Orlando Voyager

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jodi Roark.

Hi Jodi, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I am Jodi, the owner/designer of Florida Kid Co., a Florida-inspired baby/kid brand. After having my son almost four years ago, my husband and I decided to leave the Army life to move back to Florida. While the life of a military spouse was an adventure that I will always cherish and appreciate, it did come with its fair share of challenges, one being the difficulty of creating and nurturing a career for myself. Since we decided to settle down in one spot, it was now my chance to go after the dream of starting my own business. After I had my son, I realized that there weren’t a lot of baby items that were vibrant colors and represented the laid-back, beachy Florida lifestyle that we lived. I’ve always loved designing and creating, so I set out on a mission, and the idea for Florida Kid Co. was born!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
If you had asked me ten years ago what I would be doing in my career, I would have never guessed that it would be building a Florida-inspired baby/kid brand! Of course, this business endeavor has come with many struggles along the way, but the harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph! I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and set my own schedule, but what I’ve never fully understood was how much a successful entrepreneur works… until now. It can be very tough balancing my time with my family and building my business, especially with the personal financial risk we’ve put into it. I have to constantly remind myself that my kids won’t be this young for long and to not let my business consume me and stress me out. Balance in my life is something I’m always working on, and I must remember that it’s important to have fun with everything you do!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
First and foremost, I am a wife and mom. Secondly, I am a designer that enjoys creating beautiful patterns inspired by my Florida life, whether it be from childhood memories or raising my two kiddos here in Satellite Beach and then incorporating those designs on a variety of products. For example, my husband and I love to take our kids on bicycle rides on our beach cruisers all over town. It’s one of our favorite things to do as a family. I knew I wanted to create a swaddle pattern to represent these memories. This is where my Beach Cruisin print came from.

Can you talk about how you think about risk?
I’ve never thought of myself as a risk-taker, but throughout this entrepreneurial journey, there are a few quotes that continue to stand out for me, and those are… “No risk, no reward.” “You have to spend money to make money.” “Never let your fear decide your future.” I constantly revisit these quotes to continue to push me forward! When I make a big purchase on products or when I get a huge shipment of products, filling up the living room of my house, I have a momentary feeling of panic, and then I get back to the hustle.

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