Mompreneur Spotlight: Amy Creel & Teething Bling

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My sister in law introduced me to her friend, Amy Creel who founded Smart Mom Jewelry and Teething Bling.  This is one of those ideas that almost every mom will say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”  

Simple idea and Amy took action. She’s gotten terrific press and continues to grow the line. Here’s her Aha Momentum story:

What was your Aha Moment for starting your biz?

“I had two Aha Moments, actually.  And there were quite a few years between them!  The first one came when my then-infant was grabbing and trying to teethe on my pearl necklace in church.  The necklace broke sending pearls bouncing under all the pews!  It really was a light bulb moment where I said, ‘Wait – there must be more practical jewelry for moms with little ones.'”

What made it feel like THE one idea that you had to follow through with?

“I did a few small shows and fairs with some early prototypes and the response was so overwhelmingly positive. The moms “got” it immediately and kept asking, “Why didn’t I think of this?” That’s when I knew I had something special.”

Where were you when you had the Aha moment?

“Sitting in church with my husband and baby, my mind started racing.  My first thought was that ‘teething jewelry’ must already exist.  I couldn’t wait to get home and start doing some research.  But I only allowed myself a little bit of excitement that day, figuring I was probably too late. I was sure the idea was already out there and was stunned to discover it wasn’t.

Did you feel the Aha Moment turn into Momentum? How long did that feeling last? Did you wake up with that giddy feeling for several days?

“My Aha Moment didn’t turn into momentum right away.  After the initial excitement wore off, I began to feel completely overwhelmed.  I knew I had a great idea but had NO clue how to get started.  So, I did nothing.  It was years before I got finally things rolling.”

What were the first few steps you took to turn the AHA moment into reality?

“I did some initial research online and quickly discovered that teething jewelry did not yet exist but then I just…stopped.  I just sat with the idea because I couldn’t figure out what to do.  Then in late 2005, I had my second Aha Moment.  My sister-in-law died very unexpectedly after giving birth to my niece.  It was a life-altering event for my entire family.  I had always admired Maria for pursuing her career dreams. She left Toledo after finishing art school and moved to NYC, even though she didn’t know a soul.  She desperately wanted to be a clothing designer and spent 10 long years working her way up the ladder at Eileen Fisher.  A few months before she died, she was finally promoted to designer – and was the happiest I’d ever known her.”

How did that moment change your life perspective?

“That second Aha Moment was my turning point.  I decided I didn’t want to make decisions from a place of fear anymore.   No more sitting on the sidelines, being paralyzed by indecision.”

When you went through challenges, did you go back to the power of your Aha Moment to give you strength?

“I have a picture of Maria on my desk because she inspires me daily.  When I am feeling uncertain, it helps to look at her and think about all that she accomplished in her short life.  It wasn’t that she didn’t get scared – she just didn’t let that stop her.  And of course, I have my now 6-year old niece Emma in my life.  She is an inspiration, too.”

What do you think you’d be doing if you hadn’t had your Aha moment?

“I was a freelance media consultant before launching my company so I would likely be doing that.  And being a mom, of course.  That’s still my number one job

Who do you want to thank for either the idea, the inspiration or for helping you get there? Also, was there someone who helped you along the way through some small gesture that turned out to be a major turning point?

“I had a business partner in the early years and I will always be grateful for her help getting started.  She was a wonderful collaborator and played a key role in setting the stage for my current success.”

What 3 (hashtags) words describe your life as an entrepreneur?

#fulfilled               #peaceful            # excited

Congrats, Amy on following through with your idea. Finding a way to make it happen.  I’m sure Maria is very proud of you!

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