When I started TheOhanaMama.com it was to further connect with other mompreneurs. I used to run a weekly post where you’d get to meet a mompreneur to hear how they deal with this rather unique lifestyle or running a business and family. Well, I met Ashley via the blog when she wrote to tell me that she had a new product coming out, one that’s perfect for kids and the beach. She is launching some really cute, and genius, swimsuits for kids. They snap open like a onesie to make diaper changes at the beach so much easier!
Read below to learn her #1 piece of advice for anyone looking to start a business while raising a family and how she’s raising funding to make her dream a reality.
Name: Ashley Rose
Business: Bella Bare Wear Snap-Change Swimwear
Why did you start your business? We spent the first summer of our daughter Bella’s life in Myrtle Beach. We were at the beach or in the pool almost every day. As soon as she could roll over and started crawling it got to the point of needing two of us to change her diaper. The wet suits get all rolled up when you are taking them off and when an infant is wiggling around or crying it just is not a fun job. I searched all over for a snap swimsuit but in 2008 there were not any other companies out there that offered them. I found multiple forums of women who had the same problem, but had no alternatives to a bikini or tankini. There was a need that had not yet been fulfilled. That planted the idea in my head, but it took a couple pushes from my husband and mommy friends to really go and turn my idea in to a business.
What is your favorite part of owning your own business? It probably sounds cliché, but I love that I can work on my own schedule and be there for my girls during the day! I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom but there is another side of me that needs to be continuously growing, learning, and being challenged. I love watching my children grow and develop each day and I’m glad I have found a passion in this company to allow me to be a part of their every moment while still satisfying my career goals and using the knowledge I went to college for!
What or who inspires you? My mom. She had four of us girls all within 6 years (I know crazy right?). She also finished her degree and worked 30 hours a week while we were growing up. Yet, she still managed to lead my Girl Scout troop, make all my tennis matches, my sister’s gymnastics competitions, and help us with our homework. I’m really not sure how she did it without losing her mind! Now that I am an adult she has continued to inspire me by never giving up. She won her fight against breast cancer without ever losing hope and sight of her dream to be a counselor. She has always supported me in everything I do and looking to her as an example I know I can pursue my career goals while still being a great mother to my children.
Who is your best cheerleader? My husband. We have had a lot of ups and downs with this business. We were running really small for the first two summers and eventually he went overseas and I started working full-time and raising Bella alone. Running my own business on the side was just not an option. It would have been really easy for me to give up and never start Bella Bare Wear again, but he has consistently believed in me, the company, and the product. If it wasn’t for him, I can honestly say none of this would be happening right now. He has worked so hard in helping us get this launch going, putting together our Kickstarter page, marketing lists, and other behind the scenes projects, all while working full-time and stepping up to help a little more around the house. I seriously don’t know how he does it, I am very lucky!
What would be the #1 piece of advice you would give to any mom just starting out or wanting to start a business? Talk to everybody and anybody who will listen, and listen back! I can’t tell you how many times I was talking to someone random at my daughters dance lessons or at the grocery store and the conversation either led me to a new idea, made me a friend who wanted to help with something in the company or turned in to a customer. A lot of people are scared to talk to strangers but my biggest asset so far in this company has been the friends and relationships I have built. Don’t be afraid of rejection and don’t listen to the people who are not supportive, there are plenty of people out there who will be!
How do you keep your kids occupied when you are working? Well, Bella is now 5! I can’t believe how fast time has gone by. I try to work while she is in school, and when she is home she is really good about coloring or doing another activity when I am not available. Juliet, on the other hand, is another story. She is my clingy, no napping, always wanting to nurse baby (but I love her). I write a lot of my emails with her in my lap at the computer. I also take advantage of breakfast and lunch time in the highchair. To be honest, I really get the bulk of my work done in the evening after everyone has gone to bed and I don’t have interruptions.
What do you never leave the house without? My kids! Ha, at least it feels that way. If it’s not them it’s my cell phone. It is a mixed blessing; having a smart phone means I can work anywhere! But, it also means I can work anywhere.
Do you have a favorite quote? “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” –Henry David Thoreau
Would you like to offer a giveaway or discount to The Ohana Mama readers today?
We are pre selling our 2013 line through Kickstarter right now! This is the place you are going to get the best discounts on our suits! Our suits will normally retail for $40-$50 but are being sold starting at $25 and up on this site! We also have larger packages offered where you will save even more!
We are offering these discounts to get as many people as possible to pre-order. As long as we meet our minimum goal of $13,500 in sales we will be able to go in to production.
Please check out www.bellabarewear.us to see our line and place your order! You can also visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellabarewear to find out about more specials and promotions we will be offering! As long as we are funded, I will be providing The Ohana Mama with a suit to giveaway as well, so make sure you are on the lookout at the blog for that!
Awesome! Thanks so much Ashley! If you have a little one and going to the beach or pool is on your agenda (you know, maybe on your next trip to Maui?) go check out Ashley’s site and support her on kickstarter. We’re all excited for you Ashley!
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