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Carrie Griffith, CEO & Founder, Little Nugget

Little Nugget was inspired by the birth of Carrie's daughter. As a new mom, she was obsessed with documenting every big moment in her daughter's life. Each month she would take hundreds of photos on her phone. At the time, social media was one of my only options to digitally document her daughter's milestones and share them with extended family and friends.

Like many other parents, Carrie was hesitant to over-share her daughter's every milestone on social media. To strike a balance, she settled on sharing a monthly update of her daughter's life. The post was used to replace her daughter's baby book in every respect. She'd take her daughter's photo, upload it to her computer, then add text to the photo using PowerPoint. The process took hours to complete, but the response from her friends and family was incredible. Every month, friends and coworkers would ask, "What app did you use to create your daughter's monthly milestone photos?" … and so Little Nugget was born!

More about Carrie:

1. What problem is your app solving?

Let's get real for a minute. Being a new parent is hard work. From sleepless nights to exploding diapers to strict feeding schedules, it can be so overwhelming. Combine that with the pressure of documenting every milestone, sorting through hundreds of photos, and not oversharing your child's photos on social media. It's hard to keep up! I created Little Nugget to help parents easily capture and curate those moments, big and small, so they can savor them for years to come.

2. How is your app helping moms?

Little Nugget's mission is to help parents easily save the moments that matter most, the moment they happen. Creating a milestone photo with Little Nugget takes just minutes. Simply upload a photo, add personalized text, and then select fun artwork that perfectly marks the milestone. Once the photo is perfect, parents can then save the photo to their child's private baby journal. When parents are ready to turn their child's milestones into a printed keepsake, all of the photos are safely stored in Little Nugget's digital baby book. Parents can order prints, phone cases and baby books directly from the app.

3. How is your app different than other apps collecting baby photos?

Unlike 95% of baby photo apps out there, Little Nugget was created by parents, for parents. When the app launched in 2016, I had a toddler, was 7 months pregnant with my second daughter and ran the business during naptime. Little Nugget is not an app from a big developer trying to capitalize on the latest trend. Little Nugget was bootstrapped out of a love for documenting and sharing my childrens’ lives with the people I love most.

4. Marketing an app correctly is key to successful sales. What advertising channels are you using and how did you choose them?

Marketing an app can be very challenging. With over 2.2 million apps in the App Store alone, it's a pretty crowded landscape. Within the App Store, you have to focus on consistent optimization to your app listing's screenshots, description, and keywords. Similar to Google, one tweak to Apple's algorithm can completely change how an app ranks in App Store Search. Outside of the App Store, I focus on channels that give me the best ROI for my startup budget. Right now, that is social, influencer outreach and strategic brand partnerships. My target is pregnant and new parents. These expecting and new parents are Millennials who are on social media 24-7. When they look for product recommendations, they first turn to their friends, other trusted brands and influencers on social media.

5. How have your education and career helped to prepare you for being an entrepreneur?

My education started at the University of Colorado at Boulder where I focused on both finance and marketing. Though the finance track challenged me, it taught me to "read the numbers" and understand the language of business. Something that is essential to understand as an entrepreneur. A few years after graduation, I pursued my graduate degree at Northwestern University where I earned a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communication. The program approached marketing communications as an art and a science, teaching me to understand consumers from both a qualitative and quantitative approach. The foundations of this program are woven into my everyday work with Little Nugget.

Professionally, my experience has ranged from strategic marketing agencies, to boutique search marketing shops, to Fortune 50 companies. The smaller agencies required me to wear a lot of hats, and gave me broad exposure to strategic marketing planning and execution. At Microsoft, I worked in sales and called on high-level agency members, marketing managers and CMOs for brands like Best Buy, Sprint, Kimberly Clark and P&G. It was my job to understand the root of business challenges and provide solutions to reach their consumer across digital touch points, all at a positive ROI. The compilation of my work experience has taught me to get creative with my budgets and confidently focus my resources on programs that will drive product adoption and a better user experience.

6. What was it like to work at Microsoft?

In one word: Incredible. When I first accepted my position at Microsoft, I was nervous not only because it was such a large global company, but also because it is a tech company in a male-dominated industry. I was worried I would just be a cog in the wheel, though I was quickly proven wrong. In my time with Microsoft, I had the pleasure of working alongside some of the most brilliant and diverse minds. Each person I worked with had a unique perspective and strength. My coworkers drove me to work harder and look at problems in different ways. It was a very driven culture, but one that also was supportive of your differences.

What I loved about Microsoft the most was the company's investment in its people and diversity. The investment in my personal development, career planning and mentorship was incredible. It is an organization that elevates and develops its female leaders, and I was fortunate to learn from and work alongside some of the company's brightest women. I will be forever grateful for the knowledge, relationships and perspective Microsoft gave me.

7. What has been your biggest challenge as a founder?

The biggest challenge is perfecting the art of balance. I'm a mom, a wife and a solo-founder. Finding the right balance between starting my own business, growing my business and spending time with family has been difficult. As a solo-founder, I am responsible for managing partnerships, driving for deadlines, making informed product and marketing decisions, and anything else that fits into the day-to-day. During the workday, balancing the right place to focus my energy can be difficult. But when the day is over, all of the noise from my business needs to be turned off so I can give my family undivided attention. Balance is something I will always have to battle, but I fortunately have a wonderful support system in my husband, family and friends.

8. Where do you see your company a year from now?

A year from now, I see the days as a boot-strapped startup being a distant memory. Little Nugget as a family moments platform will undergo exciting changes this year. I plan to scale the business, raise money, and add employees to help grow the brand. The plan is in place, but you'll just have to check in with us from time-to-time to see how it unfolds.

9. How have The Startup Ladies help you connect to people who will help you grow?

I've been a member of The Startup Ladies for only two months, attended three events and have already made four connections that are tangibly helping move my business forward. The programming has also been incredibly relevant to the current stage of my business. After each session, I come away with a list of actionable to-dos to grow Little Nugget. Outside of the business connections and programming, being a member of The Startup Ladies has given be greater confidence as a female, solo-founder in the tech industry. The group consists of an inspiring, empowering and ambitious woman (and men!). I'm so excited continue connecting with this community.

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