Sisters Linda Carnevale, Laura Halperin, Gabriella Galante, and Dana Goetz, created TestTUBES, a test-taking survival kit for students. We sat down with the four mompreneurs to find out where their inspiration came from, what it's like working together, and what the future holds for their business.
|Quick Stats: Linda Carnevale, Laura Halperin and Gabriella Galante each live with their respective families on Long Island. Dana Goetz lives with her family in Weston, CT.
Linda Carnevale and her business team know a thing or two about taking tests. Between the four of them, they have two MAs, one JD and an MBA. They also have seven children among them ranging in age from preschool to college. The team is comprised of Linda, her two sisters, Dana and Laura, and their sister-in-law Gabriella. In 2009, they developed TestTUBESTM, a survival kit for high school students taking college entrance exams. It has been well-received by both gift shops and bookstores. The kit provides test takers with everything they need to get through test day...except, of course, the answers! We spoke with Linda all about the sisters' growing business.
How did you come up with the idea for TestTUBESTM?
I have been an SAT/ACT tutor for over fifteen years. Students have expressed to me that even though they may have attended test prep classes, or maybe worked hard on their own, they were not prepared for a full-blown, five-hour day of test-taking. This product is designed to take the stress out of taking these tests.
Can you describe the product?
We have packed the TestTubesTM with everything a student needs to bring to test day. Supplies, snacks, water, math formulas, test-taking tips and a comprehensive test-day checklist. It's a way for parents to show support for their children-a good luck gift of sorts.
Can you explain what roles each sister plays in the business?
We all share in product development and decision-making. Dana and I share the marketing and publicity roles, Laura handles legal matters and Gabriella develops and designs the website and handles bookkeeping.
Are you able to work well together?
Yes, we work extremely well as a team. We support one another's efforts, we value one another's contributions and we make decisions as a unit. We've been getting along harmoniously and finding it an exciting and creative outlet.
Your business is very new yet you seem to be expanding.
There is a link to our newest venture, College Essay DoctorsTM, on the upper left corner of the website. It will soon have its own website. The service is designed to help students on their admissions essay on the college application. It provides a comprehensive, qualitative review of their personal statement for college admissions. It's convenient and cost-effective because students have a hectic schedule so they don't necessarily have the time to meet with a tutor or a guidance counselor. It's very accessible and all done electronically. This service is designed to help students submit a thoughtful answer to a key question: What have I learned about you now that I have read your personal statement? Also, not only are both products, TestTUBESTM and College Essay DoctorsTM, available to individuals through retail stores and our website, but we have developed both products to be available as high school and college fair fundraisers, gift certificates and gift baskets.
How do you see your business growing?
Down the road we will be offering a college care-package that we call College Survival KitTM as well as other services to help in the admissions process and to support college life.
In what ways has your business had a positive influence on your family?
I would say it's always powerful and positive to demonstrate hard work and effort to one's children. A healthy, happy and organized home is always my top priority; still it's beneficial for my sons to see my entrepreneurial spirit and determination.
What advice do you have for moms juggling family and a business?
Evaluate carefully, and prioritize. Everything else that truly matters will all get done.
For more information on TestTUBESTM and College Essay DoctorTM visit www.mytesttube.com or call 1-888-tst-tube.
Coming soon: www.CollegeEssayDoctors.com