CLEVELAND — We wrap up our series on Momtrepreneurs by sharing what experts say are some of the best business ideas for stay at home moms. We spoke with moms who found success in two of those recommended fields: graphic design and arts and crafts.
What I love is that only one of them had formal training in her field. And experts say, if you're looking to start a business, you don't have to have experience in that industry, just a passion for it, and a willingness to learn and network.
Jen Krueger, who started a business designing paper goods had this piece of advice, "I love the expression 'don't let the perfect get in the way of the good' because I did that for so long," she says.
The mother of two was a high school principal before she decided to launch Minor Details CLE.
Her work caught the attention of Martha Stewart, as well as several publications, including Cleveland Magazine. It was something she started as a hobby just for friends. She even declined requests from strangers.
"Then one day my husband Dan said 'Why are you turning this down?'," she recalls. "And so I started saying yes, and from there my business has completely taken off."
The website www.thebalancesmb.com says arts and crafts are some of the best home business ideas.
Jen's inspiration? Giving 'presence' as she calls it, instead of presents.
"When we're invited to thirty birthday parties a year, I don't want to give kids another toy."
Instead, she generated buzz with interactive gifts that kids could color and design over time, as well as products that gave them activities.
"I'm really lucky," she admits. "Probably eighty percent of my business is word of mouth."
Another mother who knew she was on the right track is Chelsey Kovar. She identified a niche that she could fill. She had this advice for moms looking to open businesses.
"I think you have to look at the market to see what else is out there in terms of what you want to do," she explains. "Is it over saturated with your idea? Is this something that's not out there that's useful?"
Kovar had a big career in package design before she started freelancing to stay at home with her kids. It was a move that excited and terrified her.
"I was scared. But you just have to jump out the window and develop your wings on the way down and you just have to go for it."
And go for it she did. Out of the gate Kovar won multiple design awards and opened up her own studio just a year later. Something many called a waste of money.
"But when you're working from home," she says, "you're thinking about the laundry needs changing and I should mop the floors and I should vacuum. And your head is not totally focused on your work."
No matter where you do this work, or what it is, successful Momtrepreneurs say the secret sauce is about not being afraid to ask for help... and believing in yourself.
"I knew who I was and what I was doing," says Kovar. "And that my services were valued and valuable. So I think that's really important."
Kovar's other secret for success...never stop talking to people. Because you never know who you're going to meet or who is going to remember you.
Links to top businesses ideas for stay-at-home moms: