It’s the hardest job on the planet, taking as much of your time and energy as possible, with little to no financial compensation, and absolutely no vacation or sick leaves. But that’s exactly how moms want it. And for Audrey Dimarucot, one half of the team behind the hugely successful out-of-the-box baby wear line, googoo&gaga, all that along with checking with suppliers and dealing with customers is all in a day’s work.
“I am a wife and mother before I am an entrepreneur,” she says, with her daily routine hinged on getting her husband and business partner, AJ, along with their three kids all under the age of 12, ready for the day ahead.
But the setup wasn’t always like this. “When AJ and I decided to get married in December 2007,” says Audrey, “we knew we needed to shift our priorities. We both wanted to be financially independent the fastest way possible and be hands on parents to Gabe, our now 11 year old son, and the ones who will come after.” Seeing that work-life balance remained an all too distant myth with their both demanding jobs—AJ was an art director for an advertising agency and Audrey a project manager for a major telco—“we decided to go towards the entrepreneur route.”
[related|post]“In one of our conversations, we said we wanted to have our children wear AJ’s designs. That’s when the idea came about. And it wasn’t hard to bring it from the drawing board to realization.” In December 2008, they financed their first production of baby clothes: onesies for infants and toddler shirts for kids. Gone are the standard butterflies and balloons, replaced by AJ’s original grunge and street inspired prints of tattoo hearts and winged skeletons, psychedelic blocks of color, contemporary imagery, and modern vector art. “We have always leveraged on art. Anyone who appreciates art and honest to goodness one-of-a-kind designs is our market,” says the mother of three. These aren’t your hand-down baby clothes.
And it all starts with brainstorming designs that the market will be receptive to. “But more often than not, AJ has free rein over designing,” says Audrey, “he also decides on how many, when to release them, do we offer a promo, do we join a bazaar, or hold a trunk show to launch a collection.” After executing the design on the computer, discussing it, scrapping a few, and choosing the good ones, “those that are approved are sent to our printer, together with a job order so they are aware of quantities. They print the designs on paper, heat press them on the onesies and shirts, and silk screen the labels. And when the finished products are sent to us, they are individually checked for damages.”