When Rikki Mor created the Knot Genie detangling brush, her vision wasn't worldwide recognition, being featured on the Today Show, or being written about by thousands of bloggers. It all started because she was frustrated – she was done spending hundreds of dollars a year on hair products in my attempt to tame her three daughters’ different and unruly hair types.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
They say necessity is the mother of all invention – and that is precisely why I created Knot Genie. It was a constant battle to brush my three daughters’ hair. I couldn’t blame them. They had long, thick, curly hair, and it must have been painful for their delicate heads.
I tried every detangling potion and hairbrush on the market to no avail. When I couldn’t find a brush that gently detangled their hair, I decided to invent one. After years of trial and error, I finally found the perfect solution, which is known as Knot Genie today.
What did you do before launching your own business?
Before I launched Knot Genie, I worked in the insurance industry doing training and handling large loss bodily injury claims. I loved my job but desired to dedicate myself fully to my budding Knot Genie business. In 2012, I decided Knot Genie required my full attention, and I made the difficult and scary leap into being a full-time entrepreneur. I’ve never looked back.
How did you fund your business?
Knot Genie is self-funded. My husband and I decided we’d put enough money into it that if we lost it all, we could still put dinner on the table for our kids. It was a leap of faith, and thankfully it worked out!
How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent in your home office?
When you own a business, it’s hard to quantify total hours worked. I am always thinking about my business and scheming up ways to grow it, improve it, etc. I do whatever needs to be done, and I don’t put pressure on achieving a specific number of set hours worked, instead I do things at my own pace and as they need attention.
How were you able to take your business to the next level?
To take Knot Genie to the next level, I knew I needed to surround myself with people who know a lot more about growing a lifestyle and consumer products business than I do. I hired a team of experts to help me – they know all about manufacturing, product development, design, and sales and marketing. Also, I joined EO, an organization for entrepreneurs, and I am mentored through that program. My mentor has helped me in ways I can’t describe.
What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?
I’m very social, so being an entrepreneur can, at times, feel lonely. It’s important to take the time to visit with others and not confine myself to my office 24/7.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
New entrepreneurs need to believe in themselves and in their businesses. Self-doubt can eat away at a business and owner. There will be many sleepless nights and a lot of times when you doubt yourself. I also think a new entrepreneur needs to be prepared to work VERY hard. An entrepreneur willing to work hard will experience one of the most rewarding journeys in life.
How do you manage to be a work-at-home mom while running a business?
I have a designated space inside and outside of the home as places of work. When I’m in one of my offices, I’m working. When I’m running around with my kids, I’m a mom, and the laptop and phone are off. I also have an amazing support system of family and outside helpers who help me keep my life organized so I can spend more time with my family and at work.
Thanks to Rikki Mor for sharing her success story!
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