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Meet the entrepreneur giving every penny of profit away

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As a child, Cecilia Crossley saw children living on the streets of Rio when she visited her Gran and family and after becoming a parent herself, her concern for the welfare of children everywhere deepened. Inspired by other parents experiencing the same emotions she wondered if there was a way to buy beautiful baby products and help children at the same time.

VITAL STATISTICS

  • Company: From Babies with Love
  • What it does, in a sentence: New Baby Gifts and 100% Profits to Abandoned Children
  • Founded: Launched first collection January 2016, London
  • Founder/s: Cecilia Crossley
  • Size of team: 5

What problem are you trying to solve?  

We help our clients make an impact, at a life defining moment. Our Parental Leave Gift Service helps engage and retain working parents. For many companies attrition of working parents, an experienced talent pool, is costly. Not only the cost of replacement, but also the wider impact on gender imbalance at senior levels. From Babies with Love is the Social Enterprise baby brand that donates 100% of its profits to orphaned and abandoned children. Employees taking parental leave receive a beautiful gift and enjoy knowing their company cares about them, and less fortunate children.

How big is the market – and how much of it do you think you can own?

Our Social Enterprise model, 100% profit to abandoned children, is unique in our market, in this sense From Babies with Love doesn’t have direct competitors. We have a wonderful opportunity to grow both in the UK and internationally. We often find clients are already spending budget, either centrally in HR or sporadically across company credit cards; we offer the opportunity to add value to this spend, for it to make a meaningful statement about the company’s people and community values, and to poignantly connect with employees taking parental leave.

How do you make money?

We send beautiful, ethically sourced baby gifts to our clients’ employees when they take parental leave. As well as the products, our gift bundles tell the story of the vulnerable children the employer’s gift is helping, connecting with the powerful emotions of parenthood. We donate 100% of our profits to the children we support, to us the children are our shareholders. On hearing this I was once asked; “imagine what your AGM would be like!” I replied, “just like normal with hungry screaming people!”

Who’s on your team that makes you think you can do this? 

Our board and team have a diverse skill set ranging across business development and sales, to designing social impact and responsible business practice. From Babies with Love blends commercial and charitable models in a new way, which helps us to innovate and sets us apart.

What do you believe the key to growing this business is?  

We currently support over 4,000 children around the world; helping more is what growing From Babies with Love is focussed on. We’ve become experts in designing gifts that are truly meaningful, for gift giver and gift recipient, because they also help someone less fortunate. This is our USP, and keeping a tight focus on how we apply this to add value for businesses is the key to our growth.

It’s great for From Babies with Love to get so much visibility thanks to my nomination for the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards in its Social Purpose Award category. I think our achievements and growth opportunities, and therefore our ability to keep increasing the number of children we support, are some of the facts the judging panel at the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards valued when I got the nomination. The award celebrates business women championing social purpose beyond their core business case, encapsulating founder Madame Clicquot’s commitment to business beyond profit.

What metrics do you look at every day?

The number of children (shareholders) we support, sales, our pipeline, and cash flow.

What’s been the most unexpectedly valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?  

I think we always knew our products would help our clients congratulate and connect with their working parents. The lesson so far is just how much impact the story behind the gift has, so much more that we could have hoped for. Employee feedback about the ethical gift choice by their employer has created a far more emotional connection and appreciation than I think we ever thought possible.

What do you think is on the horizon for your industry in the year ahead?  

Reports from global consultancy companies evidence that diverse organisations outperform those that aren’t. Gender balance is one element of this, and companies are increasingly investing to develop inclusive workplaces. As more companies learn from market leaders in HR policy and practice, I think we’ll see more changes in culture and practices that enable working parents to continue thriving careers.

Which London start-up/s are you watching, and why?

A fellow Social Enterprise, Rubies in the Rubble, is currently fundraising. They’re environmental mission is to reduce food waste, which they do by turning unsold fruit and vegetables in to delicious condiments. I love their chutney’s and their founder Jenny Costa is a pioneer.

 




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