Nesting Together LLC of Hillsborough County
Samantha Smith worked at a baby boutique 14 years ago, igniting her love for helping new expectant parents through a confusing and overwhelming time in life. She enjoyed helping new parents to be build a registry for their baby showers, looking at each detail of what they would need for their newest addition and narrowing it down for gift requests. Smith also got her certification as a Child Passenger Safety Technician, allowing for proper car seat education and tutorials as one of the services she offers and recommends as a gift to an expectant parent.
With all the knowledge she had gained, Smith decided it was time to launch her own online business. She had ideas but did not know how to piece them together, until a friend recommended working with the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida. From there, Smith filled out an online request for consulting and got the help she needed. She was paired with business consultant Christine Jaros, a consultant specializing in startup and business plan development.
“After working with the SBDC at USF, Chrissy really helped me understand where I needed to start with obtaining my EIN number, creating the legal entity, and working with sunbiz.org to get all of that figured out,” Smith said. “We went into deeper depth with market overview and how social media plays into it.”
Jaros helped Smith develop her services and the marketing that would be required for what became Nesting Together LLC, an e-commerce business focused on baby preparation and coaching. Jaros also provided feedback on website organization.
“Chrissy and I tried to figure out a way to organize the services that I had and encapsulate them in two different packages,” Smith said. “We took the time to detail out what it would look like as far as a nursery optimization service or our car seat safety service or registry curation. So, we wanted to make sure we had really clear direction and services that we were going to offer to our clients.”
Smith believes that without COVID-19, the business would be more complex, and she is glad that she can focus on her online space to connect with clients now that it is more commonly used. “COVID-19 actually gave me the opportunity to expand more so that I can do this virtually, so that I can reach out to customers across the screen and still have them and do FaceTime to do tutorials. It’s really actually given me more opportunity than I think I would’ve thought or envisioned, had COVID-19 not been a thing.”
As Nesting Together grows, Smith looks forward to utilizing the Florida SBDC at USF to expand and execute her goals. She encourages other small business owners to take advantage of the resources as well.
“Reach out because that is really what got me going,” she said. “I was scared to do it, and then talking with Chrissy, she really gave me the confidence that I can do this. It really helped me get my feet off the ground. It gave me the confidence that I needed to take that final push and actually get this going, and it was a great starting point.”