Interview: Tami Shadduck, The SnarfScarf®

Meet Mom Entrepreneur Tami Shadduck , The SnarfScarf®

Interviews BMP Magazine (10)

“I wish I had learned how to master Quickbooks before I really got elbow-deep into running the business. It could save me so much time and effort, but now I can’t seem to find the time to figure it out. Also, keep lollipops in your purse. When an important call comes in, whip out the lollipops and the “you-better-be-quiet-while-I-take-this-call” look.”

What does your business offer?
The SnarfScarf is the ONLY patented, stylish, dignified, and discreet “bib-in-disguise” on the market. It wears like a scarf, but protects like a bib! Moms love it because it covers the entire front of the shirt, therefore preventing stains on the shirt AND lap. Moms love how fashionable the prints are and how easy it is to clean (machine washable). The SnarfScarf isn’t just for popsicles and mac and cheese – it is perfect for arts and crafts too! And if you’re a mom, you know how difficult it is to clean the straps in a car seat. The SnarfScarf is perfect for eating on-the-go because it protects those straps from spills and stains. Moms with kids/teens with special needs tell us they love the SnarfScarf because it doesn’t look like a bib. And most importantly, kids will actually wear it!

Since we have two product lines, adult and child, we do our best to reach all caregivers. In our book, caregivers are young and middle-aged parents, but also older men and women who are caring for their elderly parents. Typically, our customer is a woman, aged 25-60.

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

How has PR and Marketing helped your business?
Early on, I reached out to countless bloggers in hopes of doing reviews and/or giveaways. Not a single one got back to me. I soon learned that these people are inundated with these kinds of requests so I took a new approach. For the adult line, I was the guest on a very popular senior living podcast last Fall, which was perfect timing because people saw The SnarfScarf as a perfect gift idea for the aging people in their lives. I did another podcast called My Cool Inventions Radio, which is a feeder to HSN. That appearance didn’t result in sales, but it did offer an incredible opportunity for exposure and feedback.

What’s your greatest success to date?
My two greatest successes are: getting this business off the ground while being a stay-at-home mom, and winning over every single customer. The fact that people chose to spend their hard-earned money on something I created is incredibly meaningful and rewarding to me.

What’s been challenging and how did you overcome it?
See previous question 🙂 Being a stay-at-home mom and business owner has provided the most guilt, yet the most reward I could ever imagine. It is a real challenge to be present during a game of Candy Land when you’re phone is alerting you of sales!

Until recently, I never knew how to answer this question. And then, Bunmi Laditan, an incredibly real writer, mom, and Facebook goddess, recently shared a quote from the great Toni Morrison about how she managed to find time to write as a poor, single mother. Toni said she wrote in the “edges of the day.” That’s how I make this work… I maximize every single minute that I can find in the “edges” of every day. This means I haven’t watched tv in ages (unless Curious George counts). 🙂

What steps are you taking to achieve your goals?
Baby steps have been key. I rely on advisors from SCORE, asking a lot of questions, not making emotional business decisions, working hard, and following good advice from wherever I can get it. I love learning new skills so whenever I hire someone to do a job for me, whether it be web design or taxes, I always ask them to teach me.

What are your best tips on managing family and business?
Aside from maximizing my time in the “edges,” I take advantage of a very supportive husband and friend group. I don’t have family near me so I rely on kid-sharing with my friends. We all have side projects or day jobs or small businesses we we rely on each other quite a bit. It takes a village.

What are your favorite tools and resources?
I love the Shark Tank Entrepreneurs Facebook page. There is SO MUCH experience and advice waiting for entrepreneurs there. I also love the Etsy app, since I do a lot of business there.

If you could wave a magic wand right now, what would you wish for?
A trusted mentor that could take me through EVERY step necessary to make it to the retail space.

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

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