Mary Farrell Presents during Entrepreneurship Lecture Series
February 06, 2017
ALLIANCE, Ohio – University of Mount Union students had an exceptional experience when Mary Farrell from Cherub’s Blanket, LLC spoke on campus on January 31.
Farrell was one of a series of entrepreneurs speaking to the entrepreneurship students at the University of Mount Union, sponsored by the Burton Morgan Foundation.
Farrell intended to be a doctor, but life intervened and she found her calling in baby blankets. Along the way, she started many and varied businesses. In high school, she shoveled neighborhood sidewalks and earned enough money to pay for a trip to Ireland. During her time at Kenyon College, while pursuing a degree in French and Spanish, she had a very profitable enterprise selling balloon and cookie gift baskets. At the University of Pittsburgh while studying for a Masters in International Affairs, she sold lavender sachets and tote bags at holiday shows. After graduating, Farrell persuaded her mother, who had a private dermatological practice, to open a side office offering skin care products.
Three years later, Farrell began designing a line of women’s clothing made of organic and natural fabrics. The concept was 20 years ahead of its time. Bootstrapping the venture herself, the company survived four years before closing operations.
However, Farrell took the lessons learned and started Cherub’s Blanket, a company offering organic cotton baby blankets. It was this idea that has captured the market’s attention for over 20 years and, Mary predicts, will eventually be her million-dollar business. Cherub’s Blanket is currently available through her website www.cherubsblanket.com, Amazon, select stores around the country and her storefront in downtown Cleveland.
Mike Kachilla, associate professor, management and internship coordinator, professional in residence and director, entrepreneur studies said, “Another highpoint was her focus on her vision of being an online company. She tried a retail location and was successful but the hours of a retail business were not where she saw herself.”
Students of the ENT 350 class led by Professor Daniel Hampu were taught valuable lessons from Farrell. She gave students insight as summed up by Mount Union junior Michael Sovak, who said, “She [Farrell] explained how she was always looking for ways to move her business and to reach her vision. She had a lot of determination, which helped me think of ideas for a possible business proposition.”
Farrell was the first speaker of the series, which will continue monthly through April, providing students with the opportunity to hear advice and experiences from a variety of successful entrepreneurs.