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Name: Nancy Cadjan

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Current Residence (City, State): Orem, Utah

Education: MA, English and Rhetoric with an emphasis in Business Writing

Professional Background (brief, please): 13 years as a writer (freelance, technical and marketing), 7 years owning a writing consulting company, 3 years designing, developing and marketing Sign Babies, Inc. Sold 40,000 sets of flash cards in less than 2 years on the Internet.

What you wanted to be when you grew up: a writer

What you are: a writer and an entrepreneur

Brief Summary of your Start Up: Sign Babies helps parents and preverbal children learn to communicate using baby sign language. Sign Babies ASL Flash Cards are the only illustrated flash cards specifically designed for the youngest signers. Sign Babies sells materials through its web site and others as well as in select boutiques and stores nation wide. Sign Babies has also launched the second level of its learning plan with Learning Hands, a set of products focused on teaching sign language to preliterate and literate children. Sign Babies will also have a book in the parenting division in Fall 2007.

Company Website?: http://www.signbabies.com

What inspired you? Watching babies be able to express their needs without frustration taught me that babies and parents could have better relationships with fewer tantrums and closer bonds if they could only learn the power of a few simple signs. Signing with my son then taught me how few products were available to help parents communicate with their babies. I had created my own “books” in photo albums to compensate for the lack of good materials. When a friend saw these albums, she said, “That’s a product. If you want something like that, then other parents do to.” I took her words and researched the market and created Sign Babies ASL Flash Cards. Truly, we meet a need since we have sold 40,000 in less than 2 years by word of mouth from Mom-to-mom. We look forward to growth as people learn more about baby sign language.

How long have you been in business? Sign Babies has been around for about 3 years and our product has been selling for almost 2 years.

How did you fund it? Personal money and bootstrapping

Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? Erika Wilde was one of my first Fairy Godmothers. She helped to know how to do my web site and saved me from lots of headaches. Also, my college roommate, Emilie DeAzevedo Brown was kind enough to share what she had learned when starting her business 6 months before me. I learned not to make the same mistakes she had made and piggy-backed off the resources she had used. In turn, I brought her new contacts and business. I have also had some Fairy Godfathers in CEDO that have helped like Eric Ruff and Carl Belliston.

Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? CEDO and Utah Valley Entrepreneurs

Current Business Challenge? Finding a partner who knows marketing and OB and the baby products market so that we can get in to the big box stores.

What are you doing about it? Telling everyone I know about my business and my need. Someone will know someone who will be the right person. In the mean time, I do the best I can and have made it in to prestigious catalogs, trendy boutiques and even on to the big box stores’ online catalogs.

Favorite motivational quote: Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

I feel like this at the end of every day.

Family? Husband, Arthur, Son 4 Alex and Baby Girl Anna (4 weeks)

If so, how do you balance family and business? Is there such a thing as balance? I have learned to incorporate Alex in to my business (he has a desk next to mine) and have learned to rely on others to help. My mother and mother-in-law help with the kids and I set aside time to focus on the business at least once a day. The other thing I have learned is that family is most important and that I have to be content to know that my business will grow slower because family is more important. But, that is OK for this time of my life.

Favorite book? Recent Secret Lives of Bees

What do you do to relax? Take a 15-minute power nap.

What do you want to change most about your world? I would like about 2 more hours a day to work on the business.

What are you most proud of?
I am most excited by the letters from parents who say that using Sign Babies ASL Flash Cards helped them create a better relationship with their children by helping them communicate with each other.

If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use?
Rubies

What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses?
Hold on to people who support you, embrace people who will critique you, and run from those who don’t believe in you.

Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)? Email. I find that other Startup Princesses are also great emailers. Also, I realized that Startup Princesses are the type of person that will return an email at midnight. I am now never surprised by the time when I get an email or the wonderful relationships that can form using email.

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?) I would do what I can but I don’t know how much I know.

What business subjects would you feel comfortable mentoring in? Product development, product production/duplication

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

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  1. I love the favorite quote that Nancy shared. Nancy has done an amazing job of marketing her product so well in such a short time. I am confident that she will continue to reach her goals of growing and expanding her business.

  2. Kristen Lamb

    Nancy,

    I was on Amazon.com the other day looking for a book. I saw your Sign Babies Cards in the corner of the screen. I SMILED. :):) It was so fun to see your stuff especially knowing how amazing you are from the inside out! You are awesome. Keep up the good work and thanks for being such an amazing person and friend!!

    Hugs and Kisses to you and your family,




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