Before Kathy R. started her own vending company, Mountain States
Enterprises, she had done a little bit of everything.
Kathy remembers her first attempt to conquer
the business world was as a high school sophomore, when she marketed
a calculator stand her father was manufacturing.
In college, she helped support her
small family by making "final exam survival kits" designed to
help students make it through the last grueling days of
each semester. Each kit was filled with snacks and study
tips, an inspirational note from home and toothpicks as late-night
Kathy recalls that at one point, she worked
at home, typing real estate appraisals after her children went
to sleep, often working into the wee hours of the morning hoping
to finish her work before the children woke up.
Kathy graduated from Brigham Young University
with a B.A. in Interior Design, but found job prospects in her
field were slim. She had used her secretarial skills in
the past, and, quickly discovered she could make more money as
a secretary than as a budding interior designer. Ruggiero
was faced with choosing between making a good living, or being
able to be home with her three children. It was clear that
working full-time away from home was not the answer yet, realistically,
she knew she needed to have an income.
Kathy began looking for ways to work out
of her home and still make money. After months of research,
she found the perfect answer in bulk vending machines. This
was a business she could operate out of her home. The machines
were light enough for one person to move easily and she was able
to arrange her working hours around the needs of her family.
Kathy found a style of candy machine she liked and, using her
savings, she bought 16 machines.
Three years later, Ruggiero has 50 machines
and hopes to have 150 before her company stops growing.
In fact, her vending business has become so successful, the company
that manufactures the machines she uses on her vending route hired
her to be one of their Utah distributors. Kathy believes
the vending business offers the best of both worlds by allowing
her to have an income and no compromise her family life.
She is even able to take her older children with her while she
services her route-noting that the children love to help mom count
all those quarters.
"I think having your own business is the
only way to go. You have the control and, if you are a success,
you can thank yourself and, if you fail, you can blame yourself."
Kathy noted that she is keeping the entrepreneurial
spirit alive in the family-her oldest daughter recently purchased
her first vending machine.
Lake Tribune- Article written by Marilyn G. Sanders