Introducing November Mamapreneur {Yuki Mese}

Yuki Mese runs a successful, locally-based business called Wagamama Baby which has reached national acclaim.  Yuki is another product client of mine (I’ve had the opportunity to photograph her Zabu mats) and I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and her staff of 5 women who run a now multi-product company seamlessly.  Wagamama Baby has products that are very classy, modern and practical in design from baby mats (Zabus) to blankie balls! There are more product ideas coming your way in the future as well!  

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How did you come up with the name Wagamama Baby?  Wagamama means “spoiled rotten” in Japanese, and I wanted a fun, catchy name that also reflected my ancestry!

How long have you been doing this? 1.5 years

Please explain a little bit about your product/business and how you developed the concept behind it: As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of all invention!” We’ve always traveled a lot, even since Emerson was born. I made her the original baby zabu travel cushion so I wouldn’t have to tote around a big, bulky playpen. Then one friend asked for one, then another friend… and then voila! A business was born!

What makes your product/business so unique? There are 5 unique women in our biz but we don’t necessarily think of our business as being that unique. We certainly have lots of fun! Our product is also patented so I suppose that’s what makes us unique!

Where could we find your product? Our products are carried in over 70 retail stores worldwide.

What is the hardest part or have been some of your struggles starting your own business? Trying to find a balance between being a present & nurturing mom to Emerson, a supportive partner to my husband, and a successful entrepreneur.

How do you balance your business and your family? The truth is that often times I can’t! Both require tremendous energy and creativity, and many times the lines between the two cross. I try to embrace the chaos and just go with the flow. At the end of the day, I always know what matters most.

What are some of your short and long term goals with your business? We plan on expanding our international business in the next 9-12 months. We also have plans to add a couple of new products to our mix in the next year. Once day we hope to be able to sell the company or the patents and spend our days travelling around the world!!!

Is there anything exciting in the works that we can look forward to? As mentioned above, we are working on a couple of new products which will be showcased on our website in the first quarter of 2009. Starting in the spring, we also plan to dedicate one style every season from our collection, where a portion of the proceeds would go to a selected children’s charity.

What kind of charity work or “giving back to the community” do you do? I’ve personally always been involved in various organizations that support global women’s causes. As a business we are very socially and environmentally conscious and support organizations and initiatives to make the world better for our children.

What is your favorite restaurant in San Diego?  Sushi Ota on Mission Bay Drive (YUMMY!)

What is your favorite mom and/or kid shop in San Diego? Magical Child in Encinitas

Favorite shopping link? www.etsy.com

Where might we find you on a lazy day with the family? Funny enough, when we have free time we go to Las Vegas because my husband just opened a restaurant in the Luxor called T&T!

Introducing my first Mamapreneur {Tamara Rochholz}

Tamara Rochholz is the owner and designer for Royal Ruckus Clothing and Accessories for Girls.  I’ve enjoyed working closely with Tamara in the past year which is why I asked her to be my first mama in the spotlight.  Watching her business grow and take off has been exciting and I know she will be quite a busy mamapreneur in years to come!  Royal Ruckus style is funky, fresh, and fun!  She carries everything from hair clips, headbands, onesies to  her new Spring line which will be out nationwide in boutiques soon!  Click here to see her awesome new Spring/Summer 2009 catalog.

Come see what all the Ruckus is about!

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How did you come up with the name Royal Ruckus? I wanted something that represented my clothing. Royal because of the exceptional boutiue quality and Ruckus because kids still got to have fun!

How long have you been doing this? 2 years

Please explain a little bit about your product/business and how you developed the concept behind it:  I started by just making simple accessories and before I knew it I was designing a clothing line for Spring/Summer 2009.

What makes your product/business so unique?  The designs, quality, style, and color choices We can offer such a wide variety of products, it’s great for the retailer.  They can purchase hair accessories, shoes, and clothing from one manufacturer.  All with the same quality.

Do you have a website?  www.myroyalruckus.com

What is the hardest part or have been some of your struggles starting your own business?  Balancing a family, having a solid financial foundation and developing a great business plan has been my biggest challenge.

How do you balance your business and your family?  When I spend time with my family, I really try and focus on quality time.  Doing something that we all enjoy as a family.

What are some of your short and long term goals with your business? I really want to concentrate on developing a brand that parents can rely on to dress their kids.

Is there anything exciting in the works that we can look forward to? Of course!!! We have some amazing styles for Fall/Winter 2009. Lots of great color, textures, and designs.

What kind of charity work or “giving back to the community” do you do? I’m looking into working with charities that support single moms.  It takes so much work to raise a family on your own and I would love to give back to all the women who are in that position that could use some help.

What is your favorite restaurant in San Diego?  Los Cabos in Del Mar, The shrimp enchiladas are excellent!

What is your favorite shopping link?  You gotta love Ebay, it’s addicting!!

Where might we find you on a lazy day with the family? I love taking the kids to all the places San Diego has to offer!! It’s such a great city with so much to do!  Seaworld, the Wild Animal Park or Balboa Park are a few of my favorite places to take the kids!

Are you a Mamapreneur?

There is nothing harder than being a mommy and starting your own business. I have been very lucky to have built a business that I LOVE through great clientele and word of mouth. I never thought that I would actually love going to work! In fact, I love it so much, I don’t consider it work. I’ve seen many moms succeed with their businesses while juggling their growing families, and hope to someday soon, encompass that phase of my life as smoothly as they all did.  I am a huge supporter of mama based businesses, including Royal Ruckus, Wagamama Baby, Lola Butter and Childish Couture because I believe in their businesses and the mommies behind them!

What I want to do is help other Mamapreneurs get their names out there. I am looking for Mamapreneurs, who have created their own business out of a great idea or by doing something they LOVE to do. Whether you own a physical store, do your business online through eBay or etsy, or however you do it, I want to hear about it!

Every month I want to feature a new Mamapreneur and their services or goods offered. What I need from you is to send me an email to mama@msyoshphoto.com and I will send you back a questionnaire regarding your services/goods. Those selected will receive a feature spot on my blog, a complimentary headshot or product image, and a permanent spot on my site under Mamapreneurs!

Stay tuned for our first interview on Monday!