Name: Nichole MacDonald
Business name: Sash
Years in business: 1.5
Website address: www.thesashbag.com
One day in 2011, Nichole MacDonald faced a dilemma that many mothers of small children encounter: How do you carry a child and an oversized bag holding all of his or her things? After a frustrating afternoon of juggling bags at an amusement park with her then 5-year-old son, MacDonald envisioned a solution: a modernized, stylish version of the classic fanny pack that allows for hands-free storage of all of your essentials. She quickly designed and stitched the first Sash Bag, which she had only intended to use for herself. Little did she know that her prototype would provide a solution to a common problem — and help her start a successful business.
Sash Bag creator Nichole MacDonald Credit: TheSashBag.com
Currently, more than 30 retail stores carry MacDonald's genuine- and faux-leather Sash Bags, but many Sash sales happen at local farmers' markets, street fairs and other events. Here's how mobile payment technology has helped MacDonald grow her business over the last three years.
Business News Daily: What problem were you hoping to solve when you started your business?
Nichole MacDonald: I wanted to create a solution for women who are tired of lugging around handbags. There's a practical component to it, because women really do need a better bag, but there's also the idea of inspiring people to carry less and be free from the "stuff" that bogs us down.
BND: What technology has most made your business possible?
N.M.: Being able to use Square on our smart devices out at events. We sell a lot of Sash Bags at local farmers' markets, so Square has really been a life-saver.
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BND: What technology can't you live without?
N.M.: Skype. I am able to communicate with my factory on the other side of the planet ... for free! That communication is invaluable. When we are in production, I'm able to see what they are working on and can make real-time changes and suggestions.
BND: If you could hire one extra person right now, what would you have that person do?
N.M.: Honestly, if I could hire one extra person right now, I would have them do my laundry. I need a personal assistant like nobody's business.
BND: What technology do you wish existed that doesn't?
N.M.: Probably what every entrepreneur wishes for ... cloning technology!
BND: What's the most valuable non-tech skill an entrepreneur needs?
N.M.: Fearlessness and calmness. You have to be able to take risks, and curveballs and disasters are just part of the gig. Freaking out over things that go wrong will not only kill the business, but probably kill your spirit, as well.
Originally published on Business News Daily.