New Mompreneur Learns Lessons on Love, Life, and Business | Helen’s Story

Becoming a first-time mom is one hell of a ride, but becoming a new mom while launching a business? It’s a roller coaster.


Just ask new mompreneur and Bootcamp alum, Helen. She and her husband recently wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch their own specialty spicy ketchup condiment, “Ketchung,” just days before becoming new parents to their son, Nolan.


The adventure started last year, while pregnant but determined to make Ketchung available to more than just their inner circle of friends. “The idea of starting a venture like this seemed undoable, “ Helen admitted, “I was pregnant and both of our schedules were busy at work, but we got such great feedback from our friends and family about Ketchung – it was something I wanted to explore.”


Helen mentioned the idea in passing to her fellow Bootcamp attendees, whose strong encouragement inspired her to press on. Now on the heels of their successful crowdfunding campaign, Helen and her husband are going into production next month.


But Ketchung’s success isn’t the only recent debut in Helen’s life. Her business shares a launch month with Nolan, the two-week-old baby boy who has already filled his parents’ hearts with love.


“I feel pride and joy,” said Helen, “Having him here feels very visceral and very scary, but I also feel more motivated to do the right thing. I think about the values I’m going to instill in him about one’s self, family and community.”


Helen had a challenging pregnancy. She developed gestational diabetes, and at 33 weeks was put on bed rest. In February, her father passed away. “There are things in life that you will never be able to anticipate,” Helen shared with me, “but how you react and how you absorb, that’s within your control.”


The past year has allowed Helen to experience a rebirth of her own.


“I know I’ve grown so much. I feel a greater capacity and responsibility to advocate for myself, whether at work or with people generally in my life. Growing up in the Korean culture, we are taught to be quiet and accept things as they are. During the months following Bootcamp, I fought for myself and my needs and my wants more than in the past.”


Helen knows the road ahead is not an easy one, but she’s proud of her gusto (as am I)! “The combination of all of these big life moments stoked the fire within me to not hold back and to simply go for it,” she said, “There are no guarantees, ever. So why not now?”

To those of us with dreams deferred everywhere and anywhere, I ask you: why not now?

Cast your vote for Helen for Boss of the Year now!


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