Rebecca Rabson is the founding Partner of pb&j Discoveries. She lives in the Boston area with her two boys and husband, who is also one of her business partners. Prior to starting pb&j Discoveries, she was a full-time stay-at-home mom to her two boys. In her prior life before kids, she was a lawyer in New York.
1. Please tell us about your business and the service that you provide:
Pb&j Discoveries manufactures and sells the SmartSeat Chair Protector – a waterproof, stain resistant, and machine washable cover for upholstered dining room and kitchen chairs. It protects like a vinyl seat cover, but is made from a soft and comfortable fabric and has a tailored and attractive fit. The SmartSeat’s patent-pending design snuggly fits most chair sizes and styles, even those with side arms and solid backs, making it the perfect way to discreetly protect your dining room furniture from spills, stains, and everyday wear and tear.
2. What motivated you to start your business?
My two boys — who are adorable, but extremely messy.
3. What kind of background or expertise do you have in your field?
None! But I am learning all about manufacturing, marketing, and SEO.
4. What trends do you see in your current industry?
Based on our product reviews and customer feedback, it appears that consumers are willing to pay a little bit more for a product that is both functional and attractive. They don’t want to use a cheaper-looking product in their living and dining spaces.
5. What are the most demanding aspects about your business?
The most demanding aspect of my business is maintaining the balance between work and family. Prior to starting this company, I was at home full-time with my boys. While fortunate to be working a flexible job from my home, it is still a challenge to get everything done during school hours so that I can be 100% available to my boys when they are around.
6. What are the most rewarding aspects about your business?
The most rewarding part of my job is definitely interacting with my customers. It is great to receive positive customer feedback about my product!
7. What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business like yours?
I have two pieces of advice for anyone interested in starting a business. The first is to find a mentor. When we were just getting started, I was fortunate to be put in touch with another female entrepreneur. She was a great source of inspiration, advice, and support. I have since been lucky enough to network with a lot of other mompreneurs. The second piece of advice is to just do it! Starting a company can seem so overwhelming. Break things down into little steps and make sure that you take one step every day that will bring you closer to your goal.
8. What are you most proud of as a parent-preneur?
I am really proud that I created a product that makes life easier for parents with young children. The SmartSeat Chair Protector is easy to use and takes the stress out of mealtime clean up. When mealtimes are easier, parents can relax and enjoy their kids more.
9. How have you been able to balance your time between work and your family?
I just do the best that I can. I try to do most of my work when my boys are at school, but that doesn’t always happen. I try not to dwell on the days when things get crazy. Instead, I remember how fortunate I am to have a flexible job that I love!
10. What has been the most effective way for you to promote and market yourself?
As a very new and small company, we don’t really have a marketing budget. I’ve found social networking to be a great way to spread the word about the SmartSeat Chair Protector.
Finally: What does your “Milk Money” provide for you and your family?
The SmartSeat Chair Protector provides me with the ability to care for my boys, while still contributing to my family’s financial well-being.