Tara Rodriguez of Hanford, California (located in the Central Valley) is the mother of two pre-school boys plus a college professor. Tara shares how her youngest son inspired her to launch her business, Kindermusik with Miss Tara.
“The most important thing in the world to me is my children and giving them every opportunity I can to grown into well-rounded, happy individuals.”
MG: Sum up your business in three sentences or less.
TR: Kindermusik is the world’s leading provider of music and movement programs for young children. The classes allow children to explore music, movement and instrument play through lessons designed to encourage a lifelong love of music. And while your child is having a great time in class with their teacher and peers, you have the peace of mind that they are learning important skills such as creativity, listening skills, coordination and confidence.
MG: Where do you sell your products?
TR: I teach my classes out of my friends art studio for children in downtown Hanford, California (Imagine Creative Art Studio), just off the old town main street. The art studio and I share the same target audience, so it is working out great for us and our clients.
MG: Why did you choose to start your business?
TR: I started Kindermusik with Dominic when he was 3 months old, and we continued until the educator went out of business when he was around 2 1/2. I moved to another music school, about 45 miles away to continue the experience for him. When Urban was born, I contacted the woman who had later taken over the first educators business about classes. She told me she was going back to school and getting out of the business. My husband and I talked about it, and I bought everything Kindermusik she had and launched my program. Now Urban goes to two classes a week, and he loves it!
MG: Where do you find inspiration for your business?
TR: From the smiles on the children’s faces….seriously. Both my sons love to come to class with me, and my mother-in-law often tags along to help out and spend time with her grandsons. It makes it a great bonding experience for her, and keeps me from having to leave my boys while I work. I also have a number of friends with children the same age as Urban, so he gets a weekly play date as well!
TR: High energy, goal oriented, child focused. The most important thing in the world to me is my children and giving them every opportunity I can to grown into well-rounded, happy individuals. Working with parents that have the same vision for their children is inspiring and motivating.
MG: Tell me about your typical day.
TR:I’m up early to get myself up and ready for the day before I need to wake the boys and get Dominic to school. I have classes three mornings a week and two evenings a week to leave time for the boys’ other activities. In a perfect world, I fit in my school work (I also teach college courses for the University of Phoenix) during the day while Urban naps, but that doesn’t always work out.
MG: How do you juggle work and family?
TR: It’s not easy, but trying not to overschedule my life and being extremely organized helps. I still teach three college courses at a time through online universities, so there are a lot of late nights and working weekends, for sure. Before scheduling my classes, I look at what my family has going on during the course of the semester (sports, vacations, etc) and try my best to work my Kindermusik schedule around that.
MG: Three tips you would like to give to moms who are thinking about starting their own business?
- Be realistic about what you are willing to give up. I sometimes miss my son’s practices, and we don’t have as much time to go out of town as we used to.
- Be sure you have the support of your family…and that you give them yours. Starting your own business is a HUGE time commitment, and if the needs of your family are consistently not being met, no one is going to be happy…including you.
- Have fun! Hopefully you made the decision to start your own business because you found something you were passionate about. Have fun with it now!
MG: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
TR: Both boys will be in school by then, so I will (finally) be able to devote more time to teaching Kindermusik classes. I would like to eventually offer 2-3 classes a day, 5 days a week and maybe hire an additional educator to teach the evening classes to free up my time for my own children’s activities.
MG: What else would you like to add?
TR: I understand the importance and value of community and feel fortunate to be able to share my love of Kindermusik with the families in my community.