Pippalily, a Canadian owned and operated company, that creates everything from baby slings to breastfeeding covers is coming up with some great ideas for 2013! Featured from the Slice network to People Magazine, these products are trusted, high quality and the public just cannot get enough! But who is the face behind this strong brand of items? Owner Julie Snyder sat down with thebabyspot.ca to share how she took over Pippalily, what it is like to be a mompreneur and gave us some tips on some new products Pippalily has to offer!
Tell Us How You Originally Found Out About Pippalily… I was part of a moms’ group and they sent weekly emails out with all kinds of updates/information. One week there was information on a mom who wanted to sell her baby accessory business. Several emails and phone calls later, the former owner of Pippalily and I sat down to see if it would be a good fit.
What Drew You To The Products? As a mom of two, I know how important it is to be able to get things done while trying to manage the happiness of two little ones! My second would not sleep during the day unless she was worn. It was then that I realized not only was baby wearing an important part of creating a bond between Mom and baby, but let’s face it, it also gave me my hands free to get things done around the house and to play with my son. My sling got me through the first 6 months of my daughter refusing to sleep in a crib/bassinet, so owning a business that I truly believed it was an easy decision. I also loved the beautiful bold fabrics and that they were hand made in Canada.
What Made You Decide To Become A Mompreneur and Buy This Company? I was 9 months into my maternity leave and had accepted a severance package from a firm I had been with for 10 years. I was in the process of deciding whether or not to go back into the financial industry, which had been my comfort zone for 14 years, or do something different, something I was passionate about, that maybe wasn’t 5 days a week so I could have some flexibility with the kids. I had always wanted to own my own business but either didn’t have the idea or had the idea but not the knowledge of how to start it. When I found out Pippalily was looking for a new owner it was like the stars aligned! Being a baby-wearing mom of two seemed like the perfect qualification to own a business whose foundation was built on slings.
What Was Your First Year Like Running Pippalily? The first year has flown by. I still feel like I’m learning new things every day about running a business. In the first year I re-launched the website, did a few consumer trade shows, chose 5 new fabrics and launched a tote bag. Even though the business had already been built, there is still so much to do on a daily basis and finding the time is always the challenge. Even when it’s a little rocky, I love what I do. It’s very rewarding to be there as a mom and own a business that gives me the flexibility to volunteer in my son’s grade 1 class and going to a retail store to do a product demo all in the same day.
What Would Be Your Advice To A Mom Thinking Of Starting Her Own Business? I definitely think that doing something baby related is a good way to go. Even in down economic years people are still having babies and will spend the money on getting the best for their kids. Do plenty of research on your idea before you sink any money into it, and definitely ask for help. I know my strengths and weaknesses: when I don’t have the answers or don’t think I have the right skill set, then I feel like I’m making a smart choice in hiring an outsider or asking for help from friends and family. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to even start. I think it’s easy for all of us to come up with roadblocks or obstacles for why we can’t do something: surround yourself with supportive people that will help tear down those barriers. My husband has truly been my number 1 fan. He is very supportive and truly wants me and Pippalily to succeed.
What Are Your Plans For The Company In The Next Few Years? I am hoping to expand into the US markets this fall as I have signed up to do a large wholesale show in Las Vegas – I know rough life! It will definitely be a challenge to break into such a large market but I hope the exposure I get at the show plus pounding the pavement afterwards will pay off. I would love to add to the Pippalily line so designing new products will also be on the list of things to do in the next couple of years.
We Love That You Are So Connected With Your Customers Both In Person And In Social Media. How Important Is It For An Owner To Interact With Her Customers On Both A Personal Level And Through Social Media Facets? I love interacting on Facebook and Twitter – although I have to say I find Facebook a lot easier to keep on top of. I love asking other moms/parents/grandparents for their input on things. Recently I asked my followers about whether to give my son an allowance that was tied to chores or not. It really helped me get some good ideas to see what others are doing and I hope if another parent was going through the same dilemma than I helped them to! I have to say that when I see my followers drop in numbers it’s hard not to take it personally though.
We Love That Pippalily Slings Nurture The Baby While Allowing You To Still Interact With Other Children. What Are Your Age/Weight Limits For The Baby Slings? The slings are great because you can carry from newborn to 30 lbs in different positions. As well, you can also nurse in the sling so you definitely get the skin-to-skin contact and lots of bonding.
Pippalily Has Chic, Trendy Designs For Their Breastfeeding Covers And Baby Slings. What Are Some Of Your Designs For 2013? Picking fabrics is the fun part of the job, although its nerve racking to see if moms out there will like the ones I choose! I usually send out my new fabric ideas to friends and family to test the waters. This year I plan to pare down the options because my customers are telling me they’re overwhelmed by too many choices!
Can You Tell Us About The Brilliant Tote Bags You Have Designed? I love the tote bag. It is lined with canvas so it’s a good weight and helps retain its form. I use mine for the gym, shopping and taking my 2 yr old to the park. As your kids get older you don’t need all of the gear that goes along with a newborn so the tote is your transition bag. My friends who don’t have kids use theirs just as much as I use mine.
Are Their Any Other Products That You Are Designing That You Can Tell Us About? I am currently looking at a couple ideas such as a baby to toddler bath towel and a play mat.
Julie Synder not only became a mompreneur to Pippalily, but has the passion and drive to expand it to something greater. Visit Pippalily at www.pippalily.com to order any of their fabulous products!