When I started my Momtrepreneur series a year or so ago, my vision was to spotlight mommas with handmade businesses. I wanted to find out what inspired them and how they make things work and hopefully give myself a little push while I was at it. I never envisioned venturing out into other types of businesses—until I got an email from Julie McCaffrey of BabyNav Baby Planners.
Julie’s passion for baby planning and her desire to help out other moms in any way possible was immediately clear. So was the value of her business to expectant parents. One quick peek at the BabyNav Baby Planners website had me itching to learn more about Julie.
Tell me a little bit about your business. When did you start it? What inspired you to get it going? Did you start before or after having your kids?
I founded BabyNav Baby Planners in 2011 after being a full-time working mom in a demanding environment through both my pregnancies (including one set of twins) and experiencing the overwhelming load that can bring.
My previous career had been based on research, organization and project management and when I applied those qualities to my pregnancies I felt much more at ease and prepared. Being able to take those qualities and apply them to baby planning and to helping new parents is a dream come true and fuels me to learn more and provide better service to each family that I have the pleasure of working with.
At BabyNav we have a true love and passion for everything maternity and baby related. We look forward to sharing our knowledge, experience and unbiased expertise with expecting parents while they navigate the process of selecting the right baby gear for their family and preparing for their new arrival! Whether it is baby gear consulting, personal shopping, nursery organization, multiples preparation, or infant routine development my goal is to empower parents to make educated decisions and take away stress throughout the entire process.
How do you balance motherhood and running your business?
I wish I had a better answer for this but the real truth is that I struggle with that balance every day. The luxury of having my own business is that I can always make my kids my priority and I work around their schedule. This means that I do as much as possible while they are in school in the mornings and work many late nights after bedtime. It can be hard not to peek at my email, make a quick phone call or open a package while the kids are home but I have to remind myself I took this leap so I could be with them and need to take advantage of that while I can. I am guilty of making too many unrealistic to-do lists and trying to be everything but I am working on that.
How does being a mom affect your business? Would you do anything differently if you didn’t have kids?
I think I am much more efficient and go with my gut more as a mom. I don’t have the time to ponder a business decision too much or allow myself to get too lost on the internet. I am very empathetic to the expecting moms that I get to work with because I have been exactly where they are. I think this allows me to quickly relate and connect to my clients so I am able to provide them with better service.
It is hard to imagine me doing this without kids because that is where my passion and inspiration initially came from. But I think the one thing I would do differently is get more sleep and get to the gym more! 🙂
What inspires you creatively?
Other moms, bloggers and I definitely get help from Pinterest. I am an executor and truly respect and appreciate how many creative moms are out there. For my business, I spend time really looking at what moms today are buying and what they want to fill their homes with to bring baby home. I love to read baby and child design blogs and attend shows where I can see nursery trends. Personally, I search for ideas online and adapt them to work for our home. This may mean that only part of our DIY projects are from scratch but we have fun with whatever we do!
Do you have any tips for other moms who are looking to turn their passion into a business?
Be confident and don’t allow fear to stop you! Have constant reminders of your passion around you to keep you going when you hit a closed door!
Julie has been sweet enough to offer you guys a pretty awesome deal: 20% off all baby planning services (for you tired mommas out there that includes infant routine development and sleep schedules). And because when spring comes often so do invites for baby showers, she’s also offering 25% off gift certificates so you can give the gift of extra support, time and stress relief! Just email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know I sent you!
What did you (or do you) find most intimidating about a new baby?