We are so delighted to sit down with Lori Caden, founder of BellyBandit, a company that supports women before, during and after pregnancy with their incredible line of products. After a grocery store employee said he could help Lori because she was pregnant (which she wasn't! she had just had her baby), Lori decided to launch BellyBandit. Ten years later, a growing line of amazing products, and with sights set on more growth, BellyBandit and the Caden sisters are inspiring us at The Bundle of Joy to dream big and work hard!
We know the story of the Belly Bandit (damn stock boy), tell us about the other products you carry and the order they were introduced.
We started the company with 3 different styles of Belly Bandit Belly Wraps, representing the “3 sisters” behind the brand. The Original Belly Wrap was all about me. As you mentioned, I was a few weeks postpartum when I was mistaken as being “pregnant”– not exactly the best “new mom” moment but that’s what started it all!
Jodi, my oldest sister is the designer in the family, so of course the “Couture” Belly Wrap was her baby.
And speaking of baby’s, Kari, our youngest sister has always been the most eco-conscious, so our Viscose from Bamboo Belly Wrap had her name written all over it.
Today, we have over 500 SKUS and are constantly introducing new solution-based products, from our BDA (Before, During & After) line of tanks, leggings, and bras to our Mother Tucker Shapewear Collection of corsets, shorties and shapers. This year we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary and to celebrate we will be introducing 10 new products including intimates, an athleisure line and a new Belly Bandit Belly Wrap!
We love that you are three sisters working together? Who does what in the company?
My sisters are my best friends and collaborators. We started Belly Bandit together and life doesn’t get much better than working with them every day. This has been a dream of ours since we were little. We always wanted to live next door to each other and carpool to work. Now the three of us all live in the same neighborhood and literally do carpool to work. Jodi is the true visionary, and head designer. She overseas product design and development as well as manages vendor relationships, sales strategy and legal.
Kari, runs our e-commerce and art departments. She’s an incredible combination of analytical and creative and does everything from oversee photo shoots to manage tradeshows.
I oversee marketing, PR, partnerships and special events! We each focus on our strengths and we come together for everything else in between…including lots of family dinners!
What have been the biggest challenges?
When running your own business you quickly realize that every day is a challenge! That’s why our motto is, “If it doesn’t challenge us, it doesn’t change us!” We’d probably all name a different challenge as the “biggest” but manufacturing issues and contract negotiations top my list!
What have been the biggest moments of success?
The highlight has always been the positive product feedback we get from women all over the world. When our customers tell us that Belly Bandit products make them feel good about themselves and their bodies or when we hear from customers that our products were recommended by their doula or OB/GYN– those are the moments that give us the greatest satisfaction. This year, a number of our products have been FSA/HSA approved as well as made eligible for health insurance coverage. This is a huge success and one that makes it possible for even more women to enjoy our products!
What tips do you have for moms who want to start a company?
Passion and perseverance. It’s an unbeatable combination.
(And yes, working capital is always a plus!) But, if you believe in what you are doing and continue to stay focused, success will find you. Be prepared for a wild ride and know that “nothing worth doing is every easy!”
What vision do you have for the company?
As mentioned, we just celebrated a huge milestone; a decade of supporting new moms! What’s crazy is that we still have the same excitement and passion as when we started. Our mission is to help moms look and feel their absolutely best before, during and after pregnancy and we hope to spend the next ten years introducing more products that will do just that!
Tell us about the company. Where are you located? We are located in sunny Southern California.
How big is your team? Our Belly Bandit family is approximately 30 strong and growing all the time!