The Hybrid Moms Of The Week Interview Written By: Allison Rubin, Hybrid Mom
Name: Michelle Brandriss
Company: Name Bubbles
Year company was founded: January 20, 2009
Family: Husband, David Brandriss, 4 year old son, Cooper Brandriss, two lovable shelter dogs, we don’t know how old they are – Jocomo (Australian Sheppard) and Della (A mix of Lab and Chow).
Tell us about your company: Name Bubbles are waterproof name labels that are designed to last through the rough-and-tumble of everyday life. They’re stylized but functional, with a press and stick application that lasts through the dishwasher and laundry. Name Bubbles keep it all coming home and help parents save time and money.
My a-ha moment: Labels and label companies have been around for many years and as a working mom I used labels from several companies. It’s a competitive niche market but as we started to learn the extent of my son’s nut allergies, I wanted to be able to add all of my contact information and instructions right on the label. Nuts and coconut oil are hidden in many processed foods. We have to be very careful and this level of customization was not available before Name Bubbles. I was designing around my own needs, and it turns out they dovetailed with needs other parents were experiencing.
How do you work your schedule to get a little flexibility? I don’t go home for a relaxing weekend much anymore but as a parent and spouse, the flexibility of owning my own business has been amazing. I can be where I need to be for my family, swim class at 4:30…no problem. The downside is that you never stop, not that any mom ever “Stops.” I am a night owl so I love easing into the day and spending some extra time at home before going into the office. I often find myself kissing my son goodnight and then I am off again or working from home, it’s a routine that really works for me. Then there are times, where you do your best and call it a day. My son just turned four and it has gone by in a flash. He is outgoing and very independent. I am appreciating every Mommy moment that I have while I am still cool enough to spend time with.
Can you offer any tips to other moms out there regarding growing a business or encouraging words for those with a small business? If you know you are on the right path, then don’t ask anyone for their approval. But always keep an ear out for good advice. Be confident and clearly inform others of your decisions. When you have questions, find the most qualified person to ask for help. Everyone has a specialty. I‘ve learned the hard way, you will usually end up saving yourself time and money if you do not try to do it all yourself.
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about: I’ve been sleeping very well the last few months because I’ve recognized the two consultants that I cannot function without…a good lawyer and a good accountant. Effective legal representation will protect your innovative ideas or designs, and the Tax Man can be very frightening, tax laws are complicated for small businesses and shouldn’t be handled alone.
Best thing about being a parent: When I think about whom I was before and after the birth of my son, it’s a bit surreal. Something happened when I was pregnant…I became part of something bigger than myself, I see people differently. I’ve become more forgiving, more understanding, and I try to remember that we impact one another, our actions, words and thoughts have meaning. I feel incredibly grateful and happy that I am able to share my life with my family, with my son.
Best thing about owning my own business: Growing up I always felt that I didn’t fit into the “Business World”, I wasn’t competitive enough. In many ways I am a laid back person, I don’t have a routine, a strict diet, or schedule – I would never be pointed out as success driven or “Type A”. Name Bubbles has provided a very nurturing vehicle, I believe it has helped me become more competitive and disciplined but in my own way. I am driven now, but it’s to create a great product. I want moms and dads to know that we care about our bubbles and ensure they receive a superior product that is backed up with great customer service. Even though it’s a very simple concept, I am very proud of our products, I am always happy to get into the office.
Guilty pleasure? As I’ve gotten older I’ve started looking at things differently, I don’t feel guilty about the little things and I really appreciate them. For example, chocolate and I have always had a special relationship, I am laughing as I am writing this, but it’s true! I appreciate it, I enjoy it, but I’ve learned that too much of a good thing can have bad results, balance is everything. Or, if I take the time and money to find a new handbag or go to a movie and dinner, than I am truly grateful that I had the resources to do so. A little pampering and fun can do wonders for any mom.