Meet Laura Shultz!
Three weeks ago when Laura told me that she was going to start offering a Mom/DadPreneur Biz Spotlight in her newsletter, my first thought was that she should spotlight herself. As the publisher of this newsletter, we welcome her into our homes every Thursday, which is when her newsletter is published. Yet to most of her subscribers, she remains a stranger. Since I couldn't convince her to write an article about herself, I did it for her! Let me introduce you to my best friend, and publisher of the Reading Macaroni Kid Newsletter....Laura Shultz.
Laura, who turned 31 a few days ago, is a married mother of three fabulous kiddos. Her boys are ten and eight, and her daughter is three. She became a Macaroni Kid Publisher in October of 2010 after reading about it in a Redbook Magazine. What exactly is Macaroni Kid? "Macaroni Kid is an e-newsletter and website that brings family friendly event listings, recipes, articles, crafts, and giveaways to your inbox weekly." Laura also offers advertising to local businesses, as well as a general business directory where local businesses can share their contact information, detailed description, logos and images, and links to take you directly to their website. Her weekly newsletter is great for families and businesses alike!
I asked her what it was like to start her own business. She says, "As with any business, things start slow and take A LOT of hard work to build. I got my first advertiser in December 2010." From there, she continued to add to her entourage of advertisers, as well as her list of subscribers. As her list of subscribers grows, so does her status within the Macaroni Kid community. Macaroni Kid National rewards publishers with a daisy when they reach certain subscription levels. (You may have noticed that Macaroni Kid uses daisies as part of its logo.) "I became a pink daisy when I reached 250 subscribers. I'm currently 50 away from getting a blue daisy at 500!" At 1,000 she will get a purple daisy, and the double purple daisy is awarded when subscribers reach 2,000.
Once Laura reaches 500 subscribers, not only will she be rewarded with a blue daisy, but her subscribers will be rewarded too! At that subscription level, Laura will be able to offer MacDeals, which is similar to Groupon, but with Macaroni flair! Deals will be with local businesses that only subscribers can take advantage of. I personally can't wait!
If you ask Laura what her favorite part of being a Macaroni Kid Publisher is, she has trouble picking just one thing. "I love the trades and barters I am able to do with advertisers in exchange for ads. My kids have fabulous birthday parties, and my daughter is taking Tae Kwon Do. We also got to experience Schuylkill River Outdoors." She goes on to say, "I love when people come up to me at events and say they already subscribe and then tell me how much they love it. Or that a friend or family member was raving about it so they had to check it out." After listening to Laura give multiple answers to my 'what is your ONE favorite thing' question, I give her the look- the one that only best friends can give each other and know exactly what it means- and she manages to tame her list and give me the one thing that she loves most. "The thing I love most about Macaroni Kid is being able to play such a positive role for families in our community."
Her least favorite part of the business? Like any business owner, "The hardest part is dealing with the competition." Yes, even Macaroni Kid has competitors. However, as both a mother and a business owner, I can honestly say that Macaroni Kid is by far the best. Laura keeps the newsletter and website fresh, colorful, and full of relevant information. As a business owner, I like that she keeps our ads noticeable by not cramming as many as she possibly can onto her page. Her biz directory is organized and allows for all the information I need to provide to potential customers. And no, I'm not just saying that because she's my best friend! When I decided to advertise and subscribe with her, I did not know her. We became friends because of Macaroni Kid!
As Laura approaches her one year anniversary as a Macaroni Kid Publisher, she has set her sights on reaching 500 subscribers and the blue daisy, increasing her list of advertisers, and continuing to bring the community together...through events, fundraisers, article comments, and through other ideas that are still in the infancy stage of development. Her hope for all of YOU, is that her newsletter brings you information, encouragment, ideas, and maybe even a friend.