me-and-the-kids.jpgName: Heather Ledeboer

Hometown: Kettle Falls, WA

Current Residence (City, State): Loma Linda, CA

Education: I graduated from Dordt college in Sioux Center, IA with a degree in elementary education.

Professional Background (brief, please): After graduating from college I taught for three years at the second grade level.  When I became pregnant I planned to be a stay at home mom and that is when my new adventure began.

What you wanted to be when you grew up: I always wanted to work with children.  I wanted to be a pediatrician or a teacher.  I ended up going to school to get my degree in elementary education and taught second grade for three years.

What you are:  I am now a stay at home mom and the owner of an online boutique and eBay store.

Brief Summary of your Start Up:  I started by selling on eBay.  A few months after I started having people ask here and there if I had a website.  My husband has knowledge of computers and he designed my fist website (handy because it was free, frustrating because it was sort of ugly☺).  When things were still running and actually growing successfully after the first year we decided to have my site designed by someone that actually knew what they were doing (my husband knows computers but not really in the area of web development).  Since my new site was developed sales have jumped dramatically and are continuing to grow.  My website is now my main focus with my eBay store as a back burner project (I sell the same items in both places and want to focus my business to my website where I don’t have to pay eBay fees ☺).

Company Website?  http://www.mom4life.com (website) http://stores.ebay.com/mom4-life (eBay store)

What inspired you?  I was inspired by another stay at home mom that came to my home to sell me a baby sling.  I thought, “Hey if she can do this (work from home) why can’t I?”

How long have you been in business? 3 years

How did you fund it?  I started super small so we did not have to make any special financial arrangements to fund my start up costs (they were about $100.00).

Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? Unfortunately, no

Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? Unfortunately, no

Current Business Challenge? Balancing my time and maintaining accurate record of my inventory.

What are you doing about it?  I have hired two full time assistants and two part time assistants to help me get everything done and my husband is researching inventory management software and I am upgrading to a better shopping cart for my website.

Favorite motivational quote:  “What one man can do another can do.” –from the movie The Edge   It reminds me that great things are done everyday by ordinary people who see themselves as extraordinary.

Family? Yes.  I am married to a wonderfully supportive man and we have two children.  Our son is 3 and our daughter is 11 months.

If so, how do you balance family and business?  This is a challenge (as I have learned it is for every work at home mom).  I do my best to let my assistants take care of things during the day.  Assistants have been my saving grace.  Whenever I get to the point of not being able to manage everything between 8 PM and midnight I find more help.  If I can I answer emails during nap time.  This is more challenging now that I have two children and they often do not always nap at the same time!  Once my kids are in bed at night I am at my post at my computer and stay there until usually 12-1 AM.  For now that is my balancing act.  ☺

Favorite book?  I have a few but I will provide my favorite business related book.  I found the book MothersWork by Rebecca Matthis to be a very helpful, honest and inspiring look at the woman who started out with a mail-order business selling professional maternity clothes, that later turned into 620 retail outlets like Mimi Maternity, Motherhood, and A Pea in the Pod, as a multimillion-dollar maternity clothing empire.

What do you do to relax?  I have a hard time “relaxing” I really do love what I do so when I have extra time it is a temptation to work more.  However, when I am not working on my business I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, writing and photography.

What do you want to change most about your world?  Oh interesting question.  When you say “your world” do you mean focusing on my life or do you mean more globally as in “the world”?  I will assume you mean globally.  I want to be true to my beliefs and core values.  I want those beliefs to be reflected in the way I do business and the way I parent and in the type of relationships I have with others.  I want my desire for authenticity to create opportunities for true connections with others.  I want to be living out God’s desire for us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

What are you most proud of?  I am really proud to be a mother and having built a successful business out of nothing also gives me have a great sense of accomplishment.

What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses?  Find someone who can be your cheerleader, someone who will stand behind you and encourage you.  Find a way to take your passion and to turn it into something that meets a need of others.  Stay focused and persistent.  Be confident in your abilities and learn from the success and failures of others.

Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)?  Books have been a great resource for me as is the internet.  There is so much to learn from others and their success and so much knowledge available to help fill in the gaps of my own knowledge.

If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use?  Diamonds, because I feel I should always strive toward and set my goals high and diamonds are the best right? ☺

Would you be interested in being a Fairy Godmother to another woman entrepreneur? (I am working on a secure system to do this, any ideas?)  Perhaps

What business subjects would you feel comfortable mentoring in? I feel I am sort of a jack of many trades as I have learned to do several things.  I guess the subject of getting your business started is one area I feel I have some knowledge in.

Would you be interested in going to lunch with other women entrepreneurs for a “networking tea party”?  Yes definitely

If you are out of Utah County, would you be willing to be a facilitator of such an event? Yes

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