With a former career as a Ford model, a colicky baby that cried 24/7and in desperate need of an income, Lynda Fassa wasn’t sure what to do with her diverse skill set and a child that couldn’t be left with a sitter. By chance, she saw an article on cotton farmers who had gone back to growing their crops organically. Interested, she called the farmers to see why. Turns out she learned that most cotton is grown with many toxic chemicals and she didm’t want her new baby exposed.
Splurging on 50 yards of organic cotton – off-white with flecks- she decided to make clothes for her baby while she napped. Lynda didn’t have a clue what she was doing but quickly leaned. In the beginning, she made her own patterns, sewed herself, and used water based products to screen-print her first rompers. “I sold quite a few ‘basics’ to friends. As I got more stylin’, I strapped Layla into her sling and took samples around to stores in Manhattan and started taking orders! It was exhilarating!”
From there she took her line to trade shows, craft fairs and other stores. With the numbers of orders growing exponentially, creating the clothes herself became impossible. Who knew green clothes would be such a hit, the timing was right. Lynda found a manufacturer in the garment district run by a Thai Buddhist couple. Initially not turning a profit, she brought in her husband to help her “become more fiscally conservative and profitable. We learned a lot during this time.”
Gwyneth Paltrow, Alicia Sylverstone and Jon Bon Jovi all became fans of the ultra soft, environmentally friendly rompers, sleepers and accessories. Lynda call her pieces, “whimsical pop art baby wear.” The Green Babies packing and shipping department was run in her small apartment kitchen by herself and friends. With another baby on the way, she knew she needed more space.
Finding a home in the Hudson River Valley seemed fitting for the green enterprise. “Nature spoke to us from the geese overhead and the woods up the street, and we felt the clothes were richer for it. I’d run up the street and wait for the UPS delivery with a kid on my hip and one doing homework on the warehouse floor.”
A third baby on the way and a booming business, Lynda stayed focused by always coming back to her mission of providing the safest options for “the most important people in the world, babies.” With one of the first green web sites, e-commerce made their life easier. Voted by MSNBC as “One of the Top Ten Mom and Pops on the Web,” Green Babies had traction.
With her babies rapidly growing up (they are now 11, 14 and 17!), the couple opened their first free standing Green Babies retail store. Lynda also found time to publish two best-selling books, Green Babies, Sage Moms, and Green Kids, Sage Families.
Now what? Lynda and her Green Babies company have worked to create a 5 piece line of all natural baby body care products that can be found in Whole Foods next month. So an empire has grown from that first curiosity about organic cotton 16 years ago, who knew what could happen by chance and by going green.
Use nap time to create a venture.