#startupmom: Morgan Hutchinson

#startupmom Morgan Hutchinson, CEO of BURU

 A little about the biz to get us started?

BURU is a shopping destination of curated ready-to-wear that focuses on a mother’s fashion needs – washability, wearability and easy access to nurse. We feature over 40 designers, emerging and established, including 10 Crosby Derek Lam, Ace & Jig, Mara Hoffman, Milly, Rachel Pally, Rachel Comey and more. I personally comb through hundreds of collections to find unique styles that accommodate changing waistlines, bust-lines, and the phases of motherhood. I’m on a #momstyle mission!

How did your #startupmom story begin? 

The BURU website launched on September 24, 2013 with almost 9 months of prep time leading up to that point. The concept for BURU came to me during the first week of my daughter’s life. As a girl who primarily wears dresses, I found my wardrobe to be the opposite of nursing friendly. When Olive was just 10 weeks old, my husband and I took a trip to NYC to attend Coterie—a women’s contemporary market. To be honest, we weren’t sure if we would actually buy or not, but when we realized we could find the styles moms need from brands they know and love—we bit the bullet and began curating for our first season.

After writing our first orders, we headed home to learn how to build a website and run an online business. Something we are still working on everyday!

 

BURU

Who made you a mama?

Olive Bee, who will be three in November. She was named appropriately as she is one “busy bee.” She honestly never stops. I am quite jealous of her energy level! She is also ALL girl—it’s princess time all the time at the Hutchinson household.

What kind of mom are you?

I would say I am a mix of silly (we dance and sing a lot) and serious (please and thank yous are mandatory and not taken lightly). Overall, I am actually more relaxed about things than I thought I would be. I thought I might be laser focused on the “milestones” that the books always mention, but I find much more joy in watching her figure things out in her own time. I am a snuggly mom. I am a mom that lets her make messes. I am a mom that wants her to see the world. 

What was a time you felt like you were doing this mom thing really well?

Last week in the car, driving home from her pre-school, Olive said, “Mommy, I really love you.” Her face was beaming, and I realized at that moment—she is a genuinely happy and well adjusted little girl. It felt wonderful. Of course seconds later she colored all over the window—but whatever…she loves me!

What inspires your work?

My family is my number one inspiration. Though it has always been a dream and passion for me to run my own business—having a daughter made this even more important to me. I want her to see that she can do anything if she puts her heart and soul into it.

What does a typical day look like in your world?

Every day is a little different. With a startup (as you know) we all do a little bit of everything. I refer to each of us as a “Jill of all trades.” In general, I get Olive off to pre-school (she goes 4 days a week from 9-3) and then I get to my list of tasks. Some days it’s all about customer service. The next day could be all photography. The next could be writing orders for the upcoming season. Most days, however, are a little mix of everything to keep things moving in the right direction. 

What’s hard about being a #startupmom?

What’s not hard about it? Kidding. Many aspects are challenging, but for me it is remembering to value my time and myself. Right now, everything BURU earns goes right back into the business. It’s Brett’s work that sustains our family. For me personally, this makes me feel like the rest of the family responsibilities are on my shoulders—the laundry, the school pick-ups, arranging childcare, our home renovation, etc. The thing is—it is all self inflicted. I have a husband that goes above and beyond to keep our family working as a team. He values BURU and my efforts to make it successful. In fact, he often refers to it as our retirement plans. Here’s hoping!

When and where do you get most of your work done?

In addition to the time when Olive is at school, Brett and I wake very early (3-4 days a week) to get in a few hours before she wakes up in the mornings. We also dedicate a half day every weekend. The truth is that it never really stops. If a customer emails or messages me a sizing question—I answer it.

Your family in three words?

Loving. Supportive. Funny.

How would you spend your perfect day?

Strolling through NYC with my family—stopping along the way for delicious snacks, window shopping and playing in neighborhood parks. Now that we don’t live there, we actually get to do all the things we want to when we visit. 

What do you love most about being a #startupmom?

I know that I am going to miss out on things in Olive’s life, but I also know that I am still in control. I know I can be there for the important things. No one is going to tell me that I can take half a day to attend her school play. Additionally, I have the ability to pack up and travel with Brett when he has work trips. That is a true gift.

What’s new and what’s next for BURU?

We are a grass roots company with no outside investors. This sometimes prevents us from growing as fast as we would like to (inventory is not cheap) but it also allows us to experiment with different strategies without a lot of red tape. It’s amazing how many things we have learned through our experiences. One of the best lessons has been the importance of human contact and networking. The days of putting merchandise on a website and expecting them to sell themselves are over. The immediate future of BURU involves collaborating with other likeminded companies to increase our customer base in an organic and personal way. 

Any parting advice for all of the new #startupmoms out there?

In motherhood: Remember that little ones are so resilient. They also pick up on your fears so try to keep those at bay and be relaxed.

In entrepreneurship: It’s okay to take 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. Sometimes that is just the way it works!

Take 20% off at www.shopBURU.com with discount code B4BxBURU and click below to link up with BURU and follow Morgan's #startupmom story. 

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