Any parent of young children can relate to the constant struggle of staying on top of laundry. Angelyn Myers, founder of My “Buddy” Towel, is no different. The mom of six was especially frustrated when one of her children insisted on using three towels to keep warm after bath time, adding significantly to the laundry pile. Myers knew there had to be a better way, so she invented My “Buddy” Towel, a combination towel and onesie to keep kids comfy and warm after a bath or at the pool.
Why did you start your company?
I don’t have a background in business as far as going to college for it, but I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart. As a kid, I always wanted to do my own thing. I was babysitting, I sold Avon, and I ran my own home daycare for 10 years. My husband’s job relocated us. I wasn’t searching for a business, but this kind of fell into my lap.
I have six kids and laundry is never-ending. One of my children always wanted to use three towels after a bath. I searched on Google because I thought somebody must make something with full-body towel coverage. My Google searches came up with nothing, so I came up with my own. Now, a year and a half later, it’s a small business. I solved our problem and now there are no more issues after a bath.
How did you fund the business at the start?
I originally tried to do a Kickstarter, but it was not successful. At the time, my husband and I talked and decided to self-fund and bootstrap it.
Running the business
How do you manage cash flow?
My Shopify website keeps track of sales and I have a separate business bank account. The first batch I did was (a) green frog design. When I almost sold out of those, I started making my next two designs, a flamingo and a shark. Around that time, I won $15,000 from SCORE that I invested in those inventory purchases.
What’s the most difficult thing about running the business?
I’m a solopreneur, so it’s trying to do everything. Eventually, I’ll partner with the right person.
What’s the most rewarding thing about running the business?
Showing my kids that you can take an idea and bring it to life. I want to show them that if you set your mind to something, you can accomplish anything.
What I’ve learned
What’s the biggest mistake you made when you were starting out?
When I first started out and got my prototypes, I went out to Los Angeles and auditioned for “Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch.” I learned that you don’t have to tell your whole story, but just focus on pinpointing the problem you are solving. You have to pick out the story that everyone’s going to relate to instead of telling your whole life story.
What’s the smartest thing you did when you were starting out?
Instead of waiting for a partner or waiting for the funds to go through Kickstarter, I just invested my money right into the product. I think that shows what kind of person I am. If I set my mind to something, I’m going to finish it. Also, I invested in a trademark, which is now a registered trademark.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
If there’s a will, there’s a way. I’m figuring it out as I go and you will, too.
This article originally appeared on Nav.com by Ashley Sweren.