What does your business
My Miracle Baby offers deeply discounted infant and children's clothing,
gifts and toys.
When and why did you start the
The first order was placed on Jan 9, 2001.
I am an out-of-work New Yorker
who lost my job after 20 years as a marketing professional for
computer software firms. I also have experience in the healthcare
After I picked myself up and dusted
myself off, I decided to do something that I was truly passionate
about and apply those 70-hour work weeks in corporate hell --
I mean Corporate America -- to something that could benefit my
family and me. I had a new baby that was conceived thru fertility
treatments -- after having lost 3 babies -- and I loved everything
about baby products -- the look, feel, smell. And, boy! Did I
love picking out outfits for my Jillian.
From that discovery came the concept
for My Miracle Baby.com. I ship out about 50-70 orders a week
from my basement that has been converted into a warehouse. (Not
bad after being in business for only 6 months.) I also work part-time
for Kraft/Nabisco Foods and do street fairs every other weekend.
How Many People are in your
4 part-time helpers and several co-op type partners. I keep everyone
moving at warp speed.
Where's your office?
I have converted my entire basement into a warehouse. I am lucky
to have a forgiving hubby. We have simply taken over the entire
basement of a ranch house. And it's working!
What's the toughest part of
running your biz?
Constantly being "on." While I took my work home when
I was with Corporate America, when Friday came, I could put it
on the shelf. Not anymore! I get calls at midnight asking about
an infant onesie...what has my world become!?
What's the most fun part?
I love when my customers are so tickled they have to write to
tell me. I really do the customer service thing to the 'nth degree.
Free gifts, coupons for future use, samples and so on. If I make
a mistake and send the wrong outfit, I'll let them keep it and
I'll send another. I may lose $10 here and there, but I've made
a customer for life. I also remind them... In exchange please
mark me as one of your favorite places... they inevitably do based
on my customer return rate.
Anything you would have done
Oh my goodness! Yes! I purchased the wrong shopping cart -- we
were forcing a fit and it just didn't work. I never thought I'd
grow this big so I never really kept track of inventory. Hey if
I didn't have it, I'd explain to the customer.
Now with 2,800 different SKUs and
more than $80,000 in product, I still don't have the inventory
at 100% (tho we are much more detail-oriented) and it makes me
crazy when I paid big bucks for an inventory module and STILL
have to tell a customer -- Sorry, we're out of stock.
What's next on the horizon for
My goal is to outgrow my home (which is happening already) and
move my "warehouse" to an industrial park where I can
open to the public 3 days a week. This way, I can take back my
home, do what I do here at the new place and have some retail
traffic a few days a week without committing to the grueling schedule
of a retail store.
I've also just purchased a baby,
children and parent portal and think I can make an impact with
a new customer base.
What advice do you have for
Do whatever you can to not look so much like a "mom and pop
shop" --at least on the internet. People need to be sure
that when they send you their money they will receive quality
products in return. They don't want to get that uneasy feeling.
Otherwise, they'll drive to the mall.
And most of all, do what you love.
If you don't love it, find something you do. I just lost my mom
to lung cancer and I will remind you. This is it - -this is your
life. You can do something you love every day or CHOOSE not to.
But it IS your choice.
How do you use Idea Cafe to
help your biz?
I try to take time out whenever my brain can support more information
and I live and breathe your marketing and sales section. I have
20 years of marketing experience and I'll still read something
and go "Oh, that's what I need to do."
I also wrote my press release only
after reviewing all of your tips. It's just a wealth of info for
the business owner -- particularly the little guys like me who
have hopes of playing with the big boys someday.
School (where, still in school,
Long Island University BS
Prior jobs or business?
20 years of marketing with software/computer related firms. Most
have been related to the healthcare industry.
Lobster hands down. Lazy man's lobster--already taken out of the
shell drenched in butter--well that's how I know he loves me!
What are your pets' names?
Mau Mau, Pretty Kitty (original, huh?) and KC ( short for Kitty
Do any of these pets help with
No, but the 22-pound Mau Mau cat does get cat hair on the orders
sometimes when he lays across them like a lion, but I have several
Is there any one person or event
in your life that led you to go into business for yourself?
My mom. She passed away just 6 weeks ago. I always needed the
steady paycheck and never dreamed of my own business. She always
thought that if anyone could do it, I could. She lived here in
my home. (In fact her apartment was also in my basement and she
put up with all those orders and products!)
Anyone you publicly want to
Mom. Sometimes I don't think I can do this another day without
you and sometimes the only reason I am doing this is because of
you. I miss you so much that I ache.
PO Box 789
Nesconset, NY 11767