The crazy up's and downs of starting a business....from nothing
I started this company almost 2 years ago. Well, thats not true, I actually had the idea to put a bra inside a robe years ago but did not actually act upon it until mid 2011. That was when I actually took that leap and my husband Matt and I made that very real, very exciting, very scary decision to go down to a single income family while I pursue this entrepreneurial dream. 2013 has been my second full year and it truly has been filled with ups/down, highs and lows, big hopes and hopes crushed. I think well I hope these are the growing pains of building a business. In 2012 I started off with a bang. Just 4 months into this journey I was voted WINNER of the Dallas Market Center's Next Big Thing Award. Plus I was a finalist in the Austin Business Journals Profiles in Power Women of Influence award. As much as both experiences helped launch my business, it also gave me the perception "Man, I'm going to be a millionaire in no time." I might add that I am far from being a millionaire, umm not even close.
2013 has been a humbling year to say the least. Over the past 12 months I have spent countless hours reaching out to national television networks, radio stations, news programs, magazine, and newspapers with much less exposure than 2012. I was nominated for 2 awards in this years RISE Austin. The first being the Royitos Don't Do Mild award where Roy Spence awards 5k to a for profit company who gives back. The second was a kind of mini-shark tank type of event. The Fast Pitch forum where you have 60 seconds to pitch your business to a panel of judges in front of about 400 people. I have always been of the opinion that I was a fantastic public speaker. Yea, after that 60 seconds and being the first one up on stage to pitch I can with out a doubt say,I. Blew. It. I entered into the SPANX Leg Up program where Sara Blakely and her team choose 2 inventors/small businesses to write about and help promote their products. I literally thought, I had it in the bag. Again, very humbling when you realize maybe your not the only creative, hard working, mom-preneur with a great story and product out there.
Don't get me wrong, there have been some highs as well. Earlier in the year I went on to the Dudley and Bob morning show for a bit called "Snark Tank." That was fun trying to explain "Boob Sweat" to a room full of men all staring at your boobs. The Brobe was featured in Austin Fit Magazine as well as voted "Best Of" for Recovery by the Austin Chronicle. We officially are being sold internationally in Canada and the Netherlands as well as various boutiques throughout the US. Lastly, the Brobe sponsored, organized and put on one AWESOME event benefiting Komen Austin called Project Pink.
Yes, 2013 has been the year of high expectations with a swift kick in the ass to put me back in my place and ya know what, thats ok. I have a long road ahead of me and I believe and hope this is the growing pains to being a succesful business woman and entrepreneur. I'm still here, I'm still pushing forward and I still believe I can kick ass in business, as a wife and as a mother. Bring it on 2014.