Lulu’s Garden in the Top 100 and in the Top 10 of the “Recession Busters and Most Glamorous Categories”
Congratulations to Lulu’s Garden, located in Whitefield, Maine, for being named in the Top 100 for 2014 Home-Based 100 Business Winners and in the Top 10 of the “Recession Busters and Most Glamorous Categories.” We caught up with business owner and entrepreneur Lee Bodmer and asked Lee to answer some questions and share some words of advice and inspiration with our StartupNation audience.
Tell Us About Your Journey
StartupNation: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Lee: My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is having a flexible schedule that allows me to take care of my family while growing a business.
StartupNation: To what do you attribute your success as an entrepreneur and business owner?
Lee: I attribute my success as an entrepreneur and business owner from having a strong support system in my husband and continual mentoring from SCORE.
StartupNation: What ignited the spark in you to start/select your particular business as an entrepreneur?
Lee: I have always dreamed of being an Entrepreneur, I’ve dreamt up ideas for as long as I can remember. They say that your best ideas come at the point in time of adversity; I believe this is true. My foray into natural products began as a distraction. When my mother, Helen, was diagnosed with dementia, I was consumed by worry. Armed with a jar of beeswax and an arsenal of oil-blending knowledge, I decided to whip up a batch of lip balm and hand balm on a whim. I immediately surprised myself; it was good! I then tested it out on friends and coworkers – It was a hit! Inspired by my own drive and my mother’s entrepreneurial spirit, I decided to pursue it as a business.
StartupNation: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Lee: The top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur are:
- Being able to work by yourself while growing the business
- Staying organized and on task
- Confident decision making when you don’t have someone to immediately bounce ideas off o
Words of Wisdom – Inspiration for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
StartupNation: If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Lee: If I had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, it would be “keep plugging away” even when it feels like you’re just spinning your wheels. Eventually, you’ll get to where you are going.
StartupNation: Where do you find your greatest inspiration?
Lee: My mother Helen has been my inspiration for so many things; I watched my mother grow her own company from scratch with oodles of persistence, diligence and perseverance. As I am coming up on the 1 year anniversary of my mom leaving this earth after 13 years of living with dementia. I reflect on all that she has taught me in sound mind and in sickness. In honor of the positive influence she has had on my life, I offer Lulu’s Garden™ today; she has taught me to believe in myself and that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.
StartupNation: What is your favorite motivational/business quote as an entrepreneur?
Lee: “Anything is possible when you put your mind to it.”
StartupNation: A motto you live by?
Lee: A motto I live by is to conduct myself with style, class and grace, everyday!
Tell Us About Your Business, Experiences, & Funding Your Startup
StartupNation: How did you get funding for your startup?
Lee: I strategically planned it so that I was funding my business out of pocket. As of yet, I still have not needed to seek out funding for my business.
StartupNation: Recommendations for others starting out?
Lee: Recommendation for others starting out is to do your research and then follow your gut. It’s always going to be scary. But, if you want it bad enough, it will work out.
Marketing and Building Their Customer Base
StartupNation: How do you market and build your customer base?
Lee: I market and build my customer base with experienced product reps and advertising in trade magazines.
StartupNation: Recommendations for others starting out?
Lee: Recommendations for others starting out would be to contact product reps to help get your product in the marketplace. Use their feedback to refine your business.
Changes in the Business Market
StartupNation: What changes have you seen in your business market since starting?
Lee:I have seen many successful home start-up companies coming into the marketplace each with their own different styles, different passions and different perspectives.
StartupNation: What do you see coming that will impact your business?
Lee:As long as my uniqueness to be creative, passionate, thoughtful and undeniably obsessed stays strong, the only thing that could impact my business is me.
StartupNation: Have a funny story about a client or business transaction that you want to share along with a key lesson learned?
Lee: My past setbacks, when I think about them, are sadly humorous. I was so enthusiastic and naive to get my product out in the market place, that I periodically lost all common sense. At my first trade show I was approached by a gal with a commanding personality. She assured me that she could get my product into big chain stores, but the caveat was that I had to pay her a large sum of money to pitch my product with a non-refundable fee, even if the pitch didn’t work. That should have been my red flag, but I paid the money and never heard back from her; she was conveniently never available when I called. I finally gave up contacting her and wrote it off as a learning experience. Now, I know how to take a step back, get some air and look at the prospect being presented to evaluate if it’s going to benefit my business or hinder it. I also have to remind myself not to beat myself up when things are not moving as fast as I think they should. I’m one person doing many jobs.
Learn more about Lee’s business and view other businesses that entered and placed in the competition by clicking here for the top ten and a full list 2014 Home-Based 100 Business Winners and entrants.
Do you have a startup? Are you a passionate entrepreneur with an idea that has taken off and want to share your success with others? Would you like your business to receive priceless exposure in the media and be positioned to take your business to the next level? Then join us this fall for the 8th Annual StartupNation Home-Based 100 Competition which ranks outstanding home-based businesses and the amazing people behind them! Watch for your change to enter! In the meantime, be sure to visit us daily for new content to support and grow your business!