Cynthia Powell, mother of three boys, has been a work at home for 15 years. Her company, Chicks and Cubs, offers heirloom baby shoe bronzing services. Her background in chemical engineering did not prepare her for the realities of business ownership. However, she has learned to step outside of her comfort zone and embrace challenges. Today, she shares the marketing secrets that keep her website at the top of organic Google search for her niche, year after year.
She’s Come a Long Way, Baby
Kandas: Sum up your business in three sentences or less.
Cynthia: I help families preserve childhood memories by Bronzing and Pewtering baby shoes, pacifiers, ballet shoes and other special items. I offer an heirloom quality product with present and future value.
Kandas: Why did you choose to start your business – do what you do?
Cynthia: Because I wanted to be HOME but it was hard to leave a Chemical Engineer’s Salary. And I have keep doing it because I have to have something that is MINE, that fills my need to be “productive” (and doing dishes, washing clothes, cleaning toilets does not fill that need for me.)
Kandas: Where do you find inspiration?
Cynthia: I am most inspired by people’s whole story. And the more I study successful people, the more I realize that we all have a story – MOST if not all are NOT overnight successes. From Athletes, to Movie/Music Stars to Entreprenures… we all have a long life story. THAT inspires me to keep on my journey, so I can encourage and inspire others with my story.
Kandas: What makes you different from other people in your industry?
Cynthia: If you look back at the Baby Shoe Bronzing business, most was done Door to Door OR at the local big Department store. That is NOT our world today. Most others doing baby shoe bronzing today do it from gathering leads at shows/fairs or store displays. I have been able to set myself apart by generating my leads by being top in Google search, and internet advertising to make people realize that this is something they CAN still do today. The other difference is my prices are UNDER suggested retail. I have talked to clients in NY and CA that paid 3 times my prices for the same product. On the other hand I have really cheap competition. Their prices are under my costs – where we differ is QUALITY.
Kandas: Why should someone purchase from you instead of your competition?
Cynthia: I am the ONE that is providing VALUE – the best products for the best price and with a mom’s heart for their keepsakes.
Kandas: Define your style?
Cynthia: No nonsense – I’m practical, to the point, detailed oriented, and can come across blunt. But my heart is HUGE and I care very deeply about people and their success.
Kandas: Tell me about your typical day.
Cynthia: Up by 6:30 – kids to school, usually back home by 8:15 – work any which way I can till 2:30. Pick up kids, then all the after school stuff and sports and then back to “work – ie: Facebook and emails” as I watch TV and to bed at some time – some days it is 8pm some days it 1am.
I do work a lot but what I have the OPTION of doing is STOPPING when I want. So I can go eat lunch at school or be the field trip mom, or serve on the PTO board or volunteer or take time to help a friend start her business or take a NAP during the day because I need it. I LOVE my life of flexibility.
Kandas: How do you juggle work and family?
Cynthia: Probably not all that well. I LOVE my work and I work a lot because I LOVE it. It is what I do for me. But like I said above, I flex as I need and want around my family and that is what I love about owning my own business, being my own boss.
Kandas: Three tips you would like to give to people who are thinking about starting a business in your industry?
-FIND a business mentor!!
-READ anything you can find about business, sales, success – decide that you have a lot to learn and get to it.
-Don’t spend more that you have – do your very best to find a way to do things without going in debt.
Kandas: How have you grown as a person since starting your company?
Cynthia: I am a better customer/consumer. I think more people need to run their own business so they KNOW that it takes to make money. People don’t have a clue what it takes to run a business, how much it takes to gain a customer and taxes and regulations and shipping… So because of that, I’m a better customer.
Kandas: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Cynthia: With this business, I am working my way up to being the top single (vs team) sales rep.
Kandas: For whom are you thankful? Who do you appreciate?
Cynthia: My husband and my boys for letting me be me and not expecting June Cleaver.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
My biggest takeaway today is learn to step outside of your comfort zone. Doing what is just a little bit harder than what you are comfortably doing could have exponentially greater rewards. You won’t always be able to see what’s outside that comfortable zone where you exist… and you will never know unless you have faith and take a step!
Connect with Cynthia Powell
- Website: www.ChicksAndCubs.com
- Blog: www.Growing-Up-Fast.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/BabyShoeBronzing
Luck of the Straw… err Draw
Did you hear my blooper in the podcast? It’s right before we chatted about how awesome Audible
is… Cynthia and I both listen to audio books while we fold laundry. It’s a great way to get some personal development in. You can get a free audio book using my Audible affiliate link.
Cynthia’s Favorite Books
Get Your Gratitude Geek On
Be sure to tune in every Wednesday to the Gratitude Geek Podcast.
Music by Brock Rodarte.