Interview: Tonya Kramer, Founder, Knee Skins

Interviews BMP Magazine (12)

Meet Mom Entrepreneur Tonya Kramer, Knee Skins

When this mom started her business in 2012, she had no idea how much she’d experience and learn.

“I wouldn’t have listened to any advice. The reaction I got from my mom was “you are a determined little girl”.”

What does your business offer?
Interchangeable front knee panels due to wear & tear. Moms can easily switch out the panels to prolong the life of the pants/snowpants. The panels can also offer fashion statements – school colors, images, pro team names, a complete image can be made with the child standing with legs together (1/2 image on one, other 1/2 on the other).

What was your AHA moment?
Had a baby, young children

What’s your greatest success to date?
I reached out to my local University UW Stout and have had a lot of help from 2 project managers. I have spoke to local high school business students. I was featured in a woman’s magazine regarding my story. I have always taught my kids to problem solve. I grew up in a large farming family where problem solving was a must. I thank my mother for that. I have not received revenue yet but I will go and thank the University with a donation as I do. Hopefully soon because one of the professors is reaching retirement.

My long term goal is to set up a winter gear closet in every local school. I live in Wisconsin where it is winter for 6+ months. If the kids do not have the proper gear they can not go outside during recess.
Another thing I would like to do is thank my mother for believing in me, spending hrs & more hrs figuring out the perfect design, making my prototype, for teaching me how little things can make a big difference, and teaching me to be a strong woman.

What’s been challenging and how did you overcome it?
Reaching out to the right people and waiting for response. I try to be patient but in really want to see Knee Skins come to life.

What steps are you taking to achieve your goals?
Working hard & Persistence

What are your best tips on managing family and business?
Woofda. I have a railroad husband- gone 295 days a yr with 3 young children. I work when they sleep.

What are your favorite tools and resources?
Gus Myran & Roger Gerhing the 2 mentors at UW Stout – Project managers that have donated so much of their time & knowledge.

If you could wave a magic wand right now, what would you wish for?
To get THAT phone call to talk royalty. I’ve met with a few companies but trying to be patient.

Where can readers go to learn more about you and your business?

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