What It's About
Strap in for this one—baby coats lead to plush profits for a fed-up mother.
Words of Wisdom
There are two things every side hustler must know: your risk boundaries and your target audience. Think about how far you can go without losing control over your finances and your own mind. Once that’s done, jump right in and consider the needs of your target audience!
Buckle Me Baby Coats was chosen out of 7,880 companies as a FedEx Small Business Grant Winner in its first year.
Notes from Chris
As a working mother of three, Dahlia Rizk is no stranger to frenzied and chaotic family life. It was against this backdrop that Dahlia stumbled upon the inspiration for her side hustle. Like many parents, when Dahlia had her first child, she found it extremely tiresome to have to remove her daughter’s winter coat each time they got into the car only to struggle to put it back on the fidgety toddler when they arrived at their destination. This annoyance only amplified exponentially when her two other children came along. Dahlia’s strict enforcement of the no-winter-coats-in-car rule was not unwarranted. She knew too well of the risks she would otherwise be exposing her children to. The average puffy coat adds up to 4 inches of extra bulk to the car seat harness. In the unfortunate event of a car crash, air gets pushed out of the puffy coat, and the child would instantly be too loosely strapped into their car seat. This means that they could easily be propelled out of their seat in the event of a crash, which would result in injury or even death. This occurs more common than one might think. In fact, car crashes are the leading cause of death among children. And yet, every mother doesn’t want to expose their child to the cold. Toddlers are finicky enough—nobody wants to compound that by allowing them to get a cold because they're improperly dressed! Her eureka moment came one day when she was, as usual, struggling to get her toddler’s coat off and thought, “why does the zipper have to be in the middle anyway?”. This prompted Dahlia to experiment with various designs to see if she could find a solution. It worked like this: the coat buckles up on the side, and you can dress your child in the coat when you put them in the car. Then, when you put them in their seat, you open the coat, move the fabric aside and just strap them into their harness without the coat underneath. She created a video with her nephew using one of her prototypes, and that video went viral, garnering more than five hundred thousand views on Facebook with thousands of likes and comments in no time at all. But Dahlia had nothing concrete to offer—there was no money and no manufacturer. Having decided to ride on the momentum and determined to make the most of this second opportunity, she jumped into Kickstarter to raise funds and receive orders while she searched for a manufacturer. This was the birth of Buckle Me Baby Coats and the rest, they say, is history. Today, Buckle Me Baby Coats pulls in up to $12,000 in sales during winter months, mainly from parents and grandparents alike. This all sounds well and good, but that is not to say that running a business has not been challenging. Last year, Dahlia made the coats in the USA which was incredibly expensive and she only barely managed to break even. She has since moved production overseas and is even looking forward to expanding sales beyond Facebook, onto Amazon. But the future is only getting more exciting, and Dahlia’s going to buckle in and enjoy the ride.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Buckle Me Baby Coats: Keep your kids safe and warm—head on over to Dahlia's website to learn more about her coats and get some for your little ones!
- Clothing Store Salesman Invents Baby Harness, Earns $100k Per Year: An innovative salesman creates a baby harness that benefits both parent and child, all the while creating a six-figure side income for himself
- Dutch Personal Shopping Service for Kids Measures Up: This clothing subscription service delivers a box of children’s clothes to parents in The Netherlands each month. It’s a close-knit competition, but you’re tailored to win!
- Yoga Enthusiast Stretches B-School Education Into Fair-Trade Kids Clothes: A New York-based yoga enthusiast starts a socially-conscious clothing line for kids under six
Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work! Yours in the revolution,
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To infinity and beyond,