I started my company when I was 23, right out of grad school. I started an e-commerce company with zero capital and never accepted any funding. I sold my company this year to a competitor for much less than I would have in 2007. In our high times, we were a $6 million company started from nothing. Competition and industry changes knocked us down, but I fought, started another two companies, and now I’m pulling it all together. I also self-published a book about my journey, which is on Amazon.
I have 3 kids, two teens and one younger one. They inspire me every day to do better and try harder.
Start smart, sell early, and don’t forget the competition out there. Stay true to who you are, but be aware of what’s going on.
Motherhood gave me more patience to deal with unhappy customers and clients, employees who had slower learning curves, and dealing with rejection. Creatively speaking, my kids have always given me ideas for cards and invitations.
There is a lot of competition out there. Do your research before you jump in. Be different, even if it is a well-known product or service. Differentiation in product and/or service is key.
Don’t feel guilty. Involve your kids early on, so they can develop a love of business and appreciation for what you do! Plus they will feel involved and not left out.
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Allison De Meulder started her company on a whim at 23, fresh out of grad school — no money, no computer, no clue. Fast forward 18 years, she sold her e-commerce company Invitation Consultants (printed invitations) to a friendly competitor. While owning IC, she started a wholesale greeting card business, Matrick and Eve, which grew to be in 600 stores around the U.S. and Canada. Today, she consults for the company she started with her husband, A & O Consulting, bringing ideas to those who want to continue growing. After years as a business owner, and mom of 3, Allison self-published a book about her experience as a mompreneur. FInd her on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
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