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Single mother converts hobby into Web-based monogram business

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When Renee Williamson started looking for a way to earn money, she wasn’t about to quit her job as mom to her four daughters.

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Single mother Renee Williamson started her own business, Monogram Mama, as a way to make money while remaining involved in her four daughters' lives. The online company sells monogrammed items.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Single mother Renee Williamson started her own business, Monogram Mama, as a way to make money while remaining involved in her four daughters' lives. The online company sells monogrammed items.

Williamson owns Monogram Mama, an online company that sells monogrammed items ranging from bumper stickers to belt buckles. She started the company after a divorce in 2011 left her looking for a way to bring in a paycheck and stay active in her daughters’ lives.

“I needed to work, but I had four daughters,” she said. “As a single mom, I knew I was going to have to go into business for myself.”

She looked at several brick-and-mortar stores around town before being connected with Pure-Ecommerce.com, a Web site that specializes in creating online businesses for new entrepreneurs. The idea for Monogram Mama was born.

“I love monograms and always have,” she said. “I wanted my business to feel like me, and for customers to feel like they knew me.”

It took four months for Williamson to refine her business plan and, with the help of Pure-Ecommerce.com, get her Web site up and running.

She has more than 2,000 products that she has handpicked for her customers, all available to be monogrammed in a variety of colors and styles.

Monogram Mama is a drop-ship company, meaning Williamson’s Web site acts as a clearinghouse for products she has found from all sorts of merchants. Orders placed through her site go through her to the merchant, who ships the product to the customer.

Williamson doesn’t have to handle any inventory, just facilitate purchases and keep customers coming back for more.

She confirms monogram styles with customers to ensure there are no typos and double-checks on etiquette issues for customers who might not be familiar with monogram style.

“I want people to feel like they can get in touch with me and ask me anything,” she said.

Monogram Mama is already doing better than Williamson ever imagined, but she said she has gotten much more than income from the business.

The majority of her suppliers are women in business for themselves, and through Pure-Ecommerce she has also met women whose stories of entrepreneurship encouraged her in the scary days of starting a business.

“I knew from the beginning that I believed in this and that I would make it work,” she said. “I just didn’t know it would go this well this fast.”

Laura Munson is a best-selling author on whose blog Williamson advertises. Monogram Mama is a business she believes in strongly, she said, and uses Williamson as an example to encourage others.

“What a great example of reinvention,” Munson said. “I am inspired.”

Williamson wants to grow her business to be one of the top three monogramming companies in the world, but at the end of the day she considers being a mom still involved in her daughters’ lives her real success.

“I told myself I would find a way,” she said. “I didn’t want that part of my life to stop.”

RENEE WILLIAMSON

HOMETOWN: Augusta

EDUCATION: Bachelor of arts in English, Augusta State University

FAMILY: Daughters Ashleigh Anne, Lauren, Lees, Emma

HOBBIES: Reading

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avidreader
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avidreader 05/28/12 - 10:06 am
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Inspiring

What an inspirational story! It's nice to hear about people who take control of their lives when the odds are against them.

Renee, when do you have time to read? Ha!

proud2bamerican
441
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proud2bamerican 05/28/12 - 10:46 am
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congrats!

Congratulations on all that you have accomplished and for keeping your priorities in line even in the midst of a MAJOR life change. Your daughters will be forever grateful even though you may not see it now. I pray you will maintain your focus and trust God to show you the way!

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