Katrena Shirley, DreemiePreemie
DreemiePreemie of Olathe, Kansas offers baby bundles to document first milestones in a preemie or neonatal intensive care unit baby’s life.
‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching this business: My niece was a premature baby and three friends also had preemies in two years. Then, my daughter was in intensive care for the first eight days of her life.
Ideal customer: Parents of at risk or preemie babies.
First customer: They found me on my web-site.
Measuring Success: I measure success by the feedback from parents about how my site is making a huge difference in their lives. How moms who can’t hold their babies feel more “normal” by filling out the baby book/scrapbook pages on my site.
Biggest Struggle: Expenses. I applied and got the 2011 Huggies MomInspired Grant of $15,000. That was huge.
Surprise!: How wonderful it feels to make something thrive — from scratch.
Promoting Business: My website has done it all. All of my sales from 2008 to this January, when we started taking on retail stores, have been through my web-site and word of mouth from parents of preemies to other parents.
Two things I wish I would’ve known: How to work one step at a time, while thinking 10 steps ahead.
What keeps you up at night (business-wise!)?: Babies struggling, babies going home, the miracles who in 20 years will read their Dreemie Preemie pages.
Ever tempted to throw in the towel and just get a job?: Yes, it’s hard being stay at home mom and a business owner when you’re starting from the ground up.
Pricing: Calculate how best to make your cost low, without sacrificing quality.
The absolute best part of owning my business is: the freedom to do it right.
If I had to start over again, I would: have learned to write web-site code myself.
I never imagined: time management would be so difficult.
If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring or struggling small business owners, I would shout: “You will never succeed if you don’t first try.”