Menu

Babyganics founders: ‘green’ is the new normal

A Q&A with Kevin and Keith, dads and the creators of the baby safe product line.

Babyganics founders:  ‘green’ is the new normal

Kevin Schwartz and Keith Garber are cofounders BabyGanics, an innovative line of natural and gentle baby products, from mineral sunscreens for kids to baby-safe floor cleaner. They shared with Motherly the story of the ‘lightbulb moment’ that led them to found their company, advice for other parent-entrepreneurs, and insight into how Millennial parents are making “green” the new normal.


Can you tell us about what were you each doing before Babyganics?

Kevin: Sure. I started my career in technology, but felt it was missing something – I didn’t feel fulfilled. I’m an entrepreneur at heart and wanted more than just the typical 9 to 5… something of my own.

It was when I got my puppy Tucker (my first “baby”) that I was tapped into that [entrepreneurial] spirit and founded a successful pet health and wellness business. It was a great eye opener and indirectly, I think helped set the stage for what would become my next business. (Also, happy to report Tucker is still part of the family and going strong at 91 - in dog years).

FEATURED VIDEO

Keith: Similar to Kevin, I‘ve always been an entrepreneurial spirit – it’s probably why we get along so well. I actually co-founded of one of my first companies when I was still in college, which then became a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq.

I’ve built several other startups that ended up as leaders in their categories, but even with those successes, I didn’t feel I was making a real difference in the lives of others – which was always a dream of mine since I was a kid.

When I teamed up with Kevin I was finally able to combine my passion for growing a business, being a dad, and ultimately making a difference in the lives of millions of other families.

Was there a moment when you realized that you knew you needed to start Babyganics? What clicked for you?

Kevin: It’s funny – we actually call it the “lightbulb moment” in our office. My wife Ali was pregnant with our first and we were starting to think beyond ourselves— about our baby on the way.

It wasn’t going to be just us anymore, and like with most parents, it made us consider the world our child would be entering, including our home. We wanted to make sure he was going to be safe, but we also wanted him to be free to play, and crawl and explore – as babies should.

So, we started searching for products that would make our home safe without us having to worry. It was also important to us that the products we used were green, so they were not just safe for the baby, but safe for the planet too.

And, you know what? We couldn’t find them. That’s when I knew that something needed to be done. By the time Tyler was born, so was the idea of Babyganics and my mission.

It took the help of a lot of dedicated, passionate folks who share this mission, but today we’re a company run by two dads (myself and Keith) and we have a whole ecosystem of ‘baby safe’ products — from home care to skin care, from the bath to laundry to sun— that just couldn’t be found a few years ago.

And knowing that every day, new parents discover our products and join our journey to help their babies naturally and happily grow and thrive only reinforces it was the right thing to do.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Kevin: I have to say, it came from my mom. It was right before Tyler was born. She told me to enjoy every moment with my kids. She said “They grow up so incredibly fast and if you don’t make time for them when they’re young, you can’t get that time back.”

She also told me that as much as I want to protect them, I need to give them their freedom so they can find their way on their own. “Guide them but don’t hold them back.” That was something that always stuck with me.

How has fatherhood transformed your careers?

Keith: I have always wanted to impact in the lives of others. It wasn’t until becoming a dad that I realized I wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of other children and families beyond my own.

Fatherhood helped me identify my purpose. I love business and I love the whole idea of ‘family’ – being able to combine those two every single day, it’s amazing!

Kevin: I have to agree. Being able to have my work directly impact and benefit my family, and vice versa – I couldn’t ask for anything more. I think being a dad also helped me grow as a person, to be more patient and understanding.

I find myself focusing more on the important things and making sure I have balance. And this isn’t something I expect for just myself, but for our entire organization.

Family is so much a part of our culture and it’s important to the two of us, that our entire team prioritizes a healthy balance of work and family.

What’s your secret to integrating work and family?

Kevin: Family drives the passion behind what I do, but it also drives the need for what I do. Being a parent and knowing what other parents look for, what they want, I have a focus group right in my own home!

It makes my job that much easier. And again, it also helps me prioritize the important things. I believe in family first and I practice what I preach. If I didn’t, I couldn’t lead by example – which is something I take very seriously.

Keith: For me, it’s about setting the right example. It’s all about the team environment, pulling together, supporting each another. This is not only something I try to instill in my team at work but also with my family at home (we actually call ourselves Team G).

I spend a lot of time working in the community, running developmental athletic programs for kids. I believe in encouraging them and helping them find their strengths – which is something that I have learned throughout my years in business. It’s how I motivate all my teams.

What are your words of wisdom for other parents wanting to turn their passion into a business?

Keith: It’s just that – you need passion. Passion and mission, actually. Passion gives you heart and mission gives you drive and keeps you focused.

If you lack either, it will quickly turn into just another job. It’s the two that will keep you going during the hard times. And there will be hard times – trust us.

But it can’t just start and stop with you. You need to share your passion, make it infectious, so that those around you want to join your journey in creating something great!

And the second piece of that is surrounding yourself with good people. We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for our team - the other fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents – all who have believed in the Babyganics mission and committed themselves to creating better choices for parents.

How are Millennial parents changing the conversation about what it means to be “green”? Is “green” the new normal?

Kevin: Millennials, more than generations before them, see “green” as almost a base line. They are more aware of labels and are searching for products that are better for them (and their families).

They also have higher expectations; they are not willing to sacrifice efficacy just because a product is green. They take an uncompromising approach to their needs and are not willing to settle – and to be honest, they don’t have to.

What are your big dreams for Babyganics?

Keith: Part of our DNA at Babyganics is about driving innovation, especially when it comes to the safest and best ingredients to use in our products.

And quite frankly, it is something that we are very proud of. As part of my dreams for future, I want to us to not only continue as a leader, but to also drive change.

Change that inspires a movement for more consumers to demand better ingredients, better choices and that challenges the status quo. Because status quo is easy, and easy is not acceptable when it comes to the wellbeing of family.

Kevin: I totally agree with Keith. If we do our job, and help parents make smarter, better choices for their families, those decisions will lead to overall lifestyle changes for the better.

My dream is for Babyganics to be the catalyst that shifts families to think differently and to make healthier lifestyle choices across the board. Not just specific to the products that we create, but to all the decisions they make in their world.

What have you learned about modern mothers and fathers through Babyganics?

Kevin: Parents today spend more time with their children than their parents ever did. Both mothers and fathers consistently say family time is more important than their job or other leisure activities.

Parenting is not seen as a burden, but a privilege and source of happiness.

They also celebrate the freedom and independence of their children, which is a view point mirrored by editorials, scientific studies and schools. Today’s parents understand that babies need to explore and satisfy their curiosity and not be kept in a bubble. This is critical for their emotional, physical and mental health.

This is what Babyganics is all about. We support this baby freedom by helping parents create a world that is baby safe for full exploration!

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners
Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

FEATURED VIDEO

"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

Keep reading Show less
News