Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

July Mom Entrepreneur of the Month~Ashita of Slidelane.com

I just love it when I meet another mama who is just as ambitious as me, this month I had the opportunity to meet with Ashita Trikah of a new  site, named Slidelane, easy to remember as it includes my NAME.  HA.  She greeted me at 9am with her family behind her all looking perfect, I loved it. I arrived in my sweat pants and sneakers, quite a contrast!  Here is Ashita…

SF Mom Entrepreneur

Tell us about you and your business-to-be!

I’m a mom of two (3 and 18 months).  I’ve always been ambitious and hungry for challenges.  I love learning something new.   Physical, mental and spiritual balance is very important to me.

Slidelane is a social marketplace where new parents can find, recommend and share the best places and services in their neighborhoods.

The site (and soon to come mobile apps) replicates the word-of-mouth experience that parents can find chatting with other parents at the neighborhood park.  The content is both curated and community driven.  We wanted to make it a super easy and clean experience for parents to find stuff like the best baby boutique, meal delivery, music class, photographer or sleep trainer…and we have!

SF Mom Entrepreneur

What was your career prior to becoming a mompreneur? 

– I was in Corporate America doing hi-tech product marketing, management and strategy.

Why do you want start your own business? 

– I have had the burning itch since business school to launch my own thing.  Even in my corporate roles, I was always most passionate about innovation.  It’s the most exciting challenge I’ve ever had.  Most importantly, I love the flexibility it gives me to focus on my kids when I need to.

SF Mom Entrepreneur

What makes you unique and makes your business different from anyone else out there? 

– We are two tech savvy moms that have worked in cutting edge web/mobile stuff but also understand  and care deeply about our target demographic.  We’ve both been there, and understand the challenges that new parents face.  Having these characteristics, along with the support, ambition and luxury to take time off from our corporate jobs to thoughtfully build a company is lucky.  I think we’re in a unique situation.

SF Mom Entrepreneur

What accomplishments are you most proud of in your business so far? 

Launching our invite only beta, getting our first set of users, and receiving positive feedback.  Hearing from people that they love our site and found it valuable is unbelievably rewarding.

SF Mom Entrepreneur

What do you like most about being a mompreneur?

I love the flexibility both personally and professionally.    I also love that my skills as a mom are so transferable.  Multi tasking with two kids and keeping household operations moving makes you a ninja!

What advice do you have for other aspiring mompreneurs?

Lean on the support you have and follow your dreams.  It’s worth it.  Drink a lot of coffee. Sleep is overrated.

If someone knocked on your door, and it was during business hours… (assuming you work at home) how will they find you?  Kid on hip, overalls… pjs?

skinny jeans, boots, and a comfy sweater drinking tea/coffee and on my laptop or phone

SF Mom Entrepreneurs

Do you each lunch?  Favorite food?

I eat as I go through my day at least every two hours.  I do a lot of meetings over lunch or coffee and ALWAYS snack.

SF Mom Entrepreneur

What time do you finally fall into bed at night?

It depends how tired I am but 11:30 is pretty standard.

Oh, and also… open ended question… any insight or advice for other mamas?

You cannot do everything.  There are only 24 hours in the day.  Prioritize, and it’s ok if some things slip.  I use the 10-10-10 rule.  Will this be worth it in 10 minutes, 10 days or 10 years?  It helps me figure out that a ballet class for my daughter may take precedence over a meeting.  It also helps me order out, and deal with a messy house so that I can focus on work.

Any challenges you’d like to mention…?

It’s tiring and like everything in motherhood you are torn between where you spend your time (your company vs. your family).   You work REALLY hard without a financial pay out initially, but we’re used to that as moms…aren’t we?

 

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Mamas of the month: Linda Kong and Susan Koo – SF Kids Consignment

Hello Moms! This month we sent Stef, fellow mompreneur (and the nanny from AskaNanny.com), to meet the moms behind SF Kids Consignment (sfkidsconsignment.com). Here’s Stef!

Thanks!! I am so excited to be a part of this month’s mompreneur interview! I had a blast heading over to Susan’s hilltop house to interview these two amazing mommies. They were in the midst of gearing up for their premiere consignment event coming up soon – May 3rd – 5th in Fort Mason’s Fleet Room. They were kind enough to take a moment and chat with me over a cup of tea.

Enter Linda Kong and Susan Koo:

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Tell us about you and your business!

L: I am a mom to a 3 year old girl. I really began to rethink how my consumer habits have a direct impact on the environment and how it will affect my daughter’s generation. Also, I have always been a matchmaker at heart so it felt like a natural fit for me to match moms to great deals as well! And SF Consignment was born. Susan and I have been friends since our single days and were even pregnant at the same time! So it was an easy choice to go into business together as the gear began to pile up around us.

S: I am the mom to a 3 year old girl and 6 year old stepson. I like to consider myself a tidy person, so when our house began to accumulate more and more kids items, I started thinking of how nice it would be to find homes that would appreciate them. I would love to live in a clutter-free home – with kids, I know this may be impossible – but now with SF Kids Consignment I have the option to clear out some items they don’t use and live in a home where every item has its place and purpose.

What was your career prior to becoming a mompreneur? 

L: I was a site merchant for Walmart.com where I managed the site experience for the Walmart customer. Now with SF Kids Consignment I manage the shopping and consigning experience.

S: I’m a physician who helps recover organs for transplant. So I am currently working! I work at the hospital a few nights each week and work on SF Kids Consignment during the day.

Why do you want start your own business? 

L: Being in the Bay Area, it’s so tempting to be entrepreneurial! I really enjoy seeing an idea come to life, and being able to create something that helps solve an issue for people.

S: It has solved my clutter problem! And for me it’s a creative outlet – which I get to work on with a good friend!!

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What makes you unique and makes your business different from anything else out there? 

L: For many years, I have consigned my clothes. I think it makes economic and environmental sense to extract value from the things you own. As the consignment space continues to grow as an industry, it’s more important than ever for companies to make things more durable so that there is higher value for the secondary market. I like to compare it to how Honda designs their cars so they are low maintenance to own and high in resale value.

S: The movement of reuse, repurpose, recycle really speaks to me. I spent my early years practically growing up in the wilderness (Grass Valley – pop 2000 at the time). At a very young age, I was taught to respect the environment. SF Kids Consignment is a San Francisco-centered event which makes us different because this is where collaborative consumption seems to be gaining strong momentum.

What accomplishments are you most proud of in your business so far? 

L+S: We thought of this idea in Oct of 2012 and have set-up so much in such a short time. We are proud that we moved so quickly, and we will have our first event in May 2013!

What do you like most about being a mompreneur?

L: Although right now, since it’s so close to the event, I do feel like I am working harder than ever, I like the fact that I can work around the standard 9 to 5 – also the commute to my home office is great!

S:  I love having what feels like a perfect balance of work and family.

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What advice do you have for other aspiring mompreneurs?

L: If you are going to fail, fail fast, learn from it, and be free to move on to the next big idea. Make sure you have a valid customer base before you dive in, and set aside some time to network and meet like-minded people, as sometimes being an entrepreneur can be a bit isolating.

S: I agree with Linda: networking is so valuable, especially with other moms. Also, find a partner with complimentary skills, and be disciplined and focused about your work, including the things you don’t like to do, but enjoy the journey!!

If someone knocked on your door, and it was during business hours… (assuming you work at home) how will they find you?  Kid on hip, overalls… pjs?

L: I usually toss on a striped shirt (I love stripes!) with comfy, stretchy jeans.

S: Yoga pants, working on the computer in our guest bedroom with my 2 phones, cup of water, and cup of tea, with my daughter off enjoying the park with her nanny!

Do you eat lunch? Favorite food?

L: Sometimes I’m working non-stop and forget to eat lunch! So I try to eat a big breakfast instead. Favorite foods are sushi and anything my husband cooks!

S: Not always, but most of the time. I love anything Asian – sushi and Vietnamese are what I’ve been craving lately!

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What time do you fall into bed at night? 

L: Usually after midnight.

S: I’d like to say 10 pm, but it usually ends up being after midnight for me as well (especially after daylight savings time!).

Any insight or advice for other mamas? 

L: Yes! Being a mom has taught me to become more adaptable and that there is no one right answer for things! So don’t compare yourself to other moms! Everyone has 24 hours to spend in a day, being hard on yourself for things you can’t control is not a good use of your 24 hours.

S: Again, enjoy the journey – sometimes I have very tough days with my children, but it seems to go in phases and passes rather quickly in retrospect.

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Mama of the month: Oreet of SharQui -The bellydance workout®

Moms Moms Moms!  I have a confession, I have been sitting on this interview for months, as I am completely immersed in my new business Les Lunes Lingerie and Loungewear, SFmompreneurs has fallen just a tad off my radar (BUT really I love-love-love you all, and am trying to find ways to spend more time here!!)  Bad mama lane 😦  Low and behold here is our mama of the month, the beautiful, Oreet!    

Enter Oreet Schwartz…Image

 

Tell us about you and your business!

I am a mom of 2 kids, a 3 year old son and an 8 month old daughter and the founder and creator of SharQui – The bellydance workout®.  I started my business 12 years ago in NYC before kids and recently moved 5 years ago to San Francisco to expand the format on the West Coast.  SharQui® is a bellydance fitness format and is the ONLY accredited bellydance format in the world.  Worked very hard to get this status and very proud of it!  I have 60 instructors across the US, have classes in NYC, SF, Baltimore, Southern and Northern California, Las Vegas, Ohio, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  I offer 3 instructional DVDs on amazon, apparel, music, and instructor trainings.

What was your career prior to becoming a mompreneur? 

I was a modern dancer, fitness professional and bellydancer in NYC. I started SharQui in 2000 before I was married and had kids.

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Why do you want start your own business? 

In the late 1990’s I noticed that dance/fitness started to become a big trend, especially latin aerobics.  I noticed that the fitness facilities were NOT hiring certified fitness professional to teach latin aerobics but professional latin dancers.  This was bog problem as dancers are not trained to teach a structured fitness class and fitness enthusiasts were not happy because they were not getting a proper workout.  Fitness enthusiasts learn by where they should feel it in the body, not visually like a dancer.  So then I thought why not bellydance!  My heritage is Yemeni/Israeli which makes me a jew of arab descent.  Bellydance is part of my culture and I remember how I felt dancing with the women in my family.  So freeing and non-judgmental.  Any body type, fitness or dance level can do it.  By the late 90’s I was so tired of teaching all those trendy workouts and my body and self-image needed a change.  Then I thought this could help a lot of women’s self-image!  So I gave bellydance structure.  With my fitness expertise and my bellydance knowledge, SharQui was born in 2000.  

What makes you unique and makes your business different from anyone else out there? 

What makes my business unique is that it’s for ALL women.  You are also not only getting fit but you are learning authentic bellydance and being educated about it at the same time!

 What accomplishments are you most proud of in your business so far? 

Getting my format accredited by the top 2 fitness associations, being a presenter and teaching my peers at fitness conferences and getting the word out about what bellydance is REALLY about.

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What do you like most about being a mompreneur?

That you can have your cake and eat it too.  Even though things take longer to get done, it still gets done.  I love how being a mom empowers me to be driven.  It’s not only for me, but for my kids and husband.

 What advice do you have for other aspiring mompreneurs?

Take it slow.  Think it through and try not to make expensive mistakes.  

If someone knocked on your door, and it was during business hours… (assuming you work at home) how will they find you?  Kid on hip, overalls… pjs?

In my workout wear (because I taught a class in the morning) and my daughter right next to me.

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