A tall and slim redhead dressed in black and grey rushes through the door of an Oak Lawn coffee shop. She apologizes for being late, conceding that she can’t get anywhere on time.
Who could blame her? Jennifer Higgins, entrepreneur and mom to two boys (enough said), is always on the go; and on this morning, she’s squeezing in a quick breakfast before heading to the office after a late-night flight from LA.
WHO SHE IS
Starting out her career as a TV journalist, Higgins made a name for herself by reporting the news in places like New York and Louisiana (where she met husband Brendan Higgins, now a morning anchor on NBC 5). Later she became a pharmaceutical sales rep — until kids entered the picture.
Her two boys, Jack, 8, and Sam, 6, are the light of her life. So when the family learned that Jack had a form of Asperger’s, they were “terrified about his future, and, quite honestly, we were sad for ourselves, our family.” In an effort to get the best help and education possible, the family moved to the Park Cities. Now Jack is high-functioning and the only tell-tale sign of Asperger’s is a difficulty with eye contact and a “cute, formal way of speaking,” according to Higgins.
The adoring mom gushes, “I can’t tell you how cool it is to have this little man tell you how he sees the world.” Now, the sadness of Jack’s diagnosis is replaced with feelings of being blessed. “It turned out so much better,” she notes.
WHAT SHE DOES
Shortly after learning of her eldest son’s condition, Higgins was diagnosed with MS. “It’s no big deal, I’m fine,” says the fast-talking mom. Motherhood, on the other hand, left her feeling “lost.” She admits to succumbing to “guilt for not taking it in, appreciating the blessings surrounding me.” So she came up with the solution to her desperation — and other people’s problems. With the help of her mother, Terry Goodwin, Miss Oops was born.
Her childhood nickname, Miss Oops produces solution-oriented products. Her first invention, Dry Sponge, sprung out of necessity when Higgins found a deodorant stain on a dress – the last one in her size. A saleswoman suggested rubbing the foam cover of a hanger across the stain to remove it. It worked and Higgins found a way (using her pharmaceutical contacts) to replicate the concept in a sponge. Now, four years after its conception, Miss Oops offers 12 products.
HOW SHE DOES IT
For Higgins, travel comes with the job of running her company. Fortunately, her mom helps out when she’s on the road. And, Jennifer calls her husband’s TV schedule “a blessing.” He may have to be in bed by 7pm to make it to the set pre-dawn, but he’s home for school pick up and family dinners.
Life may have not taken the road that Higgins had planned, but seeing her today as a successful businesswoman and mother, you would have thought that she had it planned this way the whole time.