If there's one thing I've learned in the past 6 years it's this: there's an enormous surge of startup businesses and budding brands launched by moms who absolutely needed something that did not yet exist. When we discover our child has a pressing need or is in danger, we will do anything in our power to bring that creation into our lives. Often this means we have to create it ourselves.
Such is the story with Kickety Split. Faced with the report from medical professionals that her child had poor muscle tone, Kickety Split founder Tracey Johnston set about to get her 18-month old daughter moving. When shopping for fitness clothing for her little one she discovered what many of us realize when shopping for something specific: it doesn't really exist in the marketplace.
Thus, a new apparel line was launched that makes athletic clothing available to the younger set. Yoga pants, sweatshirts and coordinating tops set the foundation for wardrobe pieces ready for action. What I really like about Tracey's brand is that she's not solely focused on the problem, she's hoping to be a part of the solution. Childhood obesity is on the rise and much of childhood "play" takes place on mobile devices these days. It is her mission to help you get your little ones MOVING and encourage them to move their growing bodies and enjoy the freedoms and fun of childhood. After all, play is the work of children.
As a business owner and mommy to young girls, I couldn't wait to as Tracey a few questions. read below as she shares some of her journey into product development and business launch with us:
Is Kickety Split your first foray into the entrepreneurial world?
Yes. It's exciting and scary because prior to this I always worked for big firms in the financial industry. I have no experience in fashion or running my own business but I feel so strongly about the importance of an active lifestyle for kids that I jumped in with both feet.
How has your journey been as you've launched the brand?
It has been equal parts terrifying and exciting and by far my biggest learning experience since becoming a new mom. I'm loving every minute.
What is the best business advice you've heeded and adopted?
Everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you budget. I'm adding a bit of humor here but it is very true. I've also learned that I have to be flexible in how I run the business because listening to our customers and providing what they are asking for is critical to our long-term success. We are always ready to change and adapt if it is what is best for our community of customers
Any sage wisdom for fellow (or future) product developers?
Bring your passion and your backbone and be ready to adapt and change because nothing goes quite like you envision it at the start.
How has running a business impacted your family? Are your children aware of mommy's rock star status?
It's actually a better quality of life then when I was working a more typical desk job. I have flexibility around when I do my work. I do a lot when my kiddos are at preschool and after the house gets quiet at night.
I wish my kids thought I was a rock star! To them I'm just the lady who does silly dances during our family dance parties, encourages/sometimes bribes them to eat their fruits and vegetables and constantly reminds them to treat each other with respect. I'm not exactly sure what to call my status with them but I love my role in our family more than any other role I play in my life.
How do you see Kickety Split growing in the future?
We definitely want to add a boys line ASAP. We are in the process of creating designs as we speak. (We encourage and welcome any feedback from moms of boys during this process and always.) We also hope to add several more warm weather items and expand our size options for girls.
Lastly, we are continuing to provide healthy activity ideas, healthy cooking recipes and child expert blog content to our website and social media platforms. We want to be more than just a clothing brand. We want to be a place where families can find information, ideas and products that support and encourage healthy, active kiddos.