Again this week pretty nothing much has happened, I’m waiting for my course to start while I continue to source the perfect supplier, preferably someone local. It’s proven difficult but I know I will find the right person soon. So that brings me to week two of Meet The Mumtrepreneur series and I chat with a mum of two and founder of kiki moon, Keelin O’Keeffe and here is how we got on.
Hi Keelin, tell me a little about your business and how you came up with the idea?
kiki moon is a boutique baby label specialising in fresh & innovative design-led baby blankets. Made in Portugal from 100% organic cotton, the blankets are beautifully packaged in our signature kiki moon luxury gift boxes. The collection offers a unique twist on traditional baby colours, with playful colour combinations and designs. I was inspired to establish a new baby textile label after having my first child and struggling to find anything other than pastel pinks & blues. I had such a strong vision of what I wanted; it had to be soft and safe next to baby’s skin, with breath-taking colour combinations. It had to be packaged in something exquisite. I wanted to create something truly magical to celebrate little babies coming into the world.
Where did the name kiki moon come from?
Simple really, moon was my son’s first word after mammy and daddy and Kiki is a nickname of mine.
What has been your biggest challenge starting-up kiki moon?
The biggest challenge was having a newborn and a new business. The business launched in 2015 but I had been working on it full time a year before it launched. With a product based business, so much work goes into pre-launch phase. During this crazy time, I found out I was pregnant with my second little baby! I really questioned myself if I could continue with the business and have a newborn, but I had gone so far and brought the product to the market stage, I couldn’t just stop. So I didn’t. I’m sure a lot of people thought I was pretty crazy but that’s just the way it worked for me. I really think there is no perfect time to have a baby or launch a business.
How did you fund your kiki moon?
The business was funded through savings, a bank loan and a grant from my Local Enterprise Office. They also provide many different mentors covering most industries so I highly recommend them when you’re in the early ideas phase.
How did manage juggle childcare?
In the beginning, it was a big struggle. My three-year-old was fine, he was in Montessori but when my little girl came along it really was a balancing act. I didn’t want her to go into formal childcare as a young baby so I relied heavily on family and I had a wonderful lady who came to my house a few days a week to help out. I also brought the baby to meetings with me when she was tiny, she slept through them all! Now, a year on from launch, I have a more structured system in place. I also work a lot when the kids are in bed.
What are you most proud of?
I have business ideas all the time, at every stage of my life I’m always coming up with new products/services that I feel are needed. But I’ve never followed through with any of these, until now. I’m proud that I have brought this beautiful brand to life, from what started out as me sketching a few drawings from my kitchen table to seeing these products come to life through our fabulous manufacturers in Portugal and hearing the feedback from customers. That makes me very proud and excited as to what is next. I’m proud that against the odds, I was able to follow my gut and go for it without sacrificing my children’s needs.
What words of advice would you give to mums currently on maternity leave or mum with young children thinking about setting up their own business?
I would say go for it. New mums and dads are so creative, we’re surrounded by problems that need to be solved all the time and that is the basis for a successful product/service. If you have an idea, research it, talk to friends, hold focus groups, check your costings, research the competition. Talk to the enterprise boards, find a mentor, don’t be put off by anyone. If you have done your research and you know it can work then just go for it. So many hugely successful brands started off from the kitchen table, (Jo Browne, Cath Kidston, kiki moon ☺), who’s to say you can’t be one too. These were all ordinary people with extraordinary vision!
What’s next for you and your business?
kiki moon is one this week! We have big plans for the next year. We have just migrated over to www.lovekikimoon.com and are targeting UK and US markets. We have had some interest from a few US based product reviewers and retailers, so watch this space. Also, keep an eye out for some larger kiki moon textiles. We get requests all the time from people looking for blankets for themselves, (never mind the kids!) so this is something we may introduce down the line.
And finally, where will I find you?
You can kiki moon over on www.lovekikimoon.com, Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re an Irish mammy in the baby business and would like to take part in Meet The Mumtrepreneur pop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.