This is the eighth interview in our Fairfield Small Business Challenge series.
Stacy Rosenthal’s son, like most babies, had a habit of throwing stuff on the ground. Including things that had to go in his mouth. One day in 2006, Stacy grew so frustrated with constantly picking up teething rings that she decided she needed a different kind of teething ring. When that teething ring didn’t exist, Stacy, after research, trial and error, invented it. Momma’s Jewels, a line of sterling silver teething rings for baby that double as jewelry for moms, was the result.
Stacy, whose sons are now 4½ and 7 years old, shares her experiences being an entrepreneurial mom.
BP: You’ve made teething rings fashionable. What other mom accessories do you think could use sprucing up?
I would say the cell phone. There have been so many different times when I gave my child my cell phone when we’re out and about doing things. If I designed a cell phone, it wouldn’t break when they drop it. It would come preloaded with every type of accessory, like games and bubble games and all the other kinds of games that kids will play without having to download them.
I think it would be awesome if they marketed it to working moms and it came preloaded with all that kind of stuff, and it also had a great design on the front of it.
BP: I’ve seen people give their kids, you know, their iPads and stuff, and I’m thinking, “Man, if that kid drops it…”
That’s what I’d be thinking. That’s my world right there
BP: If you could have one celebrity mom, show up on People Magazine or wherever else and flaunt Momma’s Jewels, who would it be?
I think it would be Jennifer Garner. She’s incredible. I think she always has this way about her where she seems so professional, but at the same time incredibly down-to-earth and very family-focused. And I love both of those things about her. For those reasons, I would have to select her.
BP: Can you tell me a little bit about being a good mom, all the effort that that takes and running a business at the same time? How do you manage it?
It’s crazy. I always put my kids first. My kids are absolutely a priority for me. That’s why I decided to leave my original career in the first place. So they come first.
I manage the business when they’re in school, at night when they’re asleep, and weekends if I absolutely have to.
Prior to having this business, I think I would get caught up with work, little things that didn’t necessarily have to get done but you spend time doing them because you can. I don’t do that as much anymore. I do the things that I think are essential and that will improve quality and the growth of the business.
All the other stuff just takes a backseat if I need to be with my family. That’s how I try to manage, at least.
BP: Do you involve your kids in your business in any way?
Oh, I definitely do. They see me doing it all the time. They understand what I’m doing, they ask questions about it all the time as well, like, “Why do you have to go here?” or “Why do you have to do this?” I explain it to them and I tell them why I do what I do.
My son Tyler & I were having lunch together and I said to him, “I need to go away tomorrow, just for one night.” And he sat there counting how many that is on his hands. He understands. It’s very fun to me when I explain it to him and we talk about it. They seem very interested. They seem very excited to have me succeed.
BP: That’s the kind of experience that could really benefit them in the future.
I think so. I think it’s important for our kids to see how we work, what we do, all those types of things. And that you can have an idea and go after that idea and try to build it, even if you fail. I think that’s important for our children to see those things.
BP: Do you have anything that you want to share?
I would say to those moms out there trying to build a business, whether they’re working or staying at home, “Just go for it.” Go for it a little bit at a time. It doesn’t have to be an overnight success. But if you don’t try and don’t start somewhere, then you will always regret it. That would be the only thing I would tell them. That would be my only little bit of advice for moms right now.
To follow Stacy’s progress with the Fairfield Challenge, visit her blog.