business name...BABYBOX business type...ONLINE RETAILER established...1996
owner...KATHERINE TYPE contact...KTYPE@BABYBOX.COM
Katherine, with her children Amanda & Alexander
WE ARE THRILLED TO SHOWCASE BABYBOX AS OUR FRIEND, NEIGHBOR & CLOSET LOCAL RETAILER! KATHERINE WAS KIND ENOUGH TO GIVE US A LITTLE INSIGHT INTO HER SUCCESS, WHAT INSPIRES HER AND HOW SHE JUGGLES HER UPSCALE ONLINE BOUTIQUE WITH HER BUSY LIFE AS A MOTHER OF TWO...
HOW, WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
KT: BabyBox.com was launched almost 18 years ago, in 1996 when there were very few, if any, luxury baby or children's gifts ecommerce sites and there was a need for easy online access to adorable unique customized clothing, decor and accessories. We were one of the very first baby focused ecommerce sites.
HOW HAS YOUR BUSINESS EVOLVED SINCE YOU STARTED?
KT: We started out primarily as baby gifts for newborn to 12 months, elegant gifts for babies in their first year. As our babies and client families grew, we expanded to selections for older children. We also took our custom nursery design section and added more lines to include big boy and big girl rooms, décor and linens. We have also expanded our "gifts for mom" section with a large range of specialty gifts for mom.
WHAT COMBINATION OF ELEMENTS IS BEHIND YOUR SUCCESS?
KT: Excellent customer service, personalized attention, custom design options to suit every taste and a commitment to quality.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN, EITHER PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL?
KT: Have a positive attitude, be patient and understanding and listen carefully to your customers. Treat every customer as you would a friend. Get to know them well so you can truly help them design their perfect nursery, find that perfect baby gift or adorable special occasion outfit. Making your customers feel happy will in turn make you happy.
TRENDS AND BRANDS COME AND GO. WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK TO YOUR FAVORITES?
KT: We always like to add new items to our site and make efforts to keep abreast of all the currents trends. However after 17 years, we have learned that what our customers keep coming back for are traditional, great quality classic baby gifts. ie: stationery, blankets, bibs, silver keepsakes and adorable layette.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR TOP-SELLING VENDORS AND WHAT SORT OF CRITERIA DO YOU HAVE IN EVALUATING NEW ONES?
KT: We have over 165 vendors at BabyBox.com and all of them do well for different categories of items. When considering a new vendor to BabyBox.com, we analyze their product line, the quality, the safety and then look at the possible longevity of our business relationship and the growth of the company. We try not to add items that will be a quick fad, as we like to build long term relationships with our vendors and keep building on that.
IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU PLAN TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS AND/OR PRODUCT OFFERINGS?
KT: Continued creative marketing with focus on social media (facebook, pinterest, twitter and our blog). We always search for new items to add to our existing collections at BabyBox.com but at the same time, stay true to our regular classic baby gift selections that our customers come back for year after year as their "go to" baby gift. We love our repeat customers at BabyBox.com and we love when our customers come back again and again. For those new moms who we originally helped design their nursery years ago, they come back to us to design their big kids room and then they continue to stay with us for gifts for friends and themselves. Our Gifts for Mom section has increased tremendously over the past few years and has become a section of our site that we have been paying more attention to. Every mom deserves a little pampering with something for themselves while shopping for their baby or child!
BabyBox's impressive display of Boxwood Paper Co. samples
YOU HAVE A BUSY HOME LIFE INCLUDING TWO KIDS, TWO DOGS AND A HUSBAND WITH HIS OWN BUSINESS AS WELL. HOW DO YOU BALANCE IT ALL?
KT: It certainly take a lot to balance it all. It helps to have two children that are proud of their entrepreneurial parents. They watch and learn from us and get a true understanding of how hard it is to own your own business and the enormous commitment that it takes. I think they will learn to have a strong worth ethic and value money. They learn first-hand from us that money does not "grow on trees" and that you have to work at it every day. I am also lucky to have a husband with a culinary background and therefore he is passionate about cooking. Every night, he becomes the Type Family "private chef" making delicious, healthy meals for us - one less thing on my busy plate! Family time is very important to both of us and we make it a priority to have family dinner together every night that we can, and we make sure the time we do have together is quality time.
PLEASE DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY AT WORK.
KT: For those that know me, they learn very quickly that I am a "jack of all trades". A typical day for me includes Accounting, Graphic Design, Sales /Marketing, Digital Image Editing and Photography, Customer Service, Interior Room Design, Display & Styling, Product Buying, Human Resources, Website Editing/Designing, Social Media Manager (Facebook, Blog, Pinterest, Twitter), Public Relations, Distribution/Shipping, Trend Research & Analysis among so many other things. A day in the life of a website owner!
FAVORITE DESIGNER? Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Hermes FAVORITE COLOR COMBO? Navy & Orange or Navy & Camel
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