With six kids and 3,000 miles between them, it’s a wonder that mothers Pam Ginocchio and Melisa Fluhr are able to find time for a five minute phone conversation, let alone run Project Nursery, a wildly successful all-things-nursery-décor blog. Although their company has humble beginnings, after nearly 10 years of working together and coordinating between the east and west coasts, Ginocchio and Fluhr have it down to a science.
“Back in 2008, Melisa posted a few photos of her son’s nursery on the HGTV website and it immediately became an overnight sensation. She was flooded with questions about which paint color she used, the crib bedding and everything else about the space. As long-time friends who shared a passion for design, she called me up and suggested that together we start a blog about all things nursery design. First I had to google ‘blog’ since I was pretty clueless about what that really meant but from the beginning I was totally on board,” Ginocchio says.
Since then, Project Nursery has taken off. The ladies have grown their Pinterest-worthy site, adding a shopping cart in recent years, as well as branded products, including their own line of consumer electronics for the nursery. “We think of ourselves as veterans in the old blogging world and what started as a passion project has grown into a full-fledged brand,” Fluhr adds.
Ginoccio and Fluhr sit down with Mom.me to discuss how they have managed to balance raising their families and their business together.
As a mothers as well as the founders of Project Nursery, how do you make it all work?
We gave up on the notion of doing everything perfectly a long time ago. Juggling both motherhood and running a growing business is filled with a constant set of challenges. While we have no secret answer to making it all run smoothly, we have definitely learned how to handle whatever is thrown our way. One of the best parts of running a business as long-time friends is that we always have each other’s back. With six kids between the both of us, there are often days when one of our lives goes a bit sideways (like a sick kid, a school play or a snow day) and knowing we can count on one another has been instrumental in our success over the past nine years.
When did you first feel successful?
Early on, it was when readers would approach us at baby and industry shows. Sure, we would watch our blog statistics grow behind the scenes, but actually having an expecting mother come up to us in person and say, “Thank you! I couldn’t have created my nursery without Project Nursery!” was just a great feeling. Those personal stories and interactions really solidified that we were on to something special and it continues to motivate us to do more. There have definitely been other “pinch me” moments along the way, as well. We both felt pretty darn proud the first time we saw our Project Nursery-branded products on the shelves in person.
As successful female entrepreneurs, what are some ways that you want to teach your kids about "girl power"?
It’s always been important to both of us that our children, both our daughters and our sons, see their mothers as strong, intelligent and capable leaders of the family. Each of them knows how important Project Nursery is to us and respects that. It’s always heartwarming when one of them asks us to come into school to present about being a blogging mompreneur. Plus, the Project Nursery swag is always a big hit!
Has there been anything about creating Project Nursery that surprised you or inspired you in a way you didn't expect?
Our entire journey has been unexpected! Running an online business has been eye opening in so many ways. Who knew signing up for a Facebook business account way back when would lead to so many social channels to manage and strategy sessions on how we can best reach and serve our audience. The world has really changed and continues to change every day.
How do you manage working together from different coasts?
With different time zones and family schedules, it's not always easy to deal with the challenges of living and working together on different coasts. We’ve managed to get creative using technology and work from home schedules which allow us to be flexible enough to make it work. Google Hangouts has been just about the best thing ever. We literally feel like we are working in the same room and are so much more in tune with each other when we are able to see each other’s faces.
What's your advice for moms who are looking to start their own business?
Do your research before you dive in and be realistic. Don’t be surprised if success (and money) don’t come in the first year or two. It takes a lot to make a business profitable. It’s been so important to us to stay true to our niche and, while we’ve adapted over the years slightly, our main mission has always been about showcasing great design for children’s spaces. Another piece of advice would be to make friends within your industry and look to other successful mompreneurs for guidance. You’d be surprised how many people will take the time and allow you to pick their brain or provide advice based on their own start-up experiences. Hearing their stories and learning what not to do is often provides the most valuable tips around.
What sacrifices have you made as moms and business owners to keep everything in balance?
We’re both lucky to have outstanding spouses that wholeheartedly support what we are building with Project Nursery. Not unlike any parent, we can’t say yes to 100 percent of the things that come our way. We don’t view these as sacrifices but more as a way to keep us sane and ultimately be more successful. We’re also so grateful for the friends and family that help us out. It really does take a village.
Are there any new initiatives or products on the horizon for Project Nursery?
There’s something pretty special in the works but we can’t disclose it just yet or we’ll jinx it. Look out for exciting new product announcements on our Instagram in the fall!