Monday, May 13, 2013

Spotlight on Mom: Colleen Mook of Baby Be Hip

I am excited to share this week's Spotlight Mom, Colleen Mook, of Baby Be Hip with you, as I know you will probably need to buy a baby gift for a baby shower in the future, or may be looking for items to add to your own baby registry, and Colleen has just the gift for you.

"We love to hear our own name because it reminds us of how loved we are! At Baby Be Hip, we know the importance of a name, and feel that giving personalized baby gifts is a very special way to commemorate the arrival of a newborn child. All of the items found on can be adorned with a child’s name as well as with other colorful and happy designs. We have an amazing variety to choose from, all of which can be personalized for each little one. Baby Be Hip offers bibs, buckets, burp cloths, blankets, ceramics, clothes, pillows, totes, and variety of other special-occasion gifts.

Whether it’s a sweet and colorful ceramic plate commemorating a child’s first birthday, a personalized picture frame for that oh-so-cute baby picture or a blanket that gets used everyday with the baby’s name on it, Baby Be Hip has a festive and fun way to remember all of life’s special occasions. Of course, you might not be able to settle on just one or two items -- that is why they offer wonderfully thoughtful gift sets of personalized baby gifts that cover any taste or budget. While a lot of the items at Baby Be Hip are geared toward newborns and toddlers, there are plenty of gift ideas for the older kids -- and adults too!

Now that you have learned a little bit about Baby Be Hip, I would like to share more about the owner, Colleen Mook, and her mom entrepreneur story with you.  When you are done learning how Colleen juggles work and family, I hope you will take time to view her site, Baby Be Hip, as I know you will fall in love with her fun gift ideas, including her popular personalized bibs, buckets, and gift sets.

Name: Colleen Mook 
Company Name/Product/Service: Baby Be Hip - Parents think long and hard about the perfect name for their new baby and we showcase their baby's name on items that the new parents will love and use.  Our items include: personalized burp cloths, bibs, hooded towels, buckets and gift sets. But really--we sell smiles!!
Company Location: Horsham, PA
Company Website:
Twitter Handle: @babybehip & @colleenmook
Age of Company: 10 years old
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: Be yourself but be your best self (unknown) & You miss 100% of the shots you don't take-- Wayne Gretzky
Favorite Book: So many but today it is...Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach for my spiritual side, but love so many biz books like Pour Your Heart Into It, E-Myth. The list goes on.... 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.

I have four children (Molly-11, Gavin - 9, Ellie- 7 and Delaney -2) and a wonderful husband, Brad.  Ellie has some pretty major special needs so we had to wait a few years to have #4 but our family is now complete.  I have been really enjoying exercising and meditating but I really love all things family/friends, sitting on the beach, and talking business. I have been doing some speaking as of late and find I really enjoy that as well.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?

I started Baby Be Hip in 2002 when my oldest was not quite one. She was a baby that spit up a lot so I always needed burp cloths and I was so proud of her and the name we had chosen that I thought wouldn't it be cool to have plenty of these personalized burp cloths for all new moms. At the time, they were a relatively unknown product but now they are a must have for all new parents. So it started with that one product and has since expanded to include other items. We try to keep our products functional and most still showcase the child's name. As a now mother of four, I know how many gifts one receives and how limited space can be so I try to keep that functionality piece of it at our core.

What is a typical work day like? 

The normal craziness of getting the older three out the door to school and then Delaney will either go with me or to babysitter depending on the day. Once I am without children I really need to focus on tasks at hand: checking in with staff at Baby Be Hip to ensure day to day operations are going smoothly, networking, social media,working on executing the big vision, etc. I usually make it home in time for the bus. With the advent of technology, it is really easy for me to operate my business remotely knowing I have a great staff who understands my business and my values and operate as though I am there even when I am not.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

Definitely raising children while raising a business. I never had childcare for my children until a year ago so I was managing to do both but it was hard. Now having some dedicated childcare for Delaney has made all the difference to me and my business. Also, about seven years ago, my 3rd child, Ellie, was born with severe special needs just as we were in a growth push so that was challenging. The key to the business sustaining itself when I was not around much at Baby Be Hip for many years was having an amazing staff and doing what I could from home or the hospital--have laptop--will travel.

What did you do in your past work life? 

I was an underwriter for a large reinsurance firm in both Manhattan and Philadelphia. I loved that job!

What have been some of your major successes? 

Sustaining a business for ten years through all the personal challenges that have occurred, received some national press (I have been on The Today Show with my mentor, Nell Merlino and my daughter, Molly, and our Baby Be Hip products have been on Good Morning America as well as some features in American Baby and Baby Talk Magazine,etc. Also, I am proud that I have been able to employ many folks over the years and my goal is to be a "Best Place to Work" someday.

What have been some of your major challenges? 

Juggling motherhood with business, cash flow is always an issue, sourcing some products but I take it all in stride and look at the lessons for growth and learning when I have a major challenge.

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going? 

Coffee, looking at my vision board to remind me of why I do what I do, meditate. And then there are days that you just have to surrender and let go and pick up when you can.

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family? 

I think integrating my children with the business as much as possible. I communicate why I need to do some of the things I do and they usually understand. My husband is very involved so talking business around our house is the norm. We also try to schedule fun family activities so we know we do things. It has worked out great!!

What is next for your business? 

So excited for our future. We are working on a unique line for Baby Be Hip as well as expanding our Corporate Gift Program where companies are using Baby Be Hip to recognize the huge milestone in their employees and clients lives of a new baby with a baby gift that they will use and remember the gift giver fondly. Terrific ROI.

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business? 

Yes, my motto is to Just Do It. Start the process and things will begin to flow. Ask for help. Join a community of other like minded individuals out there (my favorites are-- Nell Merlino's Count Me In and Tory Johnson's Spark and Hustle), find a mentor, help others, have fun!! 

1 comment :

  1. This sounds like an amazing business and I am so inspired that she started this business while raising four children.