If you are familiar with SmartMomma.com, you will know that I started this website as a pre-blog, in the dawn of times, before blogs even existed. Eleven years ago, I became pregnant with my first child, Dillon, and researching my pregnancy and baby stuff became my life. I became obsessed with what my fetus was doing at all times, and every twinge was analyzed daily. I was working as a Product Manager at a local bank. Dillon was born in July of 2003, and I realized that when you are a first time parent, you make tons of mistakes, from what stroller to buy to what daycare is the right fit for your child. As a mom of three in 2014, I have realized I still make tons of mistakes, just different ones.
SmartMomma was born as a way to pass the knowledge that I had learned to other parents and parents to be. I began recommending and advertising products on my website full of articles. It was quite archaic, and if you happen to find this website through an article, you are still probably seeing some of the old website, until I get it all switched over to WordPress. After recommending products, I though to myself, why don’t I just sell them myself? The SmartMomma online store was born. We soon moved to a physical location, a little boutique in Raleigh, NC, and after a couple years there, quickly expanded to a 10,000 square foot facility. Success was mine at last! Or was it? The poor profit margins of baby retail finally caught up with me, and after Buy Buy Baby opened up two retail stores in Durham, NC and Raleigh, NC, and Amazon Mom took off, I was soon forced to sell off all my merchandise and fixtures and go out of business. Bye Bye cruel retail world! I really did enjoy meeting so many new people through SmartMomma and I learned so much about starting and running a business. While the store failed in the end, the experience has made me a better, stronger person and business owner.
Alas, I am moving on in my journey, as I get to work from home now in social media marketing consulting and once again, I am learning so much. Marketing is my true passion, along with my three beautiful children. So 2013 included a failed business and a failed marriage, all within a two month time period, but it also brought a new and exciting career change, a new business to start (thanks to my excellent business partner and angel investor), a new home (me and the kids moved to a four bedroom house in Clayton, NC), new friends, and so many new opportunities. It was a rough year, but 2014 looks to be one of the best years of my life.
Being a single mother of three is hard. My kids are Dillon (age 10), Peyton (age 7) and my only daughter Riley (age 2). They bring me so much joy and challenges. I am alone parenting these children and it is really hard. Someone always needs something and they look to me. There is no rest for the weary, as they say. When I was married, I would ask single moms how they did it. I could never imagine handling the workload alone. One mom said, and I’ll never forget it, “You do it because you have to” and that’s exactly right. I am actually used to the chaos now and I find that I can no longer just sit down and do nothing. I am always on the move. I forget to breathe and relax. My friends keep reminding me, and I’m trying to listen.
So I’m truly starting over, but what to do with SmartMomma.com? Should I sell the domain? Should I continue selling baby stuff online? No to both I think. I would like to continue using SmartMomma as a way to give advice and identify with other women and moms going through the trials and tribulations of single motherhood, tween issues, school issues, the terrible twos, and even new motherhood. I would also like to educate women that are starting their own businesses on how to do it, on how to market yourself, on the new latest and greatest social media and technological tools out there. I may get a little personal on here with what I’m dealing with, but I think that’s all how we learn from each other.
Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, as I share my life as the SmartMomma, even when I don’t feel so smart. If you are an old friend or customer, please take a moment and say hi. If you are a new friend, I hope you’ll do the same. Take care!