Motherly spoke with Trish Moreno, President and CEO of Little Giraffe, a baby products company known for its gorgeous array of soft and sweet baby essentials and accessories like blankets and plush animals that celebrities and ordinary moms alike adore. With over 20 years of business management experience, including at Bebe, Trish is a leader in the fashion, baby, and home industries. She talked to Motherly about finding inspiration from other mothers, her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and how she navigated the first few years as a new working mom.
Motherly: How has motherhood transformed your career? What’s your secret to integrating work and family?
I probably never would have been as successful or as willing to transition into the baby business from fashion and home if I wasn’t already a mother. I fully relate to our customers. I feel them! We all have the same challenges in balancing work and family, and I am not sure I have the answers. When my daughter was little, I just fit her into my life and schedule. I didn’t really ever subscribe to the theory that your life stops when you have a child. I’ve always worked and maintained a level of creativity, while still being there for her. That said, I only have one child! It definitely gets harder with more. I have always made it important with my daughter, now 17, to connect every day and share our stories. We text each other photos (and a lot of heart emojis) on and off throughout the day, especially when I’m traveling. I still make it to all of her big moments. You have to make quality space for family, even if it’s limited. I think everything boils down to respect and love. As long as you have that wired, you can support each other really well.
Motherly: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann, written in 1927, is a great guide to life. I grew up with this poem framed on the wall in my family home and must have read it hundreds of times. I think it was somehow ingrained in my subconscious, because upon rediscovering it recently, I realized I’ve really lived my life by it! It is the best bit of life and work philosophy I can share. Google it… it is rich with wisdom. Here’s a quote: “Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble. It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery, but let this not blind you to what virtue there is. Many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.”
Motherly: What keeps you inspired and excited every day?
Having such an amazing team is a big part of it. I have a theory: don’t hire anyone you wouldn’t want to have dinner with. And sometimes we work right into the dinner hour, so that’s a good thing! We are a super productive and diverse team, we mesh together really well, and we support each other every day. We’ve created an environment where every member of the team believes they are capable of something extraordinary, and every day someone pushes beyond even their own highest expectations. The team also feels a drive to serve the greater good. We have reached out to comfort families who are suffering or experiencing challenges, and have made a difference in lots of little lives- with something as simple as hand delivering a supersoft, cuddly blanket to those in need. Giving back is a big thread in our organization. Of course, there is nothing better than contributing in some small way to making babies and parents happier, calmer, and more relaxed, with the softest, most luxurious blankets on earth!
Motherly: What are your words of wisdom for other mothers wanting to turn their passion into a business?
I would say, “if you build it they will come!” If you have really strong feelings about the impact you can make, about filling a need in the marketplace, if you can really relate to your customer, and almost intuitively know what is meaningful to them, go for it! It is so rewarding to have a successful business that contributes to making the world a slightly better place. It takes an unstoppable level of energy and passion to really make it happen. I would venture to say I am as sleep deprived as any mom with a newborn. A business is just like an infant, actually. You have to feed it, love it, educate it, and nurture it to make it grow. See! You can do it!
Motherly: What are your big dreams for Little Giraffe?
The more accessible we can make Little Giraffe, the better. Expanding our reach with Little Giraffe is a primary goal. Our blankets and related products are a comfort to many babies and families. We recently launched a diffusion brand called LOVE by Little Giraffe. It is available now on Target.com and in stores and online at Buy Buy Baby. It will soon reach the full tier of brick and mortar and online retailers. Our goal is to make our luxury, softness and comfort accessible to as many babies as possible, and LOVE is well on the way to accomplishing that. I’d like to walk down a busy street and see LOVE in every stroller, so there’s a lot more work in front of us!
Motherly: Who is your #momcrush?
This is the toughest question of all! There are so many moms that I admire. The more I think about it, my #momcrush is not on anyone famous or well-known. It’s on every mom out there that’s just trying to make it work, trying to get through the day with her integrity in tact, raising a family and seemingly doing it all, and at least trying to make it seem effortless. Here’s to all the moms out there! Cheers to you for everything you do to raise conscious, productive, and empathetic human beings that will bring a little more joy to the world.
The #MotherlyMakers series highlights inspiring women who are remaking our world.