Kaitlyn Litchfield, a mom and entrepreneur, started Lamb & Lou in 2018 out of a basic need to shop safely with her children. The idea was born a few years ago after a stressful and unsuccessful shopping trip where her oldest child climbed out of the cart and nearly fell. There wasn't a product on the market so she invented one. Kaitlyn is from Massachusetts, an avid photographer, wife, and mom to two amazing boys and was just named an "Entrepreneur to Watch in 2019"!
We asked Kaitlyn about where the inspiration for her product and business came from, and here's what she had to say...
How did you get your idea or concept for your business?
The idea for The Original Shopping Cart Vest came to me out a basic need to shop and run errands with my children. We all know the struggles of trying to keep our children safe in the shopping cart while we pick up the necessities like diapers and laundry detergent and we have all been that person or have seen that person who is begging and bribing their child to stay seated for “just a few more minutes.” This was me, I came home in tears, I couldn’t get the shopping done, and my child had nearly fallen out of the cart because the strap that is suppose to keep them secure didn’t work. I immediately went online to buy something, anything, to keep him seated and I couldn’t find it. It didn’t exist so I told my husband I was going to invent it… and I did!
Can you share with us any information about your business that you would want other entrepreneurs to know?
I love this question because pretty much every step along the way for me has been a new adventure or a new challenge and I feel like this is every entrepreneurs journey. I’ve started a business before but nothing like this. This is my first invention (of many, I hope!) so I had no idea where to start, what do I Google?
I think the most important thing I did was find colleagues I trusted to guide me. I bounced ideas off of them, asked for direction, and ultimately used my network to design my logo, get my accounting in order, and open a business banking account.
Another accidental piece of advice is if you’re working on a patent, take meticulous notes and keep your ideas within your trusted tight circle. When I was seeking a patent, the lawyer reviewed my notes, asked who knew about my idea, and even if I had used any specific words about my product in social media posts. Any of these could have jeopardized my patent. I’m not sure why I took detailed notes or kept my idea somewhat of a secret but it paid off!
How do you use social media for growth?
Speaking of using social media appropriately! I am not an open book on my personal social media pages, I don’t share much about my life, I rarely update my profile picture, and I never show my children and because of that when I do post my network pays attention. I have reached out to my friends to like Lamb & Lou, I have asked for their votes to help me win grant money, and I have asked them to spread the word about my product and they have!
I once read that your social media should be a balanced combination of pushing your product, personal story, and relatable content like words of wisdom or funny memes. You want people to feel connected to your business by knowing there is a human, a mother, a friend, behind all of it. This has been a piece of the success for me.
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