P&N is all about products that are safe and gentle on baby—and when they're good for the entire household, we're in love. When we learned BabyGanics was founded by two dads, we wanted to hear their story. So, we talked to Kevin Schwartz (Founder & CEO) and Keith Garber (President) and got to know them a little bit better.
Tell us about your families.
Kevin: My wife, Alison, is my hero and always has been. Her strength, grace and unwavering support are that glue that holds our family together. She is absolutely the driving force behind my professional and personal life. (Although my sons Tyler and Ryan are quickly catching up!) Tyler (almost 6) and Ryan (2 1/2) keep us busy, happy and cracking up—they’re both super happy and active boys. My favorite thing to do at the end of a stressful day is come home and just hang out with them!
Keith: My wife, Nicole, and children Zach (age 6) and Sky (age 3) are what keep me inspired to work so hard AND find balance along the way. There’s always a soccer ball flying through the air or a dance recital being practiced for in our kitchen! The busy, noisy sound of everyone having fun makes our home the most amazing place to walk into after work. Nicole amazes me with how she keeps everyone organized and happy! Their support is absolutely what makes it possible for me to work as hard as I do.
It's refreshing to see dads who are so passionate about safe household and baby products. What inspired you to start BabyGanics?
Kevin: The idea for BabyGanics actually came about when I was starting to build a business that was focused on the health and wellness of pets. In 2002, I started PetLabs360 which provides advanced supplements to veterinarian offices. The more I interacted with pet owners and vets the more I learned about a major issue many of them were facing: skin and coat as a result of the chemicals in household cleaning products. In an effort to develop cleaning products that were pet-friendly, I realized that the issue is so much bigger—that people, especially small children and babies, are extremely susceptible to reactions to harsh chemicals. My wife and I were thinking about starting a family, and my business partner Keith was a father as well. We didn’t want our kids to be crawling around on a floor or taking a bath in a tub that had been cleaned with products that could be harmful. So, out of a need in the pet market, BabyGanics was born!
What challenges did you face early on?
Since the inception of the BabyGanics brand, our greatest challenge has been defining a new “Natural and Safe” category in the Juvenile Specialty arena. With every step forward, seemingly another traditional household or personal care company has made attempts to slap “Baby” on an out-of-category product and compete in the space we’ve created. Consumers making smart choices and asking the right questions have helped this “Little Guy” remain the big fish in our tiny pond!
If you could convince parents to do one thing differently in their homes, what would it be?
Start reading labels…on everything! So many of the “traditional” products historically used throughout the home are riddled with chemicals that are extremely harmful to pregnant women, infants, children and pets. If a product contains ingredients you can't pronounce, without additional explanation of their origin, then you should replace that product with a safer alternative. The simple act of reading ingredient labels can open your eyes to so many ways that you can provide a safer home environment for your entire family.
What has the feedback been like from customers? What has surprised you?
Kevin: We love hearing from our customers and their feedback is not only rewarding but also extremely helpful. We're always humbled when we get notes of thanks from customers who have made significant changes in other areas of their lives because of something they learned by starting to use our products. They have made simple changes that truly impact the overall health and wellness of their families.
Keith: Some other surprising letters we've received are from people using the products on themselves rather than on babies. One that I'll never forget was from a woman whose husband uses our Non-Petroleum Protective Ointment to soothe and protect the skin surrounding his prosthetic leg. It was a genuine letter of gratitude for the solution they'd been unable to find until discovering our product. Our entire team loves to hear about the individual lives that their work is touching.
What's next for BabyGanics?
Kevin: We're very proud of the work we're doing to elevate the infant skincare category. Stay tuned for some very exciting new additions to our personal care range later this Fall! We're focusing on innovations that create products and regimens specific ally formulated for infants' unique skincare needs.
Keith: We're rolling out into Target stores nationwide in mid-September with a core selection of products that will become staples in every parents home. This expansion is very meaningful because BabyGanics products will now be accessible to even more parents who are looking for safe and effective options for their families.
Thanks Kevin and Keith!
You can find BabyGanics products here.