At MommiesFirst we believe in moms helping moms!
We also believe in debunking myths. So let’s wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to ……. yes, you’ve got it – help mama.
Sparrow Park Goods & Co. is a company that allows you to enjoy the outdoors with your family by using their stylish, water-resistant Roll-up Blanket.
Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial story?
I was working as a strategy consultant and living in Chicago when the concept for Sparrow Park Goods & Co. started. Summer in Chicago is an amazing season where everyone sheds their winter layers and gets outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. Outdoor activities like concerts, movies in the park, and festivals have flourished in recent years. A common complaint that I kept hearing from friends and family was that they were having a hard time finding a good picnic blanket – one that was well-designed, water-resistant, machine washable, and a material other than wool or polyester
Building something of my own was an idea that I had been ruminating on for some time. While I enjoyed my corporate career immensely, a part of me yearned to integrate more creativity into my daily life. I realized that if I kept waiting for the perfect time or the perfect idea I would never start a business so I decided take a leap of faith and give Sparrow Park a chance. Every day at Sparrow Park I now have the pleasure of working with tactile materials and turning them into something wonderful. And, I get to wake up every day excited about what I’m doing and the impact that I’m making on others.
How do you feel you are helping moms (and Dads!) most?
We have made it easier for families to get outside and spend quality time together by addressing some of the primary issues with other picnic blankets on the market. All of our products were designed with their use in mind – our blankets are water-resistant, easy to pack & carry, machine washable and feature sturdy construction to stand up to everyday use.
What (or who) inspires you when it comes to creating a business committed to helping moms (and/or babies)?
I am inspired by the lifestyle that I had growing up and that I hope to one day emulate with my own family. Growing up my parents were very engaged with my siblings and I and my family was always outside. By creating simple, carefree products we cut down on the barriers parents face when trying to spend time with their kids. And, our picnic blankets make it fun and easy to get outside.
What are some exciting new developments for your business?
We launched Sparrow Park Goods & Co. in August of this year with our picnic blankets and picnic tablecloths. We are currently focused on getting the word out regarding these picnic items. Beyond personal use, we have a growing number of customers purchasing blankets as wedding and baby shower gifts. We are also currently in production with a line of colorful, carefree table linens that we plan to launch in early 2015.
The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you’d impart to about being an entrepreneur?
First, and most importantly, talk to other entrepreneurs. I started my business, not by designing a product or finding a manufacturer, but by doing weeks of informational interviews with other entrepreneurs. It was from those conversations that I figured out what steps I needed to take, received recommendations for manufacturers and suppliers, learned about common pitfalls to avoid, and built a network of peers that I can reach out to when I have a question or need advice.
My second piece of advice is to set small, attainable goals every week. Being an entrepreneur can feel daunting – there is so much to do (all of the time!) and you are the only one to do it. It is easy to fall into a state of decision paralysis. By setting small, concrete goals you can more easily determine what needs to be done and the satisfaction that you get from achieving those goals can propel you forward to completing other tasks.
My favorite part about Marital Bliss is… I just got engaged at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival this past summer so I can’t comment on marriage yet but my favorite thing about being engaged is having a partner with which I can share my successes and challenges.
When people find out what we do, they often say: “I have been looking for a good blanket to use at my child’s soccer/ baseball / football games!”
In my free time, I love to … DIY. I am an avid pinterest user and in the last several years I have developed a growing passion for refinishing furniture, painting, landscaping, etc
The last book I read was… I am an avid reader and just finished two great books, “This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel” by Jonathan Tropper and “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” by Mohsin Hamid
I’m dreaming of… Our upcoming honeymoon to Tanzania where we’ll be going on safari and spending time at the beach. Life as an entrepreneur can get crazy so it will be really nice for my fiancé and I to have some time to focus on each other and our relationship without work to distract us.
More Help Mama Posts:
MADESQUARE – an app, but is MUCH more than just an app! It enables you to use photos from your phone and create them into a beautiful memory, keepsake or gift!
The New Mummy Company – a company devoted to helping new Moms!
L’il Tights by Skights – fun and warm knee high socks for little ones
Simply Fun Families – a website filled with great ideas and products for families to do together
LPH Illustrations – Susy the Soother Fairy (a book about giving away a soother)
Naked Nursing Tank – one of the best nursing tanks out there
coldfront – a personal cooling pack that stays cold for up to 12 hours
Zipadee-Zip – a slumber sack that helps babies transition from swaddling