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Designer Spotlight: Behind the Scenes with Ellen Uzarowicz, Right Bank Babies

Designer Spotlight:  Behind the Scenes with Ellen Uzarowicz, Right Bank Babies
Entrepreneur | Designer | Woman Business Owner | Mom

Right Bank Babies’ Interview with Saige Nicole’s
January 31, 2013

What inspired you to design?

My mother was my inspiration. She was a self-taught designer and always said, “If it’s not out there, make it.”

What was the inspiration for your first designs, the reversible wrap dress and romper?  

My mom would make dresses like these for me when I was young.  When my girls were born, I made them too but I used bold prints and colors and made them reversible.  We would go out to the park or to the store and people would stop us wanting to know where we got their clothes.  Soon, I was making them to friends and neighbors and knew I was on to something.

How did you get Right Bank Babies into stores and boutique?

Once I realized that I had a product other people wanted, I had to learn what it would take to produce my designs.  I found someone to sew for me and started to go to trade shows, advertised in magazines, worked with sales reps and sales partners, and found bloggers to blog about RBB. During our first trade show, we took in $5K in orders.  That was very exciting for us. We also spent money on advertising that did nothing for us.  We learned as we went along.

How did you finance Right Bank Babies?

I took out a loan.  I knew that if I was going to do this I needed to take the risk.  I couldn't’t do it half-way; otherwise, I was going to be spending money on a hobby.  

What has been your greatest challenge in business?

Growth and finances.  It’s so important to create good habits right-a-way.  Learn Quick Books or hire an account once per month (I didn't’t even know I could do that).  Know your numbers and your margin on each piece.  Have goals.  If you don’t, you’re never going to have something to strive and achieve.  If you don’t make it to those goals, revisit them and make new ones. And have a support system.  It’s not as easy for small businesses to get a loan now.  So, asking family members to invest is another way I’ve financed RBB for growth but I always make sure to have an operating agreement to keep everything upfront.

What lessons have you learned while building Right Bank Babies?

•    Pick up the phone, don’t just e-mail people
•    Don’t stress over the squeaky wheel
•    Listen to yourself   

What has been the most valuable lesson for your daughters while you’ve built Right Bank Babies?

To see their mom working - and they take pride of that.  There have been times when dad has had to be the stay-at-home-parent because I was working and vice a versa. But the girls understand that that’s what parents do; we work.  And it’s been fulfilling for me to have a creative outlet.

What is Right Bank Babies’ Philosophy?

Don’t be too serious.  Don’t save anything for a special occasion because every day is a special occasion.  Have fun!

Why do you think Right Bank Babies has been so successful for the past 8 years?

We are making something that has stood the test of time.  We take classic designs that work and re-introduce them in modern prints that appeal to today’s moms.  Our collections are made to be mixed and matched and to grow with the child.  When I lived in France and Germany I was inspired by the way the children dressed in layers and mixed prints and that is reflected in our collections.

What makes you happiest about being a business owner?

There’s a pride in having your own businesses and being the one responsible for its growth and watching it grow.

What’s next for Right Bank Babies in 2013?

This year we’re looking to expand Right Bank babies so, you may see new things in house wares, bedding and adult fashions.

Right Bank Babies

Ellen Uzarowicz (right) and Aga Maslowiec (left)

Right Bank Babies  for girls and boys are available at fine boutiques throughout the world including:  www,RightBankBabies.com and www.SaigeNicoles.com



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