Shark Tank Success Blog: "Mod Mom Furniture Update" - 11/2013

Thanks so much to SharkTankSuccess for this fantastic update based on the People Magazine article....


Mod Mom Furniture after the Shark Tank

Modern Toy Boxes - Season 2 - Episode 203 - Update
Mod Mom Toy Boxes from shark Tank Season 2
Mod Mom Kiersten Hathcock on the
Shark Tank Show
  The more I keep learning about Kiersten Hathcock and the Mod Mom Furniture Business the more I'm not even sure where to begin about this incredible small business started in the garage and now known around the world. Sure a lot of Entrepreneur's start small businesses in their garages every day that never make it to the Shark Tank, but whats so unique about Kiersten and the Mod Mom Furniture Business that's propelled her to a level she could of only dreamt about just a few years earlier? If you could break it all the way down into a single word, it would be pure "Determination" that's led to the Mod Mom's Success that continues to grow to this day.

 Like most "true entrepreneur's" out there, we are a stubborn bunch that does not like to take no for an answer. The saying "Failure is NOT An Option" is ingrained in one form or another into every successful person's subconscious mind to the point you will "ALWAYS" get the right answer if you only "Believe" that statement with every part of your being. Kiersten Hathcock is one of those rare individuals that have put this statement to the test on many different levels and to the point "Success Would Become the ONLY Option" from her sheer determination to succeed.

To see how far Hathcock and the Mod Mom Business has grown since being one of the first contestants featured in Season 2, I figured a good place to start would be with Her Shark Tank audition tape. The answers to a lot of questions where the Mod Mom Business was at the time is in this video which also clearly shows Kiersten's motivation and determination to accomplish one major goal.....

Click here for the rest of the article:   http://sharktanksuccess.blogspot.com/2013/11/mod-mom-furniture-update.html


People Magazine's Shark Tank Article: More on what happened after Shark Tank...

I am so thrilled and honored to have been included in People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive issue! Not a bad edition to be in if you ask me! :)

Back in early March, I received a call from People about the "Shark Tank: Where Are They Now" article which was to run sometime in March.  I spoke with the very kind Johnny Dodd, a phenomenal writer of crime books who is also a writer for People.  We had a fantastic hour-long conversation and continued the chatting sporadically over the past few months as it looked like the article was set to run again.  With all that has been going on in the world, the article kept getting bumped for world events and tragedy, as it should have been!  This week I heard from the editor who said it was finally running but was cut down in size to just one page.  I was so happy it was finally running but I did recognize this likely meant the more in-depth story would be shortened quite a bit.  With that said, I thought I'd take opportunity to tell you the full story of life after Shark Tank and share what Johnny and I talked about for the article. 

So here goes....

My experience in the Shark Tank was relatively painless compared to some folks I know.  I felt the Sharks were kind and open with me while I was filming.  There were some lessons for me along the way about trusting my own gut when it came to producer's view versus my view that you can check out here if you'd like. If you've watched the episode, you know that I received two offers: one from Kevin O'Leary and one from Robert Herjavec.  I chose Robert's deal because it was a better deal.

I was so excited when I left the Tank and so hopeful I'd hear from Robert's camp within the next few weeks to get everything lined up.  We filmed in October 2010 and I ended up hearing from him in January 2011.  I refreshed him on who I was and what our deal was and then ultimately, I ended up hearing from him that I was still too small and to come back in six months.  I chose not to come back in six months.  My episode aired in April and finally, at that point since the cat was out of the bag that I got a "deal," I could be open about what happened.  Several friends and family invested small amounts which helped tremendously and I just thought, well, I can do this.  I've gotten this far with sheer will and intuition. 

I plugged along for about a year growing the brand and out of the blue received a message from a true angel investor in the San Fran area who had started watching Shark Tank on Hulu.  He asked if I was still looking for investors and how the deal went with Robert.  I told him what had happened and we talked two other times via phone.  Once we decided on the investment amount in exchange for equity, which was much better than what I was offered on Shark Tank, he literally wrote me a check and put it in the mail!  It was unreal.  It's common for many to go through a long due diligence process that takes many months.  Mine took about a week and a half.  I am forever grateful to my investor who I believe is an Angel on Earth in every sense of the term. He is one of those guys who truly believes in the "angel" part of giving.  As a man who has done very, very well in business, he believes in Mod Mom and wanted to help give us a a chance to really make it what we've always known it could be. 

We've been able to make HUGE strides with the company because of that investment and are now in licensing negotiations for the Mod Mom brand in several product categories!  It's incredible to think that a small company started in my garage (by someone who didn't even know how to design or build furniture!) is now at the point where we are in talks with major manufacturers!  Due to confidentiality, for now, that's all I can say, but I can share a few things I've done over the past two years in my life after Shark Tank:
  • Filmed How To Videos for Kin Community: Wood Toy Bin, Step Stool, and two food videos!
  • Represented the Cabot brand in How-To videos using their new all-in-one finish
  • Partnered with Columbia Forest Products to ensure the wood we're using in our current manufacturing is made in North America and has zero formaldahyde --safe for kids and adults!
  • Honored with the Future Leader in Home Furnishings award by industry leader, WITHIT 2013
  • Expanding into the pet market - Mod Mom Pets!
  • Partnered with the amazing Samantha Cobos, our Director of Textile Design, to offer more soft good designs.
  • Brought my husband on in a bigger way to help with design, expansion, and just in general, my sanity!  Thank goodness I don't have to pay him! :)
  • Included in international design books for toy box design.
In addition, I founded a non-profit organization near and dear to my heart called The Little Light Project. We have an amazing staff of medical professionals, certified holistic healers, and business leaders who put their heart and soul into helping highly sensitive/intuitive children and grieving parents.  Our mission is to bring a balanced mix of Western and Eastern philosophy to helping kids and parents who are highly sensitive and to offer holistic healing services for parents whose children are now in spirit. As a highly sensitive person, I know first hand how hard it can be to feel like you fit in.  You can read more about The Little Light Project on our website: www.littlelightproject.org.

So in a nutshell, even though the deal didn't work out with Robert, I have been very blessed by what followed and the generosity of folks who believe in what we're doing.  I've always been a big believer that everything happens for a reason and I'm so thrilled it worked out this way!  And I have to say, that learning to follow and trust my intuition along the way has made all the difference in the world in terms of company growth.  Many of my counterparts that started back in 2007 are now out of business.  The sky is the limit for Mod Mom and I'm so proud that even through the blood (biscuit joiner cut), sweat, and saw dust, I didn't give up.  Believe me, there were days I wanted to but intuitively I knew I just needed to keep moving forward.  Can't wait to share what happens in the next chapter of Mod Mom!  I hope so much you'll come along for the ride with me!

Thanks for all of your support over the years!! Without out, this Mod Mom would have likely put that hammer back in the tool box years ago! 

P.S In honor of the People Magazine article, we are having a "Sexiest Toy Box ALIVE!" sale on all of our furniture on www.modmomfurniture.com 20% off all furniture until 11/25! 


  MOMtrepreneur: Mod Mom Furniture
Video (Kin Community)


My Intuition Story About Prepping for Shark Tank

“Trust your gut.”

I’ve heard this my whole life. But it’s only been in the last year I really pay attention and recognize when something is coming from my gut (aka my intuition). Growing up, I was always known as the sensitive kid. Sensitive on all levels — scratchy clothing drives me mad, my ears are super sensitive to loud sounds or specific low tones, I’m sensitive to how people are feeling around me, and am highly sensitive to smells. From the time I was a kid to now, I’ve always been intuitive but there were times in my life when I ignored it or let my cognitive mind take over too much. I’ve never fully shut it off but I know I’ve used it more in the last 2 years than I have in probably any other time in my life.

Without risking going off on a New Age deep end, I want to share with you how I know when something is my intuition. It’s helped me in business and in life and I’m hoping it might help you as well.

When something isn’t right: I get a feeling of pressure just below my rib cage – upper stomach area- that feels heavy. For example, when I was prepping for Shark Tank, I had to present my pitch to producers before I presented to the Sharks and all week long, I had that heavy pit feeling. The time comes to pitch (what had been my script originally but then was heavily edited by producers), I bombed it. REALLY BOMBED IT. I couldn’t even remember what I was supposed to say…about my own company?!?!. Talk about embarrassing! Now coming from background in public speaking and even teaching public speaking, I knew it had nothing to do with being nervous about presenting. That pit in my stomach was my intuition telling me that I needed to go against producer’s directives and say what I knew I wanted to convey to the Sharks in my own way, my own voice. So I told producers I was re-writing it which wasn’t exactly supported but who could blame them.  They know how to make good TV and that's what they were attempting to do with my pitch. Two days later, the doors swung open to cameras, lights, Sharks, and a nervous production team. I pitched my heart out NOT using what we’d worked on for weeks, but what I came up with in the one day between pre-pitching and filming. I’m confident the only reason I got offered two deals was because I stayed true to what my intuition was telling me. To be honest, be real, and speak from the heart. And ya know what? That pit I had in my stomach was non-existent the day I pitched to the Sharks. Sure I was nervous, but I was confident. Big difference.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about the body’s energy systems (think Eastern medicine) and the very place I felt that heavy, pit in the stomach feeling was a place called the Solar Plexus. Here’s the description for it…

“The Solar Plexus Chakra, located above the navel and below the sternum, is the home of the ego. Your own inner confidence, your will, your self-esteem, and your voice are all traced from the energy of this bold yellow chakra center. Manipura is the Sanskrit word associated with this chakra, and translated it means “lustrous gem.” It is this shining aspect of your personality that allows you to step forward and say ‘I can do it’ in any situation. The way you view yourself as a capable and praiseworthy person is a reflection of this resilient chakra center. In a way, the energy springing from the Solar Plexus Chakra is like sunshine, lighting your way in the world and empowering you to make yourself heard.”

It was clear from the way my body was reacting, I didn’t feel confident in what I was being told to say in the first pitch but it’s hard to go against authority so I pressed on. The defining moment when I bombed what should have been a piece of cake was the push I needed to listen to my intuition which was screaming all along. It’s the same place you feel that kick in the gut feeling when you’re told really horrible news. It affects the energy of your body significantly.

Learning to acknowledge what that feeling is when I have it about deals, partnerships, investment opportunities, and people in general has made all the difference in the world. If something lingers in your mind to where you feel paralyzed to act and/or you feel that heaviness in your solar plexus, take a good hard look at what you’re about to do. Even if it goes against what everyone else is telling you to do, your intuition is telling you what is right for you.

Religion has nothing to do with this. While I’m the first to admit that I very much believe in the afterlife, spirit energy, and a higher power, this is more about learning how the body reacts in times of stress and uncertainty and learning to trust your own internal voice. And that, I’ve found, has EVERYTHING to do with making good decisions. Decisions that are right for you as an individual or a business.


Modern Mom Blog Series: Angela Powell - "Parent(s) Night"

I am so blessed to know so many amazing moms. Angela Powell is not only a fantastic mom, but a gifted writer. I asked Angela to guest blog for Mod Mom and I'm thrilled she said yes! Check out the first post in a series about real life, modern mom experiences. Many thanks to Angela!

Parent(s) Night

At approximately 7:30pm, I woke up from a three hour nap. You read that right. THREE HOUR NAP. I’m not bragging, or throwing this in anyone’s face, but it was amazing. As a single mom working two jobs, I don’t see my bed very much. I know it exists because I keep my work clothes on it. It’s like a horizontal closet or an open-faced dresser. But I shoved everything over, crawled into the wonderful folds of my blankets, windows open to let the fall air in, and I slept my face off.

Okay…now I might be bragging, but give me a pass on this one. Here’s why:

Over the last week I have really been stewing over a phrase that was presented to me twice in two different scenarios: “Being a single mom is so hard.” The first time it was said to me was at my oldest son’s parent’s night for football. This is where the senior players get to walk across the field with their parents and get announced over the loud speaker. Mom’s get to wear a corsage, so I was pretty pumped. I haven’t worn a corsage in a million years and my shirt needed it in its life. Now, I was the only single parent in attendance. I’m not saying the other boys had a few moms and stepmoms and dads and stepdads hanging off their arm in a long row, but I was the only single parent. I didn’t notice or think about it until the volunteers hosting this night were all up in a tizzy on how they would announce us. “But where is the Mister? You’re here, but we can’t just say ‘…and mother.’ Where’s the Mister??” After explaining that there would be no Mister without appropriating my life story, just that I would be doing this parent’s night solo, I got the frowny face, pat on shoulder, “Being a single mom is so hard.” I think she was drunk, too. At a school function!! Okay, I added that part but whatever. Anyway…

Here’s an aside…the person saying this to me is not, nor was ever, a single parent, so to me that shouldn’t have been a statement (with a period on the end) but a question. “Being a single mom is hard?” to which I could have answered her, maybe engaged in a little social discourse. Yet, on the scale of things, if this (possibly drunk)individual thought that walking down a football field for three minutes husbandless was “hard” then holy jeebus, trade me an afternoon in her shoes! Which maybe I did, I mean, I took that three hour nap, right? But I digress…

The second time this statement came up was at one of my jobs this week. A friend and coworker is in a tumultuous relationship and wants out. He’s a drunk. He’s an ass. He’s been placed on this earth to make her and her children uncomfortable and on edge. He’s the 43 year old narcissist that you see portrayed on every Lifetime movie (I don’t watch Lifetime movies…maybe). He’s the type of man I left 7 years ago hence the no “Mister” on parent’s night. While discussing her options and what she wants to do, with tears in her eyes she stated, “Being a single mom is so hard.”

She’s experienced it before. This isn’t her first rodeo. Like a lot of us, Prince Charming grew into a nightmare a few years into the relationship. But still, this isn’t the time for victimhood. There’s something about those words that really jabs at my guts. Being a single mom isn’t always easy, but I don’t like “outsiders” turning it into an absolute and I don’t want my dear friend thinking it is a statement to wear on a t-shirt.

What’s hard and what is a temporary inconvenience are two separate things.

It’s hard to live in a house where your significant other might wake you up at 3am screaming at you in a drunken rage. It’s hard to explain to family why he took the air out of your tires so you can’t go to their gathering because he didn’t feel like it. It’s hard dropping out of college because he’s jealous you’ll get smarter, or berate you for reading too much on ‘his time”. It’s hard to watch your kids cower. It’s hard to watch your kids start to hate him. It’s hard to wonder when your kids will start losing respect for you for living like that, or feeling like you deserve to have your respect lost.

It’s temporarily inconvenient to get called out of work for a sick kid. But it’s worth it. It’s temporarily inconvenient to have to work two jobs to pay those bills and buy new cleats. But it’s worth it. And sometimes, it’s temporarily inconvenient to not have a “plus one” for weddings and football banquets…but that’s worth it, too. Going two days without electricity, although VERY temporarily inconvenient, is still better than going two years without leaving the house. I’d rather do it all alone and prove to be a positive role model, than half-ass it with someone in public who hours before hid my car keys and check book so I wouldn’t waste his money on milk.

And that’s what I told her. Reminded her of, anyway. I shared every temporary inconvenience I could think of, but reminded her how proud she would feel and how her kids would feel as she tackled each one. She remembered. It took a second, but she remembered. She remembered what it was like to sit on the couch after the end of a long day and just watch cartoons with the kids uninterrupted. What it’s like going to the grocery store, taking your time because no one is going to be pissed at you for it, or blow up your phone. The exhilaration of coming off of a car problem scare because you Googled it and fixed it your damn self. Followed by the upstairs bathroom shower. Then the closet door. AND installed the air conditioner like a boss. Since the gas bill is due, you picked up that extra Saturday morning shift and you paid it. You didn’t need to rely on, or ask timidly, or beg for it from the Mister. You got dressed, and you worked it, and work paid you, and you paid the bill.

Then took a three hour nap. Obviously.


ABC Kids Expo 2013

At this year’s ABC Kids Show we were amazed at how many people approached us and said, “I’m glad to see you guys are still around.” While, I guess, this could be taken as a backhanded compliment, it wasn’t.  Those comments were truly intended as congratulatory remarks to be worn like medals of honor on our Mod Mom sleeves.   Honestly, we are really glad to still be around too and we wear these medals proudly. 

As you can imagine, it has been a tough few years surviving in this economy.  But, for us it’s always been a formula about slow and organic growth, not because we particularly wanted to (who doesn’t want to get rich quick?), but because we had to.  To this day Mod Mom is still a company that relies heavily on “Mod Mom” herself and countless heart-centered family members and volunteers that give-a-way their time and energy because they want to see that she succeeds and that the brand has real staying power.  For my family, Mod Mom has become our nest egg and perhaps a legacy and brand we leave to our children (but, only if they want it!).  It’s a true labor of love.    

Now, back to the ABC Kids Show…

The truth is a lot of the companies that attended this year’s show and spent tens of thousands of dollars will not be around for the next show, and not because they don’t want to.  They will be out of business.  It can be very expensive to stay top-of-mind in an industry and arena where marketing and show budgets for some companies are in the millions, and that’s just brand marketing.  The fees and costs its takes to even be allowed on a convention floor this size is staggering.  Don’t even get me started on druage fees!  Outside of Kiersten’s heart and those that support and surround her, I think the real reasons Mod Mom continues to stay in business is because 1) we still operate on a shoe string budget despite the overall brand value and footprint Mod Mom has created.  Honestly, the word “budget” even makes it sound bigger than it is. And, 2) we have a dynamic support team that never ceases to amaze us. 

No story conveys this better, than our participation in this year’s ABC Kids Show.   We start with the actual booth.   Kiersten’s dad, Barry, took 4 days driving across the country in a rented U-Haul cargo van to deliver our booth to us in AZ.  It had been sitting in a storage unit in Ohio since 2011. Barry built it for Kiersten for the first ABC Kids Show we ever attended in Louisville.  It’s a booth that our business partner, Kate Hatch, designed.  Barry built this 10 X10 booth in his garage out of plywood and lumber.  He built it to be broken down and put up with limited help and assistance.  And, every time it gets built, it gets a fresh coat of orange paint.   Upon arrival to AZ, we packed up the remaining space in the van with Mod Mom sample toy boxes and show booth essentials.  These essential included three of our kitchen chairs, our sofa table desk, computer printer, computer monitor, and 6 bottles of wine from our liquor cabinet.

After the van was packed and show-ready, we drove the remainder of the way to Las Vegas.  We stayed in a time-share unit off the strip that one of our partners was kind enough to donate to our cause.  The next day, when we arrived at the convention center loading docks, (and, despite having made several preliminary calls to understand all of the unloading regulations and union policies) we still had to pray, negotiate, and “politic” our way onto the trade show floor using only the $50 cart service and avoiding any and all druage fees.  We managed to use only 3 cart loads (for those of you playing at home, that is $150 total) compared to the low-end druage fee cost of $2,000 (paid by a trade show booth neighbor) to just get their crate from the convention center loading door to their designated spot on the floor. 

Once all of our materials were off of the carts and placed in our spot, our team of 5 (all volunteers and equity holders) began the booth assembly process.  It took over 3 hours of assembly and staging, but once it was all together it rivaled that of booths costing in the 10’s of thousands. 

At the end of every day, we would arrive back at our timeshare condo to find that our friend Jen had our cocktails poured, appetizers set, and a dinner on the stove that would put many restaurants on the Vegas strip to shame.  Despite how tired we all were, we never stopped laughing.  Each night we provided our own Vegas entertainment including some of the finest temporarily-tattooed Roger Rabbit dancers ever assembled. 

So, when people say they are glad to see Mod Mom is still around, make no mistake we know why.  Our longevity is truly because of our support team.  They are the reason we can manage to still hang our snazzy “storefront shingle.”  But, also know that the shiny snazzy shingle is made of found wood, borrowed cardboard, recycled paint, and lots of sweat equity from our supportive and loving team.       

--- Scott Hathcock


HOW TO VIDEO: No More Boring Black Photo Frames!

No more boring, black photo frames!  

In this tutorial, you will see how you can really brighten up a room by applying gorgeous, vibrant finishes to plain wood frames.  We used Cabot Premium Wood Finish in a variety of colors to match the cool mod look going on in a bedroom for two very cool kids! 

Check out the new Cabot Premium Wood Finish here: http://www.cabotstain.com/products/pr... or exclusively at Lowe's stores and http://www.lowes.com

We've joined up with Cabot Premium Woodcare and woodworking expert Kiersten Hathcock from www.modmomfurniture.com to show you how to bring your walls to life with customized picture frames.


Cabot Premium Wood Finish in Citrus, Stormy Teal, Mosaic Blue, Olive Branch and Clothespins
Paint Brushes
Sand Paper (very fine or 300+ grit)
Water to wash brushes

  • Buy unfinished wood frames online or from a local store. When creating photo collages, it's great to use and odd number of frames like 5. 
  • Remove the glass and set aside.
  • Lay each frame out on a covered workspace and make sure the frames are ready for finishing. If rough, they will need a little sanding first. If not, you're ready to go.
  • Apply your choice(s) of Cabot Premium Wood Finish to each frame using long, smooth brush strokes. Each frame can be finished using a different color, if you choose.
  • Let the finish dry for approximately 2 hours.
  • Lightly sand the frames using very fine sand paper and wipe clean.
  • Apply a second coat (or more if you would like a richer color) and allow to dry.
  • Insert the glass back into the frames and place your favorite photos in your newly finished frames.
  • Hang photos in an interesting layout and you have a beautiful, custom collage that is tailor made for your home!

For a list of all the cool finish colors from which to choose, go to http://www.cabotstain.com/colors-and-finishes/families/Premium-Wood-Finish-Colors.html.  



Transform a Traditional Coffee Table into a Mid-Century Modern Masterpiece! - Sponsored Post

Check out what this Mod Mom was doing in LA a few weeks ago with my friends at Cabot Woodcare and Kin Community!  We took a traditional coffee table and made it into a mid-century modern gem! 

I had the pleasure of using Cabot Premium Wood Finish -- in Maple tint -- and was so happy with not only the rich color, but how simple it was to apply.  The color and the protective polyurethane are all in one so you don't have to apply the stain first then apply the protective finish.   Best of all, there's no harsh smell.  I've used my fair share of smelly finishes and this is not one of them!  



Coffee Table (one you have hanging around your home, or one you can pick up for a steal at a thrift shop/garage sale, or a pre-cut piece of wood at your local hardware store)

Cabot Interior Premium Wood Finish in a Clear Base, tinted to 'Maple'
Paint Brushes
Sand Paper (very fine or 300+ grit) and rag
Water to wash brushes
Electric Drill
16" Hairpin Legs (widely available online by searching hairpin legs)

Steps by Step Process:

1. Use a coffee table you have around the house, or one that maybe you've found at the thrift store. If it is not bare wood, you will need to sand the existing finish down to the bare wood before you start. (Alt: Buy pre-cut wood from a home improvement store for the table top if you don't have a coffee table you'd like to transform within reach.)

2. Remove the base of the old coffee table from the top and set the base aside (Or use it as a workbench for the next step)

3. Using your choice of Cabot Premium Wood Finish, apply the finish to the top of the coffee table with a brush using long, even brush strokes moving from one end of the table to the other. Do not use a cloth to apply.

4. Wait roughly two hours for the first coat of finish to dry. When it's dry to the touch, use a very fine sandpaper and go over the table top running the paper WITH the grain of the wood.

5. Use a cloth to wipe away residue/dust left over from sanding.

6. Add a second coat to ensure the table's finish is smooth, rich, and protected. If the color isn't deep enough, you can apply additional coats until you get to the color you desire. Allow to dry again.

7. When the table top is dry, flip it over so you're looking at the underside of the table top and install your hairpin legs using wood screws.

8. After the legs are installed, flip the table right side up, inspect whether or not there are any spots that are rough. Again, use a very fine sandpaper to lightly go over those spots and test to feel if the table top is as smooth as you would like it to be. Wipe off dust and apply wood polish. You now have a gorgeous new, mid-century, modern-style coffee table.

FTC Disclaimer: This is a sponsored video although the ideas and projects are our own. Thanks for watching!

For a list of all the cool finish colors from which to choose, go to http://www.cabotstain.com/colors-and-finishes/families/Premium-Wood-Finish-Colors.html.  




30% OFF Owyn and Maude Toy Boxes THIS WEEK ONLY! 8/16-8/23

Owyn Toy Box regularly $450 -
ON SALE for $315 until Next Friday!

Maude Toy Box/Book Cubby regularly $450 -
ON SALE FOR $315 until 8/23!!

Happy End of Summer all you lovely parents out there!!  As usual, we were ALL ready for school to start when it did.  And to celebrate, we decided to have a 30% off sale on Owyn Toy Box and Maude Toy Box.  Stash all those new things they are bringing home from school/preschool in these gorgeous, handmade storage pieces.

TO get the discount, simply go to the links below and purchase.  No code needed!  I just changed the pricing on both the Owyn and Maude to reflect the discount.

Here are so quick links to get you there super fast!

Owyn:  http://www.modmomfurniture.com/naturally/owyn-toy-box.html
Regularly $450, on sale NOW for $315

Maude:  http://www.modmomfurniture.com/naturally/the-maude-toy-box-with-book-cubby.html
Regularly $450, on sale NOW for $315

Also, keep an eye out for two new toy boxes debuting on MMF.com only in the coming days!  The AJ TOY BOX and JUST PLAIN SQUARE are our first "ready to assemble" designs MMF which will sell for less than our heirloom items!  We have always wanted to sell our furniture at reasonable prices but our commitment to manufacturing in the US makes it very hard to compete pricing from  those manufacturing overseas.  But we figured out a way to manufacture ready-to-assemble, eco-friendly furniture right here in the USA at prices that are more moderate.  You put them together at home and reap the benefits of lower pricing!!

Those items will only be available on MMF.com in order to keep the retail price as low as possible.

In the meantime, snap up an Owyn or Maude at a VERY discounted price and know you're not only buying an heirloom piece for your home, but you're also helping American family businesses grow and thrive!!

And you can even put your kid in the toy box!!  HA!  (That's my cutie pattootie nephew Chase when he was a little tike inside his toy box.)

Add caption


Manufacturing In the US

Something struck me today that I want to explain how manufacturing works for furniture in the US.  And how pricing works in general.  We feel so blessed to have the partnership we do with our Amish manufacturer but with that said, it's still just not cheap to manufacture here in the States.  It's why most of your favorite furniture stores produce outside of the US.  I also want to explain how pricing works when you buy an item from a retail store.  It's something I never understood before I started selling my own furniture. I hope it's helpful!

Here's a breakdown costs to produce one toy box:

US-made - range is $110-$150 per toy box
Outside of the US (China, etc)  = range is $30-$50 per toy box.

Now, when you manufacturer, you sell to retail stores.  Those retail stores are charged a wholesale price by the manufacturer.  So let's say a toy box costs us $120 to make plus shipping then we have to charge close to double that to make our profit on it.  So we sell the toy box to retail stores for around $220-$240.  Then the retail store does something called "keystoning" where they expect to make double what they paid so they have to charge $440 for a toy box to make $220 on it.  Margins for retail stores are typically 50% otherwise they won't sell your items.

Like I mentioned before, we ADORE our Amish manufacturers.  They do amazing heirloom work that is shipped to you completely assembled (except for screw on legs).  This is not common in our market.  Most toy boxes are manufactured RTA (Ready to Assemble) so you have some work to do when it hits your doorstep. 

While we believe wholeheartedly in our products and their "grow with your child/heirloom quality," we also understand that those price-points are unattainable for some. We are working on creating a new line of furniture that will be ready to assemble so it will ship flat-packed and therefore we can lower the pricing a bit.   This way, you have the mod mom look and style but have the option to purchase designs that are RTA at a lower cost. They will still be made in the USA using eco-friendly products but because you put them together and they ship in smaller boxes, we can offer more affordable options.

I hope this helps to make clear what I truly didn't understand until I went into business selling goods.  We're working our little tails off over here to expand our lines and provide several different pricepoint options. We are so thankful you have supported us since 2007 and are truly excited to share what else we have up our sleeve in the coming months!!


Facebook Fan 20% off Sale - Now through Tuesday, May 28th!

We've had so much support since day one.  And we feel the love every day on Facebook.  THANK YOU!!

Check out our Facebook Page at:  www.facebook.com/modmomfurniture for lots of FB sales and inside scoop.


A BIG "Honey Do" List

If you've been hanging around www.modmomfurniture.com lately, you'll notice some changes!  And BOY are we excited! We've been talking about the new collections, the new partnerships, and the new web design for a little while but I haven't talked that much about the people behind all of it.  And without the people, there is no expansion.

Today, I want to feature my husband, Scott, our VP of Business Development and Design. 

I learned this past year that trying to expand without a lot of help was insane and practically impossible.  I was still drowning in the day-to-day MMF work that has to be done to keep the business running.  Enter my insanely creative husband.  As "luck" would have it this past year, he had more time to devote to helping me with the business than ever before in marriage.  That is, when he's not doing his own contract work with international tech companies.   And lucky for me, he still has time.

Scott is a one of those creative genius types you kinda wanna punch just a tiny bit.  He can draw, sing, paint, act, design, and write.  In fact, it was a bit of a shock to both of us when I started designing and building furniture because he's always been known as the more artistic one of the two of us.  I can sketch like an 5th grader where as he can sketch and it looks amazing.  I would always ask his opinions about new toy boxes emerging from my garage workshop and he would agree or disagree and then I would do it my way.  Ha!  He even helped me design the Bertie Toy Box one summer while he was in between corporate jobs. Over the past six months, he's helped to design new pieces like the Wes Rocker, worked to create partnership opportunities with other very talented artists, helped retool current items, and the list goes on and on.  I really can't imagine doing this without him!  Funny, because when I was building all of them myself for the first four years, we kept it very separate.  Mod Mom was mine.  He had his stuff.  It worked for both of us back then but recently we've been guided to put our heads together and I'm so happy we are doing just that.
And we haven't killed each other yet!!  (Married couples will really understand that, especially those who work together.)

 Big thanks to Scott for all he does every single day to make Mod Mom what we know it can be.  Turns out Mod Dad and Mod Mom work quite well together.  I'm a quick learner...it only took me 5 years to figure that out!

Next post...our VP of Operations, Barry Parsons and Samantha Cobos, our Director of Textile Design!


How I got on Shark Tank! Pre-Production Video Submission Included!

I've been hearing that Shark Tank is casting now and wanted to share the video I had to submit after getting through the initial vetting by Shark Tank producers.  I also wanted to share a little about my experience going through the casting process in hopes, if you're looking to apply, it might help you!

I can't believe that I filmed Shark Tank back in 2010!!  I'm like one of the Shark Tank grandmas now!  Back then, I was fortunate enough to be able to look to Season One folks like Lori Lite from Stress Free Kids and Michelle from Send A Ball for tips on even just getting past the the first round of cuts.  I studied their pitches and hoped so much I would a. make it to filming and b. not fall on my face during filming!

After the initial question and answer session with a producer they asked if I would put together a video submission that answered many questions.  So I took a shower, put on my go-to dress with jeans under it.  Remember when that was popular?  And I nervously did the best I could to answer ALL of the questions they wanted me to cover.  My husband was the camera man and my dirty garage was the backdrop.  You can see the finished product below. :) Thankfully, this video and a VERY long questionaire got me into the finals where producers asked roughly 40+ entrepreneurs to come to LA to film their pitches.  I think, that season, only roughly 25 of us who filmed actually saw our pitches air on ABC.  I think back then, roughly 20,000 people submitted initial applications online or through casting calls.  Then it gets whittled down and whittled down some more.

To all the folks who have submitted the initial info or visited a casting call, kudos for you for putting yourself out there!! 

My advice for you, if you're going to submit or are going through the process.....
  • Believe in yourself and your product.  Be yourself and listen to your intuition regarding every part of the process.  I went into it thinking I could really get some help with funding my company.  So that was focus.  
  • Shark Tank is a TV show, so while they're looking for good products and entrepreneurs, they are looking for a good story that will play well on TV.   Remember this when you're speaking with producers.  Hardship, underdog stories make for great TV.  There was no faking involved in our hardship story as we were in a tough position with lay offs so again, just be yourself when you tell your story. But know they will play up ever angle that they feel will make good TV. 
  • Everyone will give you notes and suggestions.  Go with your gut.  You have one shot in the tank and if you feel uncomfortable with what production would like you to do, say so.  Initially, it was thrown around that I'd wear something ala a white tank top and jeans.  I didn't feel comfortable with that.  The business experience I had is equally as important as the carpentry/design work so I compromised.  I said I'll wear heels and a dress but I'll also wear a tool belt.  
  • Practice practice but then give it up to the powers that be.  If you are prepared with your numbers and your pitch is memorized (no notes are allowed in the Tank), then relax and know they are just people, too.  I was much more nervous before the doors swung open than I was when I finally made it out to Sharks to deliver my pitch. 
  • Even if things don't go the way you want them to, don't be discouraged.  There are so many opportunities out there and this is just one of them.  And if you do get on Shark Tank but don't get a deal or do get a deal, know that your company just got a 15 minute commercial during prime time.  That is priceless.

Biggest piece of advice is if you feel it in your heart that you want to submit for Shark Tank, do it.  In my life, the stuff I've been most afraid to tackle has always been the most worthwhile.  You just need a few seconds of courage.  Then about an hour of courage in the Tank but regardless, by that point, if you make to filming, you will have lots of support and if you truly believe in what you're doing, it will show no matter what the outcome.

Best of luck!!!


For a look at how it all turned out in the Shark Tank, click  this link



As I sit here on the couch surrounded by file folders full of purchase orders, invoices, sketches, half empty cups of coffee, post it notes and small Snickers wrappers, I am struck yet again by how that whole BALANCE thing we work-from-home parents supposedly have really is bullshit.  I wrote a post about it last year but this year, it feels even more intense.  We are in a constant state of appreciation that we're blessed to be able to work the hours we want, answer to ourselves, our retailers,  and our clients, and take off for vacation when we need/want.  But with that said, we have a very hard time giving ourselves permission to STOP working, looking at the i-Phone, answering emails at all hours and talking about work in bed, God forbid.  It's really hard when you know your livelihood is all on your shoulders.  Balance seems to be what we strive for but in reality, we're just doing the best we can to keep all the balls in the air.  And lately, with increased workloads on both sides, busier kids and homework stacks, those balls are dropping. 

And then you throw in we have no after school care, support, nanny, or outside help and while sure, our kids are in school from 8:30 to 3:00, it sure isn't enough time to properly run an international furniture business.   It's just not.  Not in this age of OMG SHE DIDN'T GET BACK TO ME WITHIN AN HOUR SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG.

I'm guilty of looking at my i-Phone too much and saying "Uh huh" when the kids are talking because I'm not fully listening but rather I am reading a message that has to be returned ASAP.  And I know it's not OK but getting off this insanely fast, no-stop work train is harder than getting off caffeine.

When I think back to when I was in corporate our cell phones were just for phone calls and we couldn't even access our email from outside of our offices, I smile. I'm sure we were very productive yet we allowed ourselves time to be human.  To be engaged more as parents.  And because we worked outside the home, our kiddos were in daycare and preschool getting what they needed from engaged caregivers.

I hope at some point the pendulum swings back and I pledge to do what I can from here on out to make it swing back more in our household.  Well, right after I check this this message/text/FB message/tweet/blinking light.  Oh no.  I'm doomed.  :)


Big Ole Nut Shell

I have seriously disappointed this blog.  Before Facebook, it was my go-to place to write about all things Mod Mom related...or just mom related.  I kinda miss it, I do. But life and work have been so busy that simply updating via Facebook and Twitter seems the easiest way to pass along Mod Mom news.

But you're writing, Kiersten??!?!  Yup.  I am.  Thought I'd do a speed round of what has been happening around these parts.   And take this opportunity to thank you again for coming around this blog and for supporting Mod Mom.  Still blows my mind that this all started back in 2006 when I was trying to figure out how to measure wood and join one side of a toy box to the other without driving a nail through my finger.  Which did happen on occasion.

So to catch you up...
  • Last year, a true ANGEL investor came into my life via a form email.  We spoke a few times by phone and his over all message to me was that he believed in me and the Mod Mom brand.  We never met in person.  He literally mailed a check for a huge amount of money with no royalties, etc attached. I am forever grateful for his faith and generosity.  Like I said, a true Angel.
  • Since then, we've hired part-time staff to help take the day-to-day workload off my back and give me time to develop new lines and partnerships.  My amazingly talented husband has been helping me on weekends and during his off-work hours to do just that.  He's been essential to the growth we're now seeing with our company and I'm so thankful for him.
  • I launched The Little Light Project, a non-profit organization helping families whose children have passed in addition to helping children and their parents understand how to manage and grow intuition. It's amazing the reach this little organization has!  We've been getting emails from all over the world without doing any advertising.  If you build it, they will come! 
  • Mod Mom partnered with Safe Horizon, the nations largest organization based in NYC that helps families who have suffered violence.  When you purchase items on our website, 5% of the sale price goes to Safe Horizon!  We're thrilled to be able to help!
  • We have officially partnered with Columbia Forest Products (and their formaldehyde-free wood that is made here in the States) and are in the process of designing multiple lines of storage furniture (not just kids!) for major national retailers.  It's all still in the works but more detail to come on this, for sure!!
  • We are in the design/prototype/negotiation stage with the FANTASTIC well-known kids furniture/goods retailer.  Designing exclusive Mod Mom pieces for them.  YAY!
  • We've partnered with Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band -- they are HUGE in the kid music world -- to create a line of storage based off of their award winning songs. 
  • And we're going to launch a Woodland Mod collection that skews a little more traditional in design taste.  Fine, hardwood, Amish-craftsmanship will still be at the heart of Woodland Mod!

In a nutshell, that's what's happening on this end.  Look for new products, a revamped website, new partnerships and new wood! 

As always, thank you for supporting us through the years.  Now, I'm off to pick up Noah from school!


Help a Family Escape Domestic Abuse

 Please consider donating any amount of money you can spare to help a family escaping domestic abuse.  While I can't give out specific information, I can say that this courageous mom is trying desperately to make a new, better life for herself and her kids.

If you donate, you will be entered to win an Owyn Toy Box valued at $425!  No amount is too small.  Let's help give one mom and her children a new start.  Free from violence, threats, and negativity.

To donate, click the link below:


 Thank you so much for your help and support!  I'll keep everyone posted as to when we draw the winner of the toy box.

Just donate any amount you can to help a family escape domestic violence!


What a NEW Year!!

Happy New Year!!  23 days late!  Hope you're all over your resolutions to lose weight and stop drinking caffeine (or vodka).  I know I am!  I started out strong but one massive cold sent me climbing back into the comfy couch and out of my running shoes. I know I'll kick it into gear right after I eat way too much in Vegas this weekend. :)

I am so excited about this new year of ours.  It feels different than other years for many reasons but one of them being because I finally came to terms with the fact that as much as I want to believe I can think outside of my furniture box, I've found it's really hard to just that.  It's difficult to think bigger than what I've always done. Thank goodness I know some new-to-Mod-Mom folks (who believe in what we're doing) and existing team members who have so many amazing ideas and so much already in the works that I can now step back a bit from the day-to-day inner workings and look at the bigger picture.  In order to grow the way we know Mod Mom can, we need collaboration.  As a woman who always handled everything for MMF, it surprised me how hard it was to let go of a little of that control.  But I know that I do not have all the answers and I don't have all the ideas, so we're starting 2013 off with lots of new connections, new design ideas, and a team of people who believe in what we're doing and our avenues for growth.

Now back to Vegas....

We are heading to Vegas on Saturday for the Las Vegas World Market International Home Furnishings Show.  I'm really honored to be among a handful of people being awarded WITH IT WOW Awards on Sunday night.  We have lots of meetings lined up and a little mechanical bull riding as well.  Ya know. Cuz that's what you do when you go to Vegas.

Both Mod Mom Furniture and The Little Light Project are really growing in ways I never thought possible. And I couldn't be happier.   I'll continue to keep following my heart and opening my mind to lots of new ideas and partnerships.  Saying I'm grateful for the people in my life on both the Mod Mom front and with the volunteer work I'm doing would be an understatement.  I believe if you're in alignment with what you're guided to do in life, the Universe conspires with you, not against you.  And in this new year, the Universe hit a home run with the folks I call business partners, mentors, and friends.  

May 2013 be starting off as fabulous for you as it has for me.  Minus the illness part, of course.



AFTER HOLIDAYS SALE!! From now til January 13th, when you use the discount code JAN15OFF when purchasing through www.modmomfurniture.com, you'll get 15% off toy boxes and the Owyn Table and Stool set! Don't miss this sale! And don't miss the new CHASE toy box sold exclusively on MMF.com.