#1 Fan

04 Sep 2014

#1 Fan

Written by chicceo Published in

Chic Elite member and avid marathon racer, Jessie Bahr has found a fun and creative way to involve babies into the world of running. Her cute and endearing onsie designs have become a winner amongst runners, leading Jessie to entrepreneurial success!

What is your background?
 
I grew up in St. Louis where my dad owned a small business. I moved to Milwaukee for college and pursued a degree in Architecture. After completing my degree, I moved back to St. Louis and worked at a local architecture firm for 5 years. During that time I found out architecture was not for me. I did, however, meet my now husband at that company and we married three months before I switched jobs. I moved into an interior design project management role for two years until I had my daughter. I loved my job, but I did want to stay home with my daughter. I had been a runner since college and my mom has been my running partner since I moved back from Milwaukee. I took my background as a runner and designer and fused it with my new position as a mom to create my business.
 
Tell us about your business.
 
I own Cheer Baby where I create motivational baby onesies and toddler shirts that cheer on family members who run. The apparel cheers on moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and uncles with designs such as “my grandma runs faster than your grandma”, “my mom is half (13.1) crazy”, and “dad’s running partner - providing motivation since day one.” Cheer Baby also works with race directors and charities to create custom apparel that is event or charity specific. Running has seen continual growth the last decade, and according to Running USA, 44% of runners have children. Cheer Baby looks to fill that market with cute and inspiring outfits!
 
Why did you decide to pursue this idea?
 
I have always wanted to own my own business and have a product that people would smile when they saw it. I did not know what that product would be until I had my daughter. Before I found out I was pregnant, I was training for my first full marathon with my mom. It was also going to be my mom’s first full. My mom kept training, but there was no way that I could run it with her. My daughter, Evie, was two months old on race day and I needed something for her to wear to cheer on her grandma. I did not like any of the designs out there, so I made an iron on for her to wear. It was a hit. Grandma loved it, my family loved it, and people at the race thought it was adorable. The problem was it fell apart after one wash! So I quit my job two months later to stay at home full time with Evie and to launch my own children’s brand, Cheer Baby, to give runners a quality product that would last as long as the child fits into it!
 
Who is your biggest inspiration?
 
Corny, but it is my family. My mom who picked up running mid-life and then completed a full marathon inspires me to believe that anything is possible with dedication. My dad, brother, and sister who all owned/own small successful businesses help me to keep things in perspective and to believe no matter the type of business (construction to environmental clean up to midwifery to onesies) hard work will pay off. My husband who has the patience for me to go into business and be a full time mom at the same time; I strive to have his unconditional understanding. And lastly my daughter! Seeing the world at her level refreshes me every day!
 
What is something you wish you would have known when you started your business?
 
It is not about inventory, it is about how well you are connected! Connections take time to be made and nurtured, inventory just sits there after you have it and can be ordered anytime. I did it backwards at first, but lesson learned! 
 
What is a quote that your business/company/or you live by?
 
That’s a hard one, I don’t really have one. When I am running, my mantra is “strong legs, full lungs, happy feet.” The same can be said for running a business, maybe change it to “strong ideas, full inbox, happy customers.”
 
What makes your business unique?
 
Me. There is no one out there that is Jessie Bahr. As a small business owner, of course I wear all of the hats right now, but because I create all the designs and press each design onto the apparel myself, my customers won’t find another one just like it out there. Yes, there are competitors because every business has them, and that is a positive, but they are different. I hope every business owner thinks that they are the piece that make there business unique to a degree. We all want our exit strategy, but as an owner I feel that you have to bring something to the table that no one else can until someone else owns the company, then they should bring something new to the table too. 
 
What is your favorite mistake?
 
My favorite mistake has been not having designs for aunt and uncles right off the bat. As an aunt myself, of course I consider myself a family member and would buy for my niece or nephews! It was one of those slap your head moments when person after person came up to me at my first expo and asked why I did not have anything for aunts and uncles! I have them now!

Comments

You could definitely see your enthusiasm within the
work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who
aren't afraid to mention how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

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