'ParentPreneurs': From Messy Minivan to Multimillion Dollar Company

Macaroni KID owners' new book tells how the couple built CertifiKID and survived Shark Tank

By Macaroni KID June 10, 2022

Come along for the ride as Macaroni KID owners Jamie and Brian Ratner show you how to build a successful business with your spouse in their new book ParentPreneurs: A Decade of Deals From a Messy Minivan.

In the book, the couple tells the story of how Jamie Ratner pitched the idea for a family-friendly Groupon to Brian on their drive to Pittsburgh, in their messy minivan, for the Christmas holiday.

Brian’s response shocked her. 

He said, “That’s a great idea.” 

For the rest of their holiday, while his parents watched their two young kids, they worked late into the night on a business plan and timeline to launch what soon would become CertifiKID

Jamie and Brian Ratner and their kids.

Jamie was an entrepreneur at heart, but had no business background. Brian was a partner at a Washington, DC, law firm, whose practice was litigation, not corporate law. 

Plus, they had no free time and the timing to start a business was far from ideal. 

But they did it anyway. 

More than a decade later, in ParentPreneurs, Jamie and Brian tell their rollercoaster story of how they built a multi-million dollar company through thousands of deals with businesses; cut a deal with Kevin O’Leary (aka “Mr. Wonderful”) on the ABC television show Shark Tank; and navigated the COVID pandemic where they made a pivot acquisition of Macaroni KID. 

Combining Macaroni KID and CertifiKID created one of the largest parent-focused digital media and advertising companies in the country, reaching millions of families nationwide.

The Ratners give an honest account from each of their unique perspectives on the toll and rewards of mixing marriage and business at every stage. They provide tips and lessons on how to manage both, maintain work/life balance, especially in this age of remote and flexible work, and accomplish your personal and professional goals.

"This is a book for every entrepreneurial parent, whether you’re in the game or just thinking about it. We hope you find it real and uplifting, and that it inspires you to rethink how you view your work because, just maybe, you can start or build something new that will bring you greater joy and fulfillment," Jamie says. "If we can do it, so can you."

As Kevin O’Leary says in his foreword, “every parent should read ParentPreneurs."

ParentPreneurs, published by Rowman & Littlefield, will be released on Aug. 21.

Pre-order your copy of ParentPreneurs now!