It’s putting one in front of the other when you are building a business, big or small. And I’m especially partial to hearing about how fellow moms find their way to launching a biz or product. Bree at the studio had a chance to ask Carla of Cheekie Charlie about the very steps and inspiration in the creation of her adorable and inventive “bibsies”….
I see that you were a designer turned stay-at-home mom. How did your previous experience in design help you in getting a business off of the ground?
I moved to NYC from Dallas to pursue design. I graduated from FIT and started working in branding as soon as I graduated. I met my husband at work actually, we both share the same passion for design. As a designer turned stay at home mom, I wanted to combine my two loves: my daughter Charlie & design. Having a background in branding and a supportive and creative husband helped me have the confidence and motivation to start Cheekie Charlie.
You spoke a bit about wanting to create a product that makes mom’s lives a little less hectic. Was there a specific ‘aha’ lightning bulb moment when you realized that this was it?
Once we had Charlie, I knew I wanted to stay at home and raise her. She was always drooling/teething and I hated those big ugly bibs. She actually hated them more, she would tug, yank and pull them off. I was tired of changing her outfits from excessive drooling and I was over the regular bibs. I just wanted simple, functional and modern. Charlie & her personality was the biggest inspiration for the brand. She definitely has her cheeky moments and the brand is all about creating an unexpected spin on everyday basics.
In what ways did being a mom to a newborn help to you understand what qualities a customer might be looking for?
I quickly learned that time moved incredibly fast, and trying to find ways to make everyday tasks easy/faster was a constant struggle.
So I wanted to create something to make life with a baby a little less hectic, less wardrobe changes, less laundry but still be affordable.
What tools did you use in order to launch your own business?
Having a design background helped tremendously. I was able to manage the entire designs process:
From sketching out the bib & onesie set, sourcing patterns, creating a logo and all the graphics for the website and packaging, to directing the photo shoot.
How do you balance a new baby and a new business?
This could not have been possible without my husband. He has been the ultimate support. Whether it’s a second opinion on design or watching Charlie while I screen print tote bags, he has been there for me and Cheekie Charlie. There have been many late nights & for once- it wasn’t actually Charlie keeping me up! Doing something I am passionate about helps me focus and get through it.
Any advice for moms who might be toying with launching their own businesses?
Do your research, keep focused & make sure you are having fun! At the end of the day, spending time with Charlie is my number one priority, so anything that takes my time away from her has to be worth it.