Monday, March 31, 2008

bellingham baby co. opens in washington!

we would like to officially congratulate shelly allen, owner of the newly opened brick and mortar baby boutique in bellingham, washington: bellingham baby co. bellingham moms are in for a treat...the store looks fantastic! we had to post a photo of the bright and sunny interior for all to see. shelly is also owner of the online retail site and and needless-to-say, a multi-tasking mom making the rest of us look like slackers. : )

shelly, we thank you for the continued support. your hard work and dedication is inspiring. we are fortunate to be a part of your mom-enterprises!

(note the babysparewear fashion fix kits in the foreground.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

babysparewear at the dallas market

If you happen to be a retailer in Texas (or visiting from anywhere in the Southwest region), you can now view the complete line of babysparewear spare outfit kits in showroom #8850 at the Dallas World Trade Center. Thanks to the fabulous JulieAnne Glidewell of the JAG Apparel Group for her brilliant representation, encouragement, and general sunny disposition. Contact JulieAnne with any wholesale questions or to set an appointment at The Dallas Apparel Market is going on now! (If you are fortunate enough, Julie's parents will be in from out of town and you can visit for a spell and hear Dad's story about the baby skunks... I assure you, it's no stinker.)

Dallas Apparel Market: March 27- March 30

World Trade Center
2050 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, TX 7520

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

a good partnership is the key to any success

tatiana and i have been good friends for over 20 years now. we are alike in many ways: professional latinas with similar values & beliefs, political views, aesthetics and style (sometimes we meet for dinner wearing the exact same shoes purchased independently without each other's prior knowledge.) other times, we call each other having had the same thought moments before. and our husbands share an uncanny sharp wit which makes for a good night out. a business partnership's strength, like in any marriage, is measured not only by the ability to see eye to eye, but also the ability to rely on one's strengths to make up for the other's weaknesses. tatiana's strength is in her legal training, business savvy and ability to make the right-brain decisions. if it wasn't for her, i would give babysparewear away for free to every baby i know and have no set business goals... needless-to-say, tatiana controls the bank accounts, invoicing, and legal stuff. i have tremendous respect for her and faith in her abilities. as she does in my creative abilities. otherwise, this blog would include many more words like: pursuant, aforementioned...and herewith.

(tati & david, take note of the headline in the photo on the wall to the right.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

babysparewear makes for happy babies

the results are in. logan gives babysparewear two thumbs up...wait make that two thumbs, ten toes and a tongue, too. that is one resounding "ah-goo" which we have interpreted to mean that logan can hardly contain his excitement over the coziness of his pistachio green spare outfit. wendy and brett, thanks for the great photo...and for making such a perfect baby!
(babysparewear fashion fix: hummingbird kit)

all work and no play makes entrepreneur

while it can be argued whether or not this is my "best" side, my children (and husband) can tell you with most certainty that on many days...this is mom's only side. orders to ship, production to manage, e-mails to answer, a web site to maintain, sales and marketing materials to develop...not easy things to accomplish within a 6-hour day. yes, the goal is to work while the kids are in school, but i'll be the first to admit that it's not exactly easy balancing a business, a home and the busy lives of three children. on most days my daily deadline is that 2 o'clock pick up time (and the second shift begins after they are in bed). some days, i find it downright defeating. but then i overhear my 8-year old proudly telling a friend, "my mom has her own business. babysparewear is in over 200 stores." to her that sounds like a lot and she is proud of me. how cool is that? this along with the fact that i am teaching my three girls the value of hard work eases the guilt a little. and though i find being an entrepreneur and owning a business immensely rewarding, and I may often become distracted with the daily demands of a growing business, my girls will always know I am first and foremost their mom. a mom always searching for that perfect balance. now c'mon girls, let's go make some pancakes!

Friday, March 21, 2008

happy spring!

while babysparewear makes no claims of relieving you from sinus pressure this season, perhaps our hummingbird kits can relieve moms from the pressures of parenting on-the-go... happy spring from babysparewear!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

a tribute to the border grill

no tale of babysparewear could ever be complete without details of...the incident. my first child was about eight months old at the time and i was already feeling like a veteran parent. zianna was an easy-going baby. i felt like i knew this tiny human inside and out. i understood what she needed before she needed it and could anticipate her moods. i had the whole mom thing wired...or so i thought. one fated weekend, grandma and grandpa asked if we wanted to have dinner with them at the border grill in santa monica. outings were no longer a big deal for me and my husband, so we accepted confidently. zianna had napped sufficiently that day. she was happy, healthy and cheerful. we timed her solid food feeding so that she would be fine at the restaurant. i grabbed a bottle, a diaper, wipes, and a light sweater (it gets chilly in santa monica) and headed out with the family. we arrived at the restaurant and had to wait a bit for a table. we sat the baby in her stroller and handed her a bottle. we noticed she was drinking it rather quickly, but thought nothing more of it. we were seated at a table and the staff was kind enough to suggest that there would be plenty of room in the restaurant for her to remain in her stroller while we dined. we sat and chatted in the busy restaurant for a few moments, glancing down occasionally at our perfect first child sitting quietly in her peg perego...and that is when it happened. i was startled by the sight of my sweet little baby's mouth projecting a stream of liquid better suited for a firetruck hose. my disbelief could form only one thought: could this torrential, white downpour be the result of a mere eight ounces? my husband quickly mopped up the baby, stroller and restaurant surroundings with all dinner napkins in close proximity and i rushed to the bathroom with my sopping wet baby. i was mortified..not only at the thought of having imposed my daughter's bodily functions upon a room full of diners, but at my failure as a mother for not anticipating such an event. i had not packed a spare outfit. i wiped my daughter clean, dressed her in her cardigan (i was prepared for a chilly evening...), wrapped my sweater around her bare legs and swore i would never again leave the house unprepared. little did we know that the mother of all messes would one day be credited as the mother of invention. (thanks so much to the border grill staff and their speedy recovery of the situation. and thank you, zianna. to this day, you always give it your all...)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the learning curve

to say that we have learned a lot is an incredible understatement. it took us about a year before we had a product line to sell. sourcing in small volume was the biggest challenge. we wanted to make the product high quality yet affordable. not easy to do when you are bundling three made-in-usa baby garments in a non-china travel case. thanks to the internet and some helpful people along the way, we managed to source what we needed. our initial production run was for 500 kits in three sizes and a choice of pink, blue or white logos. where there is a will, there's a way. even if it takes way long...

Monday, March 17, 2008

it builds character

i have to say that owning your own business brings you many experiences, both wanted and unwanted. we started out small with a minimal investment each. great for risk factors but what this also meant is that we had to pinch wherever we could. we had to barter (thanks jim, david, and sacha), schlepp our own roles of fabric to the cutter, and stay up many long hours emailing potential stores and press leads (we were it as far as a sales team and p.r. department went). frankly, tatiana and i are both over-qualified for many of the jobs we do in the name of babysparewear. but we do them anyway, like a sacrifice made for our growing child... there was the time we received a less than stellar production run (before we switched sewing houses) and we sat for hours checking garments and trimming threads until we could not see straight. and then there was that first trade show tatiana had to man for a few days by herself due to schedule conflicts with the girls' school... but it's hard work like this that makes us strive harder and really feel those tiny pings of accomplishment when they do come. here we are back in 2004 at our first product photo shoot in my father-in-law's sunroom (thanks, dad.).

birth of a business...

it was back in 2003. i was fortunate enough to be home with my three girls under 7, enjoying motherhood immensely...yet subconsciously missing that creative collaboration from a former life as a copywriter/creative director. one day i received a frustrated phone call from babysparewear, inc. co-owner and long-time friend Tatiana. she was a recent partner at a law firm, and we were both a long way from our care-free days in the late eighties as fellow vertigo club-goers. the call went a little like this "aaaaghh, i don't only want to be an attorney for the rest of my life. i want to be an entrepreneur. let's start a business." (those of you who know tatiana, not only know the stress-induced "faux yell" quite well, but also how convincing she can be...) i immediately blurted out, "sure, come over. i have some ideas." being a mother with a creative side and a desire for simplicity and smart design, i went on about all of my aggravations du jour with potential to become our next business venture. one such relevant frustration was the inability to keep a diaper bag stocked with the appropriate spare outfit in a neat and simple way. a versatile yet stylish designated spare outfit: two shirts and a pair of pants pre-packed in a compact travel case for those little emergencies on the go. "and we can call it something like, babysparewear," i went on. tatiana loved the concept (and the name), but being familiar with proper branding protocol, I insisted on giving her a list of about 100 other names before deciding on the first, simple and self-explanatory brand name: babysparewear. we quickly moved into the product development and branding phase during which we created the babysparewear "SW baby" logo as our identity with the brilliant collaborating talents of jim bridges design. here is a scan of the original sketch.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

welcome to babysparewear

we have no lofty expectations for this blog other than sharing a bit more about babysparewear, the women behind the business, and our venture into the world of entrepreneurs.