A good book can change your life.
At 25- years old, she read The Artist’s Way, a book which encourages people to find their true self and figure out what they are really meant to do.
After attending Parsons School of Design, she was working in the marketing department of a creative company and thought, “If I have to do this the rest of my life, I’ll die.”
She starting thinking about what made her happy. She loved visiting her grandparents, farmers who spent their time cooking, cleaning and gardening.
“I grew up going to their farm where I was taught the old-fashioned way to keep a home and I loved it,” she recalled. Working on the farm gave Christine the idea to create products for housekeeping and personal care using natural ingredients.
She made her first batch of products in the kitchen of her New York City apartment.
She rented a booth at the flea market on the west side of New York and hung out her shingle on weekends.
“No one bought anything,” she said. Discouraged, she almost gave up. Then, a friend suggested she pitch her products to ABC Home, the upscale retailer. ABC picked up the line of luxurious, green, environmentally-oriented cleaning products.
The products are handcrafted and are 100% free of sulfates, enzymes and other chemicals. “ABC Home was my first customer and I was thrilled,” she said. From there, other buyers started buying her unique supplies for making a house a home.
The line includes a glass & surface cleanser, dish soap, hand soap, detergent, dryer sheets and even clothes pins all in The Good Home signature fragrances: Beach Days, Pure Grass, Lavender, Summer House and Line Dried.
“They work well and smell exceptional,” said Christine. “Scent is the strongest memory-inducing sense. I believe the right fragrance memory has tremendous healing powers. “
A friend and fellow VentureMom Carol Perkins, the founder of the Harry Barker product line for dogs, helped Christine get coverage in Self Magazine.
Then, Christine’s step father joined her to take the venture to the next level. “I wanted to create a company that could expand and grow,” she said.
Christine attended the New York Gift Show and garnered her first orders from national stores. For 10 years, Good Home Products were sold to wholesaler only. In 2005, she added a web-based shop. Christine says, “It took five years to be in the black, but then we were named an Inc . 500 company by Inc. magazine in 2003 and 2004.”
At that point, they drafted a plan to attract investors. Restoration Hardware was a client. When her son, now six, was born, she took off only two weeks. ”There was no one to do what I did. But my schedule is my own. I get up at 4:30 a.m. to work a few hours so I can eat breakfast with my son, work out and then get back to my desk.”
Gathering a board for her growing company has been important for her success. “I have people from all areas to advise and guide me,” she said. She admits not being great with numbers so it helps to have someone on her board who is.
“The hardest part of being an entrepreneur is weathering the uncertainty, but the feeling of accomplishment is so worth it.”
You can enjoy a 20% discount off her products storewide (excluding cases) when you shop at www.goodhomestore.com using the code VentureMom through August 3, 2013.
Since founding VentureMom.com, Holly Hurd has become a sought-after expert in the field of entrepreneurism. She recently spoke at the Women and the Entrepreneurial Spirit Conference in New York City, numerous CT venues, and has been featured in the New Canaan/Darien Magazine. Hurd has always been at the forefront of entrepreneurism. When she was only twenty-five, she was featured in Futures Magazine, USA Today and in Fortune‘s People to Watch column for her exceptional work managing her own fund on Wall Street. She has put her exciting life experiences to excellent use by creating VentureMom.com, a resource and showcase for mom created ventures.