How a Stay-at-Home Mom Built a Million-Dollar Business (from Her Living Room) through Passionate Online Marketing

How a Stay-at-Home Mom Built a Million-Dollar Business (from Her Living Room) through Passionate Online Marketing

Reader Comments (51)

  1. Nice Article Beth

    It would be nice to expand this concept for the working class. Like lunch boxes for web designers, salesman, executives, etc…

    Yum Yum …. 🙂

    Oh the article was about Pinterest, Sorry the food part distracted.

    • No problem, Geoffrey – the article was about Kelly’s business savvy, not just Pinterest…I got distracted by the food part, too! So many markets for her products!!

  2. Great story about taking an idea and turning it into a business.

    I’m getting more involved in Pinterest and have to say that I’m digging the social network. I resisted Pinterest for a few months, okay, a year. But I’m getting used to it. I have more to learn, but I’m gaining followers and having a great time pinning.

    P.S. Could you make the Art Plates link open in a new window? Clicking the “Back” button is easy, but it’s easier to have a link open in a new window. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Great article, Ramsey – I love that more and more moms are starting online businesses (I work with a lot of them, too!) That’s one of the reasons I wanted to spotlight Kelly’s story. I think it’s fantastic that she built this business while staying at home with her kiddos (and that the original idea came from a problem she had as a parent!) Thanks for featuring the great mom entrepreneur stories.

  3. An inspiring story certainly. In reading it I couldn’t help but be reminded of the 24 Genius Characteristics authored by Dr. Alfred Barrious in his book, “Towards Greater Freedom and Happiness”.

  4. hey Beth

    Kelly’s story is so inspiring… thank you for the feature!

    I’ve learned a few interesting things about content marketing that I’m going to adjust for my niche site empire… never used Pinterest before, and I think it’s a channel worth benefiting from, regardless the niche.

    Kelly, if you see this comment, maybe you could let us know the profit margin you’re making in your niche… and do you have other items you sell in the back-end after first transaction is done? 

    I look forward to reading more stuff like this on CopyBlogger, definitely!

    • Hi John – My profit margin is substantial because I have relatively minimal expenses, outside of the manufacturing/import costs of my products. And no, I don’t offer additional items other than my lunch containers, cooler bags and dip containers. I’ve kept my focus pretty narrow on purpose. It costs less to make less, and my time is better spent selling a smaller range of products rather than a larger range. But that’s just what has worked for me 🙂

      • Hey Kelly,

        I love the idea of your product – and as I consistent blogger (I have several blogs), I am in awe of your success – Congrats!

        I wondered if you were going to make a glass version of your lunch containers? I am not a huge fan of plastic is why I ask.

        To your continued success!
        Jenny

        • Hi Jenny – Thank you 🙂
          No – I don’t have plans to do a glass version. I’ve found a niche/price point that is working for me so, at this time, I prefer to stay laser focused on that.

  5. Yeah, Pinterest is something that I’ve not been actively doing. I have an account, but don’t really know the first thing about it other than it is for pics. It is something that I need to work on I guess. So much to do, so little time to do it…

    • Hi Joshua – with so many social networking tools out there, I know it’s hard to figure out where you should be spending your time and energy. But I think Pinterest is an interesting possibility for some businesses (not all) because it can be an amazing traffic source. Pinterest is driving a HUGE amount of traffic to websites and blogs right now, and I think it’s worth exploring.

  6. Great inspiring tips and really enjoyed the read. This gives the momentum to think more about how best we can offer a value to the readers and give solution for the people at large.

    Great exmaple and thanks for the sharing.

  7. Thanks Beth (and Kelly) for the interview. I really like seeing these types of stories/interviews on copyblogger because they are “real world” experiences rather than the theoretical (which does have its place). I find that I can draw practical application for my own business when learning what has and has not worked for someone.

    And… I think my wife has pinned some of Kelly’s stuff. (Our family loves bento, and other things Japanese.)

    • Yep, Chad! That’s exactly why we started this case study series — to spotlight inspiring stories of real companies using content marketing. I love that we’ve been able to feature so many different kinds of companies.

      Kelly’s content (both on Pinterest, and on her blog, etc.) is great, and she produces a lot of it — so it doesn’t surprise me that your wife has come across it as some point!

  8. Wow! A zipped box with Tupperware!

    That’s it…and she made a business out of it!

    Gives everyone hope!

  9. Very interesting story. What I wonder is how she was able to actually get started with creating the physical product. When you have an idea for a product, how do you get it manufactured? And wouldn’t that require a lot of startup money — to pay for first batch of products?

    • Hi Bonnie – Long story short – I came up with my idea, found a China Sourcing Agent to help me, and yes, had the product manufactured overseas. I invested quite a bit of money upfront in the product itself, but that’s what forced me to get really creative in my marketing. Since I had nothing left over for advertising or paid marketing services, I had to rely solely on word of mouth and a really strong online presence to grow my business. And here I am, almost four years after launching, still talking, sharing, and welcoming new “members” into our passionate online community of lunch-packers 🙂

  10. Very inspirational! Now I’m wishing I had some sort of physical product!

    Well done, I’ll definitely be spreading this story about.

  11. Awesome product Kelly! Congrats on your success. Hope you were able to patent your design in some way. Wish I had those when my girls were little, I packed lunches everyday in multiple containers. I’m sure the kids love the presentation and ease of use as well. I know my girls would have. You are an inspiration to all working moms!

  12. This is the type of story that gets you thinking and looking at your own lifestyle on what needs to be improved. You get to saying to yourself “I can make a business out of that”

    • Thanks Matt – so true! And you really said it perfectly/very succinctly. In the case of my ELBs as well as my first biz – decorative switchplates, I was def inspired by something that annoyed me/I thought needed improvement. In fact, the packaging of my switchplates used to say, “Kelly Lester created Art Plates because she couldn’t bear looking at plain, boring beige switchplates any longer… can you?” Coming up with a unique fix for something is the first step to a marketable product. If you have a problem that needs “fixing”, no doubt others do too 🙂

  13. I love how it was mentioned that she self-taught herself. I think that is inspiring to people who would like to start their own business to even making their own blog. Great article!

    • aaaaw – Thanks Aviva! As one of my few online buddies I have had the true pleasure of getting to know IRL, yea – you know what a total barrel of laughs I am in my PJs after a long day of biz conferencing and too many rich hors d’oeuvres 😉

  14. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story. Through her success, Kelly has proved that what goes around will definitely comea around.

    Kelly’s generous helping nature has bring her success as good people always love to return favor to those who helped them and this is what worked for Kelly.

    Moreover her social media stragy is worth mentioning.

    There are lessons hidden in her success story, the lesson of generousity, the lesson of effective marketing. I am quite sure that everyone will get benefitted from her story to achieve success in their respective niche.

  15. I’ve ben trying to devise a solid Pinterest marketing program for several of my clients (we do web design and marketing). Do you have any tips for good books / courses I can check out to point me in the right direction?

    Thanks!

    Brian

  16. Great inspirational story especially for newbie bloggers. I was just lost in you writing skills. Well, it was a worth reading article, Thanks 🙂

  17. Very inspiring story! When I took a look at your lunch containers they reminded me of the Ziploc containers, almost identical!

    It’s amazing that you’re able to successfully compete with Ziploc.

  18. Inspiring story. Pinterest is becoming a great traffic driving machine when used properly. I love the thought provocative questions within the post. Excellent job.

  19. I love this line…I use my blog to post content and answer all of my biggest customer service questions and general FAQs. If you customers are asking questions why not put the answers out there for everyone. Chances are others have the same questions. Nice article and very inspirational. Thanks.

  20. It’s so inspiring to hear about Kelly’s success. I’m a stay at home mom too so this is just getting me so motivated! Good luck Kelly!

  21. Pretty cool article and story.

    Easylaunchboxes is a very cool brand… Keep up the great work Kelly, you’ve got a very refreshing and fun entrepreneurial story. 🙂

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