Babies, Business, and Her Biggest Investment

PROVO, Utah – May 13, 2022 – As a mom of two children and a small business owner, Brenda Tidwell uses the entrepreneurship knowledge she learned from the BYU Marriott School of Business in every aspect of her life. In between changing diapers and vacuuming up Goldfish cracker crumbs, Tidwell says she thinks about business constantly. “It's funny how you apply the principles you learn in business school no matter where you end up,” she says.

Tidwell, who graduated in 2016 with a degree in business management with an entrepreneurship emphasis, explains how starting new jobs and parenting two kids have been more manageable because classes at BYU Marriott accustomed her to life outside her comfort zone. As a self-described introvert and a non-native English speaker from Peru, Tidwell viewed applying to BYU Marriott as a personal challenge. “I loved my economics and statistics classes at BYU because the material was based on numbers,” Tidwell explains. “But when I started my entrepreneurship classes, I found collaborating and presenting in front of people challenging.” 

Tidwell shares that her classmates were patient as she learned the ins and outs of business vocabulary in English. Since then, she has come to love once-dreaded group projects and is comfortable speaking to everyone from business owners to pediatricians. “I learned that I could do hard things,” she says, “and as time went on, I developed many skills that have helped me in every facet of my life.” 

After Tidwell graduated from BYU Marriott and had her first child, she applied business principles to her parenting. “Becoming a mother showed me real-life examples of what we in business call pain points,” says Tidwell. Pain points are problems customers face in a specific marketplace, and Tidwell has a list of pain points she has encountered as a parent.  

“For example, I wanted a specific birthday shirt for my little one, and I couldn’t find anything like what I was imagining, so I decided to design the one I wanted,” says Tidwell. “I saw a niche that needed to be filled, and I did something about that.” To solve this problem, Tidwell started her own Etsy shop, called the Tidwell Shop, selling children’s clothing for special occasions. 

“With a few designs and some trial and error, I discovered my audience and product market fit,” explains Tidwell. “My businesses professors were right. When I found my niche, I found my customers.” Even though her shop is a side hobby, Tidwell says her clothes have sold remarkably well, although her favorite customers will always be her children. 

Tidwell is planning on expanding her Etsy shop into a full-blown, baby-focused business within the next few years. She is currently drawing up her business plan to partner with clothing manufacturers in Peru to design and sell baby clothes.  

“When I graduated, I wondered if I made the right choice to focus on studying entrepreneurship,” says Tidwell, sharing some of her concerns about balancing being a parent and being an entrepreneur. “But looking back, I know I made the right choice because I use the skills I developed at BYU Marriott every day as a mother.” 

In the coming years, Tidwell plans to continue working on her business plan as her children grow up. She shares that her two children and her husband are her biggest and best investments. “When I become discouraged about growing my business, I remember that my family is the best business I’ve started,” she says. 

Headshot of Brenda Tidwell, a Peruvian young women in a green shirt.
Brenda Tidwell. Photo courtesy of Brenda Tidwell.
Brenda Tidwell with her husband and two children. She is holding their daughter, he is holding their son.
Brenda Tidwell and her family. Photo courtesy of Brenda Tidwell.
Brenda Tidwell holding her graduation cap up high, dressed in graduation robes in front of the Marriott Center.
Brenda Tidwell in 2016, after graduating from BYU Marriott with a degree in business management and an emphasis in entrepreneurship. Photo courtesy of Brenda Tidwell.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Liesel Allen