When Sharon Vinderine tried to launch a new baby product, she found that there’s nothing stronger than word of mouth when it comes to marketing to parents. Now, as the founder and CEO of Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) — an online resource parents consult for the best products for their families —she’s banking her career on it. Since founding the Toronto-based company over a decade ago, Sharon has become an in-demand guest on some of the most top-rated programs in North America, and the PTPA Seal of Approval is one of the top three most recognized awards in the U.S.
My first job ever was… Delivering the newspaper daily at 5:30am!
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I was inspired by my two successful entrepreneurial parents.
My proudest accomplishment is… Building a program that has changed the way consumers shop for their products while ensuring that a portion of our business is always giving back to the community through free products.
My boldest move to date was… Launching this awards program even though Disney was the leader in the awards space at the time I was launching. Who goes up against Mickey and his peeps?!
I surprise people when I tell them… I’m only 4”10!
My best advice to people starting out in business is… Only go into a business that you are passionate about. Otherwise you will not be strong enough emotionally to deal with the highs and lows that come as a result of being on the entrepreneur rollercoaster. If you are only in it to make a quick dollar, don’t bother. The toll it will take on your mental health will not be worth it.
“I invented a seal of approval that is literally on thousands of products. How amazing is that?! It still excites me to no end!”
My best advice from a mentor was… Whatever business you choose to go into, make sure you are disruptive. Make sure you change the way people are used to doing something and most importantly, make sure to leave people better off than they were before they knew about you and your business. My dad was my mentor.
I would tell my 20-year old self… The next 25 years are going to be exhausting and emotionally draining but more rewarding than anything you could possibly imagine.
My biggest setback was… Losing valued employees.
I overcame it by… Holding out and hiring only people who I felt had a vested interest in the success of PTPA Media. Even if it meant I had to take the brunt of the work for an extended period of time.
Work/life balance is… A myth.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… That I live to read. I’m literally obsessed. We just built a new home and the “piece de resistance “ for my new home is my uber cozy reading nook!
I stay inspired by… Reading books by successful entrepreneurs who didn’t get lucky but persevered in spite of failure. Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity is one of my favorites as well as anything about Elon Musk, who is my idol.
The future excites me because… We have been growing tremendously over the last few years and we are becoming a household name which was always the dream behind Parent Tested Parent Approved. I invented a seal of approval that is literally on thousands of products. How amazing is that?! It still excites me to no end!
My next step is… Creating a not for profit focused on mental health of our youth and how it’s being impacted by technology and what we can do to help our youth “disconnect.”