Designer Spotlight: Behind the Scenes with Wendy Ayers, Wendy Anne Moses Baskets Entrepreneur | Designer | Business Owner | Mom
Behind the Scenes with: Wendy Ayers, Wendy Anne Moses Baskets
Entrepreneur | Designer | Business Owner | Mom
Wendy Ann Moses Basket’s Interview with Saige Nicole’s
December 11, 2012
What inspired you to design?
I first started designing in the 8th grade when I made a dress for the 8th grade dance. It was like a fantasy. I loved the way I felt wearing a pretty dress. That’s when I fell in love with the feel and look of beautiful fabrics and lace.
Then, in high school, I began making dresses for my friends. After high school, I made them for 2 girls who were in a local sorority; soon, their friends wanted dresses too. I was sewing and working 3 jobs. Every free day I had I spent in downtown Los Angeles looking for fabric and a pattern maker. Soon, I was steadily making gowns and running Wendy Anne Formal wear.
What led you from designing formal dresses to designing baby Moses baskets?
We had a Moses basket in my family that was a family heirloom. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I wanted to create a beautiful place for her to sleep. My step-mother was pregnant at the same time so, I made Moses baskets for both babies as baby gifts. I used beautiful satin, taffeta and lace. They were gorgeous. People would stop me everywhere I went to admire the Moses basket and ask where I got it. In 1991, after receiving so many compliments, and with the support of my family and encouragement of my dad, I started Wendy Anne Moses Baskets. I was 20.
You were so young when you started. How did you finance Wendy Anne Moses Baskets?
Originally, I only made a few Moses baskets and I sold only what I had already made. The profit from every sale went right back into the business. Soon I was selling up to 50 Moses baskets a month and adding new accounts all the time.
How did you get Wendy Anne Moses baskets into stores and boutiques?
It was a true grass roots effort. I knew I wanted to sell wholesale and it was before the internet so, I started knocking on shop doors in Big Bear and Los Angeles. By 1993, Wendy Anne Moses Baskets were sold in over 50 high end shops throughout California.
How were you able to grow Wendy Anne Moses Baskets while raising your young daughter?
My dad was my biggest cheerleader and support system. He would watch my daughter so that I could call on accounts. Eventually, we started to make business trips into family trips and my dad and daughter would come along.
What is Wendy Ann Moses Basket’s philosophy?
Cozy baby, happy mommy.
Why do you think Wendy Anne Moses Baskets has been so successful for almost twenty years?
I have always been personally involved in my business. I am hands-on from the designs to the placement in the stores. I think a lot of manufacturers lose that personal touch.
We’ve also refined a product that has been loved and used by moms for generations; by modernizing it with fabrics and new features we appeal to new generations of moms.
I’ve also had to learn to change the way we operate to meet the changes and demands of our retailers and customers. With the introduction of the internet we’ve had to embrace a whole new way of doing business.
What makes you happiest about being a business owner?
The flexibility and being able to do what I love. Working with fabrics and having time for my family.
What is your all time favorite Wendy Anne Moses Baskets design?
I have two favorites. The organic velour Moses basket and white dupioni silk Moses basket.
What’s next for you and Wendy Anne in 2013?
I am really looking forward to 2013.
I’m currently developing new designs for our Moses baskets and new products for the line that I’m very excited about introducing to our customers. I also plan to start a mentoring program for new entrepreneurs and women who are thinking about getting into the baby and juvenile products industry.