We had the opportunity to catch up to Katie Kruithof of Yeah Baby Goods as we kickoff our fun new #MOMBOSS blog series!
Tell us how you first got the idea to launch Yeah Baby Goods?
My firstborn hated every high chair he ever met, until the day he sat in the IKEA Antilop. We were eating in the IKEA cafeteria and couldn’t believe he didn’t scream bloody murder when we put him in. We bought both the highchair and support cushion that day. The pattern on the cushion was not at all my style, so for years I told my sewing friends they should start a business making home décor-friendly covers. I couldn’t get anyone else excited about the idea, so I started my own Etsy shop selling cushion covers and coordinating silicone tray placemats in April 2016.
Share with us the three main things you’ve learned about yourself since you first started as an entrepreneur.
1 - I'm a hard worker when I feel passionate about the work. I was a project director at a marketing research company before starting YBGs, and I absolutely dreaded returning to the cubicle every Monday. I felt no inspiration to go above and beyond, and started believing the lie, "maybe I'm just lazy." With Yeah Baby Goods, it's hard for me to stop! I have so much fun connecting with our customers and creating new designs/products! I never mind working late into the evenings or jumping into a new work week.
2 - I'm a terrible decision-maker! That's why we do a ton of polls to see which patterns and colors our followers want!
3 - I would much rather focus on relationships than numbers. Building a community of followers who support our family and each other brings me so much more joy than dollars or stats!
What’s your biggest accomplishment with Yeah Baby Goods?
I feel really good about the amazing, supportive community we've grown on instagram. Our followers feel more like friends. They care about our family and are extremely loyal. I really love connecting with them and getting to know them not just as consumers but fellow mamas.
Share one piece of advice you would offer to a fellow mom aspiring to launch her own business.
Learn to roll with the ups and downs. Expect challenges and build those problem solving muscles. When problems arise, do your best to not let them negatively affect your home life. Instead, let them be teaching moments for your family team. I think there's a lot of value in sharing business-related obstacles with your kids and modeling how to stay positive, have perspective and work through hard things.
You hit a home run with every product you come out with, and I love how you include your followers in on your product releases. How did this come about?
Haha, I don't know if that's exactly true. We tried a few things before and in the early YBGs years that definitely were not home runs! It really helped to find our niche (highchair/eating accessories) and learn how to make products around that. Even when we stay in our lane, some things are bigger hits than others. I like experimenting with new products and seeing what is received well. New product releases are always a lot of fun because our followers are so sweet and excited to try new things!
You’re expecting a new baby girl very soon that you’re adopting, would you mind sharing a little about your journey to get to this point?
When our third child was born, I experienced a fall that would make another pregnancy and birth very difficult. My husband and I have always had soft hearts towards adoption, so saw the fall as a gentle push towards that path. We used a local adoption agency who connects adoptive families with expectant moms. We were thrilled when we were chosen by an amazing woman early this year. We've built such a sweet relationship with her, and we are very much looking forward to having her as a forever part of our lives. We are so excited to welcome baby girl to the world later this week!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We feel so blessed to be running Yeah Baby Goods. Our definition of success has changed a lot over the years. To be honest, the numbers and revenue don’t mean a whole lot to us. They aren’t changing the way we live on a day-to-day basis. Most of the money goes right back into the business - buying higher quantities, making prototypes, paying employees, etc. What DOES matter a lot to us is giving God the glory through our business. Brent and I ask ourselves, why is God choosing to bless YBGs in this way?? We just keep coming back to the answer that maybe He’s growing our reach so we have a bigger platform to point back to Him. Our goal is to use this business to shine a light on the Heavenly Father who has so generously blessed us!