I can’t express how happy I am to have met Susana Goldin-Douaire, the owner of Bonjour Baby Baskets and this month’s Creative Career Mom. We met a few months ago at the Social Common show; check out January’s Feature for more on the show. Susana and I happened to be sitting next to one another at the show and started talking. The conversation happened so naturally and we soon began to realize that we had so much more to talk about. So we kept in touch and today I am featuring Josephine’s first ever grandmapreneur!
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Susana over the past few months, meeting her daughter Karina and her darling granddaughter Mila. Susana and her family welcomed me into their home and made me feel like an old friend. We drank tea during our interview and just talked about all things motherhood and the process of starting a business. It was incredible seeing three generations together and the connection that Susana shares with her family. “My mom was an artist before and is very creative, putting together these beautiful baskets comes naturally to her” says Karina.
Bonjour Baby Baskets are absolutely stunning and the perfect solution to the office baby gift, group shower gift or the ideal gift for your best friend’s new baby. Boasting designer baby clothes, great quality and unique toys from small Canadian and global companies, Susana has spent a lot of time developing these well-curated baskets that make great gifts for your family and friends and co-workers.
Susana even put together a personalized basket for me and my little one, filled with teas, bath soaps and lotions to fit my mama needs and some great gifts like, the Kawan Natural Rubber Duck and Wee Gallery Art Cards for my little one. He loves playing with his new duck during bath time and the cards are helping him learn his animals! Not only did we love the items in the basket, but the wool basket itself makes for the perfect change table caddy or toy box!
- Every item in each basket has been carefully chosen and when put together in one of Susana’s natural wool baskets, it all comes together as the perfect gift!I love hearing about small companies that began as a conversation around the dinner table! As both a mother and now a grandmother you must have so much to share about the inspiration behind your company. Can you tell us a little bit more about your story and the family dinner that lead to Bonjour Baby Baskets?
We regularly have family dinners now that the kids have grown. Sometimes it is difficult to have them all at the same time since everybody has their own families and jobs, but we make an effort to get together and share our ideas, the progress of the grandkids, stories and life in general. My kids and their spouses are very creative and somehow (lucky me) their expertise is in every single aspect of what starting a new business is. When I had that “light bulb” moment regarding a luxury baby gift basket company and I informally chatted about it during one of our dinners, I received great advice from a Marketing Director, an Advertising Manager, a Web Designer and a Stylist. We talked about the frustration of corporations and individuals trying to find a thoughtful and tasteful baby gift basket that contains luxury baby items carefully curated from designer brands. So, with their support, I found myself creating Bonjour Baby Baskets.
- After that life-changing dinner conversation did you have any idea what the future of Bonjour Baby Baskets would look like? How has the company evolved since then?
We envisioned a very special online boutique where customers could chose from a variety of exclusive and one-of-a-kind baby gift baskets full of beautiful handpicked products from Canada and around the world; products that would require lots of legwork and many hours on the computer in order to find and put together. We have so much fun doing this for our customers and the final product is always a surprise, even to us. We go to great lengths to find outstanding baby products that excel for their quality, manufacturing standards and beauty. We hear our customers; we observe trends and every season we bring a unique selection of baby gifts that we carefully curate in the gorgeous baby gift baskets that you see online. We keep adding products on a regular basis because babies are born all year long and we love surprising our clients with new and fun products all the time.
- As a new mom, I have seen how excited my own mother and mother-in-law were with the birth of our son. This is the first time we’ve featured a grandmother on Josephine’s Creative Career Moms and I can’t be more excited about this new take on the entrepreneurial story! How has becoming a grandmother sparked you to develop this beautiful brand?
There is nothing more special than your children having a child. It’s like multiplying the love that you feel for your children by a million (if that is even possible). You feel happy for them and with them for that special tiny human that will be their love as they were for us.
I believe that there is no age for developing great ideas and having worked in the corporate world gave me the tools and insights that I needed to manage my own business. In addition to this experience, the birth of my granddaughters helped me by pushing me to find the perfect products, but I think it was more my previous experience that helped me understand what was not available and allowed me to find that niche.
- I am sure you’ve heard this many times before, but it has to be said, Bonjour Baby Baskets are absolutely beautiful! Every outfit, toy and baby care product (as well as the baskets themselves) is stunning. What are the steps you take to maintain this whimsical style when curating clothing, baby care products and toys for your baskets?
Thank you so very much! We take pride in what we do and we do it with passion. As every mom, I want the best for my kids and my grandkids, so when I am looking for the most natural and safe products, I think about my family and what I would like to give them to play with and to wear. We love visiting international fashion shows and we listen to trends, but we also use our own style sense to create a perfect baby gift. Also, we are passionate about discovering new talent, in Canada and abroad, and we have a very close relationship with all our designers. There is so much creativity in the kids’ fashion world!
- Bonjour Baby Baskets offers a number of different basket options as well as a BYOB option. Can you explain how BYOB works as well as some of the other great gift options you offer?
We like giving our customers the option of selecting an already curated baby gift basket or making their own with our vast selection of luxury baby gifts.
It is lots of fun, the majority of my clients that have used that option have created some amazing combos that looked absolutely stunning. First you choose a storage container from our selection of exclusive natural wool gift baskets, then you can start filling the basket with any of the products available under the “Accessories” tab of our website, they are easily divided in subcategories (clothing, toys, books, etc) and voila…you have created your own luxury baby gift basket!
- What’s so amazing about a company like Bonjour Baby Baskets is that you collaborate with other small businesses to develop a well-curated collection of products. What has this experience been like and have you had the opportunity to work with any other mompreneurs or Canadian brands?
It has been incredible! We love collaborations and we are so proud of all our designers, big and small. We do lots of research to find our products and we get so excited when we find that little treasure that has not been discovered yet. In this age of Internet and Social Media it is so easy to meet people online but we try, as much as we can, to establish that personal connection that is so important. We’ve met fabulous moms, mompreneurs and entrepreneurs that have helped us, giving us their advice and for that we are forever grateful. I only hope that in a couple of years I can help the next generation and pay it forward.
- As a grandmother and an entrepreneur you must have learned a lot about both motherhood and starting a business, what advice can you offer to fellow mom and “grandmapreneurs”?
There is nothing that you can’t do. Just go for it. Don't go around for years thinking about what you would like to do and how to do it. Once you have the idea, take that first step and let it evolve naturally. Surround yourself with the right team, for me that was my family. I don’t know if I would be here now if it were not for the support of my mentors, advisors and consultants: my kids.
- I recently saw a new post about “Haute Couture” on your Instagram page! Can you tell us a little bit more about this and what else is in store for Bonjour Baby Baskets?
Ahhh… we are super excited about this! We’ve always included high fashion in our luxury baby gift baskets and we have a fabulous representation of the best well-known and upcoming designers from the kids fashion industry. More and more fabulous haute couture designers are incorporating a ‘nest’ selection to their collections and now we will have a dedicated area on our website where our customers can view and purchase the newest selection of designer baby gifts from Fendi, Cavalli, Galliano and many more.