5 Questions that Spark is our way of getting to know some amazing entrepreneurs and people who inspire us at The Spark List. Entrepreneurs get to select five questions from a list of fifteen to answer in our interviews.

When choosing to be an entrepreneur, a lot of women have to consider childcare options. This is rarely easy and often a time consuming and frustrating process. Meet an innovative childcare entrepreneur creating a truly valuable resource to solve that market problem, Stacey Grumet.

Stacey Ford, Childcare Resource Entrepreneur - CEO & Founder of Paper PineconeSpark List: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Stacey: I’m a mom to a 3-year-old. After going through an incredibly frustrating preschool search for my daughter I couldn’t shake the notion that it would have been so much easier with a centralized source of information. I’d chat with other parents who expressed the same sentiments, and the process was even harder for families looking for infant care. After thinking about Paper Pinecone for a long time and making a million excuses to not do it, I woke up one day particularly motivated and decided to dive in – sink or swim.

Spark List: What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?

Stacey: Listen to my husband’s input on professional matters with an open mind. It’s been a struggle, but I’m getting there.

Spark List: Do you have a personal or professional mission and has that changed over time?

Stacey: For better or for worse, the tired question asked of women only – “How do you balance family and career?” – has definitely impacted the direction I’m taking Paper Pinecone. As we grow, my mission is to create an environment supportive of families. Before having a child, that’s not something that would have been top-of-mind while growing a company. Wearing my mom hat, I recognize how much our children need us. Wearing my entrepreneur hat, I recognize that having a company culture built on respecting family life helps create loyal, hard-working employees.

Spark List: What made you choose this type of business?

Stacey: I’m a problem solver so this was a natural extension for me. I saw a problem in the childcare market and created a solution for it.

Spark List: What is your favorite piece of advice you have ever received?

Stacey: I don’t know that it was advice per se, but it was something that I took to heart and have carried with me throughout my career. The owner at the company I worked at straight out of college was adamant that a good idea could come from anyone, anywhere. Brainstorms were inclusive to people outside of the project. Hierarchy didn’t matter when throwing ideas at the wall. It was empowering as an entry-level employee and something I strive to implement anywhere I go.


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