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Finding Inspiration in Disappointment

After working in the corporate world for 15 years, Nancy found inspiration after receiving a disappointing baby product after the birth of her daughter. Calling upon the entrepreneurial spirit instilled in Nancy by her parents she started AllBaby.com.

Name
Nancy Wurtzel

City / State
Thousand Oaks, California

What was your big dream?
My parents always taught me to dream big. It was always understood that my sisters and I would go to college and have careers. My parents were good role models because they ran their own business, and so I was able to see the challenges and rewards firsthand. I worked in the corporate world for 15 years, but deep down I knew that I wanted to be in charge of my own business destiny.

How did you accomplish it?
I always tell people that All About Baby® started out with a mistake! Shortly after my daughter Katherine was born in 1993, I ordered a personalized newborn birthday scroll by mail order. When the item arrived, my husband and I were both disappointed with the quality and appearance of the product.

I was expecting a beautiful scroll, but the paper and design looked cheap. Even worse was the fact that some of the personalized information was wrong. Since there was no phone number listed on any of the enclosed literature, I couldn’t even call to voice my disappointment.

My first reaction was that buying this product had been a big mistake. However, after giving it some more thought, I realized that the concept was good, but the end result was lacking. I knew that I could create a more attractive, accurate certificate and provide better customer service.

I began researching the personalized gift market and found that indeed there was a niche that wasn’t being filled. With my background in marketing, I began planning a shift from corporate consulting to small business owner. The process took over 18 months, but finally I launched All About Baby® out of my family room. Not surprisingly, the company’s first product was a personalized birthday scroll, called Babyography. We now offer more than 300 gift products on our website, located online at www.allbaby.com. And, our site features interesting, original parenting content.

This was one mistake that turned out great!

Where did you find inspiration to get started?
I think that some people are just meant to be entrepreneurs. It is certainly not the right choice for many people — you must be a self-starter and the type of person who can keep going during the tough times.

What motivated you to keep going?
Keeping my eyes on the larger dream was probably the biggest motivator. I could see in my mind where I wanted to take All About Baby and every day I just kept chipping away at it. I also feel that my work is a great example for my teenage daughter. It’s a great example to show her that a woman can be in charge, follow her dreams and yet have a personal life.

What’s your next Big Dream?
Taking my business to a broader level is my dream. We have a great customer base, but we need to work on communicating more effectively and more often. I want to become more automated with how we process and handle orders, while still maintaining our personal touch that our customers expect — and appreciate!

When you were 5 what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Nurse…”Nurse Nancy”

What about when you were 15?
A peace corp volunteer

Now, what do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m lucky to be doing exactly what I want to be doing.

What book is on your night stand?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

What’s your Guilty Pleasure? (Grey’s Anatomy, Peppermint Mocha Lattes)
I just watched the entire season of “Heroes” over the past two weeks!

What song moves you?
Anything by Michael Buble.

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