Josephine Cristina Geraci & My Mom Knows Best, Inc.
gLovies Keep Children Safe From Germs in Public Places



Beep, beep, beep--Oh, I never liked alarm clocks. I guess I forgot to switch the alarm to chirping birds last night. Somehow it just seems a little less invasive waking up to birds chirping than a blaring alarm clock. I reach over and shut off the alarm. I try to stretch out, but can't quite stretch my legs because I realize that my three year old must have crawled into the bed without me noticing. I quietly try to make my way into the bathroom and try not to wake up my husband and my son. Just as I begin to throw water on my face, I can hear my newborn cry. Gosh, it's only 5:45 a.m., I feel like I just finished feeding the baby, I wonder why he's up so early. With two toddlers under the age of three you're probably wondering why I set an alarm in the first place, but it is an attempt to just have a few minutes of peace and quiet just for myself before I spend my day doing everything for everyone else.


I reminisce about the good old days when I worked on Wall Street--flying on corporate jets, enjoying "power lunches" and attending black tie affairs, sometimes as often as three times a week! But, I'm gently brought back into reality with the wailing of my newborn. I remind myself, it's no longer about me, I'm a stay at home mom now and I must take care of my family.




My childhood was a lot of fun--I had ten, that's right ten siblings. My parents are amazing people. I didn't come from a lot of money, but my parents instilled in me the importance of education. My Dad wanted me to study finance and my mom wanted me to follow my heart. When I was about six years old and I was learning to ride my bike, my mom would always tell me, "never give up, you can do whatever you put your mind to." I learned to ride my bike that very day and that saying has become my mantra. My mom teaching me to ride my bike was my aha moment when I was a child. From that day forward, I believed I could do whatever I set out to do. I went to a prestigious high school and had lots of fun establishing friendships that would last a lifetime. Next came college. I sometimes wonder if my life would have turned out differently if I would have gone away to college, but that would have been an added pressure I wasn't about to place on my parents. So I went to a local college full-time for my first year, but then got the urge to start working full-time. I managed to graduate college in three and a half years and then went on to receive an MBA in Marketing. It's quite funny looking back that my absolute favorite class in graduate school was new product development. I invented the coolest prototype of a swivel beach chair using an empty deodorant dispenser. I was the only student to receive an A in the class! After years of working in finance, I decided to get married and made the conscious decision to stay home with my children.


So now it's my turn to pay it forward and to instill confidence in my three children. Sounds easy right? Well, not exactly. Imagine trying to potty train your child. Just when they master this difficult skill, you're on your first trip to a public restroom and instead of instilling confidence into your toddler, if you're like most parents; you're screaming, "don't touch that!" So I had a real aha moment. If my child is gripping the bottom of a germ-infested toilet seat, so is every toddler. Do you blame them? Imagine the fear they must have that they could possibly fall into the toilet. So now, we have a defined problem: How can we protect children from germs in public places? I was so disgusted at the thought of my toddler touching everything in the restroom that day; I was determined to find a solution. After all, I could do anything I put my mind to-right?


Professional issue


So now we know the problem (trying to keep children safe from germs in public places) and we need to come up with a solution. I imagine a disposable diaper and I envision (at 3:00 am) creating a prototype the size of my son's hands. The next morning I jump out of bed, pull out the sewing machine and create an actual prototype. I then research how to create a product from a prototype. (Thank goodness for Google.) I put one foot in front of the other and before I know it, I'm led to a Sourcing Agent who has connections in China. The first monumental thing I did was I established my corporation and hired an attorney who filed a patent and trademarks for my product and company names. I then hired an artist to create my characters. I also hired a web designer and created my first website. Within a year from conception, I was on a plane to China to meet my Agent who took me on a tour of the factory that was creating my product. It was so exciting! I arrived home with my first samples (they looked pretty, but were not strong enough so they kept ripping) just in time to attend an industry trade-show. Remarkably, I received my first order for a major baby retail store! I quickly contacted my sourcing agent and we worked with the factory to perfect my product. So now, how do we let the world know that this great product exists?


Personal issue


OK, so imagine all the pressure a mom entrepreneur feels on a daily basis. First and most importantly, we are moms to our children and wives to our husbands. Next, we are managers of our households. This means making sure our house is tidy, the laundry is done, the house is fully equipped with essentials including a well stocked fridge and pantry, we must be sure dinner is prepared, homework is completed, children are fed, bathed, read a night-time story, tucked in and cuddled until they are sound asleep. Exhausted and emotionally drained, it's hard to find the energy to spend just a few moments with a husband that's had a tough day at work. Even though the mind would like to spend a few hours in the office, the body says it's had enough for one day.


So what's a mom entrepreneur to do?


How do we bring a product to market with a limited budget? Getting a product on the shelves of stores is one thing, getting them off the shelf is the more challenging issue at hand. How can we get the best bang for marketing dollars? Should we hire sales reps? Should I continue to do my own Public Relations or should I hire a professional firm. Five years of hard work, lots of money invested, we must carry on and figure out how we will create a successful, financially rewarding company.