At Modern Kids Design, we love supporting and sharing the story of emerging brands that want to make a difference. In our last post, we wrote about Milestone Cards. As part of our Giving Birth to a Business series, today we share our interview with it’s founder Gemma Broekhuis.
Modern Kids Design Your innovative cards are absolutely lovely. How long had you been creating cards for your little one before the “light bulb” went off in your head and you had that “ah ha” moment that said, I should share this with other parents?
Milestone Cards Almost right away. I remember looking at the picture I took of Mikkel with my handwritten card next to it, thinking — this is so great! There must be more parents who would love this. I mean, we all wish we could remember every little thing about that precious time when your baby is so tiny and growing so quickly. In a small way, the Milestone Baby Cards fulfill that wish.
MKD What led up to the creation of the cards (did other parents see them and ask you to make them for them for example), and at what point did you know that this was a great idea?
MSC Most people around me liked the idea but they could’t really picture it the way I saw it in my head — can you say that in english? :-). So, I just went for it I guess. Still it took a while to really decide on the form, the materials, the box, the cards, the sizes and of course the illustrations. And I had many moments when I thought the typical “what if no one wants this!” kind of thinking. The realisation that the idea appealed to many more parents came slowly but steadily. First with the stores who were enthusiastic and just ‘got it’ immediately. And now because of the fantastic emails I get from all over the world from people actually thanking me for coming up with this. It makes my day every time I receive one of those emails.
MKD Wow, that’s a great story and we love your openness. Why did you choose to use recycled paper? Why is that important to you?
MSC Actually it is not recycled paper, it’s FSC paper. I am looking into recycled paper options but it is always a balance between green and what fits the product. Ten years ago, recycled meant brown. Luckily the green alternatives are getting better and better. I also work with a printer close by. Same goes for my warehouse. Basically, I try to be as friendly to the planet as possible. How can you not be?
MKD Do you consider yourself a “green mom”? If not, no worries at all. We know that terms are different in different countries and we don’t want anyone to feel like they are being “judged”. Most of us want the best for the planet but we may approach it in different ways.
MSC I don’t really call myself that. Maybe because we don’t use labels that way over here. But I guess I am. I am aware and try to be conscious about things. Separating plastic, glass and paper. Don’t waste water. Things like that. And I am very picky about our food. We hardly eat meat for example. It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice though. It’s also for health benefits. But when you start down that path, it all makes sense and it’s all connected. Less meat, less throwing away, more environmentally friendly products, awareness, they all fit the same lifestyle. And of course, we do everything by bike. Even with two kids, my laptop bag and groceries in the rain: no problem! 🙂
MKD Sounds good! And why did you choose the particular “milestones” that you picked?
MSC I wanted them to be universal. Every baby has the same moments. Things they suddenly are able to do. It is so amazing! One moment you can only lie on your back, and suddenly you can flip over. Wow! I did add the blanc card for parents to use for a personal Milestone. I’ve seen ‘first time in the bike seat’ (very Dutch) but also coming home from the hospital if the baby had to stay in the hospital for a while. Very precious.
MKD Nice — We really like the blank card idea too so that people can create their own milestones 🙂 Is there anything else that you’d like to share with everyone about Milestone Cards?
MSC New products are coming up! And I love to see pictures from around the world, so to your customers I’d like to say — feel free to send them to us (and Modern Kids Design would add — We’d love to see them too:-) ) . Last but not least, take pictures and capture those milestones, but also enjoy your baby through your own eyes instead of through the camera lens.
MKD Thank you! We really enjoyed learning more about your story Gemma and greatly appreciate the time you took to share it!