June was a special month here at WomensNet.
On Sunday, we unveiled 1 of 2 Qualification Grant winners for June.
Today, we’re proud to share the 2nd winner — Anna Dailey, Founder of Baby Bay Box.
Enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, Anna is 1 of the youngest grant recipients in our history. Continue on to get a taste of why we chose to support her business…
WN: What prompted you to start up Baby Bay Box?
AD: I came up with the idea while I was working as a nanny in my hometown, caring primarily for babies and toddlers. From my close contact with these families, I learned about the exorbitant amount of cash parents spend trying to keep their children stylish and comfortable. I observed as some families formed small hand-me-down circles throughout the neighborhood and that got me thinking. What if I could expand those informal networks and allow them to reach anyone around the world? I saw the potential in these systems and decided to elevate them to an E-commerce platform. I want to save parents money and time that they would have spent shopping and help them keep up with the growth of their rapidly-developing children. In addition, I want to minimize environmental waste by reducing the amount of clothing items that sit around the house once a child grows too big. I am extremely passionate about this project, and I have seen firsthand the stress-relieving effect that Baby Bay Box has on a parent.
WN: Where did the name Baby Bay Box come from?
AD: Well, I’m sure the “Baby” and “Box” parts of the name are rather self-explanatory. As far as “Bay,” that part has a couple meanings. Firstly, I am from the Bay Area in California, so that word has a personal significance to me. All of the families that inspired the idea are Bay Area residents as well.
In addition, I handpick styles that could be “baby-neutral” (not necessarily just for boys/girls). Though I do not limit the styles to shades of grey, I refrain from items that depicts traditionally female or male figures. I stick to colors, prints, and the occasional animal. “Bay” is an up and coming gender-neutral baby name, which I think suits the brand nicely.
With these meaningful words paired with a convenient alliteration, I knew I had to go with Baby Bay Box.
WN: When is the website expected to launch?
AD: If all goes well, we will launch before 2017 is out! Wish us luck!
WN: We know you’ve tested the product with a few families in Philadelphia. What have you learned from that experience?
AD: Yes! We ran a pilot in Philadelphia this past spring. I was primarily concerned with logistics of the supply chain (laundry, shipping, etc). So far, I’ve received valuable feedback from the families and very few complaints. I want to upscale the quality of the packaging as well as work out a more seamless shipping method. The experience was very illuminating and I hope to present an even better product when we launch officially!
WN: Who is manufacturing the clothing? Is there a challenge in building up enough initial inventory?
AD: So far, we’ve purchased most of our inventory from 100% organic wholesalers as well as a few Etsy sellers. For the future, we hope to get more high end brands involved.
There is a challenge in building up inventory because we don’t want to have too much on our hands with no one to buy it. It will be on us to ensure that we have enough customers committed to pre-sale so that we don’t end up in a ditch too deep to climb out of.
WN: What are your long-term goals with Baby Bay Box?
AD: Sometimes when I think about the possibilities of Baby Bay Box’s future my head starts to spin. I have such faith in the project and such confidence in the customers’ need for it that I truly believe we will succeed. Of course, it will take a lot of hard work and a substantial amount of “right place right time” kind of luck, but I think we’ll get there. The biggest goal that I have for Baby Bay Box is to reach the highest number of customers possible. I want it to be a household name- like Rent the Runway or Gymboree. I also would like to manufacture my own baby apparel line some time in the future. I could see my style being minimalistic with lots of greys, creams, and blues.
The more people are using the service, the higher quality we’ll be able to make the clothes. I’m especially motivated to grow the company because, with each new customer, we’re eliminating a heap of fabric that would’ve likely been used very little or not at all. I am driven to make these goals a reality when I think of the millions of parents that we could be helping and all of the fabric we could conserve. When the benefits are so tangible, I feel it is my obligation to make it happen.