It’s Talking To… Tuesdays On Ohana Mama!

Welcome to “Talking To… Tuesdays”, where one mom entrepreneur is interviewed to let you in on a little piece of her and hopefully inspire you to go for your dreams.
Today We’re Talking To…

The Founder and President of Charmed Life Products and creator of Grill Charms, “the ‘must have’ grilling accessory revolutionizing the American cook-out”

Name: Leslie Haywood

Business: Charmed Life Products LLC, Inventor of Grill CharmsTM

Why did you start your business? One sultry April night in 2006, my husband was grilling some fantastic boneless chicken breasts for my friends and I.  The flavor of the evening was Jerk, which we all love.  Some people happen to like their chicken “jerkier” than others.  IE, more rub equals more spice and heat.  Some of us like ours on the milder side.  Once all the chicken came off the grill, arranged on a serving plate, brought upstairs and served to our guests, my husband couldn’t tell which chicken was spicy. Wouldn’t you know it… me being a “mild” person; I bit right into the hottest one of all! He said “There needs to be a way to tell which chicken is which” and immediately I knew we had something. This was the light bulb moment and that very night I was sketching prototypes.

What is your favorite part of owning your own business? The thrill and excitement of it all. I just love never knowing what I’m going to find on my email or who’s going to call next? Is the other person on the end of the line FINALLY the Rachael Ray show? Or the buyer for William Somona? It’s such an exciting process.

What inspires you? It’s more of a whom, then a what for me. My mother is my biggest inspiration. During the formation of my company I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. My mother was also in her 30’s when she was diagnosed. (She was stage IV) At the time of my mother’s diagnosis and treatment, I knew it was serious, but as a teenager I didn’t really understand just how serious. My mother did her best to hide the harsh reality of stage IV cancer from us, so it was only upon my own diagnosis that I came to understand and appreciate everything she did and everything she went through. My father was in the Navy and out to sea, she had 3 daughters at home and was facing her own mortality while literally fighting for her life. Regardless of the personal struggles she was going through, she tried so very hard to carry on a “normal” life and to insure that us girls didn’t suffer along with her. Some people say that I am an inspiration. I laugh at the thought. I got a new set of new boobies and a tummy tuck out of the deal. She fought for her life and won. She is my friend, my hero, my inspiration, my mom.  

Who is your best cheerleader? My mother (yep, she’s almost 20 years cancer free!) and of course, my wonderful husband.

What would be your #1 piece of advice you would give to any mom just starting out or wanting to start a business? Don’t get your pantyhose in a wad over things you can’t control. There are moments in your business when you will feel like the world is coming tumbling down. Your biggest client just left, your container of goods is going to be 2 weeks late, your deadline is approaching and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it finished… I’m going to tell you what I tell my daughters. STOP, BREATH, THINK. Panic is our worst enemy and the blocker of clarity. As moms, when an emergency situation happens with our children, we have developed this unique ability to instantly turn into SUPER MOM! Bumped head-we are right there with the kisses, fever of 104-the ibuprofen is in and we’ve got the doctor on the phone. This is no different. Every problem has a solution, every question has an answer and every crisis has a resolution. Channel your super mom instincts and cat like reflexes to your company and you will come out fine just fine. 

How do you keep your kids occupied when you are working? There is a little more TV watching then I’d like to admit so shhhh…. Don’t tell anyone.  I also try set them up with different art and craft projects. Now that they are 3 and 5 and naptime no longer exists, I’m having to get creative. They have a little art center they like to work on and just LOVE to watch home videos. Them watching themselves as babies and going on family vacations usually buys me about an hour.

What do you never leave the house without? My cell phone. I can’t tell you how many deals have been made in the preschool parking lot or on the porch of girlfriend’s home during playgroup.

A little more about Grill Charms

From their site:

“Grill Charms™ are similar in concept to the wine charm. These dime-sized solid stainless steel charms are placed in your food before grilling. The stems are serrated to hold securely while grilling, moving and flipping. Grill Charm™ your food prior to cooking to distinguish spices and flavors, steak temperatures, or to avoid health or allergy issues. When dinner comes off the grill everyone knows which one is theirs!”

Grill Charms are perfect for an engagement gift, wedding gift, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, you name it, everyone will love Grill Charms!  They can be purchased on the Grill Charms site, at online boutiques as well as a store near you…go to their website at for a list of stores.

And right now, for Ohana Mama readers, when you purchase a set of Grill Charms from Leslie, you can also choose your favorite individual Grill Charm for free!  Just put ‘Ohana Mama’ in the comment section when checking out. Mahalo Grill Charms!

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