Barbara Bigford Speaks of Her Entrepreneurial Journey

101714309The students in the Entrepreneurship Practicum class had the pleasure of hosting Barbara Bigford, founder and CEO of Beach Pockets, the innovative, yet simple technology that keeps your beach umbrella in the ground and not soaring in the wind down the beach. Barbara is an inspiration to all, everyday entrepreneurs. When you come across a problem, an entrepreneur does not ignore it, but they figure out a way to solve it. This is why Barbara stressed her tag line, “Just figure it out!”

Every entrepreneur, past, present, and future, has at some point “figured it out,” he/she solved a problem.  It is when other people are willing to pay for the solution that an entrepreneur has achieved true success. Value is only driven by the perception of the consumer, and as consumers ourselves we can identify opportunities everyday.

Barbara’s problem came to her sitting on the beach, specifically chasing after her umbrella (and each of her children’s umbrellas).  The idea was born of necessity and annoyance, the thought of profit hadn’t even crossed her mind. So this million dollar idea, which has now made appearances on The View and QVC, came about on a beach, chasing after umbrellas.  Barbara’s hectic beach day became the foundation for her success.  No problem is too small, a creative solution can be a valuable idea if it can be developed and marketed.

However, perhaps most importantly, a successful product needs a driven, passionate, lead entrepreneur.  Barbara embodies this.  She traveled for days on end to trade shows, boutiques, and eventually major outlets, selling not only her product, but also herself. This was HER product, HER great idea, if she could not demonstrate the need and want for Beach Pockets, who could?  Although Barbara herself is a very charismatic, extroverted person, she emphasized that is not the secret ingredient to success.  It is the passion you have for your product, and your belief in it’s value.

If you come across a problem, just figure it out! If everyone else is having the same problem, the right opportunity could have just revealed itself to you.