B U R U : From the Beginning Part I
On September 23rd, 2013 at 11:59PM, I realized I would be pulling an all nighter. My first since college finals—eleven years prior. The launch date for BURU was set for the 24th, and I was not going to be late. Olive was 10 months old at the time and still not sleeping through the night. Brett was on baby duty, but the nursing part was still up to me. I worked at a steady pace and kept my eye on the live button prize. Like clockwork at 3AM, Olive awoke to eat. I nursed, I burped, and I handed off to Brett. Back at my desk, I powered through adding products, editing photos, proofreading posts, and creating our launch newsletter and social media announcements.
At 8AM CST, I felt it was ready for the world to see. More like ready for our friends, family, and facebook acquaintances to see—but you get the idea. I waited for Brett and Olive to return from a coffee and doughnut run, and when we were all together—sitting on the living room couch, I clicked "go live". After months of planning and preparing for it, BURU was officially a live website selling handpicked ready-to-wear for new moms and beyond. I was beyond tired, so I ate my doughnut and headed to bed for some rest.
As I drifted off to sleep, I thought about the 8 months that lead to this moment. Almost a full pregnancy term, and I wondered if I was launching prematurely. What had I missed? What had I forgotten to troubleshoot? Were we fully formed?
Pump break during our first trip to market in NYC when Olive was 10 weeks old. I had to find a secret corner between booths. #workingmom
Now, two years later, I realized that I missed a lot (like no paypal option). I forgot a lot (like page numbers and a zoom feature on the mobile version). We weren't fully formed (our brand matrix was not quite right and I used tragic fonts on graphics). But you know what? I would have never learned those things without starting. Clicking the "live" button was my road to mistakes and my road to recovery.
I had the idea for BURU (though it didn't have a name at the time) when Olive was just a few weeks old. When she was 10 weeks old, Brett and I headed to NYC for Coterie—a women's contemporary market to see if in fact we could find enough ready-to-wear to curate a collection of nursing friendly, washable, and stylish silhouettes to create an e-commerce experience catered to #momstyle. When powerhouse mama and business woman, Rebecca Minkoff personally got on board with our concept and mission, we decided to bite the bullet and buy inventory. We didn't have a website or a warehouse, but we had a dream!
We placed our first orders for Fall 13 in February of 2013 which gave us 7 months to build a site and learn how to operate an online business. The hustle began then and it hasn't stopped. Brett and I watched Youtube videos to learn how to photograph clothes. We studied basic SEO and learned how build a website. We also learned what we would need to outsource when we couldn't figure it out!
Concentrating hard during a Rachel Pally appointment. An early supporting brand of BURU. Thanks Rachel!
Working with Brett from home with Olive crawling all over everything was one of the most incredible times of my life—equally as frustrating as it was joyful. As we have evolved and Olive has grown, those days have passed us, but I will cherish them forever. We are a true, grass roots company with miles of shoestring holding us together and long roads ahead. The support of family and friends—new and old has been incredible. We have met and collaborated with so many talented women along the way because of BURU's mission, and I look forward to all the things ahead of us. And though I am not excited about the failures that will inevitably happen, I know that through them we will learn, evolve, and become the leading resource for #momstyle!
Ribbon cutting celebration for our showroom space in Kentucky. Only a pink bow would do!