Tag Archives: women entrepreneur

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:

DSCN0959

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!!

DSCN0920

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.

DSCN0924

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!

DSCN0918

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.

DSCN0948

Leave a comment

Filed under Featured Mom

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

 Image

Leave a comment

Filed under Featured Mom