'Green baby boutique' pops up on Web
WINONA -- Jessica Burros of Winona fulfilled a New Year's resolution two years ago when she launched an e-commerce Web site to sell eco-friendly products for babies and children.
The online retail store, Bambino Land , is in a state of transition these days with Burros working to establish a brand of organic clothing and baby items that she designs. The line of products already includes swaddling blankets, burp cloths, bibs, wash cloths and crib sheets, all made from organic muslin, a light cotton fabric.
"I feel like I have the drive to make it happen," said Burros, whose goal is to have Bambino Land products in 500 retail stores. They're currently available at 60 stores in cities across the United States and in Canada.
Burros, a Winona resident, said her main motivation in starting the business was her family. She wanted the flexibility of being her own boss and to work from home so she could spend more time with her two sons, ages 5 and 2. She affectionately calls each of them her "little bambino," which is where the company gets its name.
An e-commerce site wasn't much of a stretch for Burros, who is a graphic designer and previously worked in marketing and at an Internet company. She also liked to buy and shop online, and as a mom, she believed there was a demand for earth-friendly baby products.
"I wasn't the only one who had the idea," Burros said, adding that "a lot of green baby boutiques are popping up."
In the beginning, Burros purchased wholesale merchandise to sell through her online retail store, choosing brands like Ohgeez Organics, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Honeywear and Snuggle Wool.
Last year, Burros took the step of creating a line of swaddling blankets and other baby accessories sold under the Bambino Land brand. The products are made in China now, but Burros is developing a line of organic clothing to be manufactured in North Carolina. The clothing should be on the market this summer.
In 2010, she plans to complete the transition to selling only Bambino Land items.
"It's easier to sell your own products," Burros said, than it is to sell someone else's products.
Along with building her business, Burros is using Bambino Land to help a charity in Kathmandu, Nepal. A portion of the company's revenues are donated to Ghar Sita Mutu, a home for abandoned children that also runs a women's training program an outreach program for families in need. The charity was founded by a friend of Burros' family. Bambino Land sells wool puppets made by women at Ghar Sita Mutu, and proceeds from sales of those go to the charity.