Hi! I'm Dane Carlson, and welcome to the Business Opportunities Weblog. I've been publishing this website, by myself, and sometimes with the help of others for over twelve years now. You'll notice two things about this site right away:
To be able to receive the best night’s sleep, we want our children to be comfortable. They sleep well, and we sleep well. That’s why parents want the best, and most affordable, sleepwear possible. Linda Levine has taken a step to make sure people are able to find children’s pajamas with those qualities through her online store; My Baby Pajamas.
Linda is giving one of our readers a chance to win the pajama set of their choice! If you have, or know of, a child that would enjoy a new pair of pajamas visit My Baby Pajamas and take a look at the different varieties of children pajama’s she has to offer. Once you find the one you’d like to win, leave a comment telling us why you’d like to win, a link to the page where the pajama can be found, and your email address. The giveaway starts now and ends on July 20th at 11:59pm. The winner will be contacted by email on the 21st.
Please note that this giveaway is for only children pajama selections. The women’s pajamas offered on her website are not included in this giveaway.
If you like what you see, Linda has also been kind enough to offer a discount to everyone. Until August 9th, 2008 you can use BUS15 at check out to receive 15% off your total order.
What is My Baby Pajamas and what inspired your business?
My Baby Pajamas is a website that moms, grandparents, aunts, sisters etc. can go and buy quality pajamas for kids and babies. And know that all the pajamas have been tested by me, a MOM. Every brand I carry, I first tested on my kids. If it doesn’t with stand the washing, drying, and the simple wearing to bed, I won’t sell it. I want Mom’s to be able to buy pajamas for their kids and pass them down to other siblings or friends. I was inspired to start My Baby Pajamas because there just wasn’t one place that I could buy pajamas and have many options to choose from.
How long has it been since you launched?
I launched LIVE on the web in October 2007.
How many brands and styles do the pajamas you offer come in?
Right now, I carry 10 brands of pajamas. And I am always testing pajamas. Plus, I love feedback from other Mom’s on brands that they like and think I should carry. I carry Skivvydoodles , At Home pajamas, Claesen’s, Knuckleheads Clothing , Baby Steps, Hatley Pajamas, Fruits and Veggies Organic pajamas, Papa Bear Loungeabout Flannel, I have a few closeouts of Cherry Pie Baby, and my newest brand is Monster Proof Pajamas. I have shorts, long pants, tanks, boxers, and nightgowns. My sizes range in Newborn to size 14. Depending on the brand.
What are some of the top sellers?
They all sell well for me. And it also depends on the season. During the winter Papa Bear does real well because it’s flannel. It just depends. But the one brand that sells no matter what season is the Hatley Pajamas.
Do you have any long term goals? Where do you see your business in 5 years?
Yes, I do have long term goals. I would like to eventually hire someone for part time help. Right now, I do everything myself. I update the website, take the pictures of the pajamas, do inventory, do ordering, put the orders out. You name it, I do it. But I love it! Where do I see myself in 5 years? I would like to have a warehouse and office outside my house. Right now, I work out of my home office and have all the inventory in my office. It’s getting kind of crowded.
What important lessons have you learned since you launched your business?
I have learned to take it slow. Don’t rush to get something done, because in the end, if you are not happy, you just have to do it again and lose that time or money. Also, to think everything out beforehand.
If you could go back in time, what would you change and why?
I can honestly say, I wouldn’t change a thing. Yes, I have made mistakes but if I didn’t make mistakes maybe I wouldn’t have learned the lesson. You have to fail before you can succeed. Or at least that’s what I believe.
What kind of investment went into getting My Baby Pajamas up and running?
If I had to add everything up: stock to start, designing a website, marketing, shipping materials etc. I would say it was around $20,000 to start and get live on the web.
How much planning did you need to put in? What are some of the steps you had to go through?
I was planning and doing research for probably about 2 years before I started my company. After I gathered all my research, it took from March 2007 when I applied for my LLC until October 2007, when I went LIVE. I had to research each brand that I was going to carry, I had to find someone to design my website, I had to find a Marketing firm that specialized in the internet, I went to LA to meet all the reps for the brands that I carry(and started to build relationships with them). I had to get special equipment to take the pictures. I am still learning that one. I am getting better though. It was a lot of little things that you just wouldn’t like of to start a business. But I had fun the whole time doing it.
Did you have any previous experience that you were able to bring with you into the process?
I definitely had retail experience. Also, my parents own a retail store “Hometown Party” in O’Fallon, IL. They opened it 20 years ago. So I have been around retail and what goes into a business.
How have you been able to spread time between family and business?
It’s definitely been a challenge. I am lucky that I work out of my home. I have a 8 year old son who is in school and Î have a 2 ½ year old son who is at home with me most of the time. My youngest goes to a little twos program a couple mornings a week, so that helps. But for the most part, my youngest is with me while I work. I get a lot done while he is napping. I also work when both kids go to bed. As I get orders through the day or have to take a phone order, my youngest is with me in the office. But he can entertain himself pretty well. My oldest loves to put the orders out with me. So I guess you can say, it’s a family business. My husband helps if I need him. Or will take the kids for me. Once my oldest comes home from school, we try to make it family time until the kids go to bed. Right now, I have it pretty well balanced, so I think. Thank goodness my kids are good sleepers!
What advice do you have for other mothers interested in starting their own business?
I say “Go for it!” I was amazed at how other moms support other moms. I joined a women’s networking group and it was very empowering. Mom owned companies are on the rise. The nice thing about it, Mom’s love buying from other Mom’s who have put their heart and soul into something. And my other advise would be to do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help.