If there’s something you’re interested in, explore it. If you have an interesting idea, share it. You’re not going to get it right every time and that is okay. Don’t be afraid to fail.”
Lisa Pinnell is the founder of the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock, an easy, convenient, stylish, and, most importantly, safe way to hold baby plus a basket full of groceries while shopping. Binxy Baby’s patented design quickly and easily clips onto most carts, the seat hangs elevated so you have plenty of room underneath for groceries, then it rolls up to fit in your purse or diaper bag when finished.
Where did the idea for Binxy Baby come from?
I created the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock because shopping with kids is insanely difficult. Every time I went grocery shopping with my toddler and newborn, I left feeling completely defeated. Either my newborn had just been buried alive by groceries, or my toddler had emptied the entire lower shelf on aisle two. I knew there had to be a better way and I wanted to be the person to figure it out.
After several years of living with a shopping cart in my kitchen and tinkering away late at night, I created the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock. It is exactly what it sounds like: a hammock in a shopping cart for your baby. It provides your little one with the most convenient, safe and comfortable seat in the store while still allowing room for a toddler and groceries, so you can seriously grocery shop like a champ. The patented hammock holds up to 50 pounds, quickly and easily clips onto most carts, hangs elevated so you have plenty of room for groceries, then simply rolls up to fit in your purse or diaper bag when finished. Most infant car seats sit snugly inside the Shopping Cart Hammock as well and can be secured using the included safety strap.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I start every day with very strong coffee and I still sometimes nap when my 1 year old naps. So, productivity may not be my forte at this stage of life. I’ve just learned to squeeze it in when I can. Right now my productive time is usually after all the kids are in bed and I can work in silence.
Also, I love my to-do lists! My most productive days are the ones where I’m organized enough to put together a good to-do list first thing. There’s just something about scratching things off that is so satisfying. Coffee? Check. Brush teeth? Check. I feel so accomplished when I look back at the end of the day and see that while I may have failed at a lot, at least I checked a few things off my list. And yes, I really do include the basics on there just to make myself feel better. Get dressed? Check.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My ideas live in my head for awhile before I do anything with them. I like to really analyze and think about what exactly I want to create and what it’s going to look like as an end product. Once I feel like I have a firm grasp on that, I start sketching, trying to get every angle and component figured out on paper. From there, I usually start piecing things together using materials I have on hand. I cut and glue and sew, and then rip it all apart and do it again until I am somewhat happy with my results. It’s a long process and there’s probably a better way, but the education I get as I figure out every little detail helps me to understand what it takes to make it perfect in the end.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I don’t think it’s really a trend, more like our new reality. But I’m so encouraged by the way social media and the Internet have just completely leveled the business playing field. Anyone with an idea now has a platform to get it out into the world, not just to sell, but for feedback, help, partnerships and funding. It’s created a world where my 11-year-old daughter feels empowered to start her own business. And she has, several times over already. It’s so cool to watch.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I delegate everything that sucks up my time and keeps me from doing what I should be doing. In the beginning I did it all–I designed the website, I did social media, I responded to every email, I did quality control, I handled importing, packaging, shipping, etc. I do think that is important as you build your business. But there comes a time when you realize your time is better spent in other areas. In order to grow and thrive as a business, I knew I needed to focus on the bigger picture items and hire help to do everything else. It’s always a little scary handing a responsibility over to someone else, but not having to worry about keeping every little detail of the business running frees me up to create new products, improve our processes, and increase revenue.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to just jump in. If there’s something you’re interested in, explore it. If you have an interesting idea, share it. You’re not going to get it right every time and that is okay. Don’t be afraid to fail. Those failures are going to help mold and shape and send you in the direction you are meant to be.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Minivans are actually pretty cool.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Spend a little time every day working on whatever you’re currently dreaming about. Whether it’s a new business, a new product, a book, whatever. Don’t get so busy working that you forget to spend time dreaming. Dreaming and doing what you love are sometimes the beginnings of great businesses.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
“I learned that getting my product into the right hands on social media is an incredible way to spread awareness and grow the brand. People love sharing helpful products and information. When a mom uses our shopping cart hammock and realizes it really does help make her life a little easier, she wants to tell the world about it. It creates a domino effect that encourages other moms to take the leap and try our product, and then they want to share as well. One positive review can potentially put our product in front of hundreds of thousands of customers at one time. Plus, the instant feedback is really helpful to see what changes need to be made, what issues need to be addressed, etc.”
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I went against the judgement of someone older and wiser than me when choosing our first factory to manufacture our product. Once the factory had my money, they took two years to finish my first run of product, and when we finally received it, about 20% of the product was defective. I had to call in all my friends and family to help me open every single box, test, and inspect each hammock, and then refold and repack them back into individual product boxes. It was a nightmare, but it was a good lesson in learning to ask for help.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I don’t have much time for cooking these days but I love home cooked meals. I’ve already tried paying my kids to cook dinner for our family and found that usually ends up being more work than it’s worth. I’d love it if there was an app for people to find home cooked meals in their neighborhood that they can purchase and pick-up. Kind of like little popups on a map that shows what’s cooking nearby and you click on which one sounds good. I’m sure there would be some health department hurdles that need to be figured out. But, wow, if that existed, I’d be one happy mama. That, and if someone could invent a mini Nespresso machine for my super cool minivan.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Super cheesy, but the best money ever spent is when I get a chance to go on a date with my husband. We both work hard, so escaping with him for a night is always a treat.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Shipstation is really the workhorse behind our business. When we first started, we were entering and printing each shipping label one at a time. Shipstation seamlessly integrates all our customer info from Shopify and creates batch shipments so hundreds of shipping labels can be printed at the touch of a button. Amazing.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Soul Keeping by John Ortberg. Being an entrepreneur and the mom of 4 young kids is amazing and exhausting and challenging in so many ways. Learning how to feed and nourish my soul helps me find peace in the chaos. Plus I’ve found that when I make it a priority to care for my soul, everything else falls into place.
What is your favorite quote?
Maybe it won’t work out. But maybe seeing if it does will be the best adventure ever. -Unknown
- Productivity looks different for everyone.
- Focus your time and energy on tasks that grow the business and hire help to do the rest.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate.
- Spend a little time every day doing something you love.
- Social media is the key to brand growth.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.