Secrets of Success: Kristina CashRieva Lesonsky
There are some “rules” of business success most entrepreneurs abide by. But many also have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that helped them achieve success. In “Secrets of Success,” a weekly interview series here at Web.com’s Small Business Forum, I ask some of today’s smartest, most innovative, most successful business owners to share their insights and success secrets with you.
Meet: Kristina Cash, the Director of Operations and founder of BabyBum™ Products. In 2013, after giving birth to her son, Kristina felt 100 percent confident in her parenting skills. That confidence soon faded when her baby developed a gastrointestinal disorder causing chronic diaper rash. Despite constantly applying diaper cream at the recommendation of her pediatrician, the rash only got worse. After eight weeks of her son suffering from a red, blistered bottom, Kristina was consumed with the task of healing the painful rash. Then she read that the proper way to apply diaper cream included washing your hands before applying the cream. She always washed her hands after applying diaper cream, but rarely immediately before.
That was Cash’s ah-ha moment. She knew there had to be a better, more sanitary way for parents to apply diaper cream that didn’t require them running to the bathroom to wash their hands in the middle of changing diapers. With nothing else on the market addressing this dilemma, she spent the remainder of her maternity leave creating a prototype of her new invention out of a kitchen spatula and suction cup.
From that homemade prototype, the BabyBum Brush was born. It’s the first-ever, patent-pending diaper cream applicator tool that reduces the risk of bacteria transfer and applies ointment smoother, thicker and faster for better protection against painful diaper rashes. The BabyBum Brush is gentle on baby’s skin, wipes clean and keeps parents’ hands and nails free of diaper cream mess.
Like most entrepreneurs, Cash met her fair share of challenges along the way to get her product into the hands of consumers. Her tenacious drive and belief in the BabyBum Brush allowed her to overcome initial problems such as product quality issues and faulty packaging.
The BabyBum Brush is now sold in more than 2,500 stores nationwide, including BuyBuy Baby and Babies “R” Us, as well as on Amazon. Kristina has expanded her product line this year, adding BabyBum Diaper Changing Glove-Saks.
You can find Kristina on Twitter @babybumproducts.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Kristina Cash: I wasn’t sure...but I had a vision in my mind starting in the 6th grade that I would grow up with a career where I would stand in a boardroom of decision makers, influencing them towards a decision.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Cash: I invented the product to solve a problem for myself. I turned it into a business to solve the problem for others, and for the thrill of starting and managing my own business.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Cash: Yes, I owed family and friends a significant amount of debt due in about a month and [I had] no way to pay. I had returned to my corporate job and was struggling to manage all the demands on my shoulders. One day I crawled under the clothes in my closet and cried, and prayed, and cried. I drifted to sleep and woke with a feeling that it was all going to work out. One week later I received a P.O. from a major retailer for $5,000 more than what I owed to my family and friends. The pivotal moment was to choose to partner with God and then trust Him.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Cash: The opportunities and work lists will be endless, and your passion and engagement could drive you to work nonstop—but you have to be very deliberate that it does not intrude in a destructive way on your marriage and your family life. No other success can compensate for failure in the home.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Cash: Surround yourself with people who think differently than you...and cherish those differences as a competitive advantage.
Lesonsky: Do you have a prediction for small business?
Cash: Technology is and will [always] be the ultimate equalizer—enabling someone like me, a new mom on maternity leave, to play in the sandbox with the big boys.
Lesonsky: What’s your favorite book?
Cash: Getting Things Done was extremely useful, but for peace and power in my life I read Scriptures each day.
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Cash: “Don’t let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.