The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce you to some of the amazing people we get to meet. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we'll share another story of starting. So, community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.
Interview with Owner and Creative Director Colette Palamar of UB2 Urban Baby Bonnets
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
My daughter, Sabine was born in October 2007. My husband's grandmother would come over to watch her about twice a week. One afternoon Sabine's great-grandmother, Ada, came over with a special gift for Sabine—a little bonnet that she made with black retro floral fabric with long strap ties. It was adorable! Unfortunately, it was too small. I asked Ada to make another, but I just couldn't contain
myself and had to make my own.
After looking at some commercial baby bonnets, and determining the features I liked and disliked, I designed my own pattern for Sabine's first real bonnet. I went to my fabric stash and found four fabrics that I loved. After a few hours of hard work, the first bonnet was done! It's still my favorite—the one that's on our tags! We started using it all the time and it was a hit everywhere we went. People were constantly stopping me, raving about how cute the bonnet was and asking me where I got it! It became clear that f this many people love the hat then I should make a few to sell! This is how *UB2* was born!
What do your kids think about your job?
My daughter thinks its cool! She likes to help me work by packing hats, or stacking up the cards I put inside each hat. Her favorite job is stacking the hats by size so I can do the inventory. I love that she's excited about it and I’m proud to be able to show her working woman who also stays home. My hope is that I can be an inspiration for her as she works on her own family and career.
Tell us about a total mom + biz fail?
Biggest fail? Working from home… and never really being able to put work “away.” Although I love the flexibility of being a work-at-home mom, and I have treasured the time with my daughter, the downside is that my computer is always in the next room, and my studio is just downstairs. So, evenings, mornings over coffee, before breakfast…it's always there tempting me. I find myself getting distracted from time with my daughter because there's work to be done in the next room. Sometimes, I wish that I could just put it all away on the weekends and in the evening. Turn the phone off, power down the
computer and just BE with my family. I struggle with balancing work and home…and sometimes feel that my lack of balance is a definite FAIL.
Share with us a total win (brag away!)
Total win? The modCap! We first started out with just bonnets and lots of moms are okay putting them on a little boy but some aren't. Lots of dads think the hats are too “girly.” I am not sure why a boy can't wear a bonnet but nevertheless, many people just won't go there. I designed a modCap—a hat just for boys that still has a nice big brim, ear coverage, etc. but that is distinctly boyish in fabrics and shape. I was worried that it wouldn't really go over that well but it was a huge success! People loved it and now half of my sales are modCaps!
What's your relationship with Mamalode?
I love Mamalode! I don't have a whole lot of time to read, but the blog is on my favorites. When I have a spare moment over coffee in the morning, it's one of my favorite reads. I was literally thrilled to be asked to be part of this feature—it's so cool to be recognized by folks you really admire.