Name: Lana Baker
Business: The Soft Skin Company, maternity clothing designed for soft skin
Location: Highlands Ranch, Colorado, U.S.
Reason for starting: When I was pregnant with my first son, I was thrilled about the baby — but dreaded the look of stretch marks that had plagued all the other moms in my family. I looked for two things: totally natural oil that would be natural and safe for my baby-to-be, and some kind of clothing to wear over that oil that wouldn’t rub off of my skin. When I couldn’t find it, I decided to patent the idea for clothing that keeps moisture on the wearer’s skin. It was something that I wanted, and I knew other women would want too.
How do you define success? Success is doing something that makes a positive difference in one’s life and the lives of others.
Biggest Success: I’m really proud that I’ve taken a little idea that really mattered to me, and put forth the effort to make it happen. And it was an effort. It’s taken me three years to get all of the issues resolved, and I’ve done it pretty much all on my own. I took the initiative where others often do not; a lot of people have great ideas, but few people follow through with them. Even if things don’t work out as I hope they will, I will be successful for having done so much on my own.
I’m currently selling online, and have a commitment from both Destination Maternity and One Step Ahead to have product in their stores by summer of this year. My next goal will be to expend the business outside of maternity, and grow into areas of skin care for babies and all people who experience dry skin. This will mean new SKUs. My next line will be ‘SoftSacks’ for hands and feet, and then the SoftSwaddle for babies. I have skin care oils to go with both of those areas.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Right now my top challenge is getting my product into the public awareness. The maternity world is smaller than the world of parenting, for example — women are moms forever, but only pregnant for nine months at a time. I’m learning as I go; with two kids under four at home, it’s not always easy to make calls and get things done during the day. My hours are pretty insane. I’m also a stay home mom, and that’s something that’s really important to me. My husband works, but money is often tight. Starting this company has been far more expensive that I’d anticipated, so money has been a difficulty.
Who is your most important role model? Julie Clark, the founder of Baby Einstein. Not only was she able to start a very successful business from her home, but she made completely new products that changed the lives of a lot of families. Julie and I met through an acquaintance, and she offered me both business and financial support for The Soft Skin Company.
Edited by The Story Exchange