This is part of the series history of companies.
We caught up Kirsten from Sprout Shell and asked some question which we crafted for the history of companies series.Here is the transcript.
What is Sprout Shell?
Our business, Sprout Shell, makes a multi-functional infant carrier cover.
How did the name “Sprout Shell” came to your mind?
We came up with the name Sprout Shell because it was like a little shell to cover your sprout. Between becoming a mom myself, and using my own Sprout Shell I became even more excited about the business and the prospect of helping other moms protect their babies too. Things moved pretty quickly after that and within 2 months we became an LLC with a website and a couple hundred products to sell.
How the product idea came to your mind?
The idea for our product began 12 years ago when my younger sister was born. It was autumn and my mom wanted something to cover her baby’s infant carrier against the elements, and to protect her from strangers getting too close and touching her. It worked great! The elastic around the bottom held it on well and the hole in the top allowed her to carry the seat without her hand slipping. She thought about making them for the market, but life got in the way and she only ever made the one.
Fast forward 10 years and I (Kirsten) was having a baby. I insisted that I needed one of the carrier covers. I live in LA, and the air isn’t the greatest, plus I really wanted to keep him protected from the sun, and make sure people didn’t touch him.
Mom was working as a manager of events and expos at the time and had seen that there was nothing like her infant carrier cover on the market. She thought she should start a business so that moms everywhere could have something other than a blanket to cover their babies with. We wanted to make them stylish so that modern moms wouldnt be ashamed to carry them around. At first, I wasn’t supposed to be involved, but since I hadn’t had the baby yet, and was on maternity leave, I had the most time to begin researching.
How was the start of the business?
We didn’t have money to put into the business other than a little bit of credit cards. We had a rough start though, since neither of us know anything about business. We thought that we will just have a website, and tell people we were open and everyone would rush to buy them. Ha. very naive, I know.Our first couple hundred products that we sent to a “manufacturer” were not sewn well. So we thought we had to rush to get new fabric and get more made quickly because we would run out of our stock within a month. Again, very naive. Sales were very slow in coming at first and for almost a year we sold them sporadically on our website. Though, we have doubled our growth every year.