HOW THIS MOMPRENEUR JUGGLES BUILDING A BUSINESS AND BEING A MOM
What is the Joonie? How did you come up with the idea for this product?
The joonie is sleek car seat cover that I designed after having our second baby. We were living in a tiny apartment in San Francisco and I realized very quickly that our toddler needed to get outside and that our newborn would have to be along for the ride! I needed something that would protect my baby from all the elements of the city – wind, fog, sun, gross city air and handsy strangers, but I couldn’t find anything that filled all my needs. That’s when I dreamed up the joonie! Having it gave me so much confidence as a mother that my baby would be happy on the go with a reliable place to nap and rest from the stimulation going on around him no matter where life took us.
What was it like starting your own company?
It was crazy! We launched a Kickstarter campaign when our third baby was 2 weeks old. My husband had 6 weeks off for paternity leave so as we were working on the joonie and getting serious about a launch we just kept saying to ourselves “We’ll just do it during paternity leave since we’ll have so much time to work on it.” Ha! I’ll never forget when we hit our Kickstarter goal I felt so much support from family and friends I was so excited to start this adventure.
How did your experience as a mom help you when making the Joonie?
The joonie cover was created from a need that I had as a mother, and I loved perfecting it as I used it with my own child. Growing a business alongside growing a family brought out all the similarities for me. Just like children, no business is the same, so I want all the advice and I read all the how-to's but in the end nobody can tell me exactly what to do or what will work for us. Every day is an experiment and sometimes it works and it's exciting and other days it's a lesson learned the hard way. I'm learning to embrace the uncertainty and realize – just like I have gotten to know my children and figured out what works for them – I will figure this joonie business out too.
What benefits does the Joonie offer parents and caretakers?
The joonie cover is made of ripstop nylon so it’s wipeable, breathable, weather and germ resistant, and super soft but built for strength. It has two mesh airplane windows so you can check in on your babe without having to disturb them, and more importantly strangers can say hello without using their hands! :) The joonie cover is perfect for traveling, as it folds into a tiny self stuff pouch to throw in your bag. It provides a familiar environment for a baby on the go so they can be comfortable no matter the location!
What was the hardest thing about launching and creating the Joonie?
Creating the joonie was so fun, I loved that part! I learned so much about the whole process from pattern making to working with a factory and it has been so much fun. The hardest part about launching our company has been finding the time to work while raising our young family.
What influenced your business and design style?
When I started to dream up the joonie I knew I wanted something very minimal, sleek, and cool. I was very inspired by windbreakers. I loved the technical fabric that was soft and thin but protective. And I love color!
What kind of response have you gotten from parents?
We’ve been so happy with the positive response from parents! When I made my first joonie cover and started to use it on my own car seat, friends kept asking me to make them one and it all spiraled from there. Parents love that it is thin and out of the way, that it saves their baby from the rain and other weather, and that it protects their babies from germs.
What has been the most exciting part about building your own business?
I was a professional dancer before having kids and I missed being surrounded by creativity and feeling that nervous feeling before each show. Starting a business has given me that same nervous feeling that I’m doing something brave and I have loved that! It pushes me creatively and I love being able to share that piece of my life with my little family.
How do you juggle being a mom and a business owner?
This is something I have yet to figure out. It’s hard! I’ve realized how much I value being a stay at home mom and that I don’t want to miss anything about this stage of life. It’s magic! So I’ve had to take the pressure off myself and let our business grow slowly so that I can spend the time I need to with our young family. I know there will be a stage of life that allows more time to myself so I’m trying to enjoy this time of life that I am so needed. It always feels good to be needed!
What is your favorite activity to do with your kids?
I love taking my kids to all the amazing museums and playgrounds the Bay Area has to offer! We go to San Francisco for the playgrounds and the ice cream…it has perfected both!