Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marian Palase, Founder of Mimi and Pal, located in Orange County, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business is Mimi and Pal. We specialize in breast pump bags and accessories to help new mothers stay organized and stylish while pumping breast milk on the go. Our products are designed to make the pumping process easier for busy mothers who are returning to work, running errands, doing daily chores, or traveling. With a focus on both function and fashion, our products aim to help mothers feel confident and put-together in their daily routines. We launched two new products this month and have five more launching this year. We want to have a range of chic and functional products for our mamas by the end of the year.
Tell us about yourself
I didn't plan on starting a business. I quit my job, thinking I would take a year off just to be a mom, but life had other plans. My son ended up in the NICU when he was born, and I had to become an exclusive pumper in order to give him breast milk. However, within the first couple of months of pumping breast milk, I realized that the pumping accessories available were either ugly or non-existent. That's when I decided to create my own products, starting with The Harper Pump bag, a fanny pack that holds portable breast pump batteries. To my surprise, it quickly gained popularity, and I realized that other moms were facing the same issues as me.
What motivates me each day is the community of moms I've built since starting my business. Being able to connect with other women and offer them products that make their lives easier and more stylish is incredibly rewarding. Additionally, I love that I get to work from home and spend time with my own children while growing my business. It's a privilege to be able to provide for my family while doing work that I'm passionate about.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, my biggest accomplishment has been creating products and content that make a real difference in the lives of other moms. When I first started my business, I designed my products to solve a problem I was personally experiencing. But as my business grew, I realized that many other moms were facing the same challenges and appreciated the solutions I had come up with.
Seeing the positive impact that my products and content have had on the pumping journeys of other moms is incredibly rewarding. Knowing that I've helped make this important process a little bit easier and more stylish for other moms is a source of pride for me. And as I continue to grow my business and develop new products, I'm excited to keep finding ways to help moms navigate the demands of motherhood with ease and style.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a business owner, one of the hardest things I've had to deal with is analysis paralysis. It's easy to get bogged down in overthinking and waiting for everything to be perfect before taking action. In the early days of my business, I struggled with this a lot and had to learn the hard way by making mistakes and taking risks.
Another challenge I've faced is staying motivated. When you're a business owner, there's no one else there to push you or hold you accountable. It's up to you to set goals and work toward them each day. To overcome this challenge, I've had to develop self-discipline and learn how to motivate myself even when things get tough.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start now. Don't wait for the perfect time to start your business because it will never come. It's important to take action and launch your business as soon as possible. Don't wait for Monday, next week, or tomorrow. Start now and take it one step at a time.
- Don't get caught up in overthinking and perfectionism. It's easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis, trying to make everything perfect before launching your business. But the truth is, you need to start somewhere. Launch your business and make improvements as you go. Hands-on learning and feedback from customers/clients will help you grow and improve your business.
- Don't compare your day one to someone else's day 3,000. Building a successful business takes time and effort, and it's important to remember that everyone started from scratch. Focus on your own progress and take it one step at a time. Set realistic goals and work toward them each day, knowing that success is a journey, not an overnight accomplishment.
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.
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