Building a Business Out of Bath Time:
The Story of One Mom's Decision to Stay Home
By Wendy Young (for Sherri Yukel)
As a person who once enjoyed a satisfying career in the fast paced career world, Sherri Yukel will be the first to admit that she would never have dreamed her life would have taken the turn it has. She had every intention of returning to her full time career outside of the home, after the birth of her second daughter. However, fate intervened, giving Sherri the nudge she needed to make the decision to become a stay-at-home-mom. As Sherri says, “A life altering experience occurred in my family’s personal life, which gave me the ‘sign’ I needed to focus more on my family and on being the best Mom I could be.”
Unsure of how this change would ultimately impact both her family and herself, Sherri forged ahead, confident that she was making the right decision. The transition from being a professional woman to stay-at-home-mom was not without some struggle. Although being an at home mom provides many challenges, they were different sorts of challenges than Sherri was used to in the business setting. Sherri was conflicted between the desire to have a career AND to be at home with her girls. Ultimately, she found support from other at-home moms, as well as work-at-home-moms.
Searching for Total Fulfillment
Deciding she needed a hobby, Sherri purchased a sewing machine, much to the amusement of her husband and mother. She planned on making things for her girls, which is what she set out to do. With her children as her inspiration, Sherri began fashioning towels into enchanting hooded characters that delighted her girls. It wasn’t long before Sherri began crafting the towels as gifts for others. The feedback she received was incredible, and a friend suggested she sell the towels. This gave way to the birth of the business, “Tub Time Towels™”, which caters to the wishes and whims of the smallest bathing beauties.
At-home Mom becomes a dot com Mom
Needing a way to market her products, Sherri turned to the latest technology of Internet commerce and virtual storefronts. Here she got to combine her interest in communications with her new business venture. Herein lied the challenge! Teaching herself as she went along, Sherri created, designed, and promoted her first website called www.simplykidstuff.com™. The website features gifts for babies and children made exclusively by at-home moms! The site has grown tremendously since Sherri first launched it in 1999. Her products have sold throughout the USA, as well as overseas. One of the biggest perks of her business is meeting amazing people from all over the world, who either sell or purchase merchandise through her sites.
A Hobby Goes Wholesale
With Sherri’s sales gradually increasing each month, she found it necessary to contract out sewing with other at-home-moms. The business continues to expand, and is entering into the wholesale/retail market. “It’s exciting,” says Sherri who has seen the growth of her business unfold in rather short order. “We receive frequent inquiries from new stores wanting to carry the Tub Time Towel™ product line!”
Growing, Growing, Growing
Sherri has come a long way since launching her first website.
She now maintains several websites, including:
www.simplykidstuff.com™ ~ Discover something for the young or young at heart. This site features Sherri’s Tub Time Towels™, along with many other unique items, which would delight any child. So whether you’re looking for a birthday gift, a seasonal surprise, or just something to tell the little people in your life, “You’re special to me,” this is the place to look.
www.simplybabystuff.com™ ~ This site provides a bounty of wonderful gift ideas for babies, baby shower favors and ideas; as well as something for the older siblings and the new mom and dad. From functional to fantastic, this site has it all. Welcome that new little one in style. Come in and look around, you are sure to find that perfect something.
www.simplyweddingstuff.com™ ~ Stop in and browse at your leisure. This site features a bevy of ideas for those looking for the perfect gift for that special couple. Featured on this site are Wedding Cakes, a delightful twist on the real thing, this cake is actually fashioned out of a set of new towels. This gift doubles as a centerpiece. This beautiful site includes tasteful gift baskets, bridal invitations, shower gifts, wedding party gifts, and shower favors. Make that special day even more memorable by giving one of these wonderful, handcrafted gifts.
All products are created, developed, or sold by at-home moms, which stays true to Sherri's initial commitment when she built her first website. As an added bonus, purchases can include FREE gift-wrap and a card, if specified. What customer service!
The Best of Both Worlds
Realizing that she can have the best of both worlds wrapped snugly under one roof, Sherri can not imagine going back to the “outside the home” career world. Where else could you manage, maintain, and expand your business, while not giving up impromptu tea parties, sing-alongs, tickle time and tent building adventures? Always within earshot are Sherri’s two “associates”, Syranda, 5, and SaLeya, 3, chattering away in the background. Sherri wouldn’t have it any other way. "The best part," says Sherri, "is being the one who is there to give my girls a big giant hug when they wake up...it’s my favorite part of the day.” Who can argue with that?
If you would like to e-mail Sherri, she would love to hear from you!
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org