Career Q & A: Ready to Start Your Own Business? 4 Tips from Hatch Things Founder, Sonjie Solomon
I’ve been considering starting my own product business and would love to hear from another mom who has made it work!
— Tessa M.
1.While having a great idea is wonderful, also spend some time on a business plan beforehand.
Before I spent money to have my first product manufactured, I entered and won a merit award for my business plan in the PowerUp Business plan competition funded by Citi Foundation and the Brooklyn Public Library. The classes and resources helped me gather my thoughts and research the target market and put together a basic financial picture. Doing some type of prep work like this really helped me clarify my goals and allowed to me think past what making the physical product would be like.
2. Don’t fall in love with your idea.
Be open to suggestions and really listen, but also know that everyone wants to feel that they can contribute and make improvements to your idea so take everything with a grain of salt.
3. Be critical of your ideas but don’t be too critical of yourself.
You can easily get yourself down. Be kind to yourself and take care of yourself.
4. Sometimes ignorance is really bliss.
Had I known the challenges of starting a business on my own, I’m sure I would have been too scared to even start.
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Sonjie Feliciano Solomon was born in Manila, Philippines and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Sonjie received a marketing/business degree from Georgetown University. She has traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe and her work as a copywriter for traditional and interactive advertising agencies led to stints in New York, Hong Kong and Boston. Unsatisfied with staring at a computer screen all day, she craved the fulfillment of creating things with her hands and returned to art school.
After receiving a degree in industrial design with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design, she worked for a variety of furniture and product design companies. And her sculpture and paintings have been shown in solo and group shows in NY, MA, FL, RI, MI and Korea. These projects straddle the line between art, craft and design.
In 2011, she put her first product out with her bootstrapped company, Hatch Things, which aims to create simple solutions for parents. This move was inspired by her life as the mom of 3 active boys and desire to solve some basic parenting frustrations.