Rockin’ Baby: CEO Kathryn Wiley
She’s a wife, mother of six, entrepreneur and world changer. Rockin’ Baby CEO Kathryn Wiley started a global movement through childrenswear. For every item sold, Rockin’ Baby donates to a mother or child in need somewhere in the world. They partner with well-managed, non-profit organizations to donate slings and childrenswear to needy mothers and children through their child-to-child and mother-to-mother programs. Risen caught up with Wiley to hear more about her company, travels and teaching her family to give.
Interviewed exclusively for Risen Magazine
Risen Magazine: Why did you decide to start a children’s clothing company?
Kathryn Wiley: I actually bought a sling/pouch business in 2011. I changed the name from Rockin’ Baby Sling to Rockin’ Baby immediately so that I could add more products that were one-for-one! Clothing came after the fact when I met my business partner, Mark Jeynes, who had experience in the clothing industry and I felt more confident in being able to successfully launch products to the market that consumers would love.
RM: Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?
KW: Rockin’ Baby is a global brand. We are based in the U.S., but we have a presence in the U.K. Our designer lives in London and designs are based on global trends in efforts of attracting more consumers than just the U.S. customer.
RM: Your mantra is, “You Buy, We Give.” How do your Child-to-Child, and Mother-to-Mother programs work?
KW: Our Mother-to-Mother program came first. When a mother buys a carrier from Rockin’ Baby, we donate a carrier to a woman in need. We have recently developed a co-op in Uganda where we are employing women to sew their local wrap and distribute to women at the birth centers. The partnership with Childfund is truly an exciting and innovative way of progressing the one-for-one idea. The Child-to-Child program came about when we realized that childrenswear was the perfect opportunity to donate to the millions of children around the world who are in need of new clothing. For every item of clothing that Rockin’ Baby sells, we donate one to to a child in need.
RM: You personally travel to parts of Africa, China, and Haiti each year. What has your experience been interacting directly with families in the countries you are helping?
KW: Traveling around the world and interacting directly with the families that Rockin’ Baby is helping is truly my favorite part of my job. Understanding that the more items we sell, the more items we can give, means that when I am in a country seeing how much need there is, I realize what a big job Rockin’ Baby has. I also realize what a responsibility we have to figure out how to give responsibly. We need to ensure that we are giving in a way that is sustainable to the communities that we are working in. We want to empower the families and see them thrive. Rockin’ Baby has so many incredible ideas to be realized through our giving programs.
RM: You are married with six children. How are you teaching your kids about the importance of giving, and what fruits are you seeing?
KW: I believe in leading by example. As a family, we give back together. Over the summer we bought a school bus, converted it into a R.V., and drove it from Richmond, Virginia, to Portland, Oregon, donating items to families along the way. Through small steps, like leading by example and talking about what we’re doing and why, we have created a lifestyle of giving. I’m incredibly blessed to see my children’s compassion shine and proud that they continue the spirit of giving even when I’m not around!