This year my daughter entered Kindergarten, and with it comes a long list of new responsibilities she must learn, one of which is tying her own shoes. So, when I had the opportunity to interview Wendy Welling I jumped at the chance.
Anyone with a young child struggling to tie their own shoes should know who Wendy is. She's the mom behind Tie Buddies, a product that helps simplify the shoe tying teaching process. You just need to slide her handy little squares on their shoelaces and follow her fun instructions. Before you know it, your kids will be tying their own shoes!
Tell us a little about Tie Buddies.
Tie Buddies are an educational product designed to help children with the age old developmental hurdle of tying their own shoes! These cute, kid-friendly devices act as easy pull-tabs for small hands, taking messy loops out of the equation. The happy characters make a game of it, resulting in a strong knot and even stronger recall.
What inspired them?
My daughter's frustration with learning how to tie. She said it wasn't fun to learn so I decided to make it fun!
How many styles/colors do you have available?
Currently we offer one boy design (blue with a red and green race car) and one girl design (fushia with a fairy and wand).
Any new designs in the works?
Of course! We have several additional character sets ready to go when we decide to add to the line including cute cats and dogs, dinos and flowers.
How much do they cost?
How do they work?
Tie Buddies are placed on childrens shoelaces and eliminate the loops. This allows children to easily complete the tying process while at school or away from mom and dad or until they get they practice enough to tie on their own . The Tie Buddies make it easier for little fingers by providing a pull-tab and the characters allow the child to remember their own story which guides them through the steps to tying.
Do you have any goals that you hope to reach over the next year or so?
I'd like to grow the business 50% over the next year, it's all about word of mouth and making parents aware that the Tie Buddies tool exists!
What are some lessons that your business has taught you?
Be prepared to be flexible. You may have a certain idea about how your business may unfold but be prepared to alter your course more than once! It's OK, adapting to the market, feedback and results are the name of the game.
Is there anything else you'd like to add that I might have missed?
Use the resources available to you. There are Small Business Development Centers across the country that provide free resources to help you succeed.
Any advice you'd like to offer fellow mompreneurs that are just getting started?
Don't lose sight of your goals. Reach out to other moms who have created their own business, service or product. And above all, have fun and believe in yourself.