Women are pros at multitasking, a concept well-known to the world. Women are excellent leaders and entrepreneurs. Women are nurturing mothers. Women are supportive friends. When all these concepts combine in one and present themselves in a category of a successful businesswoman and a fantastic mother at the same time, it is simply inspirational and admirable. Sarah Clark is the woman behind B&Me - a company that filled the gap in baby-wearing once the cold weather makes its appearance, is talking about life, business and behind-the-scenes.
1. B&Me was created when your littlest one was a baby. The design is genius - what prompted the idea?
One morning in January I was getting my two older children ready for school and noticed my husband Bobby hadn’t worn his new big puffer jacket to work. Instead of waking up Booker and putting him in his snowsuit, I put him in his baby carrier with Bobby’s jacket over both of us. Our shared body heat kept us both so warm and bundled. Wearing one jacket together simplified our mornings and made leaving our apartment effortless. That’s what sparked the idea.
2. What makes a Booker coat stand out ?
I wanted to make something not only functional and practical but something that could easily tie in with a woman’s style. It stands out because it is a multifunctional coat that can be worn as a standard coat, while pregnant and while carrying your baby underneath in a separate baby carrier. It could also be used as a layering piece to wear underneath a vest, rain jacket or a winter parka.
3. What other products do you offer?
I offer a baby hat and am introducing a unisex Booker Vest this coming Fall.
4. What is the vision that you have for B&Me?
I would love the Booker Coat to be synonymous with baby carriers in the cooler months, similar to the way baby bunting bags have become for babies in strollers.
5. Where do you see yourself in a year?
In the next year, I would love to collaborate with another small brand and design a Booker Coat together.
In 5 years?
The Booker Coat is currently patent pending and if I get patent approval, I would love to license out the idea to help me reach a larger audience. When I was pregnant I didn’t want to stop shopping at my favorite stores so my vision is to have the coat available in more mainstream stores with the one stop-shopping concept in mind.
6. As a mom-entrepreneur, every second of your day is booked. How do you manage?
I try my hardest to stay on a firm schedule and work during certain set times of the day. Although it’s mostly chaotic I think I am a better Mom because of it. I started B & Me as more of a creative challenge and not intending it to turn into a business. It has become such an amazing outlet for me and I think my family has a better-balanced home life because of it.
7. Share your typical day, please.
Since we are in summer right now we are trying to find a new groove. For the month of July my two older kids are on a swim team. We get up and have breakfast and go to the beach every morning by 9:45 for their practice. We usually stay at the beach for the whole day (sometimes through dinner!), that way when we get home they are ready to get their pajamas on, relax and go to sleep so we can get up and do it all over again the next morning!
Typically during the school year my day involves getting my three children up and ready for the school. Booker and I drop Tilly & Tatum off at school in the morning. Then we go and grab a coffee with a friend and normally head to the park. We come home, have lunch and I bring Booker to school for the afternoon. Then I quickly come home, clean up, work and go to pick my three children up. After school we head to the park! Once we are back home, the kid’s do their homework, they have their dinner, take baths and go to bed. And then I do a couple of more hours or work before going to bed.
8. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
When designing the Booker Coat I imagined myself on vacation in a small snowy European village. I thought how would the Mothers there carry their babies while bringing her older children to/from school everyday and while running their errands? This vision helped inspire my design. Since my family and I had always lived in a small NYC apartment the quote“less space, more living, more fun” really resonated with me.
9. Who is on your team?
Right now it is just myself.
10. How does being a creative mom and a woman-entrepreneur affect your parenting? What do you think your children learn/experience differently? Pluses - minuses?
Plus – Because I end up working a lot with my kids in tow, they’ve been exposed to the inner operations of my business such as multiple visits to the garment district and being as amazed as myself with all that goes into manufacturing a coat. I love showing them at such a young age what it takes to start a business. Showing them what hard work and perseverance it takes by seeing it first hand. Not being afraid to do something outside of your comfort zone, to take a risk and put yourself out there. It’s a constant juggle but I love setting an example for my kids of following my dreams. My oldest daughter spotted our first Booker Coat sighting walking home from school one day and we were all so excited!
Minus- It is hard to shut down from work. There is always something that needs to be done. Its challenging not being able to work at certain times of the day when all I would like to do is get it done!
11. You have a beautiful family of 5, a strong relationship with your husband and a business together - very admirable - if there are three peaces of advice that you could share (one for each area) with our readers , what would they be? (as long or as short as you wish it to be )
If you believe in something so strong than you can do it, listen to your gut, stay patient and trust your journey. I remind myself all the time to put fear aside and know that making mistakes is ok. This is especially hard for me but knowing I tell my kids they shouldn’t be afraid of trying something new helps push me along even more. I find such inspiration and encouragement from listening and following other Mom-entrepreneurs. It is so comforting to know they have had similar experiences and how they keep plowing through.
My husband has a full time job but helps me a lot with B & Me. The areas of the business that don’t come as naturally for me are his strong points. Since I am still in the beginning stages and my business is only a year old I have the tendency to want to work on it all of the time. He reminds me to step back and have fun along the way!