This business spotlight is about a woman that inspired me to not only find local deals and fun activities, but to follow my passions while raising a new family and make an income doing it. Especially as a new mom, I would rush to grab Roni’s publication each month at a local frozen yogurt shop, where I would crack open the issue, cut out the coupons and then plan out my shopping and monthy events in my planner (before i-phones!). It was through Roni’s publication that I was able to spread the word offline about San Diego Bargain Mama, and was able to track which followers had heard about my new website from her publication. Powerful! I am so excited that I can also, now, go online to find her rich resources for growing San Diego families!
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Roni Yamamoto. I live in Oceanside, where I met my husband and raised my family. Wes and I just celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary! I am a native Californian, born in Lancaster, but lived all over the country growing up. I returned to California and settled in Oceanside 33 years ago. I have 2 amazing kids; a son and a daughter, who are both grown and attending college. They had not yet entered Kindergarten when I started publishing “Kids Stuff Etc.” – almost 17 years ago!
Please share with us what your business is all about.
“Kids Stuff Etc.” is a reference guide for families in North County San Diego. It is a monthly publication that features local activities and events, a column written by a local pediatrician, crafts, jokes, and advertising promoting products, services and programs of special interest to my readers. I publish “Kids Stuff Etc.” in North County only because my readers like knowing that they are reaching businesses or services that are near and convenient to them.
And as of last month, I now offer a website, which is an extention of the printed publication. If someone is not able to pick up a printed copy, they can now go to www.kidsstuffetc.com and read the entire publication online. Plus, there are even more features online, including coupons and articles and crafts from past publications.
What was your motivation for starting your business?
I was motivated to start a publication for North County parents when my kids were 2 and 4 years-old and I was a stay-at-home mom trying to make ends meet in a one-income family. I was always looking for ways to entertain my kids and find fun stuff to do that was either free or really, really cheap. I would pick up magazines that featured such events, but I found that so many times the places or events that I found were way out of my area and not at all convenient, especially if I only had a couple of hours to fill. This was also true when looking for products and services for my family. I decided that North County needed a resource where moms and dads could find things without having to drive far from home.
How does your background help you in your entrepreneurial efforts?
I have a background in graphic design so I was able to start my business with no start-up costs, other than the investment of a new computer, scanner and printer. Not having to pay a graphic designer, and knowing how to put ads and the publication together gave me great freedom financially. It also makes it possible to offer design service to my advertisers, while keeping my rates very affordable.
How does your business stand out from the rest?
“Kids Stuff Etc.” stands from other publications because it it centralized in North County and offers convenience for local moms and dads.
What are your wishes for growing your business?
My goals for my business is to provide a valuable resource so that “Kids Stuff Etc.” will be an ever-changing, ever-growing hub of information that moms and dads will want to share with their families and friends.
What advice do you have for budding business owners?
Don’t let people discourage you and don’t get discouraged yourself when you have a “down” day. And don’t try to do too much at once. Baby steps. If you try to do too much, you may be looking down a path that can get very overwhelming and seem impossible. If you take on a little at a time and grow slowly, things will be much more manageable. You will be more likely to see progress and less likely to give up. Looking back, the thing that may have helped me the most was coffee, coffee, and…..MORE COFFEE!!!
Be sure to like Kids Stuff Etc. on Facebook!