For a long time I had wanted to take an old family pickle recipe and turn it into a business. My sister-in-law and I started in August 2011 making the pickles ourselves in our kitchen, and we sold a thousand jars to friends and family in the first two weeks.
I quit my job to run the business three months later -- I've been working nonstop ever since. Everyday there's a four-page to-do list and just the two of us to complete it.
My average day looks like this:
4:30 a.m. Wake up and catch up on e-mails and phone calls to East Coast stores and sales representatives who work for our distributor.
7:00 a.m. My kids, who are 2 and 5, wake up. Then I go into mom mode, making them breakfast and taking them to preschool.
9:00 a.m. I arrive at the office. I usually start by doing some sales and marketing. Then I may head to the warehouse to take inventory or unwrap pallets. It's not glamorous.
3:00 p.m. I'm back in mom mode for a few hours. I pick my kids up and we go to the park. Sometimes I multitask and answer e-mails.
7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Once the kids are in bed, I'm back on the computer. I'll review new contracts, work on social media and get organized for any weekend events. I usually work one weekend day and try to take the other off.
It's definitely worth it. On the business side, we know we're creating something of our own and on the mom side -- even though I'm working harder I have a flexible schedule so I can be there for my kids.
These 5 small businesses all make their products in the U.S. and are committed to keeping things that way.