We’d like to introduce you to the inspiring Mompreneur behind Freshly Picked, their CEO, Susan Petersen. Although if you’re like us, you first met Susan on her episode of Shark Tank in 2014 and closely and religiously followed the brand since then. These amazing quality and cute-as-can be baby moccs have graced our babies feet practically from the womb and the brand has since evolved into sneakers, sandals, and even diaper bags and purses!
Susan is a former stay-home-mama turned powerful CEO success story whose company literally started on her kitchen table. The Utah mom had never gone to college or taken a single business class, but around the kitchen table that day, with her sewing machine and a dream, Freshly Picked was born.
Freshly Picked was built on the belief that soft soles are better for babies as they are learning to walk because they allow babies to flex their toes and promote better balance. Petersen designed and sewed six different shoes using a bag of leather scraps she found at a local garage sale. The result was a line of adorable baby moccasins that lasted longer than other baby shoes because the leather stretches.
You could even say this company started after the birth of Susan’s first child in 2006, which is when she first learned how to sew. Like many stay-at-home moms, Susan wanted to contribute to the family’s growing bills, so she opened up a shop on Etsy, selling baby blankets.
Her shop built up some momentum, but it wasn’t until the birth of her second child, that she made her first ever baby shoe and started selling a few pairs in her Etsy shop.
With social media, she garnered a cult-like following and then landed herself on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2014, getting her business even more attention. Hollywood moms like Jessica Alba and The Kardashians began putting their kiddos in the moccs, and before she knew it, Susan was sitting on an empire.
Freshly Picked is now a multi-million dollar business, with the bulk of their sales coming directly from the website. Susan believes connecting with moms on social media and providing excellent customer service has catapulted their success.
Her best advice for moms who have a dream? Just get started! She also says not getting ahead of yourself is important, just focusing on what’s right in front of you.
When asked how she balances running a business with being a mom, she says she definitely makes sacrifices every day. She doesn’t believe that there is necessarily “balance” in this working-mom world, but says her best advice is to welcome support where you can and remembering that yes there are things that need to get done, but her kids come first.
Petersen is proud to be a successful female entrepreneur, happy to set an example for her own daughter. She knows being a woman in business, she’s always going to be underestimated by some, however, that’s what drives her. She says even her husband says ‘If you want to see Susan do something, tell her she can’t do it.”
As women and as mothers, Susan is someone we can all look up to, as well as learn from. We recently came across one of her quotes in a recent interview with another mama blog that resonated with what we’re doing with this platform and we think can inspire any mama out there hustling for something she loves.
She said, “Even more than the money, you have to put in the work…..The most important things are free: the relationships you build and the people that are going to help you along the way.”
Susan says those early bloggers and influencers who took a chance on her and her business, mean the world to her. They saw something in Freshly Picked before it was what it is today and she credits those relationships for a lot of her success at the beginning and today.
When asked her favorite part about being a boss lady, Susan says that this is truly what she was born to do, this is what she was meant to be doing. And through the highs and the lows of what running a business can bring, she says she remains purely grateful for the opportunity to connect with people and to have this opportunity.