The JessicaSimien.com “She’s A Boss” series is all about women in leadership positions. Women are not celebrated enough for their amazing and one-of-a-kind accomplishments. We’re using our platform to shine light on some very talented and intelligent ladies working toward (and realizing) their dreams. Not only will you have an opportunity to learn about them, you will also get to learn from them as they share their business advice and pointers on how to maintain balance.
Nicole Reeder is the CEO of ID Me Bands, a company that designs hypoallergenic bands that help prevent the spread of illnesses caused by sharing bottles. Check out our chat below.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Nicole Reeder: My name is Nicole Reeder and I am a chemist by trade. I went to Grambling State University in Louisiana and from there I went to Meharry Medical College to work on my PhD. I have an extensive background in research, right now I am a formulator/analytical stability chemist for Merck Consumer Healthcare. I used to play varsity basketball in high school and in college. I have one kid, he is a freshman in high school.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What inspired you to start your business?
NR: My experience in sports and water bottle sharing. We used to have a lot of kids come up with mono from sharing water bottles all the time. It didn’t really dawn on me until one day my son was playing and my dad actually said, ‘How do you know which one of those Gatorade bottles is theirs?’ I thought that was a good question. Just the other week a parent was cutting up because her son drank from one of the other bottles and he got strep throat. And as and when my dad said that, that is when ID Me Bands were born.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Can you tell us a little about your bands for those who aren’t familiar?
NR: We are the first company to do the unique dual purpose number series band where the numbers are popping off from the top and bottom of the band so it can be easily identifiable. We also offer custom bands where you can get your logo put on the band.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: Who has used your bands?
NR: We’ve had Chick-Fil-A and the Memphis Grizzles are our biggest one. They used them for their season ticket holders as a promotional idem. Often times companies give t- shirts, pens, and coffee mugs for promotional items and those things tend to get a little old. The bands are really different and is something somebody can take with them every single day. The AAU has invited us to different events to sale bands to athletes there. Metro Volleyball, Girl Power Basketball who is also sponsored by Adidas and Memphis Tigers Baseball.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What were your fears going into the business?
NR: My main focus at the time was to get a jersey number around a bottle. For that it was a mind set change. You have to change peoples mind sets because they’re not used to it. So when I first started out they were like ‘Oh that’s a good idea!,’ but they would buy the band and not use it for what it was supposed to be used for. I couldn’t sell my products as quick as someone else. A high school basketball team would buy the bands and sell them for $10, I could never sale them for ten dollars.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What did you take from that experience that made you better?
NR: I have to keep pushing and getting it in front of the right people and not be afraid to talk about it.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What professional or personal advice did you receive along the way?
NR: My dad is a constant in giving advice. My mentor always says you have to be committed to changing mind sets. You can’t give up .
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: How do you balance being a mom and running a business?
NR: I don’t know, I just do it. Because my son does play sports he is always a walking, playing advertisement every day. So I’m selling if I’m at the games.
JESSICASIMIEN.COM: What advice do you have for women who want to start their own business?
NR: If that is what you want to do, you have to get started. You can’t think of the what if’s or what you don’t have. You have to use what you’ve got and build on it.
You can check out the bands here.