Today we’d like to introduce you to Evangelina Rich.
Evangelina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I created my business based off of an idea that I had many years ago. I’ve heard it said that most people do their best thinking in the shower or when they’re running. I come up with my best ideas when I’m sitting in a room doing nothing at all. I like to think of it as my resting time. As a mom to 3 children, I felt that my idea would be very beneficial to families and caregivers alike. I knew that it would’ve definitely benefited me in years passed.
When I came up with the idea for my business, my youngest was a newborn. I had just quit my job to be with my mom who had just been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Personally, I felt that no one should have to go through that alone. Unfortunately, her living situation at the time reflected that she would be fighting this battle alone.
So I quit my job and made it my mission to be with my mom at every dr appointment, chemo treatment, I answered her every call, and we did everything together. My husband was very supportive and worked hard pulling double duty with our family while I helped my mom. For me, I was not only taking care of my mom. I was setting the example for my children. I wanted them to understand that no matter what stage in life you’re at family comes first.
My mom got to spend the most time with my youngest child because we were together all the time. They have a special connection like no other. After about 2 1/2 years of fighting my mom lost her battle with breast cancer. That was the hardest thing I have ever experienced.
I took some time for myself before I went back to work. I kept myself busy and spent time with family. One of my mom’s concerns was that she’d be forgotten. I assured her that she wouldn’t be forgotten, and to this day I ensure her memory lives on. Not just in my household but thru my business as well.
When I decided to be about my idea and not just have an idea. I knew that my strength and determination would come from my mom. Watching her fight all those years. This woman who was in pain, who knew this thing was taking over her body, who gave it her all. She never let it stop her from keeping her home clean and doing what she enjoyed. She was a warrior in her last year’s just like she had been my entire childhood.
My parents were great examples that nothing is out of reach if you work for it. I’m so grateful to still have my dad on this earth today. He is one of my biggest supporters.
Finally, the time came when I took all of my mom’s strength, her memory, the support from my family and I started the process to own/run my business. I knew I wanted this business to mean something, to represent something and to benefit others and not just myself.
This is when I came up with my business name Mommies Big Helper. This name is in honor of my mom first and foremost. It’s a reflection of what I’ve always said to my kids as soon as they could walk. I’ve even heard other parents encourage their children with this very phrase as well. “Do you wanna be mommies big helper and help me with…?”
Our logo even depicts a young child helping by holding up letters in the word Helper. I do want to mention that Mommies Big Helper is not only here for mommies. We’re here for everyone who cares for young children. We are here to be of assistance when people would otherwise be frantic, lost and out of luck. I’ve had my fair share of ugly cries because I didn’t have what I needed to feed my children or care for my children.
Life gets so busy, and we often forget things. That’s why my business is here to help families everywhere avoid these feelings of franticness and stress. Inside of Mommies Big Helper vending machine, you can find necessities such as onesies, toddler snacks, formula feeding kits, bandages, diaper changing kits, and so much more. I am thankful to my family members and mentors who have helped me get to where I am.
As well as those who will help me move forward towards reaching my goals for my business. I believe in doing good and paying it forward. I believe that our business will grow as God sees fit. Because at the end of the day I’m not here nor is my business here because I’m that good. Instead, everything has fallen into place because God is that good.
Mommies Big Helper has officially been open for one year as of September 2018. We are blessed to have opened our first location inside of the Shops at Willow Bend mall in Plano, Texas. We’re located on the lower level across from the entrance to the Crayola Experience. We’ve met so many wonderful people while operating here and we look forward to continuing to serve all of the families that visit.
I am in the process of opening up my second location in Hurst, Texas at the North East Mall. We will be located beside the children’s play area. It’s a great time for growth, and we look forward to what our future holds at the North East Mall.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being an introvert who wants to start a business is hard. Starting a business is hard enough but add the fact that talking to other people doesn’t come natural or easy is an added stress. I found out late in life that being an introvert is not socially acceptable.
So needless to say, it is something that I work to improve upon on daily. This has not been an easy journey, and I didn’t expect it to be. I’ve had problems with third-party vendors, with the delivery of my vending machines and with the communication or lack thereof from third party companies. I’ve learned a lot about taxes, the forms needed to create and operate a business, etc.
Being a small business owner is wearing all the hats and accepting the responsibility for it all. As with all dreams if you want something bad enough you’ll put forth the hard work to achieve your end goal.
Before I started this business, I knew nothing about vending machines except how to purchase snacks from them. Over the past year, my husband and I have learned so much. He’s become my I.T. go-to person. I think the phrase is baptism by fire. Ya, that explains it quite well.
I’ve learned how to adjust my schedule to allow enough time to visit my vending machine and fill it up. I have a small time frame that I can visit the mall to service my machines.
So, working it into my schedule is a welcomed challenge and if need be my kids get to tag along. It can be difficult with three kids, their schedules and the surprises that life brings. But I love a good challenge. I know that the world we live in thrives on having hundreds of thousands of likes and followers on social media.
Personally, it’s not something I’m striving for right now. I want people to like or follow my business on social media because they’re truly interested in what we’re doing. Maybe Mommies Big Helper saved the day for them. Or maybe they’re interested in watching us grow and possibly helping us grow along the way. I want to grow my following organically and not because you’re rewarded for doing so.
While each struggle has brought its fair share of stress, worry and questioning what the next step will be. I make a conscious effort to accept whatever the struggle is, but I try not to let it overtake me. Because at the end of the day I wanted this business. I wanted this blessing, and much like other struggles this too shall pass.
Of course, I can’t say all of that without mentioning, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Everything I learned yesterday and today is only going to help prepare me for tomorrow.
Please tell us about Mommies Big Helper.
When I was thinking about the design for my vending machine, I wanted it to be bright, colorful and eye-catching. I wanted it to stand out and make a statement. Mommies Big Helper is a brightly colored and modern vending machine for busy families on the go.
We sell essentials such as diaper changing kits, formula feeding kits, and pacifiers. We are a minority woman-owned and operated business. As a driven mom of 3, I wanted to eliminate the stresses of missing items necessary to care for young children while on the go.
In the early stages of creating my business, I knew that I didn’t want to just fill my vending machine with junk food and items from well-known companies. I wanted to provide healthy snack options, and I wanted to support other entrepreneurs. It means a lot to me to be able to give back and support other entrepreneurial businesses so that they can gain more exposure.
We’re proud to have partnered with four entrepreneur’s year to date. This has allowed us to sell products that are safe for babies skin, help mothers who breastfeed, help make boo-boos all better and provide us with our business attire. We will continue to grow relationships with other entrepreneurs throughout the remainder of this year and for years to come.
The very first entrepreneurial business that I partnered with was Mother Modest. Mother Modest is a nursing slipcover that fits over the breast and exposes the nipple. So, when the baby is nursing mom can walk around completely covered and confident. This blew me away because I wanted to ensure that I didn’t exclude anyone based on how they chose to feed their baby.
Mommies Big Helper had already planned on selling formula feeding kits which includes a bottle and formula. Yet we didn’t have anything for mothers who breastfed. That was until I found Mother Modest. I then connected with another local business who makes all our business apparel and accessories. This business is called Personalized Touch. They are so talented and a pleasure to work with.
My next big find that we currently offer at Mommies Big Helper is Hug-A-Boo-Boo bandages. This bandage brand incorporates adorable animal character on the bandage. They have extra padding in the “arms” of the animal characters for extra protection to the surrounding areas of the wound. The animal characters are so cute, and kids love them.
Then one day while working I came across a business called Bets & Emy wipes. Bets & Emy wipes are soft, strong, hypoallergenic, and made with 99.9% water plus 0.1% citrus extract. This was a huge find because offering something that is safe for babies’ skin is very important to me as well. I’m so happy to have found these companies, and I have so many more coming soon. I am always looking to partner with entrepreneurs whose invention can benefit my customers.
I believe our commitment to paying it forward and partnering with entrepreneurs sets us apart from others out there. I’m constantly thinking about our next step and what we can offer that is helpful not only now. But also, what can be helpful later in a child’s life.
Mommies Big Helper is always working to offer safe and affordable products for you and your children. In a recent meeting with a local fit4mom group, I was asked, “Does Mommies Big Helper sell snacks for children with food allergies?” Sadly, I had to say no. While I did work to put healthy snack options inside of my vending machine.
I didn’t have anything for children with food allergies. This was an area of opportunity for my business. So, I went home and did some research. I can now say that we offer three varieties of flavored snacks that are safe for children with food allergies. The brand is called Enjoy Life.
Because we understand the needs of busy parents and want to provide a few options for them as well. Mommies Big Helper also sells a few healthy snack options that they can grab while they’re purchasing items for their children. We have P3 protein packs, Cliff Bars and Tropicana 100% juice options available. These options have been very popular.
I’m especially proud to have the involvement of my children. They’re so interested in what mom is doing and inquire about how the business is doing. During the summer months, my children got to tag along with me when I’d visit the Willow Bend location to fill up the vending machine. I have no doubt that one of my children will willingly take over when it’s my time to bow out. That makes me so happy!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I remember traveling a lot growing up. My parents would take us to the beach in Corpus for the holiday weekend. Of course, being a kid, my favorite part was the beach and the pool at the hotel. We’d get snacks from the grocery store in preparation for our trip and pack the car the night before.
We were always going somewhere every year. Some years we’d visit family in Illinois and drive the entire way. We never flew we’d always drive. I’m thankful for that. Yes, it was rough 3 kids in the back seat with the usual bickering, but that’s family. I remember this one trip my mom drove, and we got lost for about two hours. It was nothing but farmland and tiny roads.
Then, of course, there was driving to Mexico to visit family. I’ve visited so many places like Guadalajara, Zacatecas, and Celaya. I wouldn’t change anything about our trips. We always had so much fun and got to experience so many different things.
Fast forward to present day; unfortunately, my family of 5 doesn’t travel as often as I did when I was younger. Different times, different people it’s just not in the cards right now.
However, we’ve already created our own wonderful memories through the journey life has taken us on and we will continue to do so for years to come.
- Address: 6121 W Park Blvd, Plano, TX 75093 (The Shops at Willow Bend Mall)
1101 Melbourne Rd, Hurst, TX 76053 (The North East Mall)
- Website: https://mommiesbighelper.com/
- Phone: 4699090578
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mommiesbighelper/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mommiesbighelper/
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5y5hvxQKy8&feature=youtu.be
YouTube video created by Deepika Pillai @ www.deexterous.com