Taking the Plunge
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When her youngest child started going to school full time, Kellie Schatz faced a daunting task: She needed to get a job that would bring in extra income and also work around her three children's school and sports schedules.
In 2000, Schatz, 36, started working for a Babies 'N' Bells franchisee, helping the homebased entrepreneur with her baby and wedding announcement business. When her boss moved away, Schatz saw it as the perfect opportunity to have her own business and bought the franchise she had been working in as well as another new franchise.
With that, Schatz, who runs her franchises out of her Temecula, California, home, became the operator of Babies 'N' Bells kiosks in Southern California, Northern California and Arizona.
Customers in all Schatz's territories usually find out about Babies 'N' Bells through catalogs. Her Northern California and Arizona franchises also operate kiosks at Babies 'R Us stores, where registry customers can pick up catalogs, look at samples and ask questions about the franchise's customized announcements.
Once orders are placed, usually via e-mail or phone, Schatz and her four Temecula employees create and print up the announcements on site. Schatz then sends out the finished product to her customers, who live not only in her three territories, but all over the United States.
While running three franchises from her home is quite an undertaking, Schatz is working to maintain the priorities she set out when first joining Babies 'N' Bells as an employee--making extra money but still having time for her kids. "It's difficult to do with the business in my home. The first six months, I felt like I was chained to that desk. Every time I stepped away, I would do whatever I had to do with the children and then go right back to work," she says. "[Now] I'm getting myself into a position where by 10, I'm shutting computers off. I'm trying to work a business into a home life."