Single Mom Wows with Picky Eater Invention
Do you have a picky eater who never seems to eat their vegetables but is always ready for a double portion of sweets? Lisa Ann Savage, single mother of two children, decided to find a solution to this and created Dippy Cups. We were so excited to be able to catch up with her and share her story.
How did you decide to make and sell DippyCups? Like most children, my two like to dip their food in dippy sauces such as ranch,ketchup and syrup. They eat more veggies when they dip. My son was a big dipper and would pour ketchup and ranch on his plate; most of it was wasted and made a big mess for me to clean up. My daughter was the opposite- the princess who didn’t want any sauce touching her food unless she dipped it herself. I needed a way to corral the condiments so to speak. I tried cutting paper Dixie cups in half but this was expensive and wasteful and they were really too small and got soggy. Disposable plastic cups were too deep and didn’t fare well in repeated dishwasher cycles. Glass or ceramic ramekins are too big and take up too much room on a child size plate, not to mention they’re breakable. One day, while hunting for yet another little cup, the idea for DippyCups popped into my head- “I could build a better DippyCup- one that was just the right size for a kids plate, the right portion size, unbreakable, made of a material, silicone, that would last, especially if thrown in the dishwasher on a daily basis, and in fun bright colors. You could say that was my “Aha moment.” I had some prototype DippyCups made and gave them to friends and family members and they all loved them! I was really on to something.
In hindsight, did you have realistic expectations as to the amount of time and work needed to create, manufacture and promote DippyCups? Did you have any unexpected challenges? I think my expectations were realistic because I had my priorities straight. I am a single Mom, and my children always come first. My day job is important to me so I make sure I cover all those bases. In addition, my children’s father, my ex, is very ill so I take him to chemo, arrange doctor’s appointments, deal with his insurance etc… I’m just like a lot of single moms-somehow we find a way to fit it in if it needs to be done. I also believe that we can only do what we can do and sometimes we have to make tough choices. DippyCups sat on the back burner for almost two years before I found the time and energy and belief in myself to “Go for It .” As for the process, creating DippyCups was easy because I had a clear idea of what was needed to make the perfect little cup and I was excited about the idea so it drives you in the beginning. My first prototype was made at midnight out of Play-doh. The manufacturing part was relatively easy for me because I had contacts in the silicone molding industry and sought out their advice. Promotion of the product is definitely the most challenging part and the one that stalled me for the longest time. How do I get my product out there? Will they like it? I decidedjust to take a flying leap and exhibit at the “All Baby and Child Show” held in Las Vegas this past September. Many buyers attend and I thought it would be the perfect place to get feedback on my product. Well the feedback was wonderful; I had over 100 people and companies interested in DippyCups! It was such a great validation of my idea. I truly felt blessed. But now the hard work really begins; being able to ramp up manufacturing and get packaging in place to fill orders!
You have a lot of energy, How do you balance work and Motherhood? It is challenging to balance work and Motherhood for all of us. Many days I wish I could win the lottery and just putt around the house, doing projects, maybe exercising, catching up on the scrap-booking that I haven’t done since my son was six months old. I personally balance work and Motherhood by knowing my limitations and not being too hard on myself if I can’t get something done. I tend to focus on people instead of things; “someone” that needs attention is more important than “something” that needs attention. At home, playing with my kids at the park comes before folding laundry. At work, getting answers or products for customers comes before internal expense reports and call reports in my day job. Sometimes this causes problems, like a laundry mountain or an accountant on my case. But most of the time, if I’ve made the people I care about happy, then that is a good day’s work for me.
What do your kids think of you being an entrepreneur? My kids think it’s pretty neat and I like the message it’s showing them – If you have a dream, you should follow it through no matter where it leads you’ll learn something. They love using their DippyCups everyday and they feel it’s kind of their project too because I have enlisted their help along the way. They have helped me choose the DippyCups colors, do product testing, packaging, approved my logo; give ideas for the web site, etc… We’ve had a lot of fun.
Do you have a parenting motto that you would like to share? Children are only little for such a short while- the only thing they really need is your unconditional love- so, walk and talk and laugh and play and kiss and hug a lot! (Which is the theme of the children’s book I am writing!)
Is there one bit of advice that has served you best that you can share? I bought a wonderful little plaque in a small neighborhood shop that sums it up for me: Sometimes, you just have to take the leap, and build your wings on the way down!
You Can order your Dippy Cups online with the added bonus of free shipping! (We think it’s a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your kids. You can fill them them with little hearts, your child’s favorite treat, etc.) We loved Lisa as soon as we met her & love her Dippy Cups. They are Kolcraft Kid approved!
Posted February 7, 2011