My name is Alissa Wapinski, and together with my partner Andrea Schneider we founded Baby Noomie. Baby Noomie is a brand that focuses on high quality and modern clothing for children, made of 100% Pima cotton. Our most popular products are our pj’s and footies.
We sell online, and you can also find our products across the United States in more than 200 baby boutiques, as well as department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue. Our brand is also available in countries such as Switzerland, Mexico, Panama, Kuwait, and more.
What’s your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?
Before I was an entrepreneur at Noomie, I was a different kind of entrepreneur. I loved the hospitality industry and was trying to get into the events world. This was because of my previous experience where I handled the events for a foreign government office.
At the time, Andrea had been working on her Associate Degree in Design at the Art Institute in Miami and was then a senior analyst at an IT company. Our paths crossed through our husbands actually, who are childhood friends. Andrea and I became great friends, and we realized that we also had the ability to work together and complement each other to start a business. Then we got pregnant…and that is how Noomie began, as we entered the world of motherhood and we discovered the trends and products that were currently in the market.
Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?
Wow, day one looks very different from where we stand today. As an entrepreneur, you take so many risks, some make sense and some don’t. We took a risk and went into production with a first collection consisting of 4 prints. We had no idea what the market wanted, and only then we started understanding the process. The more we knew, the more effective we became with our products and our sales.
A big step for us was to be able to get into big stores; that was a game-changer for us because more people were exposed to Noomie, we were not only getting recognition but also important feedback, and with that, we developed our next collection. From four prints, we now house more than 100 prints that have been worn by so many babies across the world.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Noomie today is a solid business that serves a community of more than 35 k moms on social media + all moms who support local businesses who we entirely support as well. Their feedback and encouragement inspire us to create more prints and more products.
Every season we try to bring some newness into the equation. We are working on an important new product for 2021 which we will hopefully be able to reveal soon.
One important goal for us in the near future is to expand our online presence and hopefully reach many more moms that are looking for high-quality pieces to dress their babies.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
There is no better school than entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, sometimes you will learn the hard way, but you will certainly learn, and from the lessons, you will grow. One of our biggest challenges was to handle shipping and logistics, as soon as we were able to outsource that portion we were able to focus on growth and sales. It was very time-consuming for us, and we needed logistics experts to help us cope with the growing demand.
We’ve also had good timing with trends; especially rainbows and tie-dye. We are just as obsessed as our customers.
Additionally, one of the most important things to always remember is that good customer service is key. Show your customers that you care and that there is a human being behind their purchase that is always available to help.
Finally, never stop reaching out to influencers, they are your most important brand ambassadors, they are live reviews of your products. Keep reaching out to them, and build relationships with them.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
We use Brandboom for wholesale needs. Our customers are able to place orders through that platform. We use WooCommerce, and without our great partner Simple Solutions, nothing in the IT world would be the same.
They make everything possible. Instagram is an important communication platform for us where we post the majority of our content. We also use Klaviyo for our email marketing purposes.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Both Andrea and I are big on reading everyday articles on trends about social media, online marketing, and sales tools. We try to attend webinars provided by the platforms we use in our business as well as from the universities we both attended.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Work hard to dream big. Don’t run, learn to walk first. Be confident, take risks if and when you can. Believe in your product; sell something that you truly believe in. Be open to learn something new every day and apply it if it serves you.