Since starting my own company in 2012 I have become fascinated to learn more about some of my own favorite companies, for example, how they started, how they grew, and even some glitches they may have had along the way that make them who they are. We often get caught up in the images we see on a daily basis and form our own opinions about products and companies, but there is always so much more! In this post I want to share 5 things you don’t know about Kozybaby. I hope you enjoy our story as much as our product.
- Kozybaby all started at my kitchen table and with only $10,000. Sounds simple enough, right? That’s what I thought initially, but it’s turned out to be so much more involved than I ever dreamed. I have no design background and no business degree but I am a woman who knows what she wants. I had a vision in my head, a small cushion in a savings account and the most supportive husband a girl could ask for. I spent a lot of time at that kitchen table during our first year – scribbling down drawings, sifting through fabric swatches and googling, well, everything. Learning as you go is not something I recommend, but it has all worked out and I could not be more proud of where we are today!
- The Kozybaby Family is just that, family. When I started Kozybaby I will admit I did not think too far ahead. I was an exhausted stay-at-home mom that did the best I could to get through each day – there was no time to think about Kozybaby 5 years from now… The thought alone intimidated me. Luckily I am surrounded with the most amazing friends and family who are always so willing to help. It all began with my best friend, Michelle. She offered her assistance with our graphics and later volunteered her husband for sales J. We have since recruited my mother and even my husband for various positions we need filled. I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason and I could not imagine Kozybaby without any one of these individuals.
- The Kozybaby we all know and love today is not the original design. There are some things in life I can be a true perfectionist about. Sure, I’ve taken my daughter to the grocery in her pj’s to avoid a tantrum and there are days when I question how long it’s been since I’ve washed my hair (TMI?)… But when it came time to put my drawings into action I panicked. About everything. I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking, “it’s too small, it has to be redone”, or, “the hood needs to be changed. I don’t like it. I don’t know why but I don’t like it”. I still have the original prototype in the closet of my office and looking at it now has become a trip down memory lane. From the size, to the material and even the snaps – it’s all so different, and so wonderful.
- Our most frequently asked question is, “do you offer embroidery?” My answer is always, “not at the moment but it is something we are working on”, and I’m being 100% honest. There has been a lot of talk around the office about adding embroidery and we are currently sorting out all the details in order to add this option in the most efficient way. Our hope is to have this available this coming fall. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@thekozybaby) for the announcement – and much, much more!
- In 2014 we began wholesaling and can now be found in boutiques around the US! When our first wholesale order was placed it was like a dream come true! We caught the attention of a boutique owner who actually liked us enough to carry the Kozybaby in a REAL STORE! It was a feeling I will never forget: pure validation that the Kozybaby really is as awesome as I think it is. Since attending the ABC Kids show in October of 2013 we have been selling to a handful of boutiques around the country and are growing by the day. Do you have a favorite boutique in your area that you would like to see us in? Let us know!
Along with being a mother, being a business owner has taught me a lot of valuable life lessons. We’ve made mistakes and had a few minor hiccups along the way but each one has made us better – and for that I am grateful.
Amanda M. West
Founder/CEO Kozybaby LL