Peggy Vincent is the innovator of the glow in the dark pillowcase. She was a young, single professional when she launched her company, Comfy Cozy, Inc. in the mid-1990s. Peggy shares how her products, company and expectations all changed with marriage and children.
Peggy and I first met around the year 2000. We belonged to a small, online mastermind of work-at-home moms we called SuperWAHMz. Lynn Korff, of Korff Ceramic Originals, hand-picked our group who provided support and camaraderie as we each grew our businesses. Lynn also created the The Mom Pack.
If you are just starting out, I can not stress enough how important it is to find a tribe. You need other work-at-home-moms, like you, to bounce ideas off.
Both Peggy and myself have backgrounds in merchandising and national sales, so we speak the same language, and sometimes finish each others’ sentences. In the podcast, we offers tips for creative moms on how to launch a product and run a business from home with small children including proper pricing, promotion and dealing with the loneliness factor. Plus, Peggy offers insight on how the work at home experience changes when the kids become teens.
Be Willing to Change Direction
Kandas: Sum up your business in three sentences or less.
Peggy: Comfy Cozy,inc creates whimsical and inspirational gifts featuring the “original” Glow in the Dark Pillowcases. We also offer Custom Screen Printing for businesses, schools and organizations. Our focus is creating fun and functional products that meet the needs of our customers.
Kandas: Why did you choose to start your business – do what you do?
Peggy: Always had a goal to start my own company. Created first pillowcases and decided they were the product to form new company around.
Kandas: Where do you find inspiration?
Peggy: Originally from my nieces & nephews, other family members. Trends & personal interest took over when I started to market the product.
Kandas: What makes you different from other people in your industry?
Peggy: Comfy Cozy,inc. is the only line of pillowcases with the type of “magically” transforming Glow in the Dark images. My line is also cross generational and is not just for kids.
Kandas: Why should someone purchase from you instead of your competition?
Peggy: Our print quality, dedication to detail and selection.
Kandas: For whom are you thankful? Who do you appreciate?
Peggy: My husband, children, parents and extended family.
Kandas: What are some of your favorite books?
Peggy: Easier to give authors: JRR Tolkein, Katrina Kennison, Robert Ludlum to name a few. Genres: Irish history, espionage, autobiography & inspiration.
Kandas: Define your style?
Peggy: Home decor – leaning toward some version of country chic but you wouldn’t know that if you walked into my house;) personal – comfortable without looking dowdy!
Kandas: Tell me about your typical day.
Peggy: Up at 5:30 w/ kids. #2 out the door at 7. Coffee w/ husband til 8/9. In my office by 9. Work til 1. Have a part time job t/w/th so I’m out the door by 1:15. Home by 6:15. Dinner, finalize homework check, relax with kids for a bit before bed. Wait for Scott to get home, usually by 9/10 ok 11. Bed. With 4 of 5 trips outside with our adorable Beagle:)
How do you juggle work and family? Carefully. Some days are better than others. Primarily I only “work” when our children are in school. There are times when I work in the evenings but try to not go back and forth from office to “family” space. It’s difficult to shut down your business brain, shut the office door and not go back in, but it’s important to let your family know you can separate the two.
Kandas: Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?
Peggy: Comfy Cozy, inc. is not in just one specific industry so answering that question won’t be direct.
- What I would tell anyone is to research other products on the market, examine every aspect of product development that goes into pricing and to establish a retail price that the sell on the market. Many people just say “this will sell at ‘x’” then realize that they either can’t cover the cost or their profit margin is not enough to sustain the business.
- Be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to your business AND more importantly, what you will need to do if suddenly you need to dedicate more. Can you and your family support the changes and what will the effect be.
- Be willing to change direction. I realize that I should have made some changes to my product line, marketing strategy and business plan several years ago.
Kandas: How have you grown as a person since starting your company?
Peggy: I’ve learned that I did NOT know everything about running a business, should have minored in business and that I’m not as organized as I thought I was. I also started this company before I was married with kids. I would never have guessed that the professional, aggressive and all work/no play me would prefer building blocks and playing in the mud! I’d call that “personal” growth that required an acceptance that my “professional” growth would take a back seat for a while.
Kandas: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Peggy: More productive on a day to day basis since our boys will both be in college – ACK! No longer selling pillowcases but doing more custom printing without carrying an inventory. Possibly be out of this business completely. Be able to call myself an author and have written a book or 2.
Kandas: What else would you like to add?
Peggy: At this time I am assessing where I am, my business plan and if this is what i want to do anymore. The “thrill” is leaving and determining what that means and where the road will take me is a huge door to open, walk over the thresh hold and shut the door with a feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment but eyes focused on the future and NOT looking back.
Your definition of success is your own and you cannot let anyone else define it for you. Businesses, like children, grow and evolve. Sometimes you need to coddle the baby and sometimes you need to stand back and watch it play.
Connect with Peggy Vincent
- Website: http://comfycozy.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ComfyCozy
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ComfyCozyGifts/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/GlowFxComfyCozy
Leave a comment with your tips for aspiring work-at-home-moms.
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