For our third edition of the mompreneur series, we interviewed Julie Cole, co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. With her hands full with six children, Julie has built an amazingly successful business which helps fellow parents cut down on the loss of their children’s belongings. She and her partners have changed the labelling world, and we thank them for that. Find out more about how it all began below.
What was the inspiration for Mabel’s Labels?
There were two reasons Mabel’s Labels came to be. Firstly, my business partners and I noticed that there was a useful product missing from the market. Parents were labeling their children’s belongings with masking tape and permanent marker. We wanted to do better than that, so we created an extremely durable and cute personalized label product for all the stuff kids lose. The second inspiration for Mabel’s Labels was our desire to leave the traditional workforce. My eldest child has just been diagnosed with autism and I started Mabel’s Labels in hopes of finding more balance between home life and work life.
How many children did you have and what were their ages when you started Mabel’s Labels?
I had three children and they were a newborn, a 1.5 year old and a newly minted 3 year old! I’ve since added three more to my fabulous collection of children!
Where did the company name come from?
We wanted a brand that could be personified. Little Mabel embraces all the things that are important to our brand – fun, innovation and feistiness! It also helps from a marketing perspective – no one ever forgets the name of our company!
What was the biggest challenge you had becoming a mompreneur?
I think it took me too long to ask for help. I only got a nanny when my fifth child was nearly one-year-old. That was about three kids too late! I think mompreneurs leave the traditional workforce to be with their kids so are reluctant to get help with their kids. I learned that by getting help, I was a better business owner AND a better parent. I got over that problem – I have no problem waving the white flag now and am a master delegator!
What advice would you give to other mother’s looking to start their own business?
You better make sure your spouse or partner is 100% on board with you starting a business. If not, you will not succeed. It is very difficult in those early years to be raising kids, working non-stop and not collecting a pay cheque. If you are also feeling resentment from your partner, you don’t have much hope……either the business will fail or the marriage will! If your spouse is on board, then you better be sure to put yourself out there, ask a lot of questions and have a fierce appetite for risk!
Thank you to Julie for her honest and inspiring answers. It is remarkable what you can do with determination and support. This mompreneur has filled a need for other parents and allowed her to meet her own personal needs.