December 10, 2007
I am excited to post this interview about Vicki Bodwell, owner and founder of the Warm Biscuit Bedding Company. I have had the good fortune of working with Vicki since the winter of 2003. So, with out further ado, I would like to introduce my very first interview with a successful entrepreneur:
I had been getting Warm Biscuit catlaogs for years, always wanting to do something creative with my talent - I loved to look at them. When I finally figured out what to do, I kept thinking of sending a product submission to them. I finally got up my nerve and sent an email. To my amazement not only were they interested, but the owner of the company, Vicki Bodwell emailed me immediately back. After showing her some very rough and amateur photographs of my "warm biscuit inspired" name tiles, they agreed to feature two of my products. I was lucky enough to have them take a chance on me, and I also got the coveted back cover of the early winter 2004 publication. To say it was one if the highest points in my career would be true - I was amazed at my good fortune and good luck.
Today I have a large variety of products that are sold through the Warm Biscuit Bedding Company. We have created exclusive designs, created brand new products together, I have a great partnership with this company and we continue to work very well together.
Now looking back, some almost four years later I am honored to call Vicki one of my dearest friends. We have been through good times and bad times, shared laughs and tears, and been able to even meet in person a few times. She has been one of the biggest supporters, and yet also one of my toughest critics - I truly respect her advice and opinions.
Vicki Mote Bodwell, Owner of the Warm Biscuit Bedding Company
I started the Warm Biscuit Bedding Co. in May of 1999, three months after Pottery Barn Kids launched! I started my own business from a combined desire to work with fabrics, control of my own destiny an decorate a more flexible lifestyle for my family. When we started our business, there were very few options for moms to create a stylish child's room at an affordable price. Now, eighth years later, the category has vastly changed, with new websites and catalogs sprouting up daily.
Learning about the Warm Biscuit Bedding Company
When my son was born in the summer of 1999, I decided to stop being a computer animator for the Learning Company and stay at home with my son. This was not a difficult decision at the time, I was miserable in my position, the job was not satisfying and I was ready to embark on a new life. After having my son I noticed a number of different baby and children's catalogs started showing up in my mail box.
One catalog in particular stood out, The Warm Biscuit Bedding Catalog. It had such a different look from any other catalog, I was not only inspired but in awe of the company. I remember sitting on my couch (nursing probably) wishing I could make something worthy of this catalog, I would go through the catalog, page by page looking at the wonderful vintage fabrics and products.
Fast forward to the summer of 2003 (check out previous blogs, seriously I do not need to re-live HOW I ended up at where I am today), when I finally realized that selling on the Internet was key to the growth of my company and I had honed my sales pitch. I had spent many a day trolling around websites I wanted to be on - The Warm Biscuit Bedding Company was the top of my list. With the encouragement of my husband I sent an email to them asking if they were interested in new product submissions.
My top favorite piece is the creative process. I enjoy each step of the creative process. From thinking of new products to developing them with my team. Secondly, I love working directly with our customers. Hearing their enthusiasm and excitement as they plan for their new baby or decorating project is enormously motivating to me. We are lucky that this is a happy time for moms.
My least favorite part is managing the cash flow. There never seems to be enough wiggle room to feel comfortable....yet again, that probably keeps us on our toes!
I look around my life countlessly for ideas. From the school yard with the boys to a cocktail party with my husband. I am always looking for trends and asking people what "finds" they have discovered. I look at every catalog, magazine and email I can to see what other companies are doing. I am a huge believer that there are very few true ORIGINAL ideas and most things are an improvement or adjustment to an old idea. I love vintage, flea market patterns, so we modify and enhance images, or update an old product. Although, I look forward to the day when we can INVENT the next big thing!
When I look for a new designer, I look for someone who wants to "partner" with us. We want designers who want to grow with us and help our business succeed. We've been lucky to work with artists who are watching out for us and come to us with great product ideas.
I always refer to the Warm Biscuit Bedding Co. as my 4th child. Like any of my children, sometimes this child acts up and needs more attention. The holidays are particularly draining and stressful. I think every mom is stretched thin, so I don't think my life is any more difficult than my customers. Recognizing that we try at the Warm Biscuit Bedding Company to create a shopping sanctuary where they can rely on us to make their life more enjoyable.