I remember the day that my daughter-in-law, Arleene, showed me her idea for a business — now called Mama and Little. She had recently given birth to her first baby, and was looking at silicone teething necklaces. But she didn’t really like the bright red, yellow, and blue colors of the beads. The one style that was out there had beads going all the way around. Moms were saying that it got tangled in their hair. Arleene explains,
After my son was born in July 2013, I soon realized I wasn’t going to be able to wear jewelry around him. He was just too quick to pull on my necklace or bracelets and always wanted to stick them in his mouth. At the time there was one company offering teething necklaces but I just couldn’t bring myself to wear one. They looked like you were wearing a brightly colored toy, and with all the strain of being a new mom and lack of sleep during that time I really just needed to feel pretty. (Arleene, Mama and Little)
Silicone Teething Necklaces
Having a background in fashion, Arleene decided to create silicone teething necklaces that a mom would really want to wear and still be a good teether for her baby. We sat on her sofa, and she showed me her designs and colors and sources to have them made. I liked her ideas and decided to give her and my son about $1000 to get it off the ground. My other son had successfully started his business (Slide Belts) and I felt like this was going to be a good idea as well.
A lot of people ask her how she started her business — especially because they were able to buy their first home after only a few years of launching Mama and Little. They moved to the state of Washington, which is a more business friendly state than California, and began to save money for a down payment. Arleene handles all the designs and social media such as Instagram, and my son handles the website and finances. Together, they have built a successful business — which is very dependent on both their skills.
That first year was a shock. Our sales more than doubled every single month. Business had grown so much that my husband was able to join me full time in early 2015. (Arleene, Mama and Little)
Being a mompreneur
Arleene is one of the newest entrepreneurs — the momprenuer. It isn’t the easiest life — although very rewarding — it is often hard to juggle family and business all under the same roof. Arleene doesn’t neglect her first love — family. I’ve watched her snuggle with her son and post on Instagram while sitting on the sofa. But there are tough days too. That’s life. No matter where you are, you will have difficult days. Lucky for me I’ve been able to visit and enjoy my grandson while they work a trade show or just get orders shipped. The important thing is to remember the positive and avoid the negative set backs — like when someone copies your designs and launches a similar company.
Silicone teething necklaces by Mama and Little can be found on their website: Mama and Little. Shop the Spring Sale now. Follow Mama and Little on Instagram: Find their sales and see some happy moms. Enjoy your babies while they’re young. It goes by way too fast.