Entrepreneurs

This woman beat her goal by 6,500% and launched a sizzling biz

Running a business is difficult. Running a business with a toddler is even harder.

And yet Robyn Jasko, who co-founded hot sauce company Homesweet Homegrown with her husband, is doing just that.

The business's vegan, non-GMO, farm-to-table products are on the shelves of more than 200 stores, including Whole Foods locations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. More than 5,000 bottles have sold, and sales are expected to double this year.

Robyn Jasko’s products are in Whole Foods stores in the tri-state area, among other retailers like Central Market, MOM's Organic Market, and Giant.
Source: Homesweet Homegrown
Robyn Jasko’s products are in Whole Foods stores in the tri-state area, among other retailers like Central Market, MOM's Organic Market, and Giant.

Jasko decided to try crowdfunding three hot sauces on Kickstarter in 2013 while pregnant, after starting a successful blog that turned into a book.

The initial goal was $800, but people loved her idea, and the campaign raised more than $53,000, or roughly 6,500 percent more than her goal.

"When I launched my first Kickstarter, I was about six months pregnant. I had no idea it was going to take off the way that it did," Jasko said.

At the same time, Jasko left her full-time job as the creative services director for Runner's World. She loved the idea of running her own business, even if it meant juggling that and taking care of a newborn. She took some time during her maternity leave to prepare her business, which worried her parents who wanted her to rest.

"I quickly had to learn how to scale up, find a bottler, get nutritional labels….I was determined to get us in the retail space," she said. "All of a sudden we sold 5,000 bottles."

So how did she and her husband Paul David do it, while raising a child?

Homesweet Homegrown hot sauces
Source: Homesweet Homegrown
Homesweet Homegrown hot sauces

Her husband's support proved crucial in successfully launching the business. David shares her entrepreneurial drive and concentrates more on Pollock's Kefir Pop, a fermented beverage company that the couple also co-founded.

"My husband and I take turns doing everything—doing dishes, making dinner, taking care of our son. And we give each other give breaks. I think that's important. Not one person is doing everything," she said.

Her advice to other mothers who want to start a business? Work efficiently, not constantly.

"Babies require so much stuff, they need so much care. Because you want to spend as much time with them as possible, you want to have the most efficient work day as possible," she said.

"Find a balance that works for you and make sure to put yourself in there too" -Robyn Jasko, Homesweet Homegrown co-founder
Jasko’s son Ajax likes to help out on the farm.
Source: Homesweet Homegrown
Jasko’s son Ajax likes to help out on the farm.

And be sure to take care of yourself. Jasko tries to separate business time from family time as much as possible.

"Find a balance that works for you and make sure to put yourself in there too." she said. "You'll feel better that you're taking care of yourself as well as your family."