How Fridababy CEO started her baby biz targeting millennial parents
Parenting isn’t always pretty, no matter how flawless Beyonce or Kim K make it look on Instagram.
There’s postpartum pain, snot, gas and well, a whole lot of crap moms and dads deal with, so Fridababy CEO Chelsea Hirschhorn came up with a profitable line of products to help get the ugly stuff done.
“We make innovative, baby basics. It’s really the unsexy, less than glamorous totally unfiltered sides of parenting that no one shares on social media,” Hirschhorn tells Moneyish of her baby biz.
Her products, all under $20, put a unique spin on boring stuff you wouldn’t think you need to buy until you become a mom or dad – like The Windi ($14.99), a pliable hollow tube with a stopper at the bottom you gently stick up your baby’s bum to help pass gas (told you this wasn’t pretty).
Hirschhorn, a former New York-based lawyer and millennial mom of two boys, stumbled on an opportunity to expand upon the booger and burping-filled biz in 2014 when she bought the company FridaBaby from her neighbor in Miami. At the time, the only product they had was the Sweedish snot sucking nasal aspirator called NoseFrida ($12.79), an alternative to the bulb syringe where parents literally suck the snot out of their kid’s nose (relax, there’s a filter).
Hirschhorn set out to rebrand the business with catchy, relatable slogans that would attract new parents sluggishly strolling down the baby aisle.
“It’s an overwhelming experience when you’re trying to tackle gas or colic at 3 a.m. We add that one layer of clarity and efficiency,” says Hirschhorn.
She expanded the brand with a line of useful parenting items. There’s the MomWasher ($15.99), to help with the messy postpartum healing process that can sometimes cause bleeding for days. It’s a redesigned peri bottle made to get the water exactly where you need it since new moms won’t be able to wipe or sit comfortably for a few days or even weeks. Then there’s NailFrida ($12.99), a nail clipper with a spy hole at the top so you can see where you’re cutting to prevent pinching your baby’s sensitive skin.
And while some of these things may sound gross, unexciting and maybe even a no brainer, what really makes them stand out is the blunt marketing that speaks to millennials who just want to get the job done. One slogan on their latest ad campaign, “When s—t gets real,” seems to sum it up. And to help sell the MomWasher, there’s the reassuring, “Trust us, your vagina will thank you,” message.
“We’re cognizant of our packaging not feeling like a baby product. It’s relatable it translates to communicate to their role beyond their parents,” says Hirschhorn.
Hirschhorn went from having just three employees when she first started out, to her current team of 20.The baby products are available at 30,000 retailers like Target, Whole Foods, CVS, Walgreens and on Amazon. The majority of her revenue comes from wholesale distribution, and direct to consumer channels.
“I knew that in order to catapult us to the next level, we’d need to invest meaningfully more than we had to date. I knew I wanted to partner with people who appreciated my vision for the brand and the business, but also who understood intimately the stage we were in and how to ‘think scrappy’ but invest big,” she says.
To raise money, Hirschhorn partnered with friends who started their own investment firm, Garnett Station Partners.
“These people get pitched all the time, so it was important for me to make a very crucial distinction that I think occasionally gets overlooked – sometimes a great idea isn’t necessarily always a great business – and it was important for us to connect the dots in our pitch. The trailing performance made the process pretty seamless,” she admits.
While Hirschhorn would not disclose how much revenue Fridababy rakes in, she says she’s seen triple digit growth.
“People always say dream big. There’s value in setting the bar high and setting your target really far. It takes a lot of energy and momentum,” she assures.
“There’s nothing wrong with letting demand build up a little.”
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