We are pleased to introduce Sari Crevin, Founder and President of BooginHead! Sari’s favorite quote, “Passion is a force that cannot be stopped”, describes this entrepreneur to a tee. Working as a Human Resource Manager for X-Box, being a wife, mother AND owner of her own business, Sari obviously has some passion and energy! Read below to find out what lead Sari to create BooginHead, and discover the joys and challenges that she has encountered from an ever-growing business. Connect with Sari on twitter and facebook or visit her website. We hope you enjoy the interview!
Name: Sari Crevin
Hometown: Lafayette, CA
Current Residence: Bellevue, WA
Education: University of Arizona, degree in Human Resources Management from the School of Business; The Coaches Institute, Life and Business Coaching Certification
Professional Background: I started my career at New Line Cinema in Los Angeles as a Human Resources Assistant and was quickly drawn to the recruiting function. I left New Line for a recruiting agency and spent three years with them learning how to successfully build a client base and the art of making the perfect match in the marketplace. Before the company closed, I briefly spent time as a Senior Recruiter at Arthur Andersen in San Francisco and from there opened my own recruiting and coaching company, “Advancement Group.” The company did well but when Microsoft came calling, they presented an offer I could not refuse. I joined their Zune team when they were less than 100 people and helped them grow to over 800 employees. In March of 2009 I was offered a position as a Human Resources Manager on the X-Box team.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: When I was a little girl and my parents would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up I always responded with the same two answers, “Either mayor of a small town or a talk show host like Oprah.” I know they don’t seem related, but if you think about it, both involve being curious about people, connecting with them and trying to help them. Looking back, it makes sense that I chose Human Resources as a career; it helps satisfy my need to be involved in a business, but with a very human element. So, in essence I AM doing my dream job! I have always been driven and entrepreneurial, and having my own company helps to satisfy that need.
What you are: I am Human Resources Manager for Microsoft’s X-Box Division and Founder and President of my parenting product company, BooginHead LLC.
Brief Summary of your Start Up: BooginHead LLC is a privately held company. In 2005, as a working mother, I created the very first prototype of SippiGrip. After an evolution of prototypes, research and testing of the SippiGrip, I formed BooginHead LLC. in September 2007 and dedicated myself to launching new and useful product for parents – and for parents everywhere I have helped end the cup throwing game!
BooginHead LLC. is currently located in Bellevue, Washington where the sister product, PaciGrip was created in 2008. BooginHead’s PaciGrip is a universal pacifier holder in matching SippiGrip colors. Although not a new concept, the PaciGrip is fashionable, UNIVERSALLY compatible with all pacifier brands and is one of the most affordable products available. PaciGrip is currently BooginHead’s best-selling item.
The third product, SplatMat, a unique 48” round reusable mat in three fashion forward colors guaranteed to catch every spill, was introduced last year at The ABC Show in Las Vegas. I have 2 new products due to launch later this year.
Company Website? www.booginhead.com
What inspired you? A few years ago, I became increasingly frustrated when my 1-year-old son, Jake, would throw his sippy cup to the floor from his high chair, stroller and car seat. I was constantly picking up the cups that were either getting dirty or getting lost. Necessity really was the mother of invention and I could not find any product, in stores or on-line, that met my needs. Hence, I was inspired to invent and the SippiGrip was born. My entrepreneurial spirit has always been inspired and nurtured by my family. My mother started her own business and worked 7 days a week, my father was incredibly supportive and cooperative, and having that type of upbringing showed me that all options were open to me. It was stimulating to be shown that there were many different paths in life that I could take both professionally and personally.
How long have you been in business? BooginHead LLC officially launched its products to retailers in September of 2007.
How did you fund it? In the beginning my entire business was financed out of my own personal bank account. After I was accepted into Target’s 2009 Parent Invented Product’s Program, I knew I would need more capital to manufacture larger numbers. At that point, we took out a second mortgage on our house to pay for the manufacturing costs. Within a year I was able to open a business line of credit, pay myself back the initial investment and was fortunate enough to move into the profit zone.
Do you have a Fairy Godmother (or Mentor)? I have been fortunate to have many mentors along the way. There are several women that were a few years ahead of me with their success and they “paid it forward” by giving me the guidance and knowledge of how to navigate the industry successfully.
Do you belong to any Business Organization or Networking Groups? NWEM (Northwest Enterprising Mom’s), Mommy Millionaire, www.mommymillionaire.com and I am often online viewing and contributing to sites such as Entrepreneur.com.
Current Business Challenge? BooginHead has grown so quickly and that is a wonderful thing. However, there are a lot of challenges that come along with that. Having the right infrastructure in place to meet the ever-changing demands of the market and to compete with larger brands has been a daunting task. One we have made a lot of progress with, fortunately. I am also at a crossroads, where I have an opportunity to maintain my current success or bring the business to the next level and really become a recognizable brand in the industry. Having the right guidance, financing and support to do the latter is the challenge.
What are you doing about it? I have always believed that in every business you should hire people that are smarter than you and then get out of their way. Doing this in my own company is no exception. I have continually surrounded myself with consultants that are experts in their field and am currently in discussions with a consultant specifically skilled in solving my above challenge, how to wisely bringing the company to the next level.
Favorite motivational quote: In my office I have the following quote hanging on my wall: “Passion is a powerful force that cannot be stopped.” I think this truly speaks to the heart of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are born with that passion, it is not a choice but something they are naturally drawn to do. I feel that way about my business, I am so passionate about it – the need to continually drive it forward is a powerful force.
Family? My husband and I have two young sons, Jake (6) and Charlie (2 ½).
If so, how do you balance family and business? In our family we have a “no work zone” between the hours of 5:00 and 7:30pm. This is when the 4 of us spend time together eating dinner and playing without any interruptions – no phones, tv, work, etc. Having that structure in place, so that you know you are carving out time for your family and for yourself, is very, very important.
Favorite book? I love to read but can’t choose just one favorite book. Right now I am reading “The 4 Hour Work Week” and it is opening my mind to a whole new way of running my business.
What do you do to relax? I am one of those people that actually loves to exercise. I work out 6 days a week and do hot yoga, high cardio, weights, and power walking. Anything that allows me to break a sweat and lets my mind check out is such a stress release and how I blow off steam that for me is relaxing!
What do you want to change most about your world? There are just not enough hours in the day for me to feel like I can get everything done between my job at Microsoft, running BooginHead and having a family. It is a miracle that I find time to sleep! Can I change the universal format that 24 hours make up a day?
What are you most proud of? Even if my business were to end tomorrow, I am so incredibly proud of what I have built. When I entered the industry, I had no prior knowledge of how to bring a product to market, how to manufacture and distribute the product or even how to figure out what the wholesale price should be. When I look back on how far I have come I am very proud of the success that I have had.
What advice would you like to offer other Start Up Princesses? Research and learn!! Whether from others who have found success before and/or from your own mistakes, reviewing, evaluating and changing are the best preparations you can make. I never anticipated the depth of the investment needed to start up my company and do everything the right way. There was a point where I really had to ask myself, “is this a hobby or a business?” Make sure you really are prepared financially, at least to the best of your research, knowledge and advice. Also, utilize the Internet! Discussion groups for working moms, mom-inventors and mompreneurs are full of smart and savvy women with great experience. Lastly, the sooner you realize that you can’t do everything yourself, the better! This includes details like filing trademarks or patent applications. It will cost you much more in the end, in time, frustration and money, if you don’t do it right the first time.
Favorite Magic Wand (tool/resource)? I do not know what I would do without the many resources the Internet brings. Not only for research, but as a way to connect and learn from other people like me.
If you could design a tiara, what precious stones would you use? Is it possible that this is the most difficult question I have ever had to answer! I would most likely use amethyst, my birthstone, and create something simple and clean. I am not a big jewelry person and would want something understated.