They say necessity is the mother of invention. Two friends Rabi and Melissa adhered to that phrase and came up with a brainwave to solve the lack of quality baby products modern parents desired. Seeing a gap with what was on offer, they developed their own brand of environmentally friendly products under the catchy name ‘Baby Boo Boo’ launching only a small range to test the market initially. Rabi and Melissa are on their way to achieving online retail success as well as their mission to create a global community for parents.
What a wonderful concept you have created with the Baby Boo Boo Brand. Please explain the idea and what you mean by saying that your business goes beyond baby retailing?
The concept for Baby Boo Boo started on the premise of wanting to consider the customer experience and to be considerate of the journey of parents, in particular, first time parents. Many baby clothing brands focus on the products whereas we take more of a person-centred approach. We are not only providing our customers with products but targeted messaging through our Conscious Parenting Blog.
Eventually we would like to put on small events around London that focus on topics geared towards modern parenting and child rearing. When we say that our business goes beyond baby retailing it is because we are adding to and considering our customers’ journeys. What we envision for Baby Boo Boo is a lifestyle brand and a community where parents can engage, share advice with others and learn new things.
How long have you been in business and how did you come up with such an apt name?
We had first registered our company in July 2015 but it took us three years to plan and muster up the courage to take a leap of faith with our business. We spent a lot of time discussing ideas and defining our vision but we also wanted to be sound in our understanding of the processes and rules behind developing baby clothes. We wanted to have enough time for trial and error.
We officially launched our business on August, 5th 2019. The name Baby Boo Boo came from ‘Boo Boo’, a term of endearment we used for one another and close friends. On brainstorming names we realised that Boo Boo was a playful term for babies and we wanted our business name to be jovial. We also loved the fact that that our company name had alliteration which we could play with through branding.
You give high importance to providing top quality products and using ethically sourced materials. How and where do you source the products? Do you also design and manufacture your own products?
We have a mixture of sourced products from across Europe, Asia as well as home (UK) designed products such as our BB Classic, one of our first conceptualised baby grows. The BB Classic was the first product to allow us to understand the manufacturing process from start to finish. It also allowed us to get to grips with establishing our designs and developing an acute eye for detail. We custom design our Gender Reveal Cannons which was another exciting project to work on.
Currently we are designing and creating tech packs for our first full range and choosing a sole manufacturer for our designs. Our goal is to have most of our manufacturing processes led by one provider so that we can keep the high quality of our products. We do a lot of research when it comes to the materials of our products and enjoy the opportunity to incorporate organic cotton products into our brand.
Tell us more about the Conscious Parenting Network. Did you both come up with the idea? What’s the aim?
(Rabi). We always knew we wanted to have a blog incorporated into our website but a brainwave gave me the idea of The Conscious Parenting Network. As a young millennial, I was constantly aware and reminded by friends and family that the time would come when I would have children. Also, with the passing of my Mother I was very conscious that when I have children I won’t have that source of advice and the CP Network was a great opportunity to create that for those in similar positions.
The times we currently live in are very different from the times that we grew up in. We are living in a new era of parenting where there are now initiatives such as shared parental leave; more women are working in senior positions and/or running businesses as well as starting families. More men are allies creating a society where Gender Equality is a priority and an understanding of harmful gender stereotypes. With all of this, it made me think of not only creating a blog but a network of progressive millennial parents where pertinent discussions can take place on a globalised platform.
With the idea that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, we would love the CP Network to branch off into small events taking place across London with parents and expert/speaker engaging on broad issues such as, how to make the most of maternity and paternity leave; returning to work and mental health and parenthood to name a few. We would love the CP Network to be a space that men can engage and share their stories of fatherhood.
You are both busy, young professionals. What is the story behind your partnership? How do you juggle all your commitments and run an online retailing business?
(Melissa). We’re both pretty much on the ball at all times. It can be hard working full-time and running an online business but we just make it work. It’s a lot of late nights and responding to emails during our commutes to and from work, or working on things during lunch breaks but we always make sure everything that needs to get done gets done!
(Rabi). We have been friends since the age of 11. We are now both 27 so we know each other and how we work best together including where our strengths and weaknesses lie. This is an important aspect of our partnership as it means we have a clear idea of who should do what and with our varying career backgrounds, we both bring something different to the table. When one of us might have too much going on, the other is always there to support and pick up extra responsibilities. We have both, during our business journey, gone through two serious bereavements. Having the other as a support continuing to work on the business has carried us through to our eventual launch.
In the years, you have been trading, what has been the most valuable thing you have learnt?
(Melissa). Don’t panic as everything is a learning process. We’ve have had quite a few tough challenges in the lead up to launching Baby Boo Boo. Every time it has caught us off guard, my initial reaction would always be, ‘why is this happening? My mind automatically running around like a headless chicken. But once the initial panic settled, we handled the crisis. After that happened a few times, I realised there will be plenty more challenges providing opportunities for growth and resilience.
(Rabi). For me, the two most valuable things is that there is nothing to fear from slow growth. Prior to launch we worried about not having a large range like some of the big companies. Essentially we started small. Secondly, I have learnt to overcome the fear of a large vision by breaking down activities and actions into smaller achievable tasks. This time two years ago I was worried about how we would continue to self-fund the development of our business and now we have a brand to be proud of.
Define your image of success for your online business and are you on track to achieving it?
Our image of success for Baby Boo Boo is to become a well-known UK national brand with a strong customer base and wide ranging engagement from parents of all backgrounds and cultures. When we diversify our products and create rolling collections, is when we will have reached our stride and achieved business success. Being a relatively new start-up, we believe we have the right mind-set and processes in place to make this a reality.
For more about Baby Boo Boo visit : www.babybbco.co.uk