My name is Tiffany Krumins & I’m the founder of Mom Genius. You may read the word genius and think, wow, she sure thinks highly of herself! The truth of the matter is, I am far from a genius, at least in the book-smart sense of the word. But I did have a genius idea, one that has led me down an incredible path.
Many CEOs and founders have quite an academic resume. The highest level of formal education I’ve received is a high-school education. My entrepreneurial journey started when a genuine desire to help collided with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Before I had children of my own, I worked as a nanny for a little boy named Gibby who has Down syndrome. Gibby was fearful of a few things, haircuts and medicine-time being two of them. Although I was not trained as a hairstylist, his brave parents allowed me to attempt something I thought might work for a haircut, minus the tears. I sat his beloved stuffed animals around the table and proceeded to trim their hair, praising them each time they “sat still and let me cut their hair”. Gibby sat cautiously watching, initially wanting no part of the process, which I anticipated. Many days in a row we did this, until Gibby eventually said, “Gibby’s turn”! He literally only let me cut one strip of hair that first day, but within a week, he allowed me to cut his entire head of hair. For the first time in his life, Gibby had a haircut minus the tears, gaps, and cuts on his ears.
A few weeks later, I realized this same process may work with medicine time. I went home and created the first Ava the Elephant from sponges, fabric, a store-bought medicine dropper and the recordable sound chip from a greeting card. Gibby loved her instantly. It wasn’t until a few months later, and after quite a few uses of this little contraption, that I realized I may have created something kids all over the world could benefit from.
The pilot episode of Shark Tank started casting around the same time and a casting notice labeled, “Do you have the next million-dollar idea, but don’t have the funding and knowledge to make it happen?!” got my attention. I applied and was invited to pitch in California a few months later.
Barbara Corcoran invested in my little idea on that pilot episode and I set off on a mission to bring Ava the Elephant to children all over the world. I would love to say it was smooth sailing after receiving this investment, but it was anything but easy. I’d read countless books about launching a product, but none fully prepared me for the reality of just how difficult it would be.
To put it into perspective - I had a high-profile investor, millions of eyes on my product from all over the world, and an innovative solution to an age-old problem, yet I STILL faced countless obstacles and lost so much money along the way.
It wasn’t until about 5 years into my journey that I realized just how much I’d learned. While consulting entrepreneurs, I shared cautionary tales and advice from my failures and victories. I launched a podcast, “Product Genius with Tiffany Krumins”, on iHeartRadio to share those tales and advice in one place, for all to hear.
Last year I realized, I wanted to do more. With my Atlanta-based business partner and a brilliant team with decades of experience under their belts, I launched Mom Genius to help other inventors and entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls I faced bringing Ava the Elephant to market. We will be sharing valuable content aimed at helping product-based businesses succeed. Our commitment will always be to keep it REAL and to share the ups and downs of launching a successful product. From that first kitchen table sketch to worldwide distribution, we will share all of the COUNTLESS steps in between - the stuff you don’t typically see.
We hope you will connect with us on social media, sign up for our newsletter, and share any questions you have about launching a product with us. I look forward to meeting you at one of the many events I attend and speak at throughout the year!