With the family dynamic changing over the years, it's common to find moms starting an at-home businesses. However, the act of balancing business, children, marriage and life can be challenging. I checked in with Mompreneur, Valarie Moody, the creator of Fodeez™ Adhesive Display Frames, to find out how she makes it all happen.
How do you balance a successful business and being a Mompreneur?
I moved all of my equipment to my home office last year, so it’s a challenge to turn things off and focus on family time. I start working as soon as I wake up, yet I’m still available to help get my kids off to school. It’s funny...I basically have all of the equipment and set up of a professional printer – we’re the only family to have a digital press in our neighborhood – but I still prefer to work at the corner of the island in my kitchen. By working in my kitchen, I’m a part of things when the kids come home, but I can still focus enough to work on my laptop computer. I try to shut down everything around 5 p.m. That doesn’t always happen, but it’s my goal. The other advantage of having all of the equipment readily available is that I can print, cut and ship orders at any time – even while my kids are sleeping. Of course, my larger orders for mass retail are printed and packaged via outsourcing.
2) What's the biggest lesson you've learned from being in your own business?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that things won’t always go according to plan and I’ve got to be flexible enough to alter my course to meet market demands. I started my business as a retail video production chain that we were going to franchise. My business then changed to focus on a video product for the ad specialty market. Today, we are still in ad specialties, but with Fodeez™ Adhesive Frames, not our original video product. Our biggest sales are now coming from wholesaling Fodeez™ Adhesive Frames to retailers. By changing my business to meet the demands of the economy and the market place, I’ve had to learn a lot about different industries. Throughout this journey, though, my kids have watched me make mistakes, they’ve watched my disappointments, and they’ve shared in my small victories. I strongly feel that my diligence is paying off by showing my kids that "It’s always too early to quit." In fact, my 12-year-old daughter designed a Fodeez last week with that exact saying.
3) What are your healthy lifestyle regimens that you can't live without.. i.e. maybe a regular exercise class?
I always eat a healthy breakfast, etc. I go for walks! I work through lunch, but I try to walk outside at least 30 minutes per day instead. I take my phone with me, and I only allow myself to check emails twice while I’m out. Having my phone along allows me to send myself notes on things to do or messages that need to be sent as I think of them. The walks help reduce my stress as well as keep me grounded as to what’s important. I can easily get myself all wound up over different challenges but the walks keep me grounded.
4) What do you love most about your daily life?
The creativity! Every day, I wake up and try to come up with the next big idea to get the word out about our innovative new product. Our Fodeez™ are such a new concept that people often mistake them for magnets. We constantly strive for new ways to get people to understand the product and its many uses. My husband, Tom, also works from home, so we spend time together and bounce ideas off each other. I have one employee, Debbie Loulousis, who has been with me since I began in 2004, and she gets things done. The most fun I have is when I receive an email or a phone call with news about our next big sale. When this happens, I pull Debbie and Tom into the same room to tell them both the news at the same time. It’s a great feeling to share the triumphs as they happen along our path to success. Fodeez™ Adhesive Frames have now become so popular that we’re beginning to add executive level sales and support staff – a very exciting move for Fodeez™ Frames, and fun for us to add new members to share in the adventure of our growth.
Valarie Moody, the creator of Fodeez™ Adhesive Display Frames (www.fodeez.com), hails from Chicago and is a wife and mom of three. Before creating Fodeez Frames, which were inspired by her kids, she worked in PR. When she’s not busy with her business or family the California native dreams of writing her first novel.