I first came across Tina’s products while looking for some entertaining and useful stuff for my kids when we travel. I found the KidzSack and have been a fan ever since. What I love about this product, and the company founder Tina Hill, is that these handy kids backsacks are practical, thoughtful and tough.
I found out why when I asked Tina to explain her business to me. Tina planned everything down to the smallest details. Then she started working…I mean doing things, calling people, sending samples. She planned a little so that when she started doing stuff it worked. Here’s what Tina has to say about her experiences building her business and her brand.
Laura: How did you get started with KidzSack?
Tina: I am a 44 year old mom of four who started my business with just $200 about 2 years ago. Now, I am in over 120 stores internationally including Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton Resorts.
Laura: What was your strategy when starting out? What made your backpacks different?
Tina: I had to be both unique and creative in my marketing and brand strategies. First, let me tell you that Kidzsack is an eco friendly, creative backsack for kids ages 4 and up. There are obviously tons of backsacks, backpacks, and sportsacks out there…so what makes mine different? What would make mine stand out among all the others? And why is it eco friendly…I mean, everyone is jumping on the eco band wagon these days, right.
Kidzsack fabric is made from 100% recycled cotton and soda bottles making it eco friendly..and it is made in the USA. I decided from the get go that I needed something to set me apart. I wanted to be first in a new category…something to give buyers something to really think about. Kidzsack is the only creative backsack on the market that uses recycled fabric. Something that Whole Foods has taken notice of and I’m now selling there.
Kidzsack packaging is made from cardboard that can be recycled but not just that…being a parent concerned with quality, I’ve made packaging that isn’t entirely enclosing the product. I want consumers to be able to touch the fabric and see the quality. It’s not cheap lightweight poly cotton. The fabric is 10 oz. canvas that the consumer can actually feel for themselves. The packaging is even mom designed by a local mom!
Kidzsack is mom invented and made in the USA. I know that when I’m shopping for gifts, seeing something mom invented and made in the USA makes me pause and read more. Especially in a market where EVERYTHING is made in China. This also sets me apart from the majority of mass merchandise coming out of China.
Kidzsack is packaged with reusable markers because as a mother of four kids (13, 11, 9, & 7), I understand the importance of buying an activity (arts & crafts item) that can be used again…and again. How many times have I bought a gift in the past that my kids played with once…and then it got put away on a shelf…or in a closet…never to be played with again and left to collect dust!! Buying a reusable product, activity is something that consumers are looking for…especially in this economy when everyone is feeling the pinch.
Laura: What have you done to get visibility for your product?
Tina: I have created a product that is first in a new category; that stands apart from the rest because it’s using materials that other similar products are not. I have contacted every newspaper in every town that I have ever lived in to get them to write a story on me. I have contacted every eco magazine to get them to do a write up on Kidzsack. I have e-mailed friends for contacts at networks and that has gotten Kidzsack on CBS NY. I have networked and e-mailed and blogged and you name it…because I have every intention of making Kidzsack a household name. I’m trying my hardest to stay true to the USA and am even using local manufacturers for both screenprinting and sewing. I’ve created something that moms can understand because it’s a mom must have. The Kidzsack solves a problem. When mom is running out the door…all she has to do is, grab a Kidzsack, throw a juice box in and snack. No more looking for toys, activities, coloring books, crayons…BECAUSE KIDZSACK IS THE ACTIVITY. Kidzsack is a Fun Creative Bag for Kids on the Go!