Updated: Jan 12, 2019
Lily has possessed the entrepreneurial spirit for as long as she can remember. Her first patented product, Padalily, a velcro cushion that wraps around the infant car seat handle, making it more comfortable to carry, has been featured on nationally syndicated TV shows and magazines. Her wheelhouse doesn't stop there! When she's not acting, leading fitness classes, or volunteering, you can find her back in the inventor's chair.
Well Balmdiggity! You have done it again! Another amazing product created from your creative and entrepreneurial drive. Tell us about it!
Thank you so much! After signing an exclusive license deal for Padalily and coming to terms with the fact that I didn't have babies anymore, I decided to create a juvenile product for older kids! It's a DIY lip balm kit called Balm Diggity Lips. It's not just for children, adults love it too. We are an arts & crafts family and love creating things. Balm Diggity was inspired by that love for making and creating our own products.
With your example, your kids must feel inspired to be productive and creative. How have they been involved with Balmdiggity?
My girls love making homemade natural sugar scrubs and lotions to give away as gifts, so they were really excited when I told them about the lip balm kit idea. They have made several and given them as gifts to their friends. It has been such a great teaching tool as well. They see the hard work it takes to create, produce, market and sell a product. All three of our kids have worked hard to get this off the ground. They have done everything from folding boxes, filling bags, counting out stir sticks, and loading the kits up! They're amazing!
What was the first test run of Balmdiggity like? We are imagining you in your kitchen with mixing bowls and lots of excitement.
Yes you have the exact visual of what it was like! It was a big messy science experiment! Melted wax, mixing oils, test tubes and petrie dishes! LOL. We had so much fun figuring out what we needed to make these kits interesting and easy to do. The logo, packaging, and website really brought the product to life, and it didn't take long to see we were onto something good!
Balmdiggity is helping others in our community. How so?
Yes, after we realized the product was going to be successful and our house looked more like an emporium than a place to live, we decided to look for third party contract work to put the kits together for us. My friend suggested that I look into a government-run facility in York, SC, called MaxAbilities.
MaxAbilities employs people with disabilities who may otherwise find it difficult to gain employment. We checked out their facility and knew this was the place for BalmDiggity! It feels really good to know we are supporting this hard-working and eager group of men and women. People with disabilities, like the rest of us, want to discover their own unique abilities. Everyone should have the opportunity to maximize those abilities regardless of their challenges.
"MaxAbilities is a non-profit agency serving York County for over 30 years. It provides a variety of day supports to over 200 individuals with intellectual disabilities and other special needs. The agency provides 81 individuals with the opportunity to make full wages while learning work skills both in work centers and throughout the county." - Sonya Lopes, Vocational Supports Director
What are some occasions or events where a Balmdiggity kit would add to the fun?
Birthday parties, slumber parties, and girl get-togethers are our number one buyers, but we also see a lot of adults who just love crafting, and want a natural product, take interest in our kits too. We have also sold our kits wholesale for charities and fundraisers, which is nice because we know they are going toward great causes. The kit is great for Holiday fun and gifts, since we are always searching for ideas this time of year.
Do you always look at the world through entrepreneurial glasses?
My mind is always going. I love bringing products to life, and I don't think I can be satisfied with making just one of anything! If I think it's a good idea, then my hope is other people will too. I love telling a story, bringing something to life, and sharing it with others. It's who I am!
Speaking of being on-the-go, travel is important to you and your family. What are some of the places you have been and what's next on the itinerary?
When I graduated from college, I wanted to see the world. I became a flight attendant with Delta Airlines and traveled all over. I was a designated French-speaker on flights to France, Switzerland, and Belgium. Before that I worked in Amman, Jordan, with children who had physical challenges, and was able to travel all over the Middle East on my days off. I loved learning about new cultures and exploring history first-hand.
This summer we spent a month in Italy and Cyprus with my whole family—it was the trip of a lifetime! My next trip will be a solo volunteer one for me—I am traveling to Belize to teach women how to sew. I have supported causes here in Charlotte that are committed to stamping out human trafficking such as the PureReligion 5K, and now I have the opportunity to teach skills that will provide women independence right where they live. The organization is called SHINE Belize—their goal is to offer hope, empowerment, and a brighter future to young women and men. They welcome volunteers for any length of time and with any skill level. I am excited to join their project! We just might see a useful product come from this trip that I may be able to help market globally.
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