I still remember my first blanket. I think most people do. It was a little boy’s love for his blanket landed him a job as CEO of Baby Jack & Co. – the world’s cutest CEO I will add. It started as some bad luck for Jack’s mom, local momtrepreneur, Kelley Legler. She returned to work after having Jack to find her marketing job was being eliminated due to the recession. Searching for a creative outlet, she began sewing tag blankets for Jack. He would use the ribbon to tickle his nose and arms to comfort himself to sleep. The calming and comforting effect prompted Kelley to start sewing tag blankets for family and friends. Based on the positive response she began selling on Facebook and at local craft fairs. Although Kelley worked out of her home in Hales Corners, Baby Jack blankets, also called loveys, started popping up all over – including the diaper bags of stars such as Malin Akerman and bachelorette Molly Mesnick. Today loveys are sold in 60 stores across 24 states in USA and plans are in place to expand distribution to Canada, UK, Netherlands and Australia.
Early success led Kelley to quickly recruit dad Brian and nana Nancy help her and Jack run Baby Jack & Co. Like the business, the Legler family was growing as well. CEO Jack welcomed his baby sister, VP Bailey, to the family and the business. With CEO Jack & VP Bailey’s big titles also comes big responsibility. Jack approves all designs and VP Bailey hand picks the plush animals that are attached to the tag blankets. Baby Jack & Co. relies on their fans #babyjackfans to help select each and every educational design. It’s not only the local family effort and the loyal fanbase that sets Baby Jack loveys apart from other tag blankets. Safety is the #1 concern. Loveys are different from other tag blankets because the ribbon tags are sewed closed so children can not get their fingers twisted or caught in the tags.
The dapper looks of CEO Jack and the adorable smile of VP Bailey are hard to top, but what really grabbed my attention was the big hearts of the entire Legler family. While this momtrepreneur is giving her kids invaluable business training, she is also teaching the little execs to give back. Kelley created the #spreadthelovey kindness campaign based on demand from her customers to share the calming effects of the loveys with kids who need comfort. The effort spans from hospitals and military families to police and firefighters, who use the loveys to bring security to kids in crisis situations. To date the #spreadthelovey campaign has worked with over 40 charities and has comforted over 3,000 kids! Visit the #spreadthelovey page to see how you can share the love.
Perhaps one of the most touching stories comes from a mom who was faced with tragedy herself. Her young son had to undergo 8 surgeries before his first birthday. In an attempt to distract herself and to meet parents in similar situations, she handed out loveys during her son’s first open heart surgery. To date she has helped #spreadthelovey to over 1,000 kids. For the whole story visit the Prayers for Finn Facebook Page.
I’m so touched and inspired by this local Milwaukee mom’s passion and drive. I can’t wait to see what 2016 and beyond brings to CEO Jack & VP Bailey!
Photo credit goes to Jenni Phelan Photography, which is another local Milwaukee business that I am excited to explore.