Anyone can relate to the annoyance of long bathroom lines. Especially for women, public restrooms are a nightmare. I hate standing in line for long stretches of time, and then watching guys get in and out of the bathroom in seconds. They never understand our pain! Until now, there’s been no solution to this problem.
That’s where Joey Mares comes in. Joey is the mastermind behind Peep No More, a device that indicates when bathroom stalls are available or occupied. With Peep No More, there’s no more awkwardly bending down to see if a stall is empty. Most importantly, this added efficiency means no more long bathroom lines. Here’s Peep No More in action:
Video courtesy of Peep No More
On Tuesday, Joey shared her story with us at the latest Coffee & Conversations event in Reno. These events are part of the Women’s Initiative series, geared to inspire women in entrepreneurship. If you weren’t able to attend the event- this blog post is for you. And if you missed Joey, don’t worry- there’s one more talk next week. Find out more on next week’s event here.
As a stay at home mom, Joey was faced with insecurities while trying to make Peep No More successful. She even joked with us that she thought she’d stay bored at home eating bonbons her whole life. Lucky for us, Joey resisted the bonbons in lieu of saving us from long bathroom lines!
Here’s what Joey had to say about overcoming hurdles to success in entrepreneurship:
Bathroom lines are a bigger problem than you think
“The number one complaint at the Giants stadium was their women’s bathroom lines. Our whole business is now mom driven. The NFL, their whole business is now about 50% moms. Moms are buying season tickets every single year. If moms were complaining about the lines, then they already had a bad experience there. Then they just get ticked about everything.”
“Another thing is the gender issues we’re now facing. With the push for privacy now, it’s so important. I could sell it to some people based on customer service, but to most I sell based on efficiency. Customers are demanding more privacy.”
“I’ve even heard, one of my friend’s little girls got her finger broken from pushing on a bathroom stall door. The natural reaction when someone pushes on your stall door is to slam it back. If I’m in a stall and see someone looking in, I want to knock them out myself. It’s not a place where you want to be making friends.”
“Now with my product there, I’ll go check out the bathrooms. I’ve seen the last two times I’ve been there, the lines are literally cut in half. They are not spilling into the walkway, the lines are moving so fast. People actually talk about the product, they’re excited about them, making comments. They really are working!”
It was a long road to success
“I made my first prototype at the Discovery Museum. It was terrible. My friend introduced me to these great mechanical engineers in town, and we got the design running. It still looked horrible. You can’t even see it. I got more and more pregnant. Then, my engineer inspired me to go to this Entrepreneurs Assembly. That was so inspiring, they give back. Their motto is If you’re going to fail, fail the cheapest.
“During the whole process, I’ve always said to myself, if it’s right the doors will open. If it’s wrong, they’ll close. I had to keep going even if it seemed hopeless. I couldn’t have done it without all the mentors I had. There’s so many people, all the mentors out there giving there time they had, all their expertise. It’s an exciting time.”
“Rely on mentors and other experts. Listen to people. Make sure people would actually want to buy it. I’ve seen entrepreneur ideas and it seems like a good idea- but they’re not listening to the market.”
“Little things would pull me up, with the mentors being supportive and little things happening. Now, we’ll be in 38 live nation amphitheaters, we’ll be in every single state in the country. It’s really exciting. They say they want customers drinking more beer, getting out of lines faster. All of a sudden everything is coming together. You hear it all the time. Entrepreneurs: you’ve got to hold on, you’ve got to stay strong.”
“The biggest hurdle is myself. Really. I have been my own worst enemy. Like I said, I have been so afraid that I didn’t have everything good enough. I had insecurity because I had been a stay at home mom for so many years. I’m not as smart as everyone else. It was getting outside of myself to make those calls. The confidence and all that was something that I had to just fake for a while, for a long while, until it actually started coming together.”
Being a female in the entrepreneurship world
“As long as you don’t let people get that control over you, you can nip that in the bud. Go in, know your stuff really well. You don’t have to be aggressive, but know your stuff. If they can’t stump you, then you’ve won the battle.”
“Really, you just have to fight yourself. It’s a matter of taking a deep breath, you know, and doing it. You can’t be afraid of it. The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. That saying for me is totally true. I could’ve just shut down, given up, but I just didn’t. I kept going to mentor meetings, making the phone calls. When one good thing would happen, I would get energy from it. I just kept going.”
“My daughters are so cute. They have actually been in the living room with me, peeling off the little labels with the stickers, putting them together. Of course I supervise. They’ve seen me in dark moments, hard times, in good times. They’ve just seen me overcome so much adversity and being strong. I hope it inspires them. That they can do what they want to do. Just because you’re a stay home mom doesn’t mean you can’t do something as fantastic as someone from Harvard or Stanford or anywhere else.”
“I don’t care what is it they do. I want to encourage them to just be whatever they want to be. Just do it. Do it good. Be strong, you’ve just got to push through. We all have different things. We all have to face adversity. There can be no greatness without suffering. I feel like if I didn’t suffer myself, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now.”
Registration for next week’s Women Initiative series event is still open- and it’s free. Sign up here. And be sure to leave a reply to let me know if I’ll see you there. 🙂
Until next time- Saludos!