We’ve all been there—we’re rushing out the door when we realize we need to label our kids belongings for daycare, school or camp. We scramble for a permanent marker, scrawl out our kid’s name and hope it’s actually legible. Carrie Felton’s solution for labeling our kids’ belongings is much more elegant—and fun. We spoke with Carrie Felton, mom and CEO of Stuck On You, a company selling personalized labels, accessories and more. She shared her favorite parenting hack, plus advice for women considering starting a business.
What inspired you to start Stuck on You?
Stuck on You started as an accident! I was asked to label everything for my first child when he went off to nursery school. Being a first time mum, I didn’t really know how to label his belongings so I went to a printer and asked for 15 labels with his name on them— I wanted 4 colors and an airplane on them as he had different colored belongings and couldn’t read his name! Off he went to nursery school all labeled up, and the director rang me about an hour after he arrived saying, “Where did you get those labels? I want them for every child in the center! That’s when Stuck on You was born.
You launched your business 20 years ago. Do you have any advice for other moms who are considering starting a business?
First, do not take no for an answer. Just because people haven’t seen what you are doing before or don’t understand how to help you get there does not mean it is impossible – in fact that is a massive positive because you are creating something new. Really understand who you are creating and selling for, and make sure you treat your customers as part of your community. Building a website and launching it does not guarantee sales— building your brand does. Your website is important, but only once people know your brand and start looking for you. Find a grey-haired person and ask questions about business. Create a visual picture in your mind of what your business behind the scenes should look and feel like. I could go on forever! Most importantly, believe in yourself. No matter how hard it is, just keep setting small goals and tick them off as you go. Dealing with problems is part of owning a business, but those who are successful can see the solution and make it happen.
What’s your favorite product from Stuck on You?
Emotionally, I am attached to our classic labels – they are like my babies. From our new products, I just love our bento boxes. They offer a healthy, fun way for children to eat.
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
Blow drying my hair—weird right? I find it so boring that I now answer emails and read the paper online while I do it to make the time go faster.
What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
Cooking and entertaining. Cooking is my go-to when I am feeling a little stressed—I love to cook a fabulous meal and fill up our huge dining table with friends and family.
What is your best parenting hack?
With three young boisterous boys in the house who seemed to have unlimited energy and never sit in one spot for longer than three seconds? If things got a big crazy and they appeared to temporarily not be able to hear me, I would stand up on the kitchen bench and sing loudly. This would stop them in their tracks make them laugh their little heads off and calm everything down. It worked particularly well during holidays!
What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?
I am not very good at white lies. I have always told my children the absolute truth about everything—this approach definitely has it’s challenges as often the discussion becomes a negotiation. Being able to negotiate is a great skill for later on, but exhausting all the same!
If you could describe motherhood/fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
Can I have two words? THE BEST.
What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
To be honest, there is no one moment. I feel incredibly proud to be raising three happy, healthy, positive human beings who are in control of their own destiny. I always envisioned a close but independent family who are kind to others and have a drive to achieve for themselves, who own their mistakes but are comfortable enough to include us in their thoughts on how to learn from those mistakes. I feel we are very much achieving this as a family.
What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
From a very early age, I’ve asked my kids to take ownership of their education and the way they keep their bedrooms. I believe this will give them the skills to own a lot of other things they do in their lives and reap the joys of understanding that you get out of something what you put into it.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
My mother told me to work really hard when my kids were young so I could be available later on, as they grew bigger. Best advice ever!
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
To be honest I feel this work/life balance buzz just adds more pressure to working mums. Does it honestly exist? I don’t think so. I think we all do the very best we can to make sure our families are happy, healthy and safe.
We also know that working offers us a place to be something other than a mother and it keeps our own self-confidence growing. Being a woman offers us the lot—we can experience the incredible moment of giving birth, we can be the glue in our families, and we can really achieve in the workplace. We’re capable of doing 20 things at once. I love being a woman.
What was the last book you read?
Hairy MacLary from Donaldson’s Dairy! Sad isn’t it—yep, that’s a kids book! I did read the paper online in bed this morning at 3 AM if that counts!
Favorite Beauty Product:
I travel a lot for work so ANYTHING that comes in travel size – I seriously cannot help myself.
Favorite Form of Exercise:
Just trying to remember?? Pilates.
What is on your DVR?
I love a good documentary or a night in with Suits.
Favorite Kids Store:
Stuck On You – sorry, but it is! I genuinely love what we do.