Winning the 2019 LaunchVT Competition

As I sit down to write (because I realize it’s been an eternity and seeing “writing” on my to-do list over and over is driving me nuts), I have no idea what to title this post, or what to write. I’ve chosen to just write openly and see what comes; title secondary. Here goes…

I guess what comes to mind is gratitude, more specifically my my daily reminder lately to look at all of the positive things that have happened to bring me to where I am today. It’s easy to get lost in the hardships, challenges, what-the-h3ll-am-I-doing of it all and lose sight of the mentality I was so tenacious about maintaining that got StrollRunner to where it is today.

And where is that, exactly? Well, behind schedule. There I go again. But for real, I’ve written no less than 20 timelines just to rewrite over and over again. The fact that I’m still setting goals and checking things off my lists to even have a timeline to need to write is amazing. Right now I am working with my second set of beta testers and all four units are on their way back so we (@rothspeed and I) can take all of the data from our running moms and improve upon both the materials used and the design.

Going into this I knew we had a design deficit using a 3D printed plastic instead of the carbon fiber we know we want to use with the market-ready product. I believe taking this route has hindered our ability to gain more true data from the testers and therefore cost us some time. BUT, everything happens for a reason and I think the reason for this setback is so that we can reassess the materials before making design changes, and also to see concept further proven. Despite the challenges of using StrollRunner in its current beta state, these women are down with another run of testing once we have improved upon the product! Win!

In the meantime I’ve found that I have plenty to keep me busy. I thought the summer of beta testing was going to be my summer of kicking back and hanging out with my daughter, while she still wants to. Nope. I was quickly reminded that there is coordinating to do to: get my website ready for sales; finalize belt design with our sewers (that looks wrong, but read it again); get working on packaging; file our patent; file our trademark; it goes on… This is the part I love – diving into the business of the business. I’m working to have all in place for when it’s time to turn the sign to “open” and begin making this available to all the running mamas and papas out there.

I’ve also connected with a group of other women business owners via our local @centerforwomenandenterprise via a series of sessions I’m attending called Trust.IT. It’s becoming obvious that while I can work from home for the time being, it’s absolutely invigorating to be surrounded by others hustling for their businesses. None of us is in the same place with our business or even facing similar challenges, that we have yet to discover, but just the vibe of the room is intoxicating.

So, the next step puts me back to running with my stroller. I’m going to print a new prototype out of carbon fiber so I can test it as it should be manufactured. Fingers are crossed (HARD) that using the intended material will solve a couple of the challenges we’ve encountered before we go ahead and make design changes.

It’s a process – I have to remind myself daily that there are so many awesome wins we’ve already had that far outweigh the losses. I have no doubt our biggest challenges are to come and I honestly cannot wait to tackle them.