{Guest Post written by Taseea Lainas-Cruz}

Have you ever created something for your friends or family and thought to yourself “Maybe others would enjoy this as well,” or, “Maybe I can turn my passion into starting a home-based business”? These are the thoughts I had a year ago right before I started my own business, Ivy Kids LLC.


Prior to starting Ivy Kids LLC, I was an early-education teacher, and before that, a chemical engineer, but being a good mother was always my primary concern. After my second child was born, I had intended to go back to my teaching position, but that option turned out to be unavailable. Although money was tight, losing my job turned out to be a blessing in disguise. 

Staying at home to enjoy my children was the best thing that could have happened to me. It gave me the opportunity to watch them grow and learn each day—something I was unable to do after the birth of my first child and for which I had felt sad and a little guilty. Now I get to be there for every important moment. Raising children is one of the most difficult things you can do, but also the most rewarding.

However, trying to entertain two young children at home proved to be more difficult than I had expected. I had a limited budget and could not afford those great early childhood classes. I also became frustrated with the lack of developmentally appropriate educational games available for young children. As a result, I began creating my own projects and activities to keep my children engaged and cognitively stimulated. I wanted the time I spent with my children to be meaningful and not just trying to get the day to go by.

I noticed that when the activities were based around a favorite book and characters, my children were more invested. I worked hard to create activities that would encourage problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking.

Starting a Home-Based Business

I started making kits for family members and friends that were also staying at home with their kids. I received so much positive feedback about the creative, entertaining, and educational value of the activities that I thought I might try starting a home-based business and sharing my kits with others. I started building the Ivy Kids Kits in my home and funded all the start-up costs with our savings. This has been a big financial risk, but I have so many people encouraging me and believing in the product, that it’s worth the risk. I have now recruited other teachers (turned stay-at-home moms as well) for their expertise in developing the contents of each kit.

Starting a business as a full-time mom is definitely a balancing act. Setting up an efficient routine and managing time effectively are essential elements. Sometimes some daily tasks are postponed, like cleaning and laundry, but I just accept that. I am also extremely lucky because I have a very supportive family. Without my husband and parents’ help, I do not think I would have been able to handle everything.

I feel that starting a business is like trying to complete a very complex puzzle with many pieces. There are so many details to think about, and every day there is a new problem to solve. I encountered issues that I never initially thought about when I first had the idea of creating monthly educational activity kits. For example, I had to find out how to start an LLC, how to trademark my logo, how to package and ship my product, how to collect sales tax. There are just so many steps involved from the initial product idea to an actual business launch. It has taken me a full year to launch this business, but I do feel as though I have learned a lot.

There are so many small business resources that help you learn – even for free! I love recommending looking up your Small Business Center Network in your state. Gather resources on business insurance. Even resource sites like Career OneStop can help you get certifications or licenses that can help you in your small business set up.

One suggestion that I can make to other moms who may be looking to start a home-based business is  to take the risk. It’s better to try and fail than always to wonder “what if?” (A cliché, I know, but still true.)
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People will be more supportive and helpful than you think. Often times, a day in our lives is so packed that there’s barely enough time to eat, let alone start a business, but you just need to go at it little by little. I often stay up into the early hours because it’s the only time I can find without a diaper to change or a mouth to feed, but sometimes that’s what it takes.
Starting a home-based business can definitely be challenging. However, all the long hours and hard work are worth it if you are pursuing something you feel passionate about. I want to show my children that with hard work and commitment, you can do anything you set your mind to. 


Taseea Lainas Cruz, is a stay-at-home mom of two amazing children and the owner/CEO of Ivy Kids LLC. She earned her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College and obtained her Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University. Taseea was a classroom teacher for 6 years in New York City. Taseea researches and develops the games, projects, and activities for each Ivy Kit in her small home office in Brooklyn, New York.Ivy Kids LLC offers monthly activity kits for kids through their website and you can connect with them on Facebook , Pinterest, Twitter.




Resources and tips for starting a home-based business whether you want to be a work-at-home mom or dad or freelance as a hobby.

For more resources regarding starting a home-based business check out these websites. They are full of how-tos and resources:

This post is featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms: Work at Home Resources. View all 150+ resources for stay-at-home moms looking for work at home jobs HERE.





I was thrilled when Taseea agreed to share her story of setting up a small business as a stay-at-home mom! She previously allowed me to share a review of her Ivy Kids book-based activity kits and they are a great resource. My children still “play” with the games and activities months after we initially checked them out. Ivy Kids offers a 20% discount on your first kit when you sign up for a subscription. Check out the website for more options.

Every kit comes with a FREE personalized gift for your child. The kits are great for multiple ages working at the same time-I can’t say enough great things about them. Thank you, Taseea for sharing your experiences and tips here with us!