Cici Bianca for Baby
Tell us about your business.My parent company Cici Bianca manufacturers named and numbered, limited edition ribbon jackets for women www.cicibianca.com A few years ago when my daughter-in law found out she was pregnant with a baby girl she suggested to me that I needed to do a Baby Jacket like my women's line. Initially I pooh-poohed the idea (expensive, labor intensive, no market) you know, all the usual negative thoughts and barriers and let the idea slide by. One night, weeks later, I woke with a start and a vision of the most beautiful little Baby Jacket done in pale pink with a big bow at the neck - perfect. Immediately I set about designing and having the little jacket produced. The first one was made for my soon to be born granddaughter - it was beautiful. I was urged to produce a small line that consisted of a jacket, blanket, bunting, hat and headband. Patterns were written, samples were made, a web site was created but I never marketed it. Now it sits and I need to get it off the ground.
What makes your business stand out?There are very few heirloom quality, baby gifts in the marketplace. Cici Bianca baby items are unique keepsake pieces that Grandmothers, Godmothers, Great-Aunts, Best Friends etc. can purchase for that special baby. Each and every hand made item we produce has its own special ID number. That number is its provenance. From the number we can determine when the item was made, who did the weaving, who did the crocheted trims, what the size and color are, and ultimately to whom it is sold. Growing the company is important. And, getting more workers to manufacture the line is a top priority. This of course will involve searching out, training and hiring more employees. Because Phoenix has a sizable refugee population my intention is to have Cici Bianca for Baby as a separate division of the parent company employing skilled refugees who are versed in the specific areas of handwork - weaving, sewing, knitting and crocheting.
What's the best business advice you've received?Listen to what your advisors, mentors and peers have to say. You don’t need to blindly follow their suggestions but know that information is power and use that. What are my favorite pieces of advice? “You cannot stay where you are so to start positive momentum – reach out, take a step and move forward. If you do one thing differently things will change.” And, “Be clear on your vision, set your goals, make a commitment, and never give up.”
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