As you readers already know, my son Finn is starting kindergarten this year and he was all excited when we received his letter with all the details of his new school adventure. Along with a little welcome note from his new teacher there was a list of school supplies (the length of which I was actually quite surprised by) and when I read about which supplies needed to be labeled I started thinking how I could do it in a fun way for Finn and an effective way for me. Some local moms in the know clued me in to the fantastic local company Name Bubbles, created by another local mom Michelle Brandriss. Their products appeal to both moms and kids with their fabulous designs and colors to choose from, plus their amazing functionality and tons of uses. Finn and Lev were thrilled when their sticker packets arrived, robots and kittens respectively, and we've already labeled pretty much every label worthy surface in our house so far, there's definitely going to be a re-order coming soon! We recently interviewed Michelle and Lauren Rose, the Director of Business Development for Name Bubbles (as well as a local mom too) and asked them some questions about their product, their company, and their lives with their families here in Saratoga Springs. Michelle is a busy mom-preneur who enjoys the challenges of raising her young son, while creating and growing the Name Bubbles brand. In her combined roles of mother, wife, and business owner, multitasking is constant – and life balance is a work in progress. Still, there is no time to look back: Michelle is excited about growing Name Bubbles, now in its third year, and feels like she is entering the next stage of life as her son, Cooper, heads off to Kindergarten this fall. Lauren met Michelle through their sons, who attended the same local daycare. A “Sharpie and Masking Tape” mom, she couldn’t help but notice the labels on Michelle’s son’s bottles and clothes. They were adorable! “As a busy working mom, I saw first-hand the value of Name Bubbles’ products - they saved me time and money. I also love the styles and color palette Name Bubbles offers.” She’s been using Name Bubbles ever since and recently left her position as Advertising Director at the local newspaper to join the company. “With my son entering Kindergarten, I longed for more work/life balance. It was an easy transition to join a growing company with products I love and use every day that also offered a flexible work schedule.” Lauren lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband, Scott, and feisty five-year-old, Kenneth. She also blogs about working mommy-hood for Saratogian.com as ‘Media Moms’.
Mamatoga: How did Name Bubbles get started? What inspired you to start the business?
Michelle: As a working mom with a young child in daycare, I knew there were other label companies out there, In fact, I had ordered from a few of them. After a number of mix-ups, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of colors and design options. It may sound a little funny, but I really wanted to take it up a notch, “Why shouldn’t the name label be the most attractive part of the bottle or food container? Also, a few items came together at the same time. My son had been diagnosed with severe food allergies and I wanted more room on the labels that would include medical and contact information. I had been kicking it around for about a year when I was scheduled to attend a market research session across the country. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had been traveling a lot. As I was walking out the door, my young son was battling through a double ear infection and a high fever. That was it for me…I waited too long for a child (and was lucky to become pregnant) not to be home when he was so sick made my heart ache...I closed the door and asked myself, “What am I doing? It shouldn’t be this way”.
What challenges do you find running a business and also being moms and how do you deal with them?
Michelle: Name Bubbles has provided a very nurturing vehicle, I believe it has helped me become more disciplined and balanced. I am happy to get into the office and do my work knowing I will be seeing my family at the end of the day. Though, I will admit, I am sleep deprived but what mom isn’t? There are always challenges in life, I believe the key to success is attitude and who you surround yourself with. It’s important to build a good team and seek out the right advice. Don’t fuss over the small stuff at home or in the office; there are some things you won’t button down. Nothing is perfect and that’s life, do your best and focus on the key items or tasks that will take you to the next level. Enjoy your time and your family, nothing else really matters if you don’t.
What are the best uses for Name Bubbles, and what might be some different uses that moms might not think of?
Michelle: Name Bubbles are waterproof name labels that are designed to last through the rough-and-tumble of everyday life. Because our bubbles are dishwasher and laundry safe, the list of uses covers different age groups, seasons, and families’ needs. We know our bubbles are sent to baseball teams for gloves, hats and bats - daycare facilities for bottles, binkies and blankets - ski teams for helmets, gloves, goggles, skis, and poles. Our labels are stylized but functional, with a press and stick application that lasts through extreme conditions. The most unusual use that I am aware of was by a Name Bubbles employee. The label was placed on a leaking pipe under the kitchen sink and it held strong for more than a year.
What do you guys love about being Saratoga Springs moms, what are some of your favorite activities and events around town?
Michelle’s husband David brought her to Saratoga many years ago for a weekend at the track. “I immediately fell in love with the town. We were living in NYC and I knew I wanted to move here, it’s a ‘Big Little Town’. Raising our child in a family oriented community is what I had always hoped for. We live near Spa Park and have two dogs; much of our time is spent outside on walks, bike rides, or skating and skiing in the winter. The library has been one of our go-to places for years; my son just signed for his library card this weekend…what a big boy! The restaurants in town are fantastic and there are so many options, though my son often wants to go to The Local for their fries and to see a photograph of a train hanging on their wall. Which of course, reminds me of the train station, he loves watching the Amtrak lines coming and going and is counting the days until we take our day trip up to North Creek to see Thomas the Tank Engine.”
Lauren and her family love starting the weekend at the Saratoga’s Farmers’ Market. “I’m lucky enough to have a child who loves fresh fruits and veggies. As a mom, I’d be crazy not to take advantage of that!” Our favorite family restaurant is probably Circus Café along with Forno Toscano – which is surprisingly kid-friendly. ‘Mamma’ loves the kids! We find ourselves downtown a lot. A typical trip for us would be a stroll in Congress Park or a visit to the Children’s Museum (weather and time of day depending) followed by a stop at Saratoga Coffee Traders where mom and dad would enjoy a cup of coffee while our son chooses one piece of candy from the vast selection in the candy store in back. With so many kid parties to attend, we’re also at G. Willikers a couple times a month – at least! They have great gift choices that kids really love. It’s our son’s favorite store, hands down.
Readers time is running out before it is officially back to school time, so head over to Name Bubbles now to check out what they have to offer! With all kinds of label packages you're sure to find the one to suit your kid's needs and with a design that your kid will love. Plus you will love finding such awesome products created by a mom from right here in Saratoga Springs, it doesn't get better than that! I can't say enough about how much I love these labels, and here at Mamatoga we give them our 100% Seal of Approval, we know you won't be disappointed when you choose from Name Bubbles. So go pick out your style, and as Michelle and Lauren say Happy Bubbling!
Check out this link too for even more info on Name Bubbles!