Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Molly Fienning, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Babiators, a business founded in 2010 that sells aviator style sunglasses for babies, kids and tweens, explains how this image represents her business.
For us, childhood means getting outside and having awesome adventures with family and friends, so we craft products designed to get kids outdoors, while ensuring every adventure is safe and awesome. This group photo of adorable kiddos is actually taken in Queenstown, New Zealand — one of the most outdoorsy, adventurous places in the world. We love seeing kids outdoors, having a safe and genuinely fun time while looking stylish in our sunglasses.
The "aha!" moment for Babiators happened on a sunny military base in Beaufort, South Carolina, when I saw my fellow military wives' kids squinting in the sun while their pilot moms and dads stood protected in their aviator sunglasses. I told my husband, Ted, my idea for creating durable, safe sunglasses for kids, and he said, "Let's make them, and call them Babiators!" Our college friends, Carolyn and Matthew Guard, were also looking for a great business to fly with at the time, and they loved the idea of creating safe and stylish products that let kids be kids and be protected at the same time. From there,the business took off quickly. Now, Babiators currently retail in more than 3,000 stores throughout more than 45 countries, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Diapers.com, Bed Bath & Beyond and more. Our shades have also been spotted on famous kids like the children of Kourtney Kardashian and Sara Jessica Parker, among others. There is great momentum and so much exciting work to be done.
To thrive as a small business, happy customers are key. So we make sure to always listen to customer feedback. After launching, we heard a complaint among parents that they lose their kids' sunglasses too quickly. To fix this challenge, we went out on a limb and replaced all these lost pairs for free, and our customers loved it. The experience inspired one of our company's core values — Babiators' Lost & Found Guarantee, where our customers can register for a free replacement pair of Babiators if their pair is lost or broken.
Another challenge we're facing is the need for a larger Babiators crew. We're currently bringing on new key hires — expanding our current 15 person team — to make sure each employee is both empowered and thriving in his or her role in the company.