May 7, 2010
Child's Play
IconChild's Play My name is Christina Durboraw and the reason I started a home-based business was based on two basic ideas--I wanted to keep myself somehow active, but I would NOT leave my 1-year-old son under another person's care. A secondary reason was that my husband works on movie sets, so his schedule is unpredictable and irregular. Together, we agreed that whatever it took, we would make a business venture work.At the same time, my mother, who had been a stay-at-home mom while my brothers and I were growing up, was working in a full-time corporate job becoming more and more frustrated at having to limit the time she could spend with her first grandson. So I worked on a scheme that just might be the solution for both my family and my mom. I began by asking myself these questions: What could I do that could be incorporated into my every day life? What did I have enough passion for that I could deal with it everyday? Was there something in particular that would benefit my life? And the answer came to me--TOYS! Not only do I love to buy toys for my son, but also I truly find them, well, just plain fun to play with! So the idea took shape. I already had a business license from a small venture I made years ago; I knew lots of people with young children who bought lots of toys. My mom and I could partner and be a perfect match--she likes the detail work and I know the market! But how could I, a little fish in a big ocean, compete with the big stores? We needed an edge, and here's what we came up with. Toys are not a "necessity" to some people, but if there is one thing I know, it's that most moms would rather wear the same pair of pants every day if it means they can get that one special doll or action figure that their child is dreaming of. So the plan was to carry a few of the more poplar lines of children's toys and to offer them at prices that beat retail stores. And--offer the best customer service we possibly can. We contacted a few select manufacturers, ordered toys that we believed would be popular, and began to sell to our groups of mothers and grandmothers.As a home-based business, we kept our overhead low, making it possible to grow the business steadily. Customers began referring other customers to us, and our network of contacts grew quickly, especially once we were entered the holiday season. It was simply doing what we do during any normal day--talk to our friends--and word of mouth from satisfied customers that took us far beyond our expectations. Now, a year later, we opened our business to the world through our new Web site with an impressive clientele base to help it get started. The best part of our venture was that we didn#146;t have to mortgage our homes or take out big loans. The idea was small and we let it grow on it#146;s own. Now, our inventory is bigger than we ever could have dreamed of last year, and we are blessed with the opportunity to hire other stay at home moms to help us out. Like us, these moms are able to earn enough to give their child ballet lessons or sports equipment without compromising the time they spend with their children. As our Internet sales grow, it#146;s our goal to have mothers (and grandmothers!) across the nation working with us.In our business, as in our lives, we hold to strong morals and priorities; the rest we put into God#146;s hands. The best part is I am my kid's mom. I believe in what I sell and I love working with my mom. My son has an amazing relationship with his Grandma, and soon my husband will be working with us.Everyone has come out a winner! Permission granted for use on

Posted by Staff at 1:43 AM