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Tuesday
Jun052012

A Humble Piece of Boogie Pie 

By Mindee Doney

It’s been fantastic to share the news recently of my little idea (Boogie Wipes) being acquired by an awesome big company, Nehemiah Manufacturing out of Cincinnati, OH.  Not only do they bring experienced management for the Boogie brand but they also contribute tremendous amounts of social value and goodwill into their community.  They will no doubt take good care of our consumers and retailers the same way they do with their other wipe product, Pampers Kandoo Wipes

It's truly wonderful to know I built a solid brand they saw value in AND they will give back to those in need with the revenue they generate from it. Dream come true for this Mompreneur! As the news begins to circulate of the acquisition I find many people surprised to know I am not a Mommy Millionaire.  I thought it would be good to share a little about what happened to me and how deals like this often work (until I find the time to write a book about it.) I know there are many entrepreneurs out there just like me, growing their ideas into booming businesses with the hopes of big dollar signs at the end of their journey. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome motivation and definitely something to strive for. It’s also good to know that it might not happen that way and that’s Ok too. You’re a dreamer and your going to survive no matter what happens! 

I’m hoping maybe this little dose of my reality can help you plan a bit better than I did. I wasn’t prepared to be left unemployed and without income when Boogie Wipes sold and it’s been a tough adjustment for me, a bit of a blow to my ego and definitely a story I know sharing will help others not to make the same mistakes I did.

If you are able to maintain 100% control and equity in your company when it is acquired or licensed, you may in fact live out the dream of some long term financial security for you and your family.  For me, I simply didn’t have the millions it took to fund the company in the beginning, so my slice of the pie was much, much smaller. I took on a business partner (which is another topic I can share a lot of lessons learned on) and that cut my share in half, we needed investors which took another chunk.  The acquisition moved our company, Little Busy Bodies, Inc to Cincinnati, our local Oregon office was closed and many of the employees had to be let go. 

While the deal itself had lots of zeros in it, there were many people in line for one of them and by the time it was said and done, I had lost all control of who got what. I had made the choice early on to stay focused on my role in marketing.  I was creating brand awareness, responding to consumers, developing new products, creating retail sales programs and managing the marketing team I put together. I felt blessed to be able to do that work and I didn’t particularly like the numbers game so I didn’t pay much attention to how the company was being run and how the money was being spent. 

By the time I realized the importance of staying in touch with it and having a voice with our financial choices, it was too late for my opinion to matter to anyone.  We had a board of advisors making those decisions, investors, creditors, attorneys and all the usual characters. When the acquisition happened, we had lots of outstanding debt we had to pay back.  The product took off so fast, we could hardly keep up with the demand and needed to take in lots of outside money to fund the inventory cycle. Next in line for the payday were all those fancy business men in suits it takes to do valuations and spreadsheets and fill out the paperwork in a deal like this. They too get a nice piece of the pie. And, of course, we needed to pay back the answered prayers that invested in Boogie Wipes when it was not much more than a shot in the dark. Those guys get their money back plus a little more and I must say that part  does feel good, considering they did risk their own hard earned money on a somewhat quirky nose wipe idea. 

At the end of it all, despite a multi-million dollar payout on my idea….I got nothing. 

It was a bummer but definitely something I had a role in contributing to and ultimately something I had to accept.  The good news is that I DO still have those shares and possibly, down the road, they will be worth something.  For today, they are just worth the pride and credibility I have for all I contributed. I always have my fingers crossed that maybe someday, I really will get to put away some money for my kids college funds but it certainly hasn’t happened yet. In the meantime, I’m moving on to what’s next and trying to learn all I can from what’s happened.

It was definitely a hard thing to see my hard work pad everyone else’s pockets. I’ve had more than a few meltdowns and frustrating moments. I recognize my contributions and the ignorance I had to end up here and vow never to let it happen again. Ultimately, I can’t change what’s done thou and fighting it only seems to makes things worse,  I’ve chosen to focus on the silver lining, half full glass.  For 4 years I got to develop my idea, share it with grateful consumers who loved it and I got to do work I truly LOVED and was passionate about. I got paid well for that work and that helped fund my kids little league, yearly check-ups, and dance camps and created many smiles for them. The memories I made and the people I met were magical. My family, my career, my priorities and my spirit are much stronger after having been through all I did at Boogie Wipes. 

I honestly wouldn’t trade it for anything. Hopefully you will click away from my story with a sense of empowerment and a new awareness for your situation, your own visions and the value of a positive attitude.  An acceptance that really none of us are secure in anything in business or life.  As an entrepreneur or in a stable 9-5, stay at home Mom, single, divorced, health issues, family changes, business, accidents, lotteries and love loss.  Suddenly, the life we dream of and plan for can shift significantly and we can all be left starting over with fear, worry and wonder of what’s next? 

Use it for the better. Use that understanding to fuel the courage you need to stand up for what’s yours, be present in every moment, keep an eye on the parts of your business you don’t always love (we all have them) and never stop dreaming of better days ahead.  I have used what I learned to start my new consulting business  where I’m helping other idea people test their concepts with consumers and retailers.  I can help them replicate the sales and awareness I created at Boogie Wipes and now because of all I learned in the acquisition, I can give them some tips on protecting their idea and their financial security as their company grows.

We live in an amazing time where anything is possible.  Big paydays at the end of it all or not…. to be grateful for where you have been, excited for where you are going and love what you do is truly a beautiful life. Thank you for letting me share my story here Market Mommy. It’s something I have wanted to do for a while and this was the perfect chance. 

Be Well and Boogie On!

Mindee Doney: Author, Inventor (Boogie Wipes®), Idea Consultant.Tired of chasing her kids runny noses, Mindee herself ran with an idea she had for a saline infused nose wipe she called a Boogie Wipe ®. In 2007, she partnered with Julie Pickens and by 2011 grew her concept, to $12 million in sales, with distribution to 50,000 retail locations in 8 countries.  She managed all PR, marketing and branding herself and landed Boogie Wipes® on the Today Show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutch, Good Morning America, in People Magazine, The NY Times and countless others.  She is the author of Get your Own Juicebox – Confident Moms raising Capable Kids (May, 2012) and consults an exclusive group of start-ups through her company Juice Box Consulting. 

Reader Comments (15)

What an amazing spirit you have gal!!!! So important to remember why we do what we do... thanks for the refresher!!!

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConsigning Chrissy

I really enjoyed your post and I think entrepreneurs can learn a lot from you. TV makes building a business look so easy, but you shared the realities of it all so beautifully. Good luck with your consulting business Mindee.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Finke

Thank you for those encouraging words Ladies! It was hard to share some of this and knowig I have already touched two hard working Mamas in a positive way makes it all the more worthwhile! Appreciate you taking the time to tell me!
Mindee

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMindee

Mindee,

I really appreciate your candor. Building a business will take blood, sweat and tears for sure. You have to write that book as I can't wait to get my hands on it and then buy a lot more to gift friends looking to launch a business.

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBola@best baby books

Wow...your transparency is going to be a true blessing to many, many people. Huge hugs to you for such an amazing post. :)
XO!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa Vandermeer

Thank you for sharing your story Mindee. Your insight and experience really helps mompreneurs like me to make sure we're paying close attention to every part of our business especially the "not so fun" parts! I've been guilty of that! Even though we've never met and I'm in your backyard (Portland) I know there is something wonderful for you in the not too distant future! Hope to meet you in person one day since we're so close :) In the meantime, best of luck in all of your future endeavors. P.S. We recently won a huge container filled with Boogie Wipes from West TV school auction and use them all of the time on our 10 month old twins, love them!! - Melissa Moog

Mindee, I love that you share your story so openly. If we are going to grow as a community of collaborative and successful mom entrepreneurs, we need more of this. Thank you, my friend. You are one in a million! And I have no doubt that you will always be nothing less than a smashing success, no matter where your journey takes you.

Cheers to you,
Marlynn

Hi Mindee -- I stumbled across your post when I noticed a friend on FB had commented on your link. I, too, appreciate your transparency because wow, we all feel silly when we don't succeed as we think we should! But just wanted to cheer you on in your current venture because the lessons you learned have really prepared you to go to a whole new level. I'm excited for you & I don't even know you. And, because you were courageous enough to share this very practical advise, many others will do better in their endeavors as well. I'm happy to have found your post. All the best to you in the future!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Dugger

Mindee, as an early adopter of Boogie Wipes I'm sad to read your story. As a lawyer who has seen a few deals in my days I'm not all that surprised. It's frustrating to see tech companies that have yet to turn a profit make millionaires out of everyone and their dog. Sure, they've worked hard. And so did you. Sadly, your story is often the norm for the consumer goods entrepreneur. People and inventory are expensive but necessary. Investors are happy to put in money, but always at a price for the owner.

I wish you continued success in this next chapter and hope you aren't discouraged. Your story is important, because women all too often don't share these difficult experiences. But from you, many others will make choices because you made them see that being involved in every aspect of your business is important.

Best wishes.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara

thanks for being so vulnerable and open in sharing your story. You are amazing and an inspiration to all us moms out here in the field working for our dreams.
I can't wait to see what lies ahead for you!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteramy volk

Mindee, thank you so much for this post. This is definitely something that all mom entrepreneurs need to hear. It certainly gives me some things to think about.

Mindee,

Thanks for sharing. What would you do if you were going to do the same thing for a new company while trying to avoid this result?

Bootstrap longer? Rethink the model? Sell direct? Not take on a business partner? Have a different structure?

Any insights would be helpful.

-Jeff

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Mindee I think your story is very powerful reminder about the creative business mind vs the financial business mind. As a creative we often hope that our best interests will be looked after by those more financially savvy but more often it's the opposite. I'm saddened your brilliant idea didn't harvest more fruit for your family but heartened to know you are rolling all that experience into another tremendously good idea with your new business. I hope to be a client someday. Best wishes.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim Campbell

Thanks so much for all of your comments, and your support for Mindee! I am so honored that she chose to tell her story here on Market Mommy. I've learned so much from her and continue to everyday. We are all blessed to be touched by her inspiration!

June 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterDawn

Thanks Mindee for your candor and sharing, you are an inspiration! Wishing you much success in your new journey!

June 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrish at Zatswho

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