Start-Up Story: The Inspirational Creation of 9Months

I believe that sometimes people are placed in your life at exactly the right moment. I don’t want to jump into a spiritual sermon, but this is how it felt from the first conversation with Carrie Marvin, owner of 9Months.

Carrie went to high school with my husband and we have friends in common, but our paths had never crossed until about a week ago when I first learned of her new line of non-alcoholic sparkling beverages for pregnant women. My husband shared her product on Facebook and she messaged him to thank him for his support. He in turn sent her my email address and suggested that she reach out to me.

From the first hello email I was taken by her spirit, her positive attitude and her mission to ensure full-term babies and healthy pregnancies for all women.

Her business is about so much more than creating a product that allows women to join in on celebrations while pregnant. Her business is a way to celebrate pregnancy in a way that has a deep meaning for Carrie.

You see, Carrie endured the unimaginable loss of her daughter at 39 weeks pregnant, but instead of giving up hope she chose to continue her dream to create 9Months, while bringing awareness to others. This is why a percentage from every purchase of her sparkling beverages goes to the March of Dimes.

She is extremely inspirational and someone I think you should get to know. Please take a moment to read Carrie’s Start-Up Story and show her some love by purchasing a bottle (or two) for anyone you know that is pregnant. You can also share her story across your social media sites and take the time to like 9Months on Facebook, follow her on Twitter (@9MonthsLove), or connect with her on Instagram (@9MonthsLove).

Carrie Marvin of 9Months Love

Question: What is your business and how long have you been in business?

My business provides non-alcoholic sparkling bubbly to women who are pregnant  so they can join the party and have a celebratory beverage to toast with friends and family! The business launched on March 19, 2014 and has been going great!

Question: What made you decide to start your own business? What was your inspiration?

I have really enjoyed my work experiences over the years but I started my own business because I have always wanted something that was truly mine and, equally important, something that I believed in and desired. I think a skill I have is being able to see gaps or white spaces in the marketplace.  Growing up, I was constantly asking, “why doesn’t this exist yet” and coming up with invention ideas (some realistic; many outrageous!). The concept of 9Months came to me during my first pregnancy when I would often feel left out of various celebratory occasions, parties, events, etc. because non-alcoholic (and fun!) options are limited.  I knew I had to make it a reality because if I was feeling left out, I knew other expecting mothers-to-be had to be, too. My inspiration has and always will be to include everyone in a social gathering/party. I hate the thought of anyone being left out of anything. Building in the March of Dimes charity as part of my business plan became a priority when I lost my daughter at 39 weeks. That life-changing event is what led me to do what I can to support initiatives aimed at promoting safe and healthy pregnancies.

9Months Sparkling WineQuestion: What were you doing before starting this venture? How long did you have the idea to start your own business before actually taking the leap?

I worked in NYC at Amazon as a recruiter/sourcer and loved my job! I learned a lot from Amazon and will use those experiences and learnings for my own business if and WHEN it grows. Currently, I recruit for smaller start-ups in San Francisco. I enjoy people and learning from other businesses on what works and what doesn’t. It’s like a free education!

I started putting the wheels in motion for 9Months about 2 years ago.  Although it was a slow process at first since we import from Australia,  I’m so happy that I persevered through the obstacles and kept going.  There were many times I could have given up  because that would have been SO much easier. But, I’m proud of myself for finally launching – it’s been a journey and I’m having a blast now!

Question: What was your biggest hurdle/struggle to overcome when first starting?

The biggest hurdles revolved around the importation and shipping processes.  I really didn’t know the amount of work and research that was needed to get this off the ground but I have learned so much these past two years.

I’m thankful for  asking for help and advice from my brokers and those who know the business. I think that’s  the best way to learn… just ask! I was lucky to find amazing people steer me in the right direction.

Question: What is your best advice to someone thinking of starting a business?

My biggest advice is to develop a timeline for your goals. It was the only way I could get things done. Crossing off tasks within a checklist feels amazing and allowed me to feel like I was accomplishing a lot and really working towards my goal.  I also have a very detailed business plan document that I stick to and continually update with new information so it’s in one place. Keeping organized is a struggle, but, the more time you take in the front-end to get organized, the better place you will be in the end. And finally, be polite and kind to those who you need to help you (ie: trademark offices, shipping brokers, product bottlers, etc.). It’s amazing what being nice can return to you in the end.

Question: What does the future for your business look like? How do you measure success?

My dream for this company is to grow 9Months with more awesome baby and maternity products and be a full functioning baby e-store. I want to have fun products for the expecting mother. I measure success not only by metrics and numbers, but also the feedback from my customers. Making my customers happy will always be my first priority!

Question: How Can People Connect with You?

You can email me at carrie@9monthsbrand – I love emails!

Twitter: @9MonthsLove

Facebook: Facebook/com/9MonthsLove

Instagram: @9MonthsLove

9 Months Love Brand

No Hesitation… Join the Celebration!

 

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for writing this post. I truly believe in Carrie and am helping her to grow her social media presence and reach out to other bloggers because it feels like the right thing to do (haven’t you ever been touched enough to do that?)

About 

Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.

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  1. I love this:)