Danielle Elias Las of Bump’n Clothing on growing a business while giving back to the IVF community
Describe Bump’n Clothing in a few words?
The ultimate in maternity and postpartum apparel.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
The desire to create the perfect maternity pant while giving back to the IVF community.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Attorney; In House Counsel for Family Business in Fashion world.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Instagram! It went as planned to an extent. At the time I was personally on a social media “break” so it was hard for me to balance the business vs. the personal aspect of fully immersing myself back into instagram. It is an incredible tool though and I feel I am learning more about it every day.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
After almost two years of production, testing, development and branding working with a certain manufacturer, and about 6 weeks before I was set to launch the brand on our website (and give birth to my son!) the manufacturer dropped me and I had to start from scratch.
I scrambled desperately to find someone who could pick up where I had left off. I interviewed 4 new manufacturers as well as sourcing agents, when I thought I had no choice but to give up, a woman walked into my office on a non-Bump’n business related matter and saw the Bump’n samples on my desk. She asked me about them, I explained my predicament, and she promised me she could execute production and delivery within six weeks. I was SURE at that moment that everything happens for a reason!
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
I like to focus on why the candidate is interested in working for Bump’n specifically. I think it’s important that the values of any new hires are aligned with the company’s. Anyone looking just to “work” likely won’t be a good fit, the desire to make change and be part of a community is very important in my line of work.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
When COVID began we were a 6 month old business and my son was 7 months old. My husband and I left our NYC apartment and moved in with my father for what we thought would be a “a few weeks.” My warehouse was shut down and of course my employees were all forced to work from home.
I was packing and shipping orders from my father’s kitchen table. Printing labels at home and became VERY close with our incredible USPS mail carrier. Like many businesses, it was a big pivot for us. Our team moved to Slack for communications, we did as much Zoom and FaceTime as possible– and I juggled my 7 month old with my husband at home. It was hard, stressful and the question of “how long will this last?” was extremely daunting. Surprisingly, we saw growth during that period. We had a product people wanted– loungewear that you could order online!
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
You can expect to see more incredible styles made by Moms, for Moms. Expect to see us tailoring our developments specifically to the needs of pregnant and postpartum Moms. As I am in the middle of my second pregnancy I am FULL of ideas for new product development.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
We plan, god laughs.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
If nothing goes as planned, that’s OK!
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
Family, friends, the beach and WINE!
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Absolutely believe in work/life balance– without it, I don’t believe you can be at peak performance as an individual. For me, it’s most important to create a clear and distinct separation between work time and family/self time. Of course there are exceptions to every rule and days that I break the boundary, but I like to make sure from the hours of 5 (or whenever I get home)-7pm that I am without my phone and entirely focused on my son before he goes to bed. Even if I’m just laying on the floor watching him play, he knows that time is for him– and it’s for me too! I get to decompress a bit, focus on him and recalibrate before jumping back into work-mode.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I don’t enjoy being pregnant!
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
Sufficient sleep, passion for what you do and prioritization.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being an Entreprenista means being part of a community of like-minded women. It means learning from others and sharing what I know to help others succeed!