I have been wanting to write Erin Condren’s story from the day I launched the inspired mom. She is an incredible role model for mom entrepreneurs. She was the person who actually got me started dreaming about “possibilities”. Her success has been an inspiration to me and I hope you find some inspiration too.
Erin’s journey to success was hard fought and included some setbacks that might have have caused many-a- woman to throw in the towel. The lesson to be learned from Erin is that sometimes disappointment is part of the actual journey on the road to success.
Being creative is part of Erin’s make-up. Her career started designing t-shirt for Nike and she worked in the apparel industry for years. In fact, the clothing industry was where she experienced her first detour on the path to success. Erin and her brother were designing their own clothing line in 2001. They put in countless hours sketching, creating patterns, and choosing fabric. They purchased high end fabric from France and had all of the pieces cut here in Los Angeles. Orders had been placed by stores like Nordstrom and other high end botiques. Erin was working from her bed since she was put on bed rest at the end of her pregnancy with her twins. Just when she and her brother thought the hard part was over, the truck caring the cut fabric to be sewn in Mexico was stolen and never found.
While they were partially insured for their tangible losses, the loss of time and energy was immeasurable. Erin, was on the verge of giving birth and idea of re-ordering fabric, buttons, zippers etc. was difficult to handle. She and her brother thought about starting the process over; but, their decision was made for them as the heartbreaking events of September 11th caused the department stores to cancel their orders.
Now ask yourself what would you do in this situation: you have just given birth to twins and lost countless hours and dollars on your initial effort to develop a clothing line. If your answer is: give up on dreaming and focus on the babies; you are in the majority. If your answer is: continue dreaming and start creating videos for children- you are just like Erin. And, that is what she did. She worked as a co-producer on videos called BABY TRAVELS. While the entrepreneurial spirit was there, Erin and her partner decided that their experience in this arena was not enough to get the project finished.
Erin never gave up dreaming and her next project brings us up to date. What started with stationery and notecards has turned into an amazing line up of products from ErinCondren.com. Take a minute to click the link- then come back to read the rest of this story.
Erin started creating personalized note cards when her young twins were napping or sleeping at night. Initially she made them for gifts and special occasions. So many friends asked about them that she decided to sell some of her designs at a holiday “shopping” party that one of her friends was hosting. The orders started coming and Erin found herself staying awake all night just to fulfill the orders she had received. She hired Dice Media to create a website and business really started to pick up. After merging with a much larger, fine art printing company (macrofinearts.com) she can now focus on new designs and products. And, as I said in the title, remember the name because she has lots of other ideas up her sleeve. Her creations include everything from personalized wrapping paper to life planners. Her products have appeared on Ellen DeGeneres show and in US magazine. I have a few of my own favorites
The family calendar hangs in my kitchen- this is the first thing I would take with me in a fire (after my kids and husband of course). It has inspiring phrases for each month, stickers to mark every occasion and it even has our family name! The other product that I can’t live without is the gift labels. Not only do they save you the time of buying a card for every occasion, they save you money (because cards aren’t cheap) and they dress up any gift.
If you are working on your own business, remember Erin’s refusal to give up on her entreprenuerial ideas. So be inspired to take a chance, give it a try, throw caution into the wind. Know that your mistakes are your own unique way of getting where you need to be. And, remember that the story is never over.