Get to Know the Bows of Wunderkin. Co: A Conversation with Founder, Hillary Denham

Get to Know the Bows of Wunderkin. Co: A Conversation with Founder, Hillary Denham 

Life has a funny way of showing what's important at different stages in your life. For example, I have found with age, I have come to appreciate the little things. It's not always about how big the next iPhone will be or how many comments are engaged on a post--truly little things say a handy kitchen gadget or a pretty handmade bow bring just as much joy.

Speaking of bows, get to know the handmade bows {head quartered in Denver, Colorado} of Wunderkin Co. Wunderkin. Co are bows handmade by moms from all parts of the USA.

However, like many good things, Wunderkin started out small.

Hillary Denham, mom of three, originated her heirloom bows at her kitchen table. In order to keep up with the demand for her handmade bows, she began to employe other stay-at-home moms to carry on the creative ribbon crafting torch.

The outcome was more than just pretty hair accessories. In fact, because Hillary began to empower other stay-at-home-mothers created something else entirely. Not only was she producing more & more bows, but she was empowering other moms as well as fueling their creative spirits.

Fast forward to today as Wunderkin has grown wonderfully! They create 4000 bows a week by 28 seamstresses employed all across the United States. Wunderkin stands behind their makers & creations as all of their bows are guaranteed for life.

In 2019 the company was projected to exceed $3 million in revenue. However, like any small business, Hillary's start was just that--small, humble, & just the right amount of hustle.

Hillary was kind enough to give The Yellow Spectacles an exclusive on what it's like to grow a brand & make your own creative dreams a reality.

Wunderkin Co. Heirlooms Bows 

1The Yellow Spectacles: 

Initially, when did the idea for Wunderkinco begin? What was your inspiration? 

Hillary Denham:

I started Wunderkin Co. after I had my two daughters.  At the time, I was cultivating my values for motherhood and deciding how I wanted to raise my girls. I wanted to raise them to be confident and free-spirited, and have space to grow into the unique individuals that they already were meant to be - instead of my prescriptions for them.  

At the same time, I owned a business that didn't bring me a lot of fulfillment and joy. I decided to step out into a creative venture that both scared and inspired me, hoping to wrap that spirit of bravery up into the brand. To me, Wunderkin stands for that audacious spirit of childhood that has no fear - and bringing that spirit into your adult life as well.

Hillary Denham, Wunderkin Creator-Founder {photo via Wunderkin Co} 

2. TYS:

After starting your Etsy Shop, when did you first realize that you had something special? 


When I started Wunderkin Co., I had an Etsy shop and Instagram. I would post pictures of bows on a piece of wood in my backyard and sell out immediately.  I would constantly have to put my shop on vacation because I couldn't make them quick enough! After working six years previously to build my first company with a massive marketing effort, it seemed too easy.  

Six months in, I decided to launch an unlimited fall preorder where I could test the depth of demand and sold 3000 bows in twelve hours.  After that, I know that I had to grow the business beyond myself.  Looking back, I attribute the beginning success to starting something at the intersection of my passions and skill set. I spent six years trying to make a carpet cleaning business sexy and reading every book about marketing.  Once paired with something creative and a brand that inspired me, it was magic.

3. TYS:

Can you tell me more about your bow-making process & the seamstresses who make them?


Our bows are made by seamstresses around the US.  Many are stay at home mothers. We decided to scale this way so that we could keep the integrity of a handmade product and grow in a uniquely "Etsy-shop" way.  

After we had our first unlimited sale - and not a lot of luck contracting Denver-local seamstresses - we leveraged our social media following and Google Drive training videos and tech packs to expand our production with virtual seamstresses.

4. TYS: 

What has been your biggest learning curve being an entrepreneur? 


Organizational leadership!  At my core, I'm creative and I love brainstorming and creating visions for the future of Wunderkin Co., like creating high-quality products, ways our brand can develop community and artistic direction and styling of photoshoots.  

My journey of building a team and learning how to be a leader has been full of learning lessons and operating outside my comfort zone.  Luckily, I love to read and attend seminars and have learned a lot from observing others.

5. TYS:

What advice would you give others who are budding entrepreneurs?


Go for it. There are so many pieces of wisdom out there about starting imperfectly.  So many times it's tempting to wait till something is buttoned-up or glamorous, but I once heard that if you aren't embarrassed by your first try, then you waited too long.  It's cliche, but true!  

The journey will be filled with failure, but when you look back and see the full story, you will always be proud that you dug deep and pursued something that truly made you feel connected to your purpose.  

One of my favorite quotes that guides the Wunderkin Co. culture are by Howard Thurman: "Don't ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

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