Mary Beth Lugo is an inspiration. she took action on an idea and turned it into a viable business that addresses a real need. Kazam bikes have garnered numerous awards including and has been featured on The Today Show and Parenting magazine.
I first met Mary Beth when I overheard that she is going to be featured on Shark Tank on May 10 — one of our family’s favorite shows. We started talking that many kids and adults have great ideas, but little faith that they can do something about it. This interview is dedicated to taking action, pursuing dreams, and getting results.
- Zmuda: Kazam bikes have received numerous awards and recognition. Fill our audience in — what make the bikes special?
- Lugo: KaZAM has a patented frame design with foot rest, a key feature which sets KaZAM apart from other balance bikes. Without the footrest, children have to keep their legs off to the side while coasting. The footrest area is also where their feet would be on a pedaled bike, it helps maintain their center of gravity and increases the longevity of use. Aside from this key feature, KaZAM is most like a real bike. It is made of high quality bicycle parts-no plastic or foam like some of our competitor’s products. It’s built to last, and can be handed down from child to child.
- Zmuda: What was the reason behind the bike? What made you go on this journey?
- Lugo: The balance bike training method has been around for some time, having originated in Europe. My younger son, at age three, was riding a two wheeled bike without ever having used training wheels because of the balance bike method. That’s when my husband and I knew, there could be a huge market for this type of product in the United States.
- Zmuda: What background did you have (career, education) that you applied to your venture? What skills, capacities did you learn because of this venture?
- Lugo: I have to say, my education (B.A. in Fashion) had little to do with how I was able to adapt in this business. I really had to learn from the ground up everything I know about operating a business. Yes, I had some sales experience, which has helped me when speaking to prospective customers and selling our product at trade shows. But in terms of operating a business, I’ve had to learn everything from the ground up, and still learning.
- Zmuda: What is the one piece of advice you would give to parents and kids who have a great idea but don’t really know where to start?
- Lugo: Use all available resources. Find people you know who have skills or provide services related to your idea and start piecing together a plan of action.
For more information about Kazam bikes, check out the website. And best of luck Mary Beth!