Welcome to my Bosses with Babies podcast series where I talk to entrepreneur mums who have built their successful business while raising little ones!
This week I am talking to Cara Sayer, Inventor of the Snoozeshade and mum to 12 year old daughter, Holly.
Cara was having a lunch out with a group of friends when she was inspired to create the Snoozeshade. All the mums had the same concerns throughout the year…
Were their babies warm enough in the winter or exposed to harmful sun rays in the summer? It was at this lunch when she looked around and noticed that they were all covering their buggies and prams with jumpers and blankets, that the idea was born! Cara saw it as a problem that needed to be solved!
The Snoozeshade took two years to develop and went live in March 2010 but she hasn’t looked back since!
Many people have great ideas like the Snoozeshade but don’t necessarily do anything with them. According to Cara, stubbornness has definitely been a factor in her success coupled with curiosity.
Safety obsessed, she made sure that the Snoozeshade has the safety standards of a newborn toy. She also worked with other great women on her product and feels that this has been key and essential in taking the Snoozeshade from an idea to a physical product.
Cara acknowledges that external approval for any concept is a really great idea. She took her concept to mumsnet to get opinions on her ‘buggy blind’ with world domination in mind! Today her product is widely available and is carried in JoJo Mama Bebe and Mothercare to name a few.
Her next venture? Cara is currently writing a book and has a digital course on how to invent and develop a product, covering topics like intellectual property to help delay people copying your ideas, to how to get your foothold into the market and encourage customer loyalty.
Cara’s top tips:
Work with people that you like and trust.
Make mistakes and learn from them – running a business is never neat and tidy, it’s a rollercoaster.
When it comes to the challenges of growing a business and raising a family at the same time, Cara feels like she has had two babies, her daughter and Snoozeshade. She experienced a break down in 2011 which was a wake up call proving that you can’t do everything all at once. She learnt that some things can wait, the world won’t stop turning.
Cara often felt like she was a jack of all trades and master of none however she tried not to miss any of her daughters special moments, despite starting the business when she was just six months old. Now her daughter is really proud of her mum and it’s really good to see her mum being a successful business person and role model.
2020 has shown how difficult the juggle has been for mums working and homeschooling. Cara admits to not being a messy play mum and how important it is to not judge yourself against other people. We need to accept who we are as individuals and not be too tough on ourselves.
Cara’s main lesson from being a mum and an entrepreneur is to know your numbers! Prior to her divorce she was not having to rely on the numbers but in 2014 she had to really look at this important part of her business.
She was in lots of retailers and working with distributors but wasn’t actually making too much money from this so she took control back and had to look at the numbers. The third parties were not giving the customer service that she wanted either so she has taken back control of that too. Her main piece of advice is to focus on the numbers, look at the open doors and get yourself visible.
Cara’s attributes the following three character traits to her success;
Realism AND Optimism – especially this year
Abundance, there is room for everyone.
I hope you enjoy listening to Cara as much as I did! It was great hearing all about her inspiring journey as a mother with her amazing business
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