Here at Belly Bandit HQ, a women-owned and operated company, we believe in celebrating the success of all women in business! Our “Moms Who Made It” series is our way of honoring Mompreneurs who inspire us every day.
This week we're featuring, Jillian Lakritz, one of the founders of Yoee Baby, a developmental bonding tool that combines the best of a plush toy, a teether, and a rattle into the ultimate baby toy for you and your baby.
Describe your business philosophy in 5 words:
"Tiny movements add up to massive shifts"
What inspired you to start your business?
As a new mom, I didn’t know what kind of developmentally appropriate activities I should be doing with my 3-month-old. I had this basket full of toys that she was too young to play with and I couldn’t seem to find any toys that made it easy and fun to engage a baby who can’t sit up, grasp or move around. One day, I read about an activity that said caressing an infant’s body with a feather was good for body awareness and sensory development. I tried it with my daughter and she loved it! It made her giggle and coo and I loved the playful interaction and bonding. Playing with the feather became one of our favorite actives but once she started putting everything in her mouth, I realized a feather isn’t baby safe. I wondered what it would look like to create a baby safe feather out of irresistibly touchable fabrics and that’s where the idea for Yoee Baby was born.
When did you know you, “made it?”
We’re a young company so we’re still trying to “make it,” but I knew we were onto something when over 40 retailers placed orders with us at our first industry trade show and we had buyers coming to our booth saying “Everyone is talking about Yoee Baby so I had to come check you guys out.”
Who is your mentor?
I seek mentorship from lots of different places. I have an amazing Board of Advisors who I lean on regularly for advice, I’m an active member in Women In Toys and am always learning from people in my local chapter, and I network with a lot of local entrepreneurs in my hometown of Boulder, CO.
What's your #1 tip for moms interested in starting their own business
You can do it. You really can. Your garden will grow where it’s watered. The more attention and focus you place on your idea, the more likely you’ll be to turn it into a reality.
What does “me” time mean to you?
Taking an hour out of every day to exercise, clear my head and reset.
What‘s on your bedside table?
The Keys to Personal Success by Napoleon Hill, Meaningful, The Story of Ideas that Fly by Bernadette Jiwa, and half a dozen other books I’d love to read if I could ever keep my eyes open once I crawl into bed.
Words to live by - Share you favorite quote!
“Think it, Do It, Be It!”
To learn more about Jillian, this amazing Mom Who Made It, head to: shop.yoeebaby.com