I Invested in This Clothing Company, Here's Why! - Jenna Kutcher

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GOAL DIGGER

I Invested in This Clothing Company, Here’s Why!

Jenna Kutcher 

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What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you remember being asked that question? It seems to be a favorite question to ask kids — the responses are usually filled with the biggest, most magical dreams of the youngest minds. But what if your interests and dreams as a kid could tell you more about your true passions to pursue as an adult?

Jennifer Hochstadt is a former television producer turned family lifestyle photographer and now business owner and co-founder of a brand I absolutely love, a brand I’ve personally invested in — Baby Barn. Each pivot, each ‘yes’ to a new opportunity and experience brought her closer to what she really wanted to do with her career, and much of the inspiration came from what she was interested in as a kid. 

I’m so excited for Jennifer to share her story, and to dig into the pivots and decisions that led her to launch her brand and business.

Where Baby Barn Began

Jennifer’s career actually began in the entertainment industry, first working as an executive assistant for producers of a syndicated TV show that then evolved into her own producer role down the road. When she got married and had a baby, she realized that although the life of a producer was one she always dreamed of, the reality was that the culture of the job was not exactly conducive to being a present mother. 

She always had an entrepreneurial bug — her father was an entrepreneur and she started countless businesses as a child with her friends — but was starting a business with a newborn really the right time? Not having control over her schedule and long commutes to work were ultimately the catalyst for Jennifer going all-in on her business at the time, which was photography. 

Still, though, that didn’t feel like the end destination of her career. When Jennifer started businesses as a kid, they were always product-based. She knew that starting a product-based business was her ultimate goal, and it turned out that dressing her 9-month old son was the inspiration for what her business would become — Baby Barn.

The Vision

Jennifer first took her idea for a baby clothing line to her husband who has his own clothing line focused on men. He was supportive of the idea, but not for his business. That encouraged Jennifer to pursue the idea on her own, and she ended up launching the business with one of our good friends, Brian Scott (you might know his wife, Katrina Scott, of Tone It Up!)

As a mom, Jennifer felt so overwhelmed by the amount of baby products on the market. Their vision for Baby Barn was a minimalistic approach to kids clothing that included comfy fabrics, muted neutral tones, and mix and match pieces that pull together a cute outfit, no matter who is picking the clothing that day.

Jennifer also wanted to introduce a capsule wardrobe collection for babies, because parents know one thing for sure — kids don’t stay the same size for very long! Their clothing is designed with kid-proof fabrics that stand up over time and that mix and match with every other item in the capsule. 

Jennifer said, “With these wardrobes, we want you to be able to either save them for a baby number 2, 3, 4, or pass them off to a loved one. We didn’t want to create disposable clothing.”

Lessons Learned in Product Based Business

Jennifer is learning a lot as Baby Barn grows, from keeping inventory on the virtual shelves, how to source quality materials and produce products on the necessary timelines, down to what tasks she can hand off to someone else (did you know she still answers the customer service emails herself?) 

One thing they’re working on is ordering enough inventory when new products launch. There’s a sense of urgency from customers because when new items launch they sell out fast, but that’s not by design. Jennifer says they want to better anticipate inventory needs because disappointing the customer whose cart sells out before they can finish shopping is not something they want to be known for. It’s all part of the learning and growing process. 

More from this Episode

Jennifer and I talk about her ideas for Baby Barn’s expansion and growth, and I share why I took the leap from customer to investor. Press play for the full conversation and be sure to check out Baby Barn on Instagram @shopbabybarn and online, Shop Baby Barn with the code: GOALDIGGER for 15% off.


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