggly baby from rolling over on the changing table long enough to get a new diaper on. I couldn’t find a single product on the market yet I came across countless and similar complaints and pleas for help from other frustrated parents.
Out of pure necessity (and to save my sanity—it really was that frustrating) I sewed something that I thought would work…and it did! Fabulously! I knew from the start that I had a great product, and when I shared the original Happy Changer to two more families who couldn’t imagine how to change a wiggly baby without it, I was convinced I had to take it to market. When my second daughter finally started preschool, I was more than ready to exercise my brain on some non-mommy challenges, so I decided it was time to make the idea of the Happy Changer a reality.
What is your favorite part of being a mompreneur? I love the control I have over my schedule and I love working from home. It gives me so much flexibility to be there for my kids’ school events, take them to doctor appointments, be home with them when they’re sick, or travel when we want to.
I also love the challenge that each new phase of this venture presents. The experience of accomplishing something because I’ve decided to do it, with the responsibility of making all the decisions and dealing with the consequences, is far more satisfying than anything I accomplished when working for someone else.
Would you like to share anything about your family with us? I have two amazing daughters, ages 5 and 7, who keep me laughing, learning and sometimes yelling, but make everything worthwhile. I’m also lucky to have an incredibly supportive husband who I have been thankful for every day of last 10 years. My girls are also incredibly supportive of this venture. This is particularly special to me since I’ve struggled with a little guilt over having them stay longer days at school so that I can work. When I left for a week to go to my first trade show, after weeks of working non-stop, instead of begging me not to go, or asking why I had to go, like they do when I’m just going out to dinner, they said “Good luck Mommy!” They really get how important this is to me. That’s the stuff that melts my heart.
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What part of Erin’s story resonates most with you?