After one of my good friends had a baby, she wrote a Facebook status that said something like, “I can’t believe I ever used to complain I was tired. This is tired.” I think part of parenthood is learning to let go of the little things. I mean, do you really want to agonize about your toddler’s Play-Doh colors being separated for the next year, or should you just be OK with letting him have a big ball of a weird brown color? Today, let your kid or your spouse or your co-worker do his or her own thing, take a deep breath and move on.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $66.8 Billion
When I went to a baby shower recently, the older women were remarking at every little mama’s-helper gadget, “What the heck is that thing? We didn’t have that when I was pregnant. Do you really need that?” The baby business is booming, that’s for sure, and new parents can find everything from all-in-one, convertible car seats to the latest and greatest in baby monitors. In fact, the baby-care industry is expected to reach $66.8 billion in sales globally this year. That’s a whole lot of diapers, pacifiers and Baby Einstein toys!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Jennifer Beall Saxton, Founder and CEO of Tot Squad
As you might have noticed, today, we’re talking about the little guys and gals of this world. They are our future, after all. Let’s hope they cut back on the drooling because let’s face it: Babies are mess machines! But Jennifer Beall Saxton devised a clever baby biz that comes to the rescue of busy parents and caregivers every day. Tot Squad, which is like a baby-focused auto shop and maid service all in one, provides non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning services to remove stubborn stains and nasty germs from baby gear, including strollers and car seats, and also offers services like proper car-seat installation and stroller repairs.
If you’ve ever had a sick kid in the car, you’re probably singing, “Hallelujah!” by now. Tot Squad can get rid of every little gross thing that could find its way onto your child’s car seat or stroller: caked-on Cheerios, juice, milk and even germs, mold and bacteria. They disinfect, treat stains and even steam clean. With urban streets in mind, Tot Squad also offers full-on stroller tune-ups and repairs, like changing tires and break checks. They even make house calls!
You may be thinking Jennifer must’ve had some crazy kiddo spills to lead her to this genius business idea. But actually, this baby wiz came up with the concept while attending business school. Her idea was such a hit, it went on to win first place in the Kellogg Cup Business Plan Competition, and Jennifer was recognized with the Student of the Year Award in Entrepreneurship.
Based in Los Angeles, Tot Squad also has franchise locations in New York City, San Diego and Washington, D.C. Busy parents who live elsewhere can even ship baby gear to Tot Squad for cleaning and repairs from anywhere in the world. And because Tot Squad is an inherently mobile service, joining as a franchisee also provides a flexible career opportunity for busy moms looking to bring in a little extra income.
Jennifer’s dream goal is to build Tot Squad into a global brand and become the undisputed leader in child-gear safety, cleaning and repairs. But what success really means to her is being able to give back to the community by motivating and energizing people who share her passion for helping busy parents.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Just about any parent can relate to this funny quote from author Debora Geary, who said:
“Toddlers are germ-warfare machines in a cute package.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.