BY TRISHA CLARK
It was a rainy day in July when I went on a walk to Beaconsfield Park with my family – our first outing as a family of four. Our new baby was in her baby carrier, snug and dry under one of my company’s products: a Little Goat baby carrier cover. A cover for the baby carrier is one of those baby items that I had no idea I might need – until I needed one!
When my first daughter was born, my husband and I wanted to maintain as much of our pre-baby, active lifestyle as possible. While mountain biking and skiing together were no longer options, hiking and snowshoeing were activities we could still do as a family with the baby happily carried along. On our first snowshoeing trip the baby carrier got all covered in snow and, while the baby stayed warm and dry under many layers of clothing, I wanted a better solution.
I enjoy sewing and so I started sewing myself a baby carrier cover. Progress was slow with a young baby and I feared winter would be over before the cover was done so I looked at the options available online. I wasn’t happy with any of them so I persevered and finished the cover.
When I made that first baby carrier cover I didn’t intend to start a business, I just wanted my baby to be warm and dry in her carrier when we were hiking on the North Shore and walking around the city. But after receiving positive comments about my creation, I decided to start a business so that other parents could enjoy the outdoors too — regardless of the weather – and I now proudly call myself a mompreneur. My company is called Little Goat Carrier Covers because I once milked goats in France for a summer and fell in love with the curious creatures.
I work from home while my daughters are sleeping and now have three products: two baby carrier covers (one for wet and/or cold weather and one for sun protection) and teething pads. I invest in the community by working with local suppliers and service providers as much as possible; all of the products are made here in East Vancouver.
Keeping the manufacturing local increases my costs but it’s important for me to have peace of mind and confidence in my product. During production, I am able to visit the small factory often and will never forget my big smile when I saw my design being sewn into a finished product for the first time.
Starting a business has not been an easy path and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I’ve received really nice reviews and it makes me so happy every time I hear from a customer that another parent has recommended one of my covers. It feels good to help new parents by providing them with a useful product and it’s fun to ship them off as far afield as Torino, Italy.
The Lower Mainland has many small businesses making high-quality baby products so if someone in your life has a new baby, please consider supporting a local business.
Trisha Clark is a mother of two girls and a mompreneur. She has also been a high school science teacher, technical writer, lab technician and goat milker. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and squeezes in some windsurfing and skiing while her husband is parenting. http://www.littlegoatcarriercovers.com
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