We interviewed the founders of US based company The Baby Box Co, Jennifer Clary and Michelle Vick. Both from Dallas, Texas, Michelle has 2 daughters (2-month-old Willa and 3-year-old Sawyer) and 2 mutts, Eli and Victor, some fish and turtles. Jennifer has 3 dogs (Imelda, Eva and Coco), 3 cats (Smeagol, Ranma and Toki), and 2 fish (Pablo and Jacqueline) They both live in Los Angeles, where they run The Baby Box Co, on a mission to give expectant mothers throughout the world the very best start for their babies.
How did the two of you meet and what was the inspiration behind starting the business The Baby Box Co?
We have known each other since we were 11 years old — we attended an all-girls school in Dallas together! We decided that we wanted to start a company that would help new moms after I gave birth to my first daughter, Sawyer, and we were further inspired after we learned about the 75-year-old Finnish baby box tradition that is credited with saving the lives of thousands of babies over the years. We loved the idea so much that we decided to create our own version that would be available for mothers worldwide.
How do you choose the products that you include in your boxes?
We are obsessed with finding the very best baby products on the market. We’ve spent countless hours pouring through all the research and vetting hundreds of products, so we know exactly what babies love and need the most. Every product in our Baby Boxes is one that I used and loved with my own daughters, such as the Aden + Anais swaddles, the Angel Dear loveys, the Philips Avent BPA-free pacifiers, and our new line of organic burp cloths and wash cloths (which I use with my 2-month-old, Willa).
The Baby Box Co donate a portion of the proceeds made to helping new mums who are struggling to make ends meet. Tell us a bit more about this.
We donate Baby Boxes to mothers in need via wonderful charities like Harvest Home, Elizabeth House, Room to Grow, and more. We also provide our boxes to hospitals, non-profits, and government agencies at deeply discounted rates to ensure that our boxes are distributed on as wide of a scale as possible. In addition, we are delighted to be working with Every Mother Counts to launch a specially curated Baby Box this month for their organization, with 15% of the gross proceeds going directly towards their group’s amazing work.
As a parent, what’s the one product for children/babies that you couldn’t live without?
Either the pacifier or Aden + Anais swaddles — I use them for everything! A good nursing tank is also essential, like the ones by Glamourmom or Bravado.
Describe a typical day-in-the-life at The Baby Box Co.
There really isn’t a typical day, but on any given day, we might be brainstorming new product ideas; meeting with charitable organizations to find ways to work together; writing articles for our blog; and of course, shipping out orders and communicating with customers.
What are your favourite new baby products on the market?
We love the new Boppy nursing pillow, which has a firm side that really supports the baby. I hated how my baby would just sink into all the other nursing pillows, since they’re so soft and squishy. It also has a belt that keeps the pillow from sliding away, which is another annoying issue with many nursing pillows.
The Windi is another great new product, if you can get past the “ick” factor! It’s created by the same company that makes the NoseFrida, and it helps babies release painful gas, making it a godsend for many new parents.
In addition, we’re always interested to see what the company 4moms is creating. Their origami stroller and their mamaRoo bouncer are both genius!
What are your top tips on juggling family life with a successful career?
Well, I don’t think it’s truly possible to “do it all,” unless you have a clone, so be kind to yourself. Guilt doesn’t make anything better! My top piece of advice would be to organize your schedule with a family calendar listing school and family events, birthdays, doctor appointments, etc. Even schedule in things like workouts, family dinners, and the like so that nothing gets forgotten or brushed aside. If you can, try to have one meal every day (if dinner doesn’t work, breakfast is good) during which you put aside your phone and really focus on your family.
What’s in the pipeline for The Baby Box Co?
We just launched a new line of organic burp cloths and wash cloths, which we’re jazzed about, and we also recently debuted our new collection “Elephants on Parade”. However, the most exciting news for The Baby Box Co. is the increased level of participation from the communities that we serve worldwide. We have so many NGO’s, tribes, churches, hospitals, government agencies, and non-profits reaching out to us each and every week now to launch Baby Box programs to reduce infant mortality in their areas. At this rate, with the support of communities behind us, our company should be able to provide thousands of mothers in need with life saving baby boxes in 2015””what could be more exciting than that?!