Will You Go With Her on A “Mompreneur Journey?
For five years, Kristi Gorinas – or Kristi G, as she calls herself – has been chasing her American Dream of selling her GoWithMe Chair on HSN. In the coming weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to see if her dream becomes reality.
You see, Kristi, along with several other lucky entrepreneurs, will be featured on MSNBC’s Your Business with host JJ Ramberg in the coming weeks as they pitch their product to HSN judges. The semi-finalists will have the chance to be selected to sell live on HSN, and showcase their business to the more than 91 million homes reached via multiple networks and platforms.
For more than four decades, we at HSN have been on the lookout for entrepreneurs like Kristi G who Dream, Dare, and Do. In her entrepreneurial journey, Kristi G has done all three of these things.
A serial inventor, Kristi G’s biggest idea yet is the GoWithMe chair. The idea came to her while watching Oprah’s “Mom’s Who Made Millions” special in February 2007.
“After seeing how one mom turned craft day with her three girls into a $20 million business, I knew that I could make at least one of my ideas work. I wanted to be a ‘mompreneur’ and I had a lot of ambition,” she recalls.
In particular, Kristi G wanted to develop a product that simplified the lives of moms like her. A mother of five, she knows that when you have a lot of children – and you live in a sweltering hot city like Atlanta – “having a reliable chair that takes one kid out of your hands is huge.” At the same time, Kristi G wanted to make sure that the chair stayed cool during the heat, and that it was easy to carry around.
“I used to haul that big, round, plastic exersaucer everywhere we traveled just so that I could have a place to put the baby and take a break for a minute. You know those exersaucers, the ones that don’t fit through the door and crumbs and toys fall everywhere when you tilt it on its side to get through a doorway,” writes Kristi. “Simplify Life has always been my motto for family and business. That’s why I needed to find a better way of going places with my kids, even if it was just for a nice dinner at the neighbor’s house.”
Kristi G found that most chairs suitable for young children tend to last only six to twelve months. Adding insult to injury, most chairs for babies are overly big, making them cumbersome and difficult to travel with.
Her journey started with a single drawing. “I decided to start with a drawing, but I can’t even draw stick people. It looked like a stick figure chair!” she recalls.
She set out to create a chair that would grow with a customer’s child. A staged chair that could accommodate infants and school-aged kids alike. A chair that had a sun bonnet to protect kids from the elements. A chair that would be accommodating to snacks and toys.
“I began designing (in my head),” she writes. “Before I knew it, I had a removable tray for snacks and toys, a cup holder and a sunshade. That basically took care of all of her needs; to sit, play, snack, stretch and coolest of all, stand. No other kids’ chair had all of that. I knew I was on to something!”
Kristi G’s professional background to this point had been in Human Resources, not in product development, so she had to learn as she went along. She hired a graphic artist to hand-sketch a prototype chair and she cold-called a company on the other side of the country to sell them on the idea.
“I was off to California to not only pitch the chair, but an entire line of products that would complement the chair and fit perfectly with their line,” she recalls. “Here’s where I made my first mistake; never put all your eggs in one basket.”
After four months of being led on by her potential business partners, she got the email she’d been dreading. The company decided to focus their efforts elsewhere.
So Kristi G decided she had to go it alone. She not only had to dream and do, but also to dare … and dare she did. She borrowed from her 401K, took out a second mortgage, sold her car, racked up debt on credit cards and took loans from her family. It has been tough and she nearly gave up … but she found the will to keep going.
Now it will be up to HSN’s judges to see if her dream of selling the GoWithMeChair across our various media platforms becomes a reality.
Tune into Your Business on Sunday, April 29th to “go with” Kristi G on her ‘momprenurial’ journey and see what happens!
SHOP the product here.