Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ariana Gonzalez, Founder of Step by Step Baby Consulting, located in West Melbourne, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I educate, collaborate and empower families to help establish or sometimes re-establish a healthy sleep foundation. I create customized gentle sleep plans, for families of children ages 0-4 years old, based on the family's philosophies around sleep and feeding. The end goal is to improve their child's independent sleep skills so that everyone in the family can get the sleep they need and deserve. My customers are a lot like me! They are first-generation working and nursing Latino parents. They are sleep-deprived and exhausted parents that are new to sleep training and have no idea that there is a solution to their child's sleepless nights.
Tell us about yourself
I'm Ariana, but you can call me Ari. If I'm not enjoying a Sunday siesta with my family, you'll likely find me with Street Tacos and a Mexican Lager in hand. I founded Step by Step Baby Consulting under the belief that a restful night's sleep and lactation support is needed and deserved by ALL families. When I found out I was pregnant with my 1st child, I was an overly-confident parent-to-be. I'd had 17 years of auntie duties, had fostered my 3-year-old niece, and was going to have my mom by my side. When I was 7 months pregnant, my mother suddenly passed away & I was hit with an immense depression. I survived by concentrating on the arrival of my son. After my son was born, I realized he was a challenging little sleeper. I compulsively read & researched all things baby sleep, but nothing helped. I endured 8 months of sleepless nights & finally hit rock bottom. It was 2 am, and my son was on his 3rd wake-up of the night; I went into his room, held him, & cried along his side. The next day, my Doctor recommended I hire a Pediatric Sleep Consultant to help with my PPD & PPA. I quickly hired one, and by day 3, my son was actually napping/sleeping through the night & I was finally able to bond with him!
Becoming educated on how to best support my son's challenging sleep needs inspired me to become a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and help other parents like me! After starting to help families with sleep, I quickly realized I needed to expand my knowledge with chest feedings and decided to become a Certified Lactation Counselor. I am currently also a Postpartum Doula in training, as I wish to give a full wrap-around approach to my newly postpartum families. What keeps me going is hearing parents say how, as a result of my support, they are now truly enjoying parenthood. Because I truly believe parenthood is something that should be enjoyed.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I got into this field because I sincerely love helping and supporting parents, so in 2021 (my 2nd year of business), when I was chosen as one of Tuck's Best Sleep Consultants, I was so immensely proud of myself! It's now been 3 years since I have been in business, and I have worked with over 300 families! Those 2 things are my biggest business accomplishments.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest part is juggling it all. I single-handedly run my business, which includes the website, social media, finances, clients, collaborations, etc. I am also a wife and the mama of 2 under 4. Life is hectic, to say the least, but I love having the flexibility that comes with owning my own business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be patient...it can take months or even years to grow your business to the point you want it to be at, be patient and learn to appreciate the slow times and then the busy times too.
- Consistency is key! I preach consistency to the parents I work with, it's so important when it comes to improving sleep, but consistency is so important in so many other areas of our life. So don't give up when times get hard/business is slow; keep pushing along and stay consistent with your work.
- Stay true to yourself! It's so easy to lose your true voice and go along with industry norms, but don't be afraid to be bold and different, don't be afraid to be your true self.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.