June 25 is a very special day for us at Little Sleepies. It’s our birthday! And this year, we’re celebrating five years of cuddles, cuteness, and the most incredible community. As we look back at the last five years, we decided to chat with our founder, Maradith, about what the experience building and growing Little Sleepies has been like.
Learn more about her favorite prints, memories, and more in our interview:
What inspired you to start Little Sleepies? What did your life look like before?
I spent 15 years in the film industry before I started Little Sleepies. I was a studio executive and helped oversee movies like Bridesmaids, Mamma Mia!, and Les Miserables. I loved my job for a long time but was starting to feel uninspired as the industry was changing.
Around the same time, I had my son Gavin, who had terrible eczema as a newborn. I started searching for a better option than the cotton sleepers that seemed to be irritating his skin. I was also noticing a lack of functionality and innovation in the space, which felt a bit boring and stale at the time - not many options!
Bedtime has always been my favorite time with my kids, and I knew there was something so powerful and emotional there. I started thinking about “the perfect sleeper” that checked all of my boxes and did tons of research and development on design, fabrication, and manufacturing in my free time. When I ended up with a sample of the Zippy (still very close to what it is today), I was obsessed and decided to see if other moms would be as excited about it as I was. Lastly - I wanted my toddler (at the time) daughter Sienna to be able to match her baby brother, so I added two-piece PJs to the mix.
Ultimately, I launched the company as an experiment - out of my garage, very much bootstrapped. I had no marketing dollars or experience running a business or site, but I knew that if moms loved the product, they would tell other moms about it. And that is exactly what happened - but it happened about 100x faster than I had expected!
What does Little Sleepies mean to you?
It’s a bit cliche, but Little Sleepies is like my third child! I’m so proud that the brand can be a small part of people’s most special memories - from bringing their baby home from the hospital to their child taking their first steps. I love seeing so many families and friends around the world bonding over their matching sets - it’s the best part of my job!
What is your favorite print?
It changes every day, and it is so hard to pick one, but Secret Garden is a favorite for my daughter Sienna and my son Gavin loves Sushi.
What was the most challenging part about starting Little Sleepies? And the most exciting?
I started a company with absolutely no knowledge, connections, or experience (sort of ridiculous in retrospect), so everything was a challenge! I had to teach myself everything, from building a website to creating email campaigns to learning how to fit a garment, importing and logistics, and so much more. As hard as it was, I truly loved every second. I barely slept for the first few years and sacrificed a ton to make it happen.
What are some of your favorite memories?
- Packing orders in my living room in the very early days with my husband (he was in charge of taping the boxes up)
- Six months into the business, seeing our Valentine’s Day print pop up on Kim, Kylie & Khloe’s Instagram accounts (I still don’t know how they got them!)
- Meeting my remote team for the first time in person
- The excitement of our first Disney launch
What does the LS community mean to you? How has it changed?
The LS community is the heart of the brand. I started the VIP group the same week I was unpacking our first cartons of product in my garage, and I could never have imagined that five years later, it would be over 225,000 members strong. While it’s impossible to know everyone in there personally like I did in the early days, I’m still in there scrolling through several times a day, reading customer feedback and admiring all of the cute kiddos!
Tell us about the LS team. What has building your team been like?
Looking back at the last five years, I think that my greatest skill is hiring. I am absolutely in awe of my team and how incredibly talented and dedicated they are to the business. The fact that both our team and customers are so passionate is the magic behind the brand.
What are you most excited about for the next five years of Little Sleepies?
Product expansion! I’m bursting with excitement about where Play by Little Sleepies and Home by LS are headed, thanks to our incredibly talented team. We have so many ideas that I can’t wait for us to bring to life. The sky is the limit for Little Sleepies!
What memories do you have of Little Sleepies? Share them with us in the comments or on social to join in on our birthday celebrations!