Thursday, March 6, 2008

What is Babylicious?

Babylicious is a Canadian company that designs baby bedding + accessories. To understand what Babylicious is though, you have to get to know the founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, Tina Barkley. Here is an excerpt from an interview with the force behind this hip, fresh and modern baby brand.

Q: Who are you?

My name is Tina Barkley (nee Vrlak) and I'm 41 years old. I live in Vancouver, Canada. I grew up right here on the west coast, in a small family, and now have one of my own--which is how I ended up in the baby business.

My husband Michael and I have two fantastic girls, Pippa (4) and Jill (2). Pippa was definitely the inspiration for Babylicious and Jill, well, she's just been the best accessorized baby on the planet!

Q: What are your hobbies?
I love to garden, cook and play tennis. Now that we have kids, I play golf or ski only about once every 3 years! I also love anything creative. The kids and I have a blast doing every possible arts-and-crafts project.

Q: What are your favourite things?
The smell of my kids' cold cheeks after playing outside in the crisp winter sunshine. Anything with cheese. Pearls (no, not diamonds....I'm quite a practical woman). Doing something that someone really appreciates. My mom.

Q: What do you look forward to when your kids are bigger?
Getting back in shape and working out regularly. Being able to stay in NY on that business trip for one extra day and not feel guilty. Walking through the house and not be constantly picking up STUFF! Going on a small holiday with just my husband.

Q: What makes you tick?
I love a challenge. Anything creative. Traveling. Learning a new language. Watching my kids learn something new or be mesmerized by something.

Q: What bugs you?
People that turn right from the centre lane and don't move over into the curb lane first - holding up the rest of us. People who dawdle (chop, chop, people!). Smokers. Rudeness. People that walk by avoiding eye contact--it doesn't hurt to smile! That they can't find a cure for cancer.

Q: How did you get into this business?
For over 9 years I was in the kids/baby magazine business and followed trends very closely. I was the local and Canadian TV reporter for all things kid-related on various TV news channels. When I had my first daughter I was frustrated that baby basics weren't available in funkier patterns--everywhere I looked there were the same old ABC blocks or teddy bear prints! That is where it all started. I have never manufactured anything before but had been running my own business for over 11 years, so off I went sourcing and designing and the rest is history.

Q: What do you love about your business?
I love that it is go-go-go and always busy and creative and strategic all at the same time.

Q: What do you NOT love about your business?
Traveling to great places but rushing back because I don't want to miss my kids or have them miss me.

Q: What was your toughest moment?
Standing about to board a 15-hour flight to Hong Kong with my 9-week baby Jill strapped into my Baby Bjorn, wondering WHAT WAS I DOING? Alone and about to travel around the world, sleep deprived and frazzled, the reality hit me....(but, Jill was a doll the whole way there and the whole way back!).

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