Like many new parents, Carol and Blake Langdon were on the hunt for the best baby products when their little boy Louis was born about six months ago.
They didn't want to clutter their small Raleigh home with gadgets that didn't work or toys that they didn't really need. So they sought advice from friends with babies of their own and started searching online.
Soon they'd landed on a changing pad made by Keekaroo that requires no cover and wipes clean; soft, sweet and adorable loveys, towels and toys from Apple Park; the Miracle Blanket for swaddling; and other items.
Eventually, with Blake Langdon's experience working with his family's embroidery company, the couple decided to launch their own online business selling their favorite items for babies and kids.
Kinderstil.com went live on Nov. 1. The site offers a variety of apparel and gifts for young children. Most items can be monogrammed. Blake does all of the embroidery. (Kinderstil translates to "kid’s style" in German). New parents open online store offering favorite items for kids
"I love working with Blake," Carol tells me of the home-based business. "It is hard to turn it off, but I think that's because we're really invested in it."
Added Blake: "We like the idea of controlling our own destiny."
The couple met here and moved to San Francisco several years ago so Carol could pursue graduate studies in writing. She eventually worked in copywriting and marketing. Blake, after years working with his family's embroidery business, was a bookkeeper for a law firm.
They moved back to Raleigh to be closer to their families as they began to make plans to start their own. Kinderstil plays to both of their strengths. Blake runs the business side of the operation and does all of the embroidery. Carol works on the marketing.
"I guess Carol's the brains and the face and I'm the muscle," joked Blake.
Right now, Kinderstil.com offers 25 to 30 different items, along with various designs or colors for each of the individual pieces. The Langdons seek out American-made and eco-friendly products. They plan on attending some trade shows this year to add to their offerings. And, as Louis gets older, they are certain they'll find more must-have products for the different ages and stages.
Still, their goal isn't to get too big. A physical store isn't in their plans.
"We intend to keep it small and contained so we can keep the quality up," Carol said. "... We just want a business that can sustain us and let us spend time with Louis."
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