South Albany High School graduate Mike Perry and his wife Amy own a growing business. Snoofy Bee is a portable diaper-changing station that restricts baby’s hands during the changing process. The couple started the business from scratch after they had their second child.
South Albany seniors the heard whole experience, from idea to production during the required senior economics class, taught by Andy Winn. The couple also shared their experiences raising funds for the business, which included an appearance last November on Shark Tank, and marketing, which included a product demonstration and interview on the Steve Harvey Show.
Students were allowed to ask questions during the Perry’s presentation. The couple shared their lessons about what worked and what didn’t as they built a business that started with an idea and is now a growing business with manufacturers in China and sales from retail outlets and online merchants.
The lessons included how to proceed despite the naysayers; starting a new business while working – Mike was employed as a janitor when Snoofy Bee began; pursuing a patent; managing inventory – initially in their home; and finding reputable manufacturers that produce high-quality products.
One of the main lessons students learned is that starting a business is difficult but possible. “Starting a company is really hard and most people fail,” said Mike. “It takes a lot of work to do something out of the norm, but it is totally doable.”