I own Rilos + MiMi as a home based mom business. It is my secondary job and my family's secondary income. My first job is being a stay a home mom to raise and take care of my family.
Rilos + MiMi was recently featured in an article about the rise of women owned businesses in North Dakota (http://www.grandforksherald.com/business/4361284-north-dakota-first-us-job-creation-women-owned-businesses-report-says). The article was great and it is awesome how North Dakota is the leading the rise of woman owed businesses and job creation in the country. When I was first contacted for the article I thought the point was going to be to offer advice for other woman thinking of starting a business and turned to success and finances and I was caught a little off guard and should not have offered any financials of my company as my total sales does not depict my company's success and don't want to give other women thinking of starting their own business the wrong impression on what it's like.
I own Rilos + MiMi as a home based mom business. It is my secondary job and my family's secondary income. My first job is being a stay a home mom to raise and take care of my family. I started Rilos + MiMi as a hobby or way to keep myself in the business world while I stayed home to raise my kids, so that I didn't become completely out of touch with the outside world. There are thousands or probably millions of moms like me out there doing the same thing, I have a college degree and I left a well paying corporate job to stay at home with my kids and wanted to have it all by running a business and raising a family at home. Making Rilos + MiMi products and running my own small business is something that I really enjoy and don't think of as work and I get a huge sense of personal satisfaction designing and making products that are useful for other people like they have been for me and my family. I also get to do other things like volunteer at the local food pantry in Devils Lake, sit on two community boards, write, and be active in my children's school events and activities.
Although I have had great success and have had the pleasure to watch the company grow bigger then I could have ever imagined, the company is not even close to a primary source of income for my family. I cannot support my family on the sales of Rilos + MiMi products. I can't make my mortgage payment or even my car payment and still be able to pay for out of pocket insurance, groceries, etc. The income I make from Rilos + MiMi allows my family to do extra things like spending money when we travel, trips to the gas station for treats, and sign up fees for park board basketball and other activities, and pay for unexpected costs like replacing my windshield when I got a crack in it from a flying stone driving home from Grand Forks. I also give the opportunity for other women to make extra money for their families by sewing Rilos + MiMi products but it is not typical for that to be their primary source of income either. If I were able to support my family from the sales of Rilos + MiMi products I would need to sell about seven times more then I already do and I am not sure if it would even be possible with the high margins on products and how many products we could physically produce as a home based business. That's not to say that I might not try to grow the company bigger in the future.
As far as the advice I wanted to share for other women wanting to start a business here is what I wanted to say:
Running a small business if a lot of hard work and it takes a lot of dedication. It's scary and lonely a lot of the time. My advice for women who want to start a business like mine where you work from home while raising a family is to make sure you have a great support system from your family, friends, from your community, and other small business owners. You are going to need people reminding you why your business is worth it and although you will find yourself realizing that it's all up to you to determine your businesses success, talking with your customers, family, friends, and other business owners will remind you that you are not completely alone and what you do is appreciated and that it's worth it.
I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be a mom and small business owner and am truly grateful for all the support I have gotten from North Dakota and all over the country and I am having so much fun on this adventure!