When I started Mod Mom in our garage back in 2007, I had no idea what I was doing. I merely had a gut feeling, some wood, and a drive to make up the salary I lost when I chose to stay home with our kids after Grace was born.
And then Scott was laid off. Ah, good ole 2008. So many of us went through it.
Mod Mom became a necessity for us. Most entrepreneurs I know can relate to this. Every toy box and play table I built and sold ensured we could pay our household bills.
My initial vision wasn't to expand internationally, it was to sell toy boxes locally and continue to be able to be home with the kids like I couldn't when Noah was little. So many families struggle with this and for me, entrepreneurship was the answer.
The icing on the cake was when Mod Mom grew nationally and then internationally in a very organic way. I'm forever grateful for all of you out there who have supported Mod Mom in one way or another. I wouldn't be where I am without you.
Now, I even consult with entrepreneurs helping them scale their businesses and/or get their products manufactured or licensed. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I did not get here alone; a whole host of folks helped me along the way and I love being able to share what I've learned over the past twelve years.
To all of you out there who risked it all—ridicule by naysayers, stability, hours and hours of your life, crying in your pillow (er, sawdust), the hard AF choices you have to make, and all the rest that comes with entrepreneurship, I have the utmost respect for you.
You are the risk takers. The brave souls who continually push through fear. You inspire me and I hope that in some small way, sharing my journey has helped you.
Happy National Entrepreneurs Day to all of you!
It doesn't feel that long ago that our kiddos sat with me in the garage workshop making sawdust cakes and talking about their day at school while I polyurethaned a toy box.
Cliche, I know, but I really do wonder where the time went.
Now, our kids aren't kids anymore. Noah is 21 and Grace is 17—a far cry from the ages they were in my SHARK TANK episode.
I always hoped that seeing their mom in the garage working hard towards something that others said was ridiculous would help silently encourage them to trust their gut, work hard for what they want and for who they want to be, and ignore all of the haters along the way.
Now, I'm not saying I had anything to do with their general awesomeness but maybe, just maybe, they did take something from the journey both Scott and I have been on since they came into life and stole our hearts. Oh, and maybe all that sawdust (and going against the grain) that filled their childhoods really did make a tiny impact.
Noah is now doing the bravest thing I've seen anyone do—he's changing genders. We are so proud of him (he's not changed pronouns yet) for having the courage to fight for what he knows is right for him. There's nothing more important than feeling comfortable in your own skin and he's finally on his way. Also, Noah is continuing to pursue his love of illustration and he's wowing us with his creativity. I've said many times throughout my life that I believe both Noah and Grace are here to teach us more than we are teaching them. Our old soul first-born is a shining example of what an incredibly fearless leader looks like who is shining so much light on the world without even knowing it. Noah's just being Noah but I know he's encouraging all of us to be more compassionate and to love ourselves and each other with our whole heart. noahhathcock.com
Grace—our caring, strong, talented, heart-centered spitfire—is bravely stepping out in major ways with her music. She's been singing and writing songs since she was little, not to mention she taught herself piano and guitar. We're blown away by her heart and creativity—she brings audiences to tears when she sings. Her capacity to feel and to help others move through their pain is unmeasured and it's certainly one of her gifts in this life. Recently, she opened up for music industry giant, Andy Grammer, at Northern Arizona University and received roaring applause for being exactly who she is on-stage and off-stage. She looked as cool as a cucumber up there while her Dad and I were practically hyperventilating. I love her courage and faith in herself as as musician to follow her own path and stick to her guns about what she knows is right for her. gracenoelle.com (She's currently in the recording studio recording 5 original songs-- they'll be released in 2020)
To say I'm a proud mama is an understatement.
I'm inspired by them daily and so grateful for the time I got to spend with them when they were little—even if it meant we were all covered in sawdust.
When I started Mod Mom Furniture in 2007, I had zero carpentry or design experience and I didn't have funding. I had a gut feeling that what I was embarking on would work. The first few toy boxes I built were horrible but I got better over time. I built everything by hand for three years in our 400 square foot garage, designed my logo using PowerPoint, built a not-so-easy-to-load website in Microsoft Publisher, handled all sales, marketing, invoicing, and shipping (aka, loading up a toy box in my minivan with a toddler in tow and dropping it at UPS.)
I couldn't be more grateful for those early days in the garage. And for the many naysayers. At every turn, I was forced to check my gut and go against what everyone else was saying I should do. I got better at doing this over time. I got better at trusting myself.
Entrepreneurship is so much about risk taking and believing in yourself—far more than it is about being an expert in your field. I wasn't an expert in any of what I was doing but I believed in myself.
Today, I'm back in the garage exploring collaboration ideas/designs with Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Talk about surreal!
Moral of the story: Trust your gut even when others say it won't work.