Friday, January 22, 2010

Dreamers into Do-ers: Jenny of LobotoME!

Today's interview is with the brilliant Jenny from LobotoME... if you aren't familiar with the products her company sells, you can thank me later! I currently use her "Check Me" list for the grocery store and would be lost without it! She also has a penchant for Edward Cullen, so what more could you ask for in a gal-pal, right?

Let's get to the "grey matter"... shall we?

Q. What spurred you to start LobotoME?

A. I couldn’t find a weekly planner that had space for meal planning, errands, workout schedules, to do’s and grocery shopping list so I made my own! I had 50 of them printed and gave them to my friends, and then their friends wanted to buy one and a little bell went off! I also kept hearing from all of my mommy friends, “I don’t have time to take care of myself, I’m a mom.” I really, truly believe that all busy moms not only deserve time for themselves each day, but they NEED time for themselves so they can give their best self to their families. There is room on my weekly planner, every day to plan for some ME-Time. For me, this might be an hour long hot yoga class (pure joy), other days it might be as simple as waking up half and hour early, having a cup of tea and little quite time before the family is awake. It’s important to build that “ME-Time” into your days.

Q. What is the inspiration for these fun and lively products?

A. I think our mantra image (pictured below) sums up my response pretty well. We all have a lot on our plates but if we can juggle it all with grace, humor and a smile that will help us all stay sane.

Q. How has your business evolved... and how have you evolved with it?

A. It started off small - selling mostly online and then we exhibited at the National Stationary Show where the line was picked up by tons of small retailers and some major ones as well such as The Container Store. So, we went from a little itty bitty one woman show to having a warehouse, a shipping manager and a customer service assistant virtually overnight. This coincided with us adopting our son, my husband launching another company, etc. Needless to say there was a period of about 6 months when sleep was not to be had around here.

Q. What suggestions do you have for others that have a product they want to "get out there" (without spilling TOO many secrets!)?

A. I would say just do it. There are lots of ways to get started - being a great vehicle for starting selling your product(s). A craftshow or holiday bazaar is a great start and then a national tradeshow in your product sector is the next step to get noticed but expect to spend $$$. Just make sure you have the printing or manufacturing process & distribution capacity dialed in before you launch on a national level. I know plenty of companies who got a big order but couldn't fulfill it and that was the end of them.

Q. How do you use your blog to compliment your products (or is it vice versa)?

A. My blog is my creative outlet and also a means of keeping me accountable for some of my goals (Fit ME challenge, spending hiatus, etc.) I also use my blog to show how my products are being used by myself and other guest bloggers so potential customers get a feel of how they could be used in their own lives to help keep them more organized.

Q. What is the good and the bad about owning your own business?

A. The best thing is the flexibility - I can help out in Sam's classroom in the middle of the day, we can travel whenever we want to, etc. The most challenging this is that it is ALL on your shoulders - everything from product development & design, to oversight of the manufacturing process, to balancing the books, to customer service, to shipping, etc. You are responsible in some way, shape or form for it all. We are also constantly working on leaving work alone at night or on the weekends, which is hard since we both have home offices.

Q. What do you do on the bad days to press on?

A. My favorite motivational quote is to Keep Calm & Carry On. On bad days I think its just realizing that whatever has gone wrong isn't the end of the world. We still have our health and still have each other. I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer when I was 23 so usually all it takes is remembering that I am still alive and have my health. Cancer is a great perspective check.

Q. Do you celebrate your successes (even in small ways)?

A. Small successes just reaffirm we are on the right track and help keep us motivated. Big successes are celebrated usually with family trips (Disneyland, trips to the beach, etc.) This year, Will & I celebrated our anniversary and the fact that our marriage has not only survived but thrived in our chaotic world of 3 business and 2 kids by taking a trip to Mexico (sans kids)!

Q. Name one dream you have seen realized through your business (personal or professional).

A. Being able to be a mom & have a career from home is probably the biggest dream realized - as it truly is the best of both worlds.

Q. What do you have in store for 2010? Anything juicy?

A. Yes, we actually just launched a school fundraising program in conjunction with LobotoME! My prior careers were all in nonprofit fundraising and once my daughter started Kindergarten this year a light went off in my head. People are sick of buying cookie dough & wrapping paper from kids! But busy families need help getting organized, eating healthy via meal planning, etc. So I decided to launch a school fundraising program where schools earn 50% of every dollar sold. So, this year I'll be traveling around the country promoting this program at various school tradeshows and working to help schools raise money for essential programs & supplies. For more information on our No Brainer Fundraising Program visit

Check out LobotoME {goods to keep ME sane} at and subscribe to Jenny's blog for more sanity saving tips at


PS~Erin said...

Awesome interview. Completely enjoyed reading it.

Kotori said...

Yes, Jenny is so inspiring! Loved reading this!

Virginia @ Where You Hang Your Hat said...

Yay, Jenny!

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

LOVE hearing about such amazing entrepreneurs!

karen said...

Jenny is such an amazing person to look to as a real example. Someone who practices what she preaches and has lived a life of inspiration.

Thanks for sharing such a lovely interview!


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