By now, you know that I am a BIG fan of mom-owned businesses but I get super excited when I see a mom with an idea that goes after it and succeeds. CityGrips is a product that seems so simple but can make a big difference in how you view your stroller. Whether you are taking your baby out for their first outing and want your stroller to stand out or you are trying to run off those last few pounds of baby weight and need something to keep your handle from getting grimy, CityGrips provides a solution. These fashionable, machine washable and easy to use stroller handlebar grip covers fit all two handlebar strollers and nearly all single-bar strollers. Camie Gontier, mom and inventor of CityGrips gives us some insight into how she began and how she makes it all happen!
- How long ago did you start CityGrips and what was your inspiration?
I started CityGrips 3 years ago now. The first year was purely development and trying to figure out how to work with a 2 year old running around. Like most first time moms, I became a germaphobe and one day while I was strolling with my son trying to get in my daily workout, I realized just how dirty the hand grips on my stroller were. My hands were sweating and I was picking things up off the ground that my son was throwing overboard and before I knew it was using the bottom of my t-shirt to push him back home.
On my way home I was like, “why don’t they have a removable, washable grip cover?” When I couldn’t find anything like that on the market, I decided to make my own and so CityGrips were born.
- What was your first step in turning your idea into a reality?
The first step is to have a goal and just keep working at it. It’s all about persistence and never throwing in the towel.
- What is your favorite thing about owning and operating CityGrips?
I truly love what I do. I love working from home so i’m here for my son. It’s a challenge at times but we make it work. I love the independence having my own small business gives me. If my son is sick or I need to be a chaperon for a school outing it’s never an issue i’m the boss, lol.
- Do you have any advice to a mom that wants to start her own business?
The only advice I can give any mother who wants to start their own business is to know that it’s possible. You can do it, you just need to never give up. I want to give up at least once a week and I just don’t, so here I am still standing. Join a support group, take an online class – there are many.
- What does your daily schedule look like? How do you divide your time and priorities between your son, your home and your business?
I wake up at 7am every morning, have my coffee do email, get my son ready for school, take him to school, at 9:15 I work out for 30 to 45 min. I take a shower and back at my computer by 10am. I work from home which is perfect for us.
I like to schedule certain days for certain activities because it keeps me organized. For example, on Mondays i’ll do marketing, Tuesdays sales, Wednesdays new product development, Thursday follow ups, Friday catch-up day.
My son is home between 3pm and 5pm and after he’s home I’m on mommy duty, cook, clean, and REST.
- Is there one piece of baby gear that you recommend? One thing that as a Mom you couldn’t live without (besides CityGrips of course!)?
LOL, this is such a hard question to answer because for a NYC mom it’s all about your stroller, one that is light weight, easy to push, great wheels, easy to fold and hang, geezzzz the list can go on and on.
THANKS Camie for being so open, sharing some great advice and bringing us CityGrips!
AND Camie was nice enough to let us give away two sets of CityGrips! Perfect for a little girl or any stroller for Valentine’s Day we have a single bar in this adorable pink owl pattern. We also have a double bar (think umbrella stroller) in safari blue!
To enter just leave a comment below and tell us which set of CityGrips you would want to win and we will have a random drawing on Friday, January 25th at 12noon!
Happy Strolling! xoxo, Julie