Saturday, October 6, 2012

Doomed to Fail? Moms who work!

Tracy and I are both new to starting a business.  We don't have backgrounds in tech or business, we didn't major in marketing or advertising and we had never heard of terms like "startup" or "mompreneur" prior to launching WishGift.  We're two mom, who recognized the stresses with gift-giving and have set out to fix it.

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to attend the International Startup Festival in Montreal.  The 3-day event was my very first welcome to the tech industry and it was terrifying!  So many brilliant ideas, confident individuals effortlessly talking about their business, prizes being awarded, media opportunities...  I couldn't have thrown myself in more unknown waters BUT I didn't drown!  I made wonderful contacts and received invaluable advice that has really helped guide the growth of our site (Thank-you "Women in Tech" tent; Yes Montreal and Montreal Girl Geeks).

The one daunting phrase is how difficult and time consuming beginning a Startup is.  Every speaker I've heard has touched on this point, and although probably so, I can't help but wonder if being a working mom of 2 children under 5, puts WishGift in the automatic fail bracket.

I truly love WishGift and the problems it solves.  I love how we're making any gift accessible!  I love how a parent can think of their child's passion, and register any gift for them.   Hockey gear, traditonally categorized as pricey, becomes affordable when WishGifted for a child's birthday.  On the flipside, I'm grateful when my friends register a gift because finding time to shop and knowing what to get is often a challenge.  WishGift provides a simple option for guests when they're looking for ideas and still allows for traditional gifts to be given.

It is for these reasons, that I have every intention of continuing my commitment and desire to build the site.  I'm happy that 4 of my friends' children received swingsets as birthday presents.  I love that my daughter has been dressing up as a Disney princess every night since her 4th birthday (a $200 gift).  I'm thrilled that a little boy is beginning hockey lessons and received all the gear he needed.  I enjoy receiving email messages from people, whom I don't know, who registered and received a stroller and baby gear for their baby shower.  And seeing messages like the one below, puts me over the moon.

"Thanks for setting up this high tech way of shopping for your gift. I love it! 
 Wishing you a healthy birth, and much happiness to you and 
 your family on this happy occasion of new life." 2012

Seeing great gifts being given and received makes me feel good and gives me the drive to push the site forward.  So although a Startup may be "hard", "time-consuming" and "difficult", I've never been one to shy away from obstacles.  And I don't intend on shying away now!


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