Learn How to Start a Baby Shower Gift Business
Think Like a Gift Giver to Find New Baby Market Niches
A savvy businesswoman will come up with new ideas, a new twist to an old idea, and make the “ordinary” baby product seem extraordinary by embellishing or personalizing products, or by presenting them in a new, clever way.
A New Baby on the Way Gets People Spending
Parents-to-be almost always have to purchase at least some baby items. Even if they already have a child or good support from friends and family who offer hand-me-downs, shopping for a new baby is still fun for parents. In fact, many couples start buying baby items and setting up a nursery as soon as they start trying to conceive.
Some couples opt to put off their spending until after the baby is born so they get a better feel for what is needed (especially if they opt to not know the sex of their baby.) But all parents-to-be end up purchasing something at some point -- and so do friends and family. While parents are more likely to spend money on necessities, gift-givers are more likely to buy luxury and novelty items in addition to the standard baby essentials.
Think Like a Gift-Giver
Imagine you are shopping for a special friend who is having a baby. You want a gift that shows thought and seems expensive, but you do not have a lot of money to spend. What would you buy for her? Maybe you might pool your money with someone else to get a bigger gift.
Lacking ideas, you look at your friend’s baby registry. Like most moms-to-be, your friend only lists high-priced items she would like but will not cough up the money to purchase on her own.
While your mom-to-be may have asked for a $500 fancy hand-made crib set or wall decorations few friends are actually going to buy one for her. This is a dilemma faced by all women invited to baby showers - they want their gift to stand out from all the other "Onesies" and burp rags.
So, how can you make the ordinary extraordinary? Repackage it. For example, a practical but fun baby shower gift would be a basket, hamper, or other useful storage device filled with diapers, baby powder, etc. wrapped in ribbons.
You could probably sell more gift baskets than you could overpriced blankets (even when hand-made) and items for baby showers that convey a message to of love, thoughtfulness – but at an affordable price. So what ideas come to my entrepreneurial (and single mother of four) mind? Mom “survival” kits. These kits could be:
- Clever: Include chocolate for the baby's father (marked "emergency substitute for sex"), blackout mask for daytime naps (since few moms sleep much at night), fill baby bottles with shampoo, Hershey's Kisses, or "sanity pills." The basket's message is light-hearted and whimsical (a new twist) and the bottles can be used, too.
- Practical for Mom: Include breast pads, spit-up rags, baggies for dirty diapers, and other items that can be kept in a car, stain stick, etc. Tuck the items into a school lunch box, over-sized purse (that can be grabbed), or even a bag that can double as a grocery/shopping bag and mark your collection "environmentally friendly."
- Sentimental: Craft supplies to personalize items including photo albums, frames, even baby bottles, disposable camera. Pretty notepads or a diary to jot down important moments and thoughts. You can even add personalized pens for your business to the basket! (See WIB’s profile on Tanea Smith, owner of “She’s Got Papers.” Tanea's clever product line offers business cards for babies and toddlers to announce their presence and set up play dates!
- Practical for Baby: Include “binkies,” a CD of soothing music, clothing, diapers, changing accessories, etc. To make even practical items seem unique, think of an interesting or creative way to package them (i.e., in a blanket folded like a diaper or tucked in a personalized diaper pail, etc.)
How to Come up With Product Ideas for Baby Showers
The following questions can help you develop products and services ideas of interest to moms and moms-to-be:
- What do parents need and use every day?
- Is your product something people routinely purchase or would it be an impulse buy?
- How much would you spend on the item if you saw it in a store?
- Would you buy it as a gift for someone else?
- What similar items have you seen at baby showers that moms loved? And, how can you put your own spin on the product?
If you do not have children or have never been to a baby shower ask your mother, friends, and family for ideas — a do not forget to include men in your gift idea opinion poll! Build business ideas on real-world experience ideas.
Another great resource is the Internet. Google "baby shower gifts" and study potential competition. Figure out a way to improve upon an existing idea and you just may give birth to the next new "must have" hot baby item!