Interview with Abbey Fatica and Monica Mylet – Co-Founders of TrackerSphere
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Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
TrackerSphere got its roots in March 2011 with a simple phone call between strangers. I (Abbey) was actually doing research for a client who wanted to produce a TV commercial for her product. I contacted Monica and the conversation started out as a thank you from me for the Little Looster (Monica’s product) that I won from a blog giveaway contest and how great it was for my daughter’s potty training. We talked about how they got the commercial and who I should get in contact with if my client was serious about this avenue. That part of the conversation was brief, but then we just kept talking.
As a brand and blogger, respectively, Monica and I found that managing reviews and giveaways was too time consuming and unmanageable. We needed a system. So we created TrackerSphere where brands and bloggers could connect within a subscription platform over THE CLOUD!
We decided to look into this further and see where it could take us. An hour later, we decided to put our ideas together and reconvene over emails. Many emails back and forth occurred for almost 6 months while we conceptualized this idea.
The next step was getting our idea in front of investors so we could get funding for our idea that will change the world of brand/blogger relationship. After over 300 emails to investors all over the country, TechColumbus decided to take a chance on our company. They gave us enough pre-seed money to get our beta platform built. Once the system was built, it was time to launch to bloggers and brands.
We reached out to bloggers that signed up during our pre-launch phase and looked for bloggers and brands on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google. After many hours, we have signed up 1,000 bloggers and 100 brands since our launch in April 2012. Considering that we have only been in business for a couple months, we call this a success. We don’t want it to end there, so after connecting with brands and bloggers and marketing TrackerSphere in different ways we still want it to become a global name.
The reach for this business is huge. There are millions of bloggers who review products including baby items, cameras, sporting equipments, hotels, cooking ware and more. Of course, the bloggers wouldn’t have anything to review if it weren’t for the brands. And brands wouldn’t have the loyalty of products if it weren’t for the bloggers.
What did you do before launching your own business?
Abbey was the owner of Living Your Moment, a marketing firm for mom small businesses owners where she also blogged. Monica created and still owns the Little Looster, a booster for the loo. The Looster is a potty training stool that makes potty training easier for kids.
How did you fund your business?
Much of the funding is self-funding but we did get some pre-seed money from TechColumbus in Columbus, Ohio to build our platform. We are in the process of looking for more investors to add more features to our current platform, hire a sales team and of course allow us to pay ourselves.
How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent is your home office?
We are working all the time to get this business off the ground and running full speed. With 6 kids between the two of us, getting them off to school, taking care of toddlers, sports and activities, feeding them and occasionally cleaning, it seems like we work 24/7. I would say that we take time to sleep but Monica gets a lot of ideas in the middle of the night and emails them. Abbey also finds herself answering emails at 3am when feeding her baby. Abbey’s home office is located in the thick of her living room (i.e. where the toys are), so she works where she can. Luckily she has a smartphone so she can take care of business anywhere. Monica has the opportunity to have a home office that she can take advantage of especially since all three of her kids are in school.
How would you rate your success?
I would say we are still at a 5 because we just launched in April 2012. We are still marketing TrackerSphere and promoting it all the time. We will know that we are a success when a big company wants to buy us out, and that our idea is really reaching brands and bloggers of all niches.
What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?
Finding an investor wanting to put all their eggs in our basket. It’s hard as a start-up with no revenue to get the cash flow that you need in order to become a huge fast success.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
If you have an idea that you really believe in then pursue it. Don’t let anyone tell you that your idea is wrong, there is someone out there who will think it is right.
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
As stated above, we do a lot of our work around our houses, in the car waiting for sports and activities to end, and in bed at night, but still make sure that we are in the moment for our children. We work hard but we have also figured out how to make time for our husbands and children.
Connect with Abbey, Monica, and TrackerSphere…
Blog: TrackerSphere Blog
Facebook Fan Page: TrackerSphere Facebook Page
Abbey and Monica received funding from Tech Columbus, check them out for funding options and guidance.
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