Birth of the Business: How I Altered the Course of my Career
To say that I throw myself wholeheartedly into my work would be an understatement. From running technology companies to serving as Chief Information Officer at AG Denim / Koos Manufacturing in the fashion vertical, I’ve managed to build businesses while simultaneously building my tribe.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I was managing a technology consulting company. Running a company, managing 50+ employees and traveling couple days a week with my first born at home was not an easy task. I managed to create work/life balance that suited me and our family. While I am on the road, I was constantly researching for the best products for my son, Alan. He developed eczema when he was a baby and developed allergic reaction to milk protein.
As this journey into parenthood unfolded, what inspired me to build SOOJIN is my personal obsession to find the quality products in one place that were reviewed and researched by other moms, and the idea of gift packages that were pre-curated with care.
The process of preparing to welcome your new family member begins early. With each thoughtful product I purchased, I achieved more peace of mind, like each article accumulated was another little twig that was assembling into a nest. But finding functional, high quality, and stylish products was not an easy feat. I came across a seemingly endless assortment of low quality, synthetic, overbearing baby goods that simply would not do the trick. This nest that I was building needed to be a reflection of our taste, our lifestyle, our values - all curated with extreme care.
I didn’t realize at the time, but this quest for preparedness and ongoing support for my baby was really the first phase of research and development for my future venture into e-commerce entrepreneurship. The next phase came as I experienced the vast array of developmental stages and milestones my children would meet, which required an ongoing variation of products to support their growth. I found myself becoming a critic in the face of baby gift boxes. I was baffled by the lack of care and consideration that went into this myriad of manufactures’ samples posing as the latest must-haves, peeved at the oversight of practicality and quality. I envisioned what it might be like to have a gift box catered toward each stage my little ones were experiencing, with goods hand-selected to suit that particular time frame in the baby’s growth.
With those initial seeds planted, I realized that my passion for baby products did not end as my children matured. I was still hooked on researching the latest and greatest, and reveled in sharing that intel with friends and family members who were embarking on their own nesting expedition. The fulfillment I felt in aiding new parents in preparing for parenthood was undeniable. It seemed all too obvious to overlook the potential to marry my business savvy with the baby tastemaker skills I had acquired. In channeling my years of experience as a sourcing and technology executive in various industries into my passion for product, SOOJIN was born!
And trust me, plenty of nesting went into bringing this brand to fruition, with each catalog item thoughtfully selected, tested, and approved. In the ultimate test of my sourcing prowess, I curated not one, but four gift boxes - one for newborns and one for each three-month stage to follow until baby turns 1. The search for the perfect complimentary assortment took me to unexpected places, introduced me to a wealth of designers and talent in the baby vertical, exposed me to the brilliant creative brains behind some of the world’s best-known brands, as well as up-and-coming entrepreneurs releasing the latest strain of modern baby essentials.
The process heightened my senses within the field, enlightening me to the importance of every detail, from timely shipping to package design. And never one to sacrifice on quality, SOOJIN is all about sustainability, organics where selected and possible, growth, function, and never needs to sacrifice on aesthetics - because what’s more beautiful than what’s au naturale?
After sending dozens of boxes to new moms in my social network, I was able to fine-tune every aspect of the choreographed gift box experience. With their feedback and endorsements, I had the proof of concept I was so eager to attain. But beyond the business, I came to realize how gratifying it was to contribute to a family’s journey with their baby, knowing that I was delivering carefully curated products that could remove the stress and guesswork that comes with navigating the baby’s stages of development, making those transitions more fluid, enjoyable, and filled with delightful SOOJIN surprises.
What started as a compulsory process in preparing for my baby's arrival has blossomed into this e-commerce powerhouse that is ever committed to honoring those impassioned roots. I’m captivated by the evolving insights into how parents and babies interact with products, and I’m continuously on the lookout for fellow moms to research, test, and approve products. At SOOJIN, we are constantly looking to add the best, most sought-after products to our line.
From my parenthood to yours,
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