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:
There are bibs for messy babies, but what about drippy bottles? Previously, the solution might have been to toss the bottle and buy something different, but not anymore.
Michelle Cloney was getting tired of the bottles dripping onto her daughter while she ate. Those little drips would made her daughter wet and sticky. Besides this little issue, though, Michelle liked the bottles she was using. Instead of running out and buying something different, she created her own alternative. It is called Le bibble. Don’t let the scrunchie-style appearance fool you. This handy creation has nothing to do with your hair. Le bibble is a baby bottle bib. It helps soak up small drips, offers baby something soft to hold while feeding, and can even be used to catch little drips as they fall from the babies mouth.
I recently had the opportunity to catch up witch Michelle and learn a little more about this unique product.
Tell us a little about Le bibble®.
Le bibble® is a patent-pending baby bottle bib which enhances the baby bottle feeding experience for moms and babies – in eco-style. Le bibble® is 100% cotton (50% organic), reversible, machine washable, and fits all bottles.
Le bibble® solves the functional problem that messy feedings present to the mother and uses unique construction of designer fabric with a soft, organic underside amuse, engage calm, and relax the baby – taking bottle feeding to a new level.
What inspired it?
Very messy bottle feedings combined with my love of fashion and desire to simplify tasks!
My daughter’s baby bottles repeatedly leaked from under the cap onto her neck and chest leaving Lucie wet and sticky. In every other way, the bottles worked well, so rather than spend time and money finding a different bottle, I decided to make something myself to absorb the dribbles. I also wanted to make the baby bottle, which is a pretty dull and unexciting device, attractive and just a bit fashionable.
Lucie and I also had a separate feeding issue to solve: post-bottle chin dribbles. There were times I didn’t have a burp cloth handy and anyway I didn’t like to interrupt her feeding. So I designed Le bibble® with an organic underlay – in essence using the bottle bib as a tool to mop up the dribbles – saving me from having to put down the bottle down and find a burp cloth.
How does it work?
For mom – effortlessly. Just slide Le bibble® over the baby bottle so that the elastic collar fits snugly below the cap. The thin elastic grips underneath to prevent leaks and the organic cotton underlay wipes the dribbles with a flick of the wrist. Just turn and wipe. The result: One-handed baby bottle feeding!
As for baby – enjoyably. From the beginning Lucie saw the lively colors and began to play with the edges of the Le bibble. Shortly afterward she twisted and held the label, which I had looped and located conspicuously on the edge of the collar as a kind of handle. Later, when starting to try to feed herself, she grasped Le bibble® to pick up and manipulate the bottle. By design Le Bibble® is much easier for little hands to grasp than a full and, in baby terms, heavy bottle of formula or milk.
How long did it take for you to go from idea to final product? When did your business officially launch?
The idea came to me in February of 2010. By August I had the prototype, fabrics, packaging, labeling and materials to my manufacturer. The website officially launched December 2010.
My first Le bibble Collection includes ten colorful cheery designer print fabrics each with an absorbent organic cotton underlay for wiping dribbles.
Any goals that you hope to accomplish in the new year?
I want Le bibble to be recognized by moms as a must-have accessory for its functional utility, craftsmanship and attractiveness. I want everyone else to see it as a “the” gift for the new mom or mom to be.
Have you always been entrepreneurial?
I’ve always been an ‘idea’ person and creative. I had my professional organizing business prior to Lucie and Le bibble®. I am much more inspired and driven this time around. I believe the difference is that every aspect of Le bibble seems fun and worthwhile to me – from the branding, to the design work, to the networking, to even the most remedial tasks. I get to combine what I’ve learned working for myself and for others to design my very own dream business!
What are some lessons that your business has taught you?
As a single mompreneur, I’ve learned quite a bit. It’s an evolutionary learning process. If I could boil it down to a few points it’d be:
- Things always took longer than expected. So I try to enjoy the process – a good sense of humor helps!
- Focus on areas in which you excel. I knew I wanted a high-quality website – so I invested in a great designer for that, but I designed my logo/packaging/branding because I love graphic design.
- Unforeseen costs always arise. Although Le bibble® is simple to use, to guarantee durability and the right look its construction is time consuming and labor costs ended being higher than I anticipated.
- Be flexible and open-minded at the same time clear about your ‘non-negotiables’. I knew upfront that I wanted Le bibble® made in the USA by people I could work closely with to ensure quality control.
- When you are passionate about what you are doing others will want you to succeed, especially other moms! Enthusiasm is infectious!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
As a single mom, so much of my motivation stems from a desire to give back to the community. I’m also a certified professional home stager and as part of our giving back program, I donate my services to a local nonprofit who provides housing and services to homeless families. My goal is to turn their housing units into places to call ‘home’. It is the best feeling in the world to know they have a nicely decorated home to go to following shelter-living.
Any advice you’d like to offer fellow mompreneurs that are just getting started?
I would say the most important thing when starting out is to find people who believe in you and your business as well as those who you can go to for guidance. Some days are harder than others, so it is important to have supportive people around you to be your cheerleaders! There is a reason you started off on your own, so listen to that voice. And have FUN!