This week on my other blog, Momtrends, I talked about vactioning without the kids. One of the first things you'll need to do is secure childcare and take care of a medical authorization form at Forms4Travel.com or Forms4Parents.com. The company founder is NYC mom, Linda Kagan. For this week's close-up, we are highlighting her business. Since many locals run fromt eh ehat in Augsut, this profile couldn't be more timely.
Why did you launch this business?
Launching the business was really an after-thought, since my first goal was fairly limited to wanting to create a few resources for parents who, like I, travel quite a bit on business. Then the inner entrepreneur took over and I started expanding the original premise to helping parents protect their children when children travel alone or with a relative or family friend. Also, several of my friends live abroad and are part of an extensive expat population. They need forms (in English) that allow their kids to travel back to the U.S. without them in tow. As a business lawyer, it's been an education to be the one getting a business off the ground, negotiating with web developers and others while juggling a budget versus advising someone to do so.
What was the first form you developed?
The first form I developed provides a sitter or relative with the ability to have temporary custodial care, medical authority and school decisions. This way even if a parent is simply at the office or on an extensive business trip, the person with their child has the authority and, as important, the practical medical and contact information necessary to use these authorities.
What is your best selling form?
Children Traveling Internationally with a Relative or Family Friend. Across the board this is the best selling form and it addresses a much needed concern, providing those we entrust to travel with our children along with the authorization and basic medical information they may need in an unforeseen emergency. Of course, to give someone medical authority, parents need to purchase the Medical Authorization form as well.
What surprises you about your customers?
How patient and kind they can be. I have heard from parents, grandparents and relatives who plan to travel with grandchildren, nieces and nephews and are relieved to find a resource, as well as someone to walk them through the process. Also, I have received some important concerns parents have and addressed them in updates of certain forms.
Favorite places to travel?
Israel. Easy call, as this land is everything one might imagine and more.
What you love about working from home?
I love the balance in my day. Arguably someone might see my day as organized chaos, as I balance practicing law, building the e-commerce business and spending a good part of the afternoon with my kids, Alexander and Sophie. For me, it's less stressful than being a big firm lawyer (days and nights I do not miss) and truly rewarding, if not exhausting.
What do you love about your NYC neighborhood?
The Upper West Side is an amazing place to raise kids. There is true diversity and the ability to open my kids up to multiple experiences is not just a cliche. Also, we live across the street from Central Park, which is an experience to enjoy every day, as well as a memory of a lifetime that I know they will treasure.