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Love Carolina or N.C. State? My Lullabug has shirts for your kids

Posted January 15, 2012

For Kelli Clough, owner of My Lullabug, a line of T-shirts and other apparel for young children, inspiration came on a trip to a BJ's Wholesale Club a few years ago.

That's where she saw a family dressed in Carolina Panthers gear, including the young kids. She remembers thinking, "I bet those kids were told they liked the team."

And that's how Clough, a Durham mom of three, came up with her most popular T-shirt design: A line that features the slogan, "I'm told I like," as in, "I'm told I like golf" or "I'm told I like country music."

Clough launched My Lullabug about six years ago after the birth of her first son. She had recently finished her MBA, with a concentration in new product development and e-commerce, and was looking for something she could do on the side. Her plan was to stay at home with her children until the youngest were in kindergarten. Kelli Clough Love Carolina or N.C. State? My Lullabug has T-shirts for your kids

She started the business with 10 designs. Her "I'm told I like golf" T-shirt quickly rose to the top. She began adding more sports and hobbies, including football, hiking, basketball, baseball and more. And she trademarked the phrase, which means she's the only one allowed to use "I'm told I like" on baby clothing.

She expanded to offer products such as personalized shirts and monthly bodysuit stickers, which can help parents track the growth of their babies during the first year.

And when her youngest sons - twins - entered kindergarten this fall, instead of looking for that corporate job she'd been planning on, she set her sights on making My Lullabug a full-time gig.

This fall, she added to her line after getting the rights she needed to include Carolina and N.C. State in her "I'm told I like" series. She hopes to add other NCAA schools and professional sports teams too.

"They have been selling really well," Clough says of the Carolina and N,C. State shirts. She always sees a spike in sales when a game is on TV.

For Clough, the business allows her the flexibility she wants to be at home with her kids when they are out of school, to volunteer in their classrooms and to join their field trips. And, she says, she loves hearing the direct feedback from her customers.

"That's what I really focus on - customer feedback and making sure everybody is satisfied," she says.

Go to My Lullabug's website for more information and watch the video for my interview with Clough.

Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.

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