POD (Short for ‘Parents of Destined Goods’) is a series that will be documenting a new endeavor within the operations of Destined Goods in which 3 good friends of mine, whom also happen to be stay-at-home moms, are joining in on my journey of taking Destined Goods to the next level of product offering, vision, and social impact.  These stories will discuss our successes, where the pain points are, and how a decentralized work environment fits into a young startup company.  

POD Series : Part 1 – “Growing from me to we”

“If you would persuade, appeal to interest and not to reason” – Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac

If you’ve read the series description above, you know what I am about to announce: Destined Goods is finally growing to be a team!  I envision that this POD series will be a platform on which we can share the journey of this unconventional setup from the voices of all of us.  Before I get to describing the current state activities of Meg, Taylor, and Mark, and our strategy for growing Destined Goods into a behemoth brand, I need to dedicate some time to introduce the beginning and inception of this setup.  I do hope that you’ll follow along on this journey while we guide you into the inner workings of our business, and I encourage you to please utilize the comment section below to ask questions, comment on what you like/dislike, and give some feedback on what topics you’d like to hear more about!  I thank you for reading, and please enjoy Part 1 of the POD series.

 

Changing the Status Quo

Product development is my favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur. The exercise of considering new color combinations, material choices, and design options that will push my current products to the next level is both an enjoyable and rewarding experience. It wasn’t until I viewed my business model as a product in and of itself that my vision for the potential of Destined Goods truly opened up.  What I’m talking about is the fact that I envisioned a way in which I could challenge the status quo and develop a model where stay-at-home parents (often prohibited from employment opportunities due to time/travel constraints) would be able to take on the essential roles of a growing business, while working with the convenience of a schedule that fits into their daily routine.  I have my friend Meg to thank for inspiring me to come to this conclusion (and I’ll get to that introduction in my next article), but first I’ll explain this business model a bit further.  

The current model (not just for a company that makes physical goods, but just about any company) is this:  

    • Have an office where a person does or makes a thing
    • Get enough people (consumers) to want / buy that thing
    • Hire more people to report to that same office and aid in doing or making more of that thing
    • Repeat, repeat, repeat

That is a simplified, bulleted version of how to scale a business… and despite a seemingly simple list of steps, there are some major pitfalls with this ideology – mainly geography and schedules.  What if some employees don’t have the ability to make it to that centralized office?  Consider the scenario of a stay-at-home parent. The majority of their time is spent caring for their highest priority: their children. 

According to FactTank, 1 in 5 parents (or over 11 million parents) are stay-at-home parents [1].  Unfortunately, based on research performed by Harvard Business review, stay-at-home parents are one-third as likely to get callbacks when applying for jobs when compared to their employed parent counterparts [2].  FOR WHAT REASON???  Harvard Review’s article goes on to state that “These findings suggest that employers are concerned about stay-at-home parents’ prioritizing family over work. Employers may worry that such an applicant will decide to leave work again or that they will face difficulties transitioning back to work” [2].  I could write an entire article about the folly behind that mentality on the part of employers, but what good would that do?  The more immediate approach to fixing this is to use the abilities at my disposal through Destined Goods business and employ stay-at-home parents with roles and responsibilities that aren’t time or geography sensitive, while still fulfilling critical business needs: namely marketing outreach and product assembly.

I’ve coined the group POD (parents of Destined Goods), and they are the backbone of my business.  Taylor and Meg have been working with me to bring this idea to fruition since the beginning of the summer.  They are already spearheading marketing outreach and collaboration with different brands, helping to get Destined Goods in front of as many eyes as possible.  And in a very short time, each of them will be outfitted with all of the tools needed to assemble every sleeve order that I receive.  The beauty of this setup is the fact that they will be able to assemble and process orders during downtime, as it presents itself, but even better, it gives the group an opportunity to meet up once a week to simply hang out, have a few laughs, and then exchange new orders with completed orders, so that I can pack the order up and ship out from my warehouse in south Philadelphia. We interact using the conveniences of 2019 technology, group texts, FaceTime “conference calls’ (if you’d call it that) and shared documents to keep everyone organized and on the same page. As Meg and Taylor would say, their children are the center of their universe; there is no arguing that.  But these group interactions give them opportunity for socialization and activity outside of a baby bubble.  It gives them an extra sense of fulfillment.  It’s their encouraging remarks that reaffirm my belief that this POD program is valuable endeavor. 

The best part of this is that none of this feels like work.  I feel like I’m interacting with my friends about really exciting stuff: making handcrafted objects that are customized to provide daily reminders of our customer’s favorite memories and belongings. As Destined Goods grows, the business needs will grow, and POD will grow.   

In future stories, I will touch upon my inspiration for this business model, and updates on the current state of POD. As I mentioned before, if you have questions, comments, or a desire to have me focus on a particular aspect in future articles, please use the comments below or shoot me an email using destinedgoods@gmail.com. 

References 

1. Livingston, G. (2018, September 24). Stay-at-home moms and dads account for about one-in- five U.S. parents. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/24/stay-at-home- moms-and-dads-account-for-about-one-in-five-u-s-parents/

2. Weisshaar, K. (2018, February 22). Stay-at-Home Moms Are Half as Likely to Get a Job Interview as Moms Who Got Laid Off. https://hbr.org/2018/02/stay-at-home-moms-are- half-as-likely-to-get-a-job-interview-as-moms-who-got-laid-off