Spotlight on Local Mom: Nicole Mansfield
When Nicole Mansfield first looped an elastic band through her son’s toy, it was an attempt to defeat the “uh-oh” game that he had recently learned to love. She did not realize at the time that her effort to keep germs out of her son’s mouth would turn into her own successful business: Toys Don’t Drop. Since she first started having her “Necklace Nanny” produced in 2010, Nicole has created a second product, the “Bar Buddy”, and has three new colors options and a third product the “Don’t Drop It Duffle” coming out soon (items are available at the online store, toysdontdrop.com). Toys Don’t Drop recently had great success at the Birth and Beyond Baby Expo, where she sold out of almost everything, it’s clear that Mansfield has solved a huge “mommy problem,” and for just $5.99.
A self proclaimed “army brat,” Mansfield calls Fairfax, Va. home, and did her undergraduate work at James Madison University where she studied to become a teacher. She also spent almost nine years living in Italy, during which time she had three children. Taking her son on walks in downtown Vicenza was a daily routine. His fascination with the “uh oh” game required a lot of stopping to pick up, wipe off and hand back his baby toys. One day she got the idea to attach a strap through his teething toys and around the stroller bar. This allowed him tug, teethe and even toss the toy without it falling to the ground and without her having to stop and pick it up. Almost immediately, other moms were stopping her to admire her idea. The key to her idea she says, is that “it’s not fancy, it’s just smart.”
Smart may be an understatement. She was recently accepted to participate in the Las Vegas All Baby and Child Expo and has a 3,000 unit strap order under way. Mansfield’s biggest challenges now are just learning the ropes of running a business while trying to keep up with demand. With all of her new found success, she has certainly gotten attention from people wondering how she did it. Her advice to other moms aspiring to build a successful business is simple: just stick to it, if she can do it, they can do it too.
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Local Mom Entrepreneur
Toys Don’t Drop