Take a stay-at-home mom with an entrepreneurial spirit and a dash of creativity, add a desire for a professional outlet and a little extra cash, and you’ve got a mompreneur.
This growth area is so new that the word isn’t even in the dictionary. But entrepreneurial moms – mompreneurs – are alive and well in Crofton.
She started knitting a few years ago and would knit items as gifts, or for her children.
“I really like to make baby hats. Then I realized there is a big business for photo props,” Zegowitz said. She does knit other items, such as scarves, skirts, or even stuffed dinosaurs.
Another Crofton mom - Jennifer Scott – did plan to start a business. Scott owns Recognition Embroidery, a small firm that specializes in creating custom embroidered items for individuals and businesses or groups.
Both moms share a desire to be available for their children. “Knitting offers me a way to be involved in what my kids are doing, and have a creative, professional outlet,” Zegowitz said. “It’s a way to relax. After the kids are in bed, I sit down, knit and unwind – literally,” she said laughing.
Scott also has to wait until her girls are in bed, or at school, before she can work. “I knew I wanted to be available for my kids and that I needed a flexible schedule, she said. Her goal is also to make enough money to pay the family’s monthly mortgage bill, but she knows that it will take some time to make a profit because of the expensive commercial grade equipment she purchased.
As Scott was researching career options she came across information about embroidery companies. “I realized that most businesses have something that they want to have their logo embroidered on, whether it’s a baseball hat or a shirt,” she said.
Larger embroidery companies often require a minimum order. “That’s something that a small business may not need or have the money for, and that’s a niche I can fill,” she said.
Scott welcomes small orders. Examples of work she’s done includes embroidering four robes for the Maryland Plastic Surgery Center, 25 hats for a taxidermy company, and single lunchboxes or backpacks for parents.
Much of Scott’s business comes from word-of-mouth. Back-to-school and Christmas are very busy times, she said.
Zegowitz agreed. Sales are cyclical. “There’s not much of demand for wool hats in the summer, but things really pick up during the Christmas season,” she said. Football shaped hats are always a big seller, she said.
“One of the perks of Etsy over Ebay, is that items are not up for auction, they're for sale. So for 20 cents per listing, your item will appear in your shop until it expires in 90 days. If it hasn't sold at that time you can relist it.,” she said. “And I love that I can put the shop in vacation mode when life gets too busy to keep up.”
Zegowitz advises moms who are thinking about selling on Etsy to “make the things you love the most, take good photos, and do your research to see who is selling similar items so that you can put your own creative stamp on your products.”
Scott also encourages moms to research their options. “Try it out on a small scale before committing to a full-blown business,” she said.