Meet the Mom Boss: Marisa Teiner
Nutritionist and owner of Feel Better Pops shares what she's learned about parenting and starting a business.
Photo COURTESY OF FEEL BETTER POPS
Nutritionist and Owner, Feel Better Pops, feelbetterpops.com
Husband Christopher; mom to Chace, 8 and Livia Moore, 5
Tell us about your business. Feel Better Pops started four years ago with the idea of taking an uncomfortable situation like being sick and hoping to ease the pain with something fun like an ice pop. I brought the idea to Rutgers Innovation Center and worked in a test kitchen. I needed more help and hired Food Scientist and Penn State grad (and now partner) Joe Flock. It took 1 1/2 years to develop the three flavors and get the texture spot on using natural ingredients. It took another year and some to develop the brand, find a commercial kitchen, purchase machinery and get logistics in place. We launched this past summer at festivals, farmers markets, health food stores, pharmacies and universities.
What inspired the idea? My ice pop-loving son, Chace. When Chace didn’t feel well, he asked for ice pops. Knowing the pops cooled his throat, hydrated his body and made him feel better, I began to make my own pops with wholesome ingredients.
How do you differentiate your business? I’m not sure I do. I go with instinct, push when it feels right and let go when I have no control.
What’s the hardest part of juggling the kids and being your own boss? Trying to set boundaries for work and motherhood. To be 100 percent focused on work when it’s time to work and 100 percent focused on being a mom is tough. Achieving balance, being flexible and staying present is the goal and the challenge.
What’s your best advice for parents looking to start their own businesses? Find a support system. It helps tremendously. Secondly, don’t stop. It took a lot longer than I thought to get my business up and going. I needed to learn my business and the science of ice pops. It’s so important to be patient, listen to your gut and filter out the negative.