In Conversation with Lori Caden of Belly Bandit & Proof

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Describe Belly Bandit & Proof in a few words?

Solution based products for women ages 9-90.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

Both businesses were started out of a personal necessity.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Branded merch (cadenconcepts.com) which is still around today.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I’ve always sort of made up my own rules, so being my own boss was a one way train!

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?

Back then…(in 2008 the launch of Belly Bandit) it was before “social was really social” – so I was word of mouth, lots of door to door and calling – then a few years later we launched a limited edition band/partnership with Kourtney Kardashian.

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?

Wow – there are so many mistakes we have made over the past 13 years. Each of these obstacles brought opportunities, and a valuable lesson that led to the growth of the business and the 3 of us (sisters/partners) personally.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Creating a line of products that help women solve a need and feel confident.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

We have been very fortunate to see massive growth – especially in the D2C side of the business. 

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Lots of product launches, additional categories and a few celeb partnerships – very exciting things in the works!

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

To slow down and be present.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

I wish we had a mentor, that we could use as a sounding board, and to help create a road map (to any short cuts).

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Family, our health, being grateful for our staff and by being able to give back to our 2 new alliance partners. Black Women for Wellness and PERIOD.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Yes, we all need a work life/balance. It’s important to be reenergized from time to time. Burnout is a REAL thing.  Pre-Covid it was fun to getaway on the weekend for a girls trip – can’t wait for those days again!

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I have been a very strict Vegetarian since age 5. I don’t eat dairy ( except for some authentic new york pizza)

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • 10 min abs & legs with my daughter every single day.
  • Facetime with my parents.
  • Make my bed daily.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being a risk taker and having freedom to be creative – and gaining experience that often comes from making bad choices. Knowing this ride will be far from perfect, yet enjoying the ride!

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