Sometimes, a family business starts with a family vote.
Facing furlough days at her job as a human resources manager, Tanja Poley needed a way to make up for the lost income. Her daughter's art would play a key role in the new venture, so the single mom sat down with her two kids this spring to decide what to do next.
"We had a tax return and we really needed new mattresses – all three of us do – so we took a vote. Do we use this money to get our new mattresses or do we use it to start this business?" Poley, who lives in suburban Sacramento, Calif., told TODAY Moms.
"The kids both voted for the business."
It's the latest chapter in their long journey together. Poley adopted her 12-year-old daughter Grace and 10-year-old son Noah from Taiwan when they were both infants, feeling adoption was the right way to start her family.
She became a single mom after she and her husband divorced. Then last year, money suddenly became tight when her employer asked her to take two unpaid days off a month.
"It really impacted our finances," Poley, 42, said. "So I needed to look for a way to stay afloat and to be able to stay in our home and continue to be able to pay the bills."
Looking around her home for things to sell on sites like eBay, Poley noticed she had a lot of bags. At the same time, Grace started a new school where she knew few kids, so she often spent her lunch hour drawing. The art got a lot of attention from her classmates, who were always requesting copies, Poley said.
So she asked her daughter: What if we try putting your art on a bag? The family vote this spring sealed the deal and Ten Four Goods was born. The business is named after the CB radio code for "affirmative" and Poley's birthday on Oct. 4.
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