I have always admired moms who seem to do it all. That’s why we launched MOMPRENEUR MONDAYS on the New Mom, Who Dis? Instagram Page- so we could celebrate small businesses run by moms. Now we want to help YOU make YOUR entrepreneurial dreams a reality by launching this MOMSPO column.
I’m talking to inspiring mompreneurs every week to see how they started their businesses, in hopes these conversations will provide some knowledge or insight or just that push you need to start something from the ground up. This week it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Jennifer Parrott of Locks & Mane. Read, share, be inspired.
JESSI: What inspired you to start this business? I’ve always had such fine, thin hair and fell in love with extensions at an early age! I didn’t like how expensive, time-consuming, and damaging most options were so I set out to create a service (which ultimately turned into a product!) that didn’t exist!
JESSI: What was your biggest fear about starting something on your own?
Funny enough, I didn’t have any fears prior to starting the business. It was only after jumping in that I realized there were going to be a lot of unexpected hurdles to overcome.
JESSI: It’s one thing to have an idea or a dream, it’s another thing to go out and make it happen- what gave you that push you needed to say, F*CK IT, I’M DOING THIS! Haha, great question! I prepared a business plan and was all ready to quit my job and start the business…and then I found out I was pregnant, so I decided it was best to wait. When I was nearing the end of my maternity leave with my son, I had this strong feeling that it was now or never!
JESSI: I hate asking moms this question (because dads NEVER get asked) but how DO you balance it all? What does your day-to-day look like? I’m really lucky because I have such an amazing support system. My husband and parents have been a huge part of the whole process. They’ve believed in me from day one and have been along for the ride, always pitching in around the house, with the kids, and any time I need help.
My day-to-day certainly looked a lot different pre-covid than it does now. Both of my children are doing online learning, so in order to be as productive as possible my morning usually starts around 5 am (I never used to be a morning person!) and I tackle my big ‘to dos’ for the day before they’re out of bed! I also start each day with a list of the things I’m most grateful for and I always manage to find time to exercise, even if it’s just 20-30 minutes. It makes such a big impact on my mental health. One of the trickiest things I’ve had to navigate lately is filming HSN and TSC (live in front of millions of people!) from home – I’m always bracing myself for a dog bark or kids screaming!
JESSI: What has been the most challenging part? This is a tough question – there have been soooo many challenges throughout the past 7 years. The hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with was when my son was diagnosed with leukemia four years ago and my entire world changed in an instant. He was three at the time and my daughter had just turned a year old. We moved in with my parents and spent the better part of his first year of treatment in-patient at SickKids Hospital. He finished treatment last year and is a happy, healthy 7-year old boy! We met so many wonderful families and through my business, I was able to gift a number of teens human hair wigs. I’ve since started a program with the hospital and formally registered the non-profit, Strong Like Me. This entire experience made me realize that nothing in life is more important than the people we love and their health and that every day is a gift.
JESSI: What has been the most rewarding part?
One of the most rewarding parts of this whole journey has been hearing customers say that our products have given them so much confidence and that they feel like the best version of themselves.
JESSI: What advice would you give to a fellow mom who is thinking of starting her own business? I would tell her (and I wish someone had told me!) don’t be afraid to start small and to make mistakes, it’s the best way to learn and grow. When you hear the word ‘no’ (and you will hear this word a lot), know that it just means ‘not right now’. Keep trying, persistence is everything.
Shop Locks and Mane on their website and be sure to visit Jennifer on Instagram!