What a great time for female entrepreneurs: We are delighted to share with you features and essays written by super women with inspiring careers and businesses that are reshaping our economy and the way we consume. They share their journey, the process it took them to get to where they are now and what they’ve learnt along the way. Welcome to Modern Mentors.
I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, an incredible environment that fosters caring for others and community. I began my professional career at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific with a college internship, supporting their therapy program and patients. This experience evoked my ambition to help others and I wanted to incorporate this into my own business practice at some point.
How it all began
It was motherhood, that sparked the desire to create a business that supports children- a safe space for imagination and playfulness. I believe the benefits of dress-up and investing in quality playtime for children goes beyond fun. It helps create a more confident and engaged child.
Once I set myself on a mission to create soft, wearable, children’s costumes, my first task was research. Being new to the apparel industry, I knew that there was a lot to learn but I was grateful for the resources I had around me. I called upon my smart and talented friends in the fashion and apparel industries for their wisdom and advise. Because I personally financed the business, I knew I needed to start small and bootstrap every step along the way. The blessing of starting a business with a small budget is that you become very conscientious of spending and decision making.
The biggest challenge has been brand awareness. You can spend all your time designing and producing your product, writing and rewriting content, and creating a beautiful website but unless people know about your product or business, it doesn’t really matter. For me the hardest work really began after I launched my business and made my product available for purchase— that’s when sales, marketing, accounting, and product management began.
The blessing of starting a business with a small budget is that you become very conscientious of spending and decision making.Nathalie Smith from Snickerdoos
Gratitude. It is the most validating proof of concept to have someone invest in a product you created.
I love Mother Teresa’s reminder that the love that begins at home has the capacity to expand and mold who we are in our communities at large. “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” I believe investment in quality play for our children is a step towards a better world.
Natalie Smith is the founder of Snickerdoos, a children’s apparel company designing everyday costumes to foster creative and imaginative play. Snickerdoos costumes are intentionally designed for ease of use (without the help of an adult) and mindfully made from an ultra soft cotton-blend to ensure comfort, softness, and breathability.
Natalie is passionate about giving back to the community, which is apparent through the brand’s charitable initiative.
Prior to launching Snickerdoos, Natalie was a Co-Founder of an ice cream company to acting as Editorial Content Director for an entertainment media company.