How a mother of four started her own business

Okay so where am I now? Well I have found a wonderful manufacturer right here in Texas, GTM Plastics (www.gtmplastics.com). I am in process of making new tools. This is one other area you need to get educated in. What is tooling? What does how many shots mean? What does how many cavities does it have mean? What does it mean when you are asked does it cool properly? What is injector blades? What does drafting mean? On and on these questions go… Do yourself a favor and visit the closest manufacturing plant to your house in your industry. Call them up and tell them you are in the search for a new manufacturer and would like to visit their facility and learn about them. While you are there ask them to explain everything and anything about tooling. See tooling running and tooling be worked on. Which strikes another cord. Whatever you do I would not recommend you doing business with a manufacturer who does not have a workshop in house to fix tools! Back to where I was, see tooling be worked on/opened. See it all and write it all down, this way you know what a tool should look right, have an understanding of what it should cost you, how it is made, how it is stored, how it runs, how your products are stored and shipped. The more cavities your tools has the cheaper it will be for you to manufacturer your parts. Imagine a playdooh mold that makes car wheels. You could have one mold that makes one at a time or you could have a mold that makes 4 at a time. The amount of "parts" that is made from a mold/tool is called cavities. A tool in a machine is money so you want that tool making as many parts as possible while it is in there. You also want all steel tooling. Do not fall for let's just make it in aluminum and upgrade later. It will cost you more money down the road and most manufacturer's have contacts overseas to make tooling where it is much less money. Then the tool is shipped back to the USA for production and ALL repairs can be made here in the USA.

Okay, so I have my manufacturer, I have great tooling being made so now what? Well my sister Elizabeth works for me full time. Right now her primary goal is creating awareness of our products. This is a lot harder than it sounds but how lucky am I to be in business today -vs.- years ago! Why? Well the internet of course! Woman/Moms are just incredible. There is hundreds of ways for moms to gain advise from other moms. There is online social media groups, there is local moms groups, there is product review companies, there is mom bloggers, there is mom baby planners…on and on it goes. Tons of information out there for mothers! And you know what? I LOVE IT! It is great to see so much support out there for one mom to another. Especially today where woman are finding themselves cities, states or countries apart from their families. So anyways, Elizabeth has been contacting as many groups and organizations as possible letting them know that PRK Products exist and hey, we may have some great products that you need. Then while attending a seminar at the ABC Kids Expo www.theabcshow.com we learned about how one local toy store owner of The Toy Factory in Florida www.kudzu.com decided to offer back to the community. He donated a % of sales to specific organizations which made a light bulb go off in my head. Why not offer all the support organizations that I mentioned above something like this?? So, we started writing to them asking if they would like to participate in what we are calling our PRK Charity Campaign. Why would we not want to offer help to all those organizations that play such an important role in so many mother's lives? It is a privilege to give something back to this type of community! It is our hopes that is will catch on quickly and become wildly successful! How great for us to not offer what we think is two fantastic products but be able to say, "Hey, we gave back to moms everywhere!"

What is also new in my life is I have hired a distributor to handle the sale of my products. The company is called Mackanan LLC USA. (www.mackananll.com) I cannot even tell you the relief that comes with knowing Mark and his wife Dionne Buchanan are on the job. I started this company thinking very part time job right…? Well, let me tell you, if you want to make it big and have your products everywhere PART TIME does appear on the manufacturing vocabulary list!! In addition there are so many things that come up with Retailers. For instance, Rebates for paying early, Rebates for defective items, Return policies, EDI systems…on and on it goes. And what about the mountain of paperwork that comes with selling to them? I have to tell you it was like reading Chinese and in case you did not know, I do not know how to read Chinese. Plus, there are a lot of stores that do not want to buy from you because that means setting up a new vendor. It is much easier for them to buy from someone they already have an established relationship with. The Bumbo Seat was just an idea in a parent's head like my products. Mark effectively and successfully sold that seat at a volume of 40,000 to 60,000 units per month! Now, they separated years ago so he no longer represents them, but the fact is he took a product that was brand spanking new and made it a household name. Why am I telling you this? Because there is a lot of companies out there that will tell you they can get you into here and into there but the truth is maybe they cannot. Find out what they have successfully sold before you hire them.

I am very happy to report that in addition to finding our products at www.PRKProductsinc.com, www.Amazon.com, www.comfort1st.com, www.Mypreciouskid.com you will soon find PRK Products in buybuy Baby Stores! And hopefully it will not be long to find them in Babies R Us, Toys R Us, and Target in stores and online!

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