When Shawn Fludd began the Bear & Boo Children's Boutique in 2013, he aimed to offer stylish children's clothes at a reasonable price. The business has grown to include an effort to give back to parents, with the establishment of the Your Money Tree Fund, which was created to offer financial support to everyday families requesting help. Fludd also leveraged the boutique to found the Dadly Rally, which debuts in Los Angeles in March 2016 as a venue to create a network of support and information for parents. Business News Daily went behind the business plan with Fludd, who discussed the Bear & Boo Children's Boutique and the efforts that have grown out of it.
Business News Daily: In a nutshell, what service does your business provide?
Shawn Fludd: We sell baby and toddler accessories.
BND: How long have you been in business?
Fludd: Since 2013.
BND: Did you start with a formal business plan?
BND: How did you finance your endeavors, both initially and as your business grew?
Fludd: We saved for two years and got an investor.
BND: How much did you invest personally?
BND: Is your business today what you originally envisioned at the outset or has it changed significantly over time?
Fludd: It has significantly changed. I co-founded an event called The Dadly Rally that's a conference to encourage and support moms and dads. It's on track to debut in five cities in 2016.
BND: What are some lessons you've learned? Is there anything you would've done differently?
Fludd: The biggest lesson I learned in business is never depend on your family and friends to automatically support you just because they have a relationship with you. You have to earn their business. I don't think I would have done anything differently, because the tough lessons made me a better leader.
BND: What were the most important factors that contributed to your success?
Fludd: My family, our dedication to the business, and making sure we made it a priority to incorporate giving back in our business.
BND: What are the next steps you want to take as a business owner? How do you see yourself achieving those goals?
Fludd: As business owners, we plan for growth in every area. We plan to expand our giving as we grow. Expanding our business means we are able to provide more great, affordable products to families, and we plan to leverage our platform to grow the Dadly Rally on a national scale so that more moms and dads can be encouraged and supported as they work to do their best as parents.
BND: What is your best advice to someone with a great business idea who is ready to give it a shot?
Fludd: Have enough money saved to be able to pay your bills for two years before you start the business, learn more about the industry you are thinking about considering getting into and find someone to serve as your mentor in business.