Emily and Jana dreamt of creating a business that would allow them to each stick close to their kids while working from home. Both left the corporate world and in spring 2008 www.BabySteals.com was born! (And we’re all in favor of dreams that result in GREAT deals for us!)
Emily Millard & Jana Francis
City / State
Salt Lake City, UT
What was your big dream?
Emily: Simple. To have a happy marriage and happy kids, everything beyond that was extra. BabySteals.com was a pleasant surprise.
Jana: Aside from being the mother of a happy family, I wanted to run my own successful business that would allow me to be home with my children and hopefully one day provide a nice retirement. That was my motivation behind creating www.babysteals.com.
How did you accomplish it?
Emily: The marriage and kids? I stopped thinking about it and worked hard on plan b, a successful career, then marriage and kids happened naturally. It all worked out very well, I am able to stay home with my kids and help run a business at the same time.
Jana: Such a big project was daunting for me given that I had a family and a full-time career. So I broke it down into small steps. Many times I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull certain aspects of it off, but as I focused and had faith it would work, things fell into place in truly amazing ways. On the days where I didn’t have much leftover time, I still accomplished one small step, getting me strategically closer to the end goal. Once the project was up and running, hard and focused work with rigid intensity is what it takes to continue.
Where did you find inspiration to get started?
Emily: My partner Jana. BabySteals.com was her dream, she invited me to the party!
Jana: I am an obsessive deal-hunter. I very rarely pay full price for anything except True Religion Jeans and Bobbi Brown foundation. I know when and where to get the best deals, but I despise brick-and mortar shopping. Who has the time! I’m a complete Internet nerd and I have always hunted relentlessly online for screaming deals. There wasn’t many deal-shopping websites out there I could find that really targeted and focused solely on MOMS and the products they love buying! I knew there was a huge gap in the market for a website focused on products for babies and kids at big discounts. My profession has always been sales, marketing and advertising, with a true integrated marketing focus. The last 7 years I’ve worked at KSL and have truly enjoyed consulting with companies on their marketing and advertising, especially online. So BabySteals.com was born as a way to combine my obsession with my profession!
What motivated you to keep going?
Emily: Our business is just a baby, small and very attention hungry. Motivation comes from our customer feedback, mentions on message boards, great compliments from baby companies and clearly from a love for shopping!
Jana: I have been dreaming about creating BabySteals for over two years and in the middle of ’07 I felt a huge sense of urgency to make it happen. Although with my schedule I knew it would be very difficult to pull off, I kept positive. I did one thing every night that got me closer to my goal, and had faith it was going to work. The big questions that arose were quickly answered and solved. The right people came into it that filled all of the gaps. Everything was aligning perfectly and the harder I worked the more things fell into place and the more it motivated me to keep going. BabySteals launched on April 28th and now that it’s happened, it is the most tiring and time-consuming yet exciting thing I’ve ever done. My business partner Rett really keeps me on an even-keel and shares a positive and anything-is-possible attitude. Seeing the magic that my partner Emily creates visually on the website day after day is motivating to see the vision come to fruition. And now, watching the customer base climb at phenomenal growth rates and the feedback, emails, support, and crazy customers keep me motivated to stay up just one more late night (after another!)
What's your next Big Dream?
Emily: To make BabySteals.com insanely successful, I don’t see any reason why that won’t happen.
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Jana: BabySteals.com is just the beginning.
When you were 5 what did you want to be when you grew up?
Emily: A teacher. I am still obsessed with office products; pens, pencils, paper, tape, folder and organizational goodies. Probably why I still have a paper planner, no fancy phone for me!
Jana: A mom!
What about when you were 15?
Emily: Hmmm, good question. Probably still a teacher, but primarily a mom. Silly me, I thought I’d never have to worry about working. Thank goodness I did, it’s brought me to where I am today.
Jana: A mom of 7 kids!
Now, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Emily: Still, a mom. Working is great, a good way to keep my brain stimulated all day. But I think being a mom is a full-time job and I frequently feel guilty for the time work steals from my kids.
Jana: A mom of 4 happy kids!
What book is on your night stand?
Emily: Uh, my computer filled with unread blogs! I have several books on my shelf, hundreds I want to read and I know someday I will have the time for them all. Right now I have too much on my plate. On a recent vacation I found time to read Eat, Pray, Love, enjoyed it very much.
Jana: I had to get up to go check. The Secret, Simple Abundance, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, Fishing in Utah (my husband’s), a set of Scriptures, Real Simple Magazine and a Deseret Book catalog.
What's your Guilty Pleasure? (Grey's Anatomy, Peppermint Mocha Lattes)
Emily: Baking desserts at night when my husband isn’t home, eating most all of it and hiding the evidence. I eat to sooth my loneliness when he isn’t around.
Jana: Probably Saturday morning garage sales. Guilty because of the time and gas it takes driving aimlessly from place to place just to see what I’ll find. And although I rarely indulge, General Hospital is another!
What song moves you?
Emily: Many, many songs move me, I think music is the easiest way to stir my emotions. Silent Night is hard for me to sing without crying. Not just because it’s a Christmas song, primarily because of the tune and the calm it immediately sets as soon as it starts. It moves slow enough to slow your breathing when you sing it, makes you relax and demands attention at the same time.
Jana: Show me a Sign by Rachel de Azevedo Coleman, Because I Have Been Given Much (yes, a hymn. I cry every time). Remember When by Alan Jackson always brings on a tear. The top 3 songs played on my itunes is How to Save a Life by The Frey, Viva la Vida by Coldplay, and Fly Like an Eagle by Steve Miller Band.