Dahlia Rizk – Entrepreneurship is about helping others

February 16, 2021

Buckle Me Baby Logo on a interview for Enterprise League

Meet Dahlia Rizk, the brain behind Buckle Me Baby Coats, Child Passenger Safety Tech approved coats for children. 

She was tired of wrestling with her kids’ coats in the car, but also wanted to keep them safe, so she had this amazing idea of creating winter coats for children that can be worn while buckled in the car seat. Fast forward, she filed for a patent, opened the business, eent to Shark Tank and got the money she asked for.

Parents around the US love her coats, and children are safer, warmer and more fashionable than ever.

Feeling under-appreciated as an employee, a nonexistent work-life balance, financial struggles, getting out of bad relationships – these are the most common triggers that push women to become entrepreneurs. Tell us about your trigger?

Wow – that really is so spot on! When my marriage ended I had a lot of free time to explore who I am and what I love more and I’ve always been so passionate about car seat safety in general and winter car seat safety in particular that I decided to go for it!

How did you come up with your business idea?

As a busy working mom with young children, I wanted to do everything right for my children but I needed certain things to be easier too! I always prioritized my children’s safety over all other things and when winter rolled around I found myself really struggling to keep up with the NHTSA and American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to take puffy coats off in the car seat. 

Have you had support from someone, even if just encouragement? Who was that and how did it help you?

I have always been very uncomfortable with public speaking and as my company has grown I find myself in the spotlight or in front of a camera often. Before any event (except Shark Tank – because the first rule of Shark Tank is you can’t talk about Shark Tank) I would reach out to strangers in my state through Facebook to practice live. 

The generosity of time and outpouring of support in people’s willingness to take time out of their busy days to listen to my antics and help me overcome my hurdles has always been so touching!

Female entrepreneurs are often underestimated and overlooked. Have you ever felt at a disadvantage?

There are many times, especially early on when I was starting out and seeking services that I felt my ideas or goals were easily dismissed. My favorite has always been when someone who doesn’t understand my business explains how it can’t be done and I would think “Well I am already doing it”. 

It’s easy to feel like these things are disadvantages but I think its a huge advantage because its a great screening tool for who you don’t want to work with.

Some say it’s hard work, others say it’s talent and resourcefulness that play a crucial role for success in entrepreneurship? Which traits have been detrimental for your success so far? And why?

I think resourcefulness is the most important trait in entrepreneurship. To be successful you have to be willing to learn and learn again and try and try again when things don’t work out. It’s not a short and easy journey. 

I have done well so far and I don’t think there are many detrimental traits that have slowed my success. I am not entirely comfortable on camera or in front of a large crowd but I have reached out to others to practice and am generally open in my struggles. So many people are so supportive that I don’t think it has harmed my company’s growth in any way.

What excites you the most about being an entrepreneur?

Every day is a new journey and challenge. I like solving problems and learning new things but beyond that, I love helping others. Reading messages from parents telling me how my coats have changed their life and made trips so much easier keeps me going!

Share with us some of the worst business advice you’ve ever received?

You need to hire a [insert overpriced expert here].

You’ve got a high stake investment opportunity. Pitch your business in 150 words.

Buckle Me Baby Coats are car seat friendly coats that go on at home and stay on safely in the car seat. The NHTSA and American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend taking traditional coats off in the car seat due to the dangerous space underneath the harness that is created when the puffiness of the coat compresses in a crash. Parents love how fast and easy Buckle Me Baby Coats are to use in the car seat and kids love how snuggly, warm their coats are in the winter!

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs?

Listen to your gut – you are your best expert. If it feels wrong or your unsure – its probably the wrong decision. If you need five people to tell you to go for it – take a deep breath and just go for it!

What are your goals for the upcoming year?

My goal is to continue to grow and scale so I can reach even more parents with easy winter car seat safety!

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