I was a nanny professionally for 10 years and started my career while studying early childhood education at Texas Tech University. After graduation I thought I would take a nanny gig so I could “figure things out,” since I still really wasn’t sure where I fit in within the realm of childcare. It ended up being a nanny position that would entirely change my life personally and professionally. Being a nanny for baby D, who was adopted from Ethiopia, was incredibly rewarding and I couldn’t imagine working in any other career.
- What is a highlight of your nanny career?
The highlight of my nanny career would be co-founding The Davis Moon Project with D’s Mom. The nonprofit organization aims to provide resources to orphanages and schools and after 6 years we are still funding our mission and traveling to Ethiopia annually. So while I set out to figure life out with a nanny job, it opened my eyes to my true passion in life.
While working as a newborn care specialist, I became increasingly frustrated with the lack of quality care available to new parents. Often times, I was the third or fourth caregiver for a client since the previous ones lacked the expected skills and professionalism. I decided to form a group of high quality newborn care specialists based around a shared belief in professionalism and the highest standards of care. My company, Hush Hush Little Baby launched out of Washington DC in 2010 and we currently provide newborn care in 5 states!
This year I also co-founded The Newborn Care Training Academy. Our mission is to provide the best education and training to individuals entering the newborn care field. We’ve tailored our curriculum based on the latest information, hands on opportunities, professional support, utilizing up to date technology and most importantly holding a high standard of comprehension upon completion of the course. Every student who completes our training will enter the field with all the tools they need to be successful a newborn care specialist.
- What is your level of monetary investment and have you seen a profit?
Yes, we were profitable within our first year by keeping overhead low and relying on word of mouth advertising. As the company has grown, we’ve incorporated more formal methods of marketing, but have maintained a relatively low operating budget. Ten years ago, our budget would have included an IT professional, an accountant, and a director of marketing. Today, I was able to start a business with a little software and a lot of determination.
- How has the nanny industry received your service – i.e. what has been the feedback you’ve received?
Hush Hush Little Baby has absolutely been welcomed into the nanny industry with open arms. While many experienced caregivers are skeptical of agencies, we take great pride in enhancing their careers through continuing education, professional development, and a steady stream of clients. Our retention rate among caregivers has been exceedingly high, so I think that speaks for itself.
The Newborn Care Training Academy has officially been open for 3 months and demand from the nanny industry for high quality training has been growing ever since our first onsite training in January 2014 where every seat was full. The overwhelming feedback for NCTA has been a demand for a quality program that incorporates online training. We embraced this feedback and our online course is set to launch early this Spring. We’ve already established student feedback as a core component of continually refining our curriculum.
- What words of wisdom do you have for others, who may have a product/service and wish to expand its market?
I love sharing my story for this reason… As a business owner I was scared and completely nervous before I launched my agency. I had a client give me the push to launch, so I know encouraging others who are thinking about starting their own business may really impact them. I think it’s important for anyone who is thinking of starting something to know you will make mistakes, but it is how you learn and move forward from them that really matters. So take a leap of faith and you will be surprised at the support you receive from others.
- What do you wish you had known early on, that you’ve learned going through this process?
Learn from mistakes and provide the very best product you can. If you invest in quality professional caregivers, customer satisfaction will be inherently high.