Sleeping Baby Wakes Up Entrepreneurial Passion
Stephanie Parker Shares How Building A Business Has Blessed Her With A Supportive Community
In This Episode
Any parent out there will tell you that when their baby isn’t sleeping, they will pay anything to anyone to make their precious bundle of joy catch a few hours of ZZZs. It’s not about the money, but about the well being of their child and themselves. Enter our guest, Stephanie Parker, the founder of Sleeping Baby, who through her own experiences with a sleepless child, was able to create a product and business that is helping other parents.
Stephanie’s story reminds us once again that entrepreneurship isn’t just about making money. It’s about creating a lifestyle that works for you, has the impact you want to have in life and building communities that you support and who support you.
First 10 Minutes
We meet Stephanie Parker and learn about the life event with her baby, which had her create the “Zipadee-Zip“ product and start her business, Sleeping Baby. We learn about what sets her product apart, how they went through organic growth through word of mouth and working within the means of the business. Stephanie shares how they dealt with that growth and their experience with Shark Tank.
10 Minutes – 20 Minutes
Stephanie takes us through their Shark Tank experience and why they didn’t choose to accept the offer in the end, but how the experience of the show helped them to decide strategic decisions for the growth of the business. Stephanie explains some issues they ran into with growth, like shipping mishaps, but how they overcame those issues. Stephanie shares how they view their customers and how valuable the customer experience is.
20 Minutes – 30 Minutes
Stephanie shares how her personal life events impacted the business and how the business impacted her, both on positive fronts. The group talks about the approach of going slow, doing proof of concept and not rushing to grow too fast.
Owner/Creator, Sleeping Baby
Stephanie Parker is an entrepreneur, inventor and co-founder of the successful baby product brand, Sleeping Baby. With a keen eye for problem solving and a passion for all things parenthood, Parker took a common parenting problem and turned it into a multi-million dollar invention.
Sleeping Baby was founded out of Parker’s desire to ease her baby’s sleep. Once her daughter began to roll, she could no longer be swaddled safely. Without a swaddle, her daughter stopped sleeping altogether. Out of desperation and exhaustion, Parker did some research to solve this sleep dilemma. She discovered that her daughter’s strong Moro or startle reflex was preventing her ability to self-soothe to sleep. She set out to find a way to give her daughter the cozy, enclosed feeling of the womb while still providing her the ability to push up and roll over safely. That is when the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first night her daughter wore her creation, she slept 12 hours straight. When Parker’s Zipadee-Zip increased the hours of sleep for her friends and their babies, she knew she had to offer this solution to all parents. After an initial investment of only $500 for a website and $200 for fabrics, Sleeping Baby was born.
Two and a half years after creating the first Zipadee-Zip, Parker her husband Brett went on the popular ABC reality TV show, Shark Tank, seeking $200,000 in exchange for a 10% stake, and received offers from three of the four sharks. They accepted Daymond John’s offer of $200,000 for a 20% stake in their company, believing his experience in the textile business would benefit them. However, they ended up not taking the investment from John during the negotiations after filming.
Despite turning down John’s deal, Sleeping Baby still flourished. Parker continued to grow their ethically-made, high quality products now sold online across the U.S. and in Europe, Japan, Canada and Mexico. With products ranging from the swaddle transition product to apparel for toddlers and children, Sleeping Baby is continuously expanding their product selections. With products ranging from the Zipadee-Zip swaddle transition product to apparel for toddlers and children, Sleeping Baby is continuously expanding their product selections. They will even be launching an innovative new swaddle product in 2019.
Sleeping Baby and Parker have been featured in Forbes, Good Morning America, Parents magazine, Entrepreneur and more. They have partnered with numerous non-profits, including the Ronald McDonald House of Charities, and donated thousands of baby garments to babies in need during Hurricane Harvey. Parker currently resides in Fort Worth with her husband, Brett and their two children, Charlotte and Maverick. For more information, please visit www.sleepingbaby.com.
About Sleeping Baby
The motto for our Sleeping Baby brand is: “Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time,” and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started …with one little dream that has since become our family’s reality. When our daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of me could only be compared to what God’s love for us must look like. My husband, Brett and I never even realized until we first looked into those baby blues of hers that we were even capable of that kind of love.
Like many homes in America and all over the world, we were a two-income household. Before having Charlotte, I had every intention of going back to work simply because we weren’t in a position financially where I could stay home with our little girl. I’m sure many moms can relate to the inner turmoil that occurs when maternity leave is over and we are faced with having to leave our precious little ones in someone else’s care when our deepest desire is to stay with them. My sweet husband, who wanted to do everything in his power to enable me to stay home, entertained taking on a second job. The greatest prayer of my heart became finding a way to afford to stay at home but I couldn’t, in good conscience, do it at the expense of my husband not being home to see our little girl grow up. As a family of faith, we knew that nothing was impossible with God and with that knowledge, came a peace that we would be just fine as a family even if I did have to go back to work.
The greatest prayer of my heart became finding a way to afford to stay at home but I couldn’t in good conscience, do it at the expense of my husband not being able to see our little girl grow up.
It was then that our prayer was answered in a very strange way… we all stopped sleeping! Our daughter who had slept wonderfully while swaddled, all of a sudden started waking up multiple times acting like she was no longer comfortable in her swaddle. To top it off, she had started rolling and breaking free of her swaddle so swaddling was no longer safe. The problem was, Charlotte refused to even fall asleep without the swaddle. We tried every sleep sack on the market and any swaddle weaning trick we could find on the internet for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get her to fall and stay asleep.
What absolutely blew me away was how common this swaddle transition issue seemed to be with little ones based on the endless blogs and comments I found on the subject. The ‘Moro’ or startle reflex that causes a baby to suddenly jolt awake, fidget or hit and scratch their face in their sleep prevents many babies from settling those little limbs and getting the restful sleep they need. I became determined to restore sleep and sanity to our household. I set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte’s startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born!
I was so afraid there wouldn’t be life after the swaddle! Out of sheer desperation to give Charlotte the restful sleep she deserved, the Zipadee-Zip was born!
Although the first Zipadee-Zip® I put together on my little sewing machine was not nearly as cute as the ones we have available now, it worked! She went from not sleeping to sleeping 12 hours straight the first night and taking two nearly 3 hour long naps the next day and every day thereafter! Not only did it work for Charlotte but it also worked for our friends’ little ones.
After a lot of prayers, my husband and I took the leap of faith and scrounged up the small amount we had in savings to build a website. The orders started coming in slowly at first and we would pay for the fabric and sew them as we got money from orders to do so. The Sleeping Baby brand was literally built one Zipadee-Zip® at a time. We are thankful to have experienced more growth than we could have imagined by word of mouth alone with not a dime spent on advertising. We can’t tell you the profound gratitude my husband and I have for the sweet parents that were and continue to be willing to tell others about the Zippy to help spread the word. Nothing makes us happier than to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!
Feel free to visit our Zipadee-Zip Facebook page to get a more first-hand idea of how the Zippy has worked for parents like you!
Feel free to check our Testimonials page or our Zipadee-Zip facebook page to read some more first-hand stories from parents and babies who have found rest in the Zipadee-Zip. This little Zippy business has truly been a blessing to our family and I pray that God will bless your lives with the kind of peace and joy that only He can give!