Anita Fu is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Vancouver, BC. She is the Founder and CEO of Mommy Brain Creatives Inc., where products are created with the modern mom in mind – moms who are housekeepers, chefs, taxi-drivers, referees, teachers, and more, all wrapped up in one.
Anita’s flagship product, the Fun N’ Fly Foldable Travel Tray, is your no-mess comfortable, portable, machine washable, and durable kids play space for wherever your air travels take you. The tray is perfect for drawing, building, playing, snacking, and more, and comes complete with mesh pockets for crayons, pens, puzzles, craft supplies, and small toys. It is designed to fit most standard airline tray tables and assembles in just seconds. It comes with its own bag, making packing the Fun N’ Foldable Travel Tray a breeze; carry-on, suitcase, backpack, or purse, it goes where any busy parent needs to go, with ease.
We are so excited to share Anita’s Success Story and learn more about this inventor at heart!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
A few years ago, I was preparing to fly overseas solo with my two young sons, both who were at the time obsessed with Lego. Figuring that I needed some way to keep the Lego contained while en route to our destination, I headed to my nearest dollar and fabric stores. Armed with my new purchases, as well as a few materials from home, I constructed a light, durable, and easy to clean travel tray. This tray kept my boys entertained our whole flight, and even more importantly, kept that pesky Lego contained rather than spread around the flight cabin. Having this tray meant that I was less stressed, my fellow passengers weren’t bothered, the floor remained mess free, and my boys were busy and not bored. Using the tray made the entire flight more enjoyable and relaxing for myself and those around me. After returning, and sharing the tray with a few friends for their own flights, I realized that there was a need on the market for my product, and the rest is history!
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
I enjoy that everyday has its own unique challenges and new opportunities. I like being an inventor by turning ideas into reality. When I go to the grocery store, I am not simply just picking up a grocery basket. I look at it, think about it, see how I can make it better and more efficient. When I am driving and listening to radio ads, I am constantly thinking how these ads can be made better. I love the feeling of creating something from nothing and seeing the joy my products bring my customers. Knowing I make the lives of my fellow parents easier is very fulfilling.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I would have to say the flexibility on when, where, and how I work. I enjoy not having to start my day at a set time or in a set location. If I want to start the day at noon and work at home in my pajamas complete with messy hair I can! Or, if I’m waiting for my children after school or after their extra-curricular activities, I can bring my work with me. I enjoy being able to still spend time with my family, volunteer at my children’s school every Friday, and go on school field trips. I also enjoy being able to travel to different places and meet different people along the way. I also like how I get to constantly learn new things. For example, listing my product on Amazon involved many hours of watching Amazon university videos! And finally, I love hearing my kids say “Mommy? How come so many people like your product and want to buy them?” That’s one of my favourite questions to answer.
Can you describe a typical day?
On a typical morning, I get my two boys ready for school while also making breakfast and packing lunches. After school drop-off, I like to go to the gym, using my time on the treadmill to energize myself and mentally plan my day. Then I usually return home, shower, and then work for a few hours updating my online store, researching new ideas, drawing new logos, and crossing whatever else I can off my to-do list. My day seems to always fly by and before I know it it’s time to grab a few quick groceries and pick up the kids from school. On most days, the entire afternoon is spent with my kids, whether that’s driving them to classes or taking them to the park or for a bike ride. Then there’s dinner, homework, and bedtime stories, topped off with another hour or so of work before I head to bed. Weekends for me are all about family – outdoor activities, play dates, movies, etc.
Who do you count on for help?
I am very lucky to have many good friends who are good at many different things. I’ve had friends who helped with my website and logo, another who helps with bookkeeping and another who has helped with overseas product promotion in Asia. My husband helps with the heavy lifting whenever I need to ship more boxes to stores and customers. My kids are also really good at promoting me to their friends and other moms and dads!
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
Although I try to have a balance with work/family schedules, often my priorities and attentions shift (for example working on a design while also trying to plan dinner), but thankfully I have a very supportive husband and understanding well behaved children. There are sacrifices but they are totally worth it (even if it means not having time to watch my favorite TV shows!).
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
Day off? Yes, I remember that word from 8 years ago! On my day off, I change bed sheets, do laundry, or try to cook a fancier meal for my family. I would love to sleep in on one of my days off, but that has yet to happen!
What does the future look like for you and your business?
I’d like to continue to design innovative products and toys that benefit parents and kids equally. Currently, I am working on a few prototypes. One for baby/toddler, one for children, and the last product I hope everyone will like it.
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
No idea is too crazy. If you have a great idea in mind, don’t wait too long. Start today, even if it’s just drawings on a napkin, because as mom there’s never a better, less busy time. Dream as big as you want – that’s the great thing about being a mompreneur!