Can I tell you about Cherlyn, and what I love about her business?
Cherlyn Jenkins is the founder of CJ’s Kids a manufacturing company for children’s coats that are car seat friendly. (Her coat allows children to stay in it when getting into their car seat harnesses.) Last Spring Cherlyn, a new business owner, asked to join Her Corner. We discussed the ‘at least 1-year in business’ requirement to join but she explained that she was determined to develop the product she had in mind, manufacture it, and go to market as quickly as possible. She was leaving her full time job to do this, and was worried because she had no prior business experience. We have a rule at Her Corner, if you’re “in the pool” so to speak, even if you’ve not been in there for more than a year, we’re going to help you. At the time, I had no idea how much we would learn from Cherlyn and how quickly she would bring her idea to market. She has amazed every single one of us.
What I love about Cherlyn’s business is the resourcefulness to leverage what already exists for business owners, as well as her steadfast determination to succeed. She has learned to use the local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) for free business advice, to constantly ask questions and educate herself in new business areas, and despite overseas prototype production that resulted in some wrong sizes, she has continued to persevere and improve. Her children’s coat is now patent pending, the prototypes are in, and she is expecting to launch in both the US and Canadian markets in 2013. How’s that for just getting in the pool 6 months ago?
Cherlyn is a member of our Alexandria group,
and she’s an extraordinary entrepreneur and a woman to watch!