Starting: Finding the Right Market

Mom Inventors Succeed with Products by Moms, for Moms

If you are a business owner, you probably already know women in general are major spenders and influencers of their family members’ purchases. And that means moms, in particular, are a hugely important market.

So who better to target products at moms than other moms? This Los Angeles Times article takes a look at some mom inventors whose products are making their way onto store shelves. Stephanie Veve invented Pop Pals to hold drippy Popsicles without making a mess, and got the product into Babies R Us. Alison McKinstry and Jill Franks convinced grocery chains Safeway and Albertsons to sell their line of Mommy's Messages lunchbox notes.

The recession has made it harder for independents to get products on the shelves of big retailers, the Times notes, as more retailers are cutting back and focusing on proven sellers. Still, some big companies are recognizing that mom-invented items have a special power to open the pocketbooks of other moms.

Anna's Linens, a 264-store chain based in California, recently launched a program to put more products invented by moms in its stores. And Target just added a new line of organic baby clothes designed by the moms behind Los Angeles boutique Little Seed.

Before approaching retailers, the article recommends some steps to take:

  • If you don’t have connections, make contact via a distributor or manufacturers' representative to approach the retailers for you.
  • Attend trade shows (there are several big shows geared to kids’ products) to see what else is out there and make industry contacts.
  • Be prepared so when your contacts pay off, you’re ready to move. Have your product past the prototype stage with manufacturing lined up. You also need to have packaging ready to go.
  • Be aware that children’s products are subject to safety tests. You will also likely need liability insurance.

If you’re a mom with an idea for a new product, now is a great time to put your dreams into action. The experts at SCORE can help you get all your ducks in a row—visit SCORE today to get advice from a mentor and more.

Rieva Lesonsky
<p> Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. <br /> <a href="" target="_blank" title="GrowBizMedia"></a> | <a href="" target="_blank" title="Rieva on Twitter">@rieva</a> | <a href="" title="blogs by Rieva">More from Rieva</a></p>


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