If you are out and about and find yourself with a diaper bag that is running low, then look for Mommies Big Helper. We spoke with Evangelina Rich, the owner, and creator of Mommies Big Helper which is not only a great idea to help you out in a time of need, but also provides you the essentials necessary to care for your infant or toddler.
Tell us about your business.
We have been open for three months and we are currently located inside The Shops at Willow Bend on the lower level across from the Crayola Experience that will be opening soon. We are a vending machine that sells items necessary to care for your big helpers, such as diaper changing kits, formula feeding kits, pacifiers, snacks, wipes and things of that nature. We are here to help families make it easier when they are out on the go and they don't have what they need. They would really hate to go home so we fill that need and hopefully make life a little more convenient for them.
How did you get started and what made you come up with this idea?
So I got the idea about six years ago after my last child was born. Although I thought it was a great idea, I chose to put the idea off for a while because my mom had also just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I didn’t want her to be by herself during this battle with cancer, so that is why I chose to put the idea on hold for a while. A few years passed by, and I went back to work and we moved a few times, but this year I did a self-reflection and realized that now is a good time to take action on my idea and make it real. I have been very excited about it, and it's been well received. I am appreciative and shocked at the responses I have received from the community.
On the very first day that we were filling the machine it was about 7 pm and this mom walks up to me my husband and she's and she was quickly looking around for something. We asked her what needed, or what she was looking for, and she told us that her daughter had just had an accident and she didn’t have any wipes, and she needed wipes quickly. So we explained what we were, and she was so grateful, and couldn’t believe the great timing of us being there in her time of need. So her need, her why, and her franticness is one of the many reasons why we are here and so we were able to help her and she was happy. I was so shocked and caught off guard that we were not even technically open for business but we actually helped someone already. It was too good to be true and I wish I had captured the moment with a picture or something.
What sets you apart from your competition or are there other vending machines out there like yours?
There are similar machines out there, but not in the state of Texas. We know of similar machines in Illinois and New York.
What sets us apart is not only do we offer everything you need you like the things I mentioned previously like the pacifiers, snacks, and wipes, but one thing I wanted to do as a business is to help other mommy entrepreneurs. For example, I wanted to be able to help the breastfeeding mommies. Normally when you think of breastfeeding, you think of a huge piece of cloth that you wrap around yourself. I did some research and I found a local mama here and she has this invention and she calls it The Ultimate Breast Feeding Accessory, so I reached out to her she agreed to let me sell her product in my machine.
Adding this product was huge for me because the other machines that are out there don't do that. Also, I don't want to leave anyone out, meaning if you don't bottle feed, and you breastfeed, I don't want a potential customer to think that my machine doesn't work for them and have them move on. I want to be able to help everyone. So in the event, the mommy doesn't have what she needs to breastfeed now she does. This new product is innovative and now the mom can walk around the mall or walk around anywhere being covered and still feed her child. With all of that said, the fact that I'm actually able to help another mommy get her product out there and get some exposure was huge for me.
So where do you see your business in the future and how do you plan to get there?
In the short term, for example, next year we want to grow by two machines. Overall I don't want to grow too fast, I want to be able to control the growth. Our goal is to be in a heavier traffic area, for example, DFW Airport and Six Flags Arlington. Within five years I want to expand outside of Dallas, an in other cities within Texas, such as San Antonio or Houston and also hit the heavy traffic areas like airports, theme parks, bus stations, outlet malls and other places like that.
Also as I mentioned earlier we are helping other mommy entrepreneurs by putting their products in our machine, and we want to continue with that as well.
Another thing we want to start doing hopefully next year is to give back to the community, either people or companies who provide a need or solution for other families out there. For example, I saw a story about a nurse at a local hospital, and what she does is she makes hand molds for loved ones who are about to lose a loved one. Sitting by the by the hospital bed, she will have them hold hands and will make a clay mold. She does it completely out of her pocket, one hundred percent all self-funded. Read the story here. It is stories like that, where we want our company to be able to give back and help those who are helping others. Obviously, you have a business to make money, but I don't want to stop there I want to be able to continue to pay it forward. I don't want to be known just for having a great product or an awesome company I want to be known for constantly giving back and being thankful and grateful for what I have and showing it through you know supporting the local entrepreneurs or just giving back to those who help others.