Thursday, September 1, 2011

Spotlight Entrepreneur: Rochelle Drumm, babychix



We’re thrilled to Spotlight Rochelle Drumm as September’s Spotlight Entrepreneur. Rochelle left a successful corporate career in the fashion industry to launch her own business. Inspired by her niece and nephew and determined to make ONE CHANGE AT A TIME in the lives of children, babychix® was hatched. 

If you are a reality-TV junkie like me, you may have already seen one of her products swaddled around baby Bryn in an episode of Bethenny Getting Married?.

Rochelle's challenges are familiar to other woman-owned small businesses. Its how Rochelle chooses to harness her fear and persevere that makes her and her business unique.

Tell us about the babychix brand and how you were inspired to start your company.
I always wanted five children but I struggled with infertility. I began forming babychix after spending time at my mom’s house. For as long as I can remember, she would always make these flannel and paraffin wax diapers for baby showers. I took one home with me and began researching if there was anything like it on the market. I came to realize that there was not a ceramic diaper. I found booties, strollers, blocks, etc., but not a diaper shape. After years of working with a variety of prototypes, different materials and manufacturers, I finalized the samples and went into production.

Not only do we offer the signature ceramic diapers, but we now are able to personalize them with the babys’ names, initials, phrase and even the company logo. As we have expanded our product categories, we remain true to creating unique products such as our babyopoly blanket and humorous onesies
. My goal is to become a multi-product company, brand name, baby shower favorite and make ONE CHANGE AT A TIME in the lives of children.

What was your biggest fear in leaving Corporate America and how did you overcome it? Leaving behind a secure career, steady paycheck and making the decision to take the risk and leap of faith to follow my passions. But once I really started to believe in myself and put everything I had in to babychix, the fear went away and the excitement and energy just kept building. Doors continued to open.

For many entrepreneurs, there aren't enough hours in the day to focus on their business; however BabyChix also spends time on charitable giving. How do you do it all?
For me, this is the most important journey in my and life and if it takes me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to build babychix and continue to give to others, then that is what I will do.

The most important part of starting this company was to stay true to my personal mission to give back and help others. Lending a helping hand, donating to causes and participating in charitable organizations such as Celebrate the Military Child is a gift.

I’ve been very blessed in many ways and to see a child without even the basics for survival is far too hard for me to sit back and do nothing. I have come to realize that it takes very little to make a difference and very little bit adds up.

What is your advice for women who are thinking about starting their own business?
1. Do your homework, understand your market, who is your customer, understand the demographics for your product and research your competition.
2. Put together a timeline so you are aware of how you are progressing and be aware of any setbacks which could cost you more money.
3. Hire an intellectual property attorney. Why?
a. You want to make sure that your company name is available before you begin selling your products.
b. Once you have the green light, file for the trademark so you have
the rights and intent to use so you can proceed with your business.

c. Consider a design patent if you cannot afford a patent. Your attorney will be able to determine which is best or if required, based on the product.
d. If working with outside manufactures, do not discuss any details until they sign a Non-disclosure agreement. If they will not sign you need to find another resource. Protect your business first.
4.When working with any manufacturer, I highly suggest you ask for references. If they can’t produce your product and ship on time, you are already out of business before you’re out of the gate.
5.Have a clear vision as to how you want to get your product out into the market. Whether it be sales reps, e-commerce, showrooms etc., depending on your strategy you will want to make sure you have the tools they need to be successful.

I’ve consulted for other startup businesses and the biggest tip I can share with entrepreneurs is to always stay true to your vision. Not everyone will like your product, get used to the words “it’s not right for our business,” and keep going. It takes one person to change the dynamics of your company.

How do you stay motivated?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there are days where I just want to throw my hands in the air or just cry. This is the hardest thing that I have ever tackled but yet, the most rewarding. So many things keep me motivated but it’s my drive, my family and friends cheering me on and most important, I have met so many wonderful men and women a long the way. As a business owner, it is important to offer outstanding customer service which is why I hard to talk with our customers, retail partners/buyers, write a personal note and if I can help others I do. I get all fired up and charged when I can help a vendor, a client or women who are seeking a business. There is not a better feeling for me than watching other people become successful in their own endeavors. It keeps me balanced, focused and motivated. It’s who you know, not what you know.


The babychix brand is growing, product lines are expanding and distribution is steadily increasing. babychix can be found on Amazon.com and CSN stores.com (which is changing to wayfair.com) and will soon be available on target.com and babiesrus.com.

To contact Rochelle or learn more about babychix, visit them here:

www.babychix.com

facebook.com/babychix

Twitter – @babychix_

www.babychix.com/blog

Email – rochelle@babychix.com or info@babychix.com

877.367.4608 | toll free


www.sleeveshirtconsulting.com

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