Mompreneur Name: Jee Kim & Kristen Min
Company: Innobaby LLC
What did you do before Innobaby was created?
We met through our husbands who were college roommates. We were the first ones within our “wives group” to enter motherhood and the world of play dates. While sharing our motherhood experiences and challenges, we realized that we both had desires to do something more and shared a level of enthusiasm and spirit to create what is now Innobaby. Our different experiences, yet similar entrepreneurial spirit, brought a natural balance to our new found business partnership.
Jee has spent her career in financial industries working for investment management companies and was responsible for auditing and managing portfolios for Fortune 500 clients. Although she enjoyed her career in the financial industry, upon returning from maternity leave with her first child, she decided to live her life-long dream of starting her own import/exporting business and became a work-at-home mom. With having her own business, she was always on-the-go with her infant which made it crucial to be geared up appropriately for each outing. She soon realized how most feeding products were well designed for at home feeding needs but not for on-the-go and wanted a perfect solution that could not only benefit herself but her fellow moms.
As a research analyst in the financial services industry, Kristen has authored industry reports, published many research briefs, and managed research projects for Fortune 500 companies. After spending her days at home with her first born during her maternity leave, Kristen was unable to break away from her beautiful newborn baby and decided to take a break from her career as an analyst. Being a first time mom, there was a lot to learn, but what was more challenging was learning how to deal with food allergies and eczema with not only her first child, but also her second and third. Researching and finding creative solutions to not only eczema and food allergies, but also to other day-to-day parenting challenges, became a common activity.
Today, we are business partners, but we’re also best friends. Understanding the needs as parents and having similar goals to always look for a better solution for our families motivated us to create innovative solutions for smart parenting. Each and every product we created was based on our family needs, wants and criteria. We wanted quality, dependable and smart solutions that would make our lives a little easier. Through Innobaby, our two families have become even closer. Jee’s two boys and Kristen’s three boys are all very close and look for any excuse for our families to get together.
What have been some of your greatest successes?
As moms, when our kids make the smart choice as a result of what we as parents were able to teach them, we’ve achieved success. We, as parents, impacted their lives in the way they think or making their next moves. As entrepreneurs, it’s relatively the same. Whenever someone tells us that one of our products has made a difference in their lives, we feel as though we’ve been given an award. We couldn’t ask for more.
What have been some of your greatest challenges?
Our biggest challenge by far is time management. We want our kids to have all the experiences as kids in their schools, with friendships and with extracurricular activities. At the same time, we have our project deadlines, business meetings and our daily operations. Overcoming this challenge day to day is what allows us to continue to manage both Innobaby and our families.
How do you manage your daily schedule of being a MomPrenuer and a mom?
We take it day by day. No matter how hard we try to do it all ourselves, we can’t manage it all without the help of our supportive and understanding husbands and our wonderful team at the office.
For moms “Me time” is hard to come by.. what do you do during your “Me time”?
It’s a good thing that we love what we do. We really don’t recall the last time we had a true “Me time”. Even if we schedule one for ourselves, it somehow turns into a casual business meeting.
What’s next for Innobaby? Any big plans for 2011 or 2012? Any chance we could get some “sneak peek” info or images?
We are constantly striving to develop, create, and test new innovative solutions to expand our lines. We have new products lined up for this fall. Although we can’t share all the details, let’s just say it stacks, it collapses, and it interlocks.