To celebrate the beginning of a new, occasional series about female entrepreneurs — we’re kicking it off with an introduction to BowSheep, a hair accessory company founded and operated by three local moms: Hannah McMahon, Mallorie Owens and Sarah Windinglad. At the end, find out how you can enter to win a $35 prize pack from BowSheep!
Q: How did the three of you meet?
We met through The Champaign Urbana Parents Group in early 2009.
Q: How did you decide to go into business together?
We love to dress our girls up and we love to design. After a few shopping trips together we decided to put our design skills to work and we quickly realized creating hair accessories was something all three of us loved to do, which then lead to the conception of BowSheep.
Q: How have your own children influenced the business?
Being that we all have little girls, we had the perfect guinea pigs to try out our products! We have learned what does and doesn’t work through trial and error.
Q: Why bows?
Why not? They’re fun and addictive once you own a few for your little girl. Our girls have so many, but can never have enough. I think most moms of little girls can relate to this.
Q: How did you come up with adorable name?
We liked the idea of “Bow Peep”, but after looking around online, it was used already so Hannah came up with BowSheep. We loved the visual that came along with the name and that’s how the logo came about.
Q: What are your goals for BowSheep?
Currently we are working on advertising and getting our name out there. We have an online store (www.bowsheep.com) that features many of our products for babies to ladies and we’re hoping for more traffic. We’re also always on the lookout for more boutiques and storefronts to sell in.
Q: What are the challenges you face being mompreneurs?
Trying to work at home with toddlers is a challenge! Keeping a balance between family time and work time isn’t always easy but, having the three of us together in this business really helps. We depend on each other and we each do different tasks for our business.
Q: What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
Find something you love and find a way for it to be profitable then go for it! Take advantage of resources online and locally to help you start out. Explore social networking (blogging, Facebook, etc) and look towards local events and festivals to participate in. By all means, be patient and take it step by step, it will take time for your business to get where you want it to be.
Q: What is next for BowSheep?
We will keep designing and exploring innovative marketing concepts that will enable us in getting our bows into additional local venues. We do have the burning ambition to become national so ultimately we’ll be taking the required steps to reach that new level of enterprise.
Win a prize pack from BowSheep! We’re giving away four bows and two
bobby pin clips (a $35 value). To enter, leave us a comment and tell us why you want to win.* Comments must be received by Monday, October 4 at 5 p.m. Winner will be picked at random. And as a bonus, when you order online from BowSheep through the end of October, you can get a special chambanamoms.com 15 percent discount with the coupon code CBOW.
To find BowSheep products visit any of the following local retailers: All Things Kids, Bella Bambini, Iola Rose, and Gameday Spirit (Springfield Ave. location) in Champaign; and Briella’s Boutique in Savoy.
Eds. Note: BowSheep is a sponsor of chambanamoms.com.
*Contest Rules: no entries outside of the United States. One entry per person. Winner will be notified within 48 hours of closing time at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4.