Sari Davidson: Founder of BooginHead

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Sari Davidson

BooginHead has become a household name for parents since launching into the market over a decade ago. Inspired by those moments when babies fling their pacifiers, drool through their tenth outfit of the day, and launch their cups overboard yet again, BooginHead specializes in soothing and mess-mitigating products that save parents time, money, and energy.

The brand was launched by mompreneur, Sari Davidson, with their groundbreaking SippiGrip in 2007, an award-winning tether that keeps babies’ cups from taking a spill all over your floor every meal. It generated so much buzz she decided to leave corporate America for good to enter the competitive baby space and has never looked back.

“I was working full time at Microsoft and couldn’t get the idea of ‘innovate or die’ out of my head,” explained Davidson. “I took that concept and applied it to life at home. If I had to pick up my little BooginHead’s sippy cup one more time I thought I’d go crazy! I knew I couldn’t turn back!”

True to their motto of “Innovate or Die,” BooginHead has created must-have pacifier grips, teething bibs, splash mats and more, while also mentoring young women entrepreneurs that are just starting out in business.

“In order to be a truly dynamic brand, you need to work with others who have a passion for your idea. I have been so lucky to work with an amazing team of moms with the same goals,” said Davidson.

Now BooginHead has reinvented the original product that started it all with their SippiGrips in Silicone. This updated version of their award-winning design is made with 100% food-grade silicone, is stretchy and strong, compact and expandable, and works with almost any cup, bottle, or toy. SippiGrips are also made in the USA! BooginHead products are available nationwide at Buy Buy Baby, Target, Walmart, and other fine brick and mortar and online retailers, including Amazon.

Check out our full interview with Sari Davidson below!

Tell us about your professional journey. What lead you to founding BooginHead?

When my son was almost a year old, he was learning how to use a sippy cup and he couldn’t quite hold it correctly, so it was falling to the floor and I was constantly picking it up. He realized that would be a fun game and then just started throwing the cup wherever we were. And, I thought there had to be something out there that solved this problem, so I went to the major retailers, I went online, and I didn’t see anything that worked, I went to Target, I bought a sewing machine, sat down at my kitchen table, and started sewing. I developed my first product, theSippiGrip, in 2005.

SippiGrip was actually picked up by Target for an in-store display of Parent Invented Products, and it was full speed ahead from there.

What was the final push you needed to take the leap from being a Microsoft Corporate Executive to starting your own brand?

I worked at Microsoft full time and worked on BooginHead full time for three years, and I told myself when BooginHead hit $1 million in sales, I’d quit my day job to focus on my business. We hit that goal in 2010!

One of the most challenging creative struggles for an entrepreneur can be what to name their company. How did you come up with the name BooginHead?

BooginHead is a term we’ve used in our household for a long time. It is when somebody does something that they shouldn’t, but they do it anyway, and it makes you laugh, like my son constantly throwing his cup to the floor just to watch me pick it up. He’s being a BooginHead! So BooginHead is about creating products for parents to make their lives easier.

Why are you passionate about BooginHead? And what should people know about the company?

There are so many reasons why I am passionate about BooginHead. First and foremost, I love coming to work every day. I’m incredibly proud of the culture we have built together, and a brand we grew from one single item at my kitchen table to millions of units in multiple categories sold every year in major retailers.

I am passionate about the creative process of bringing a product to market and feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I see BooginHead out in the world being used by parents everywhere. I am passionate about creating products to help make parents’ lives easier. Also, let’s be honest: who doesn’t love a cute baby? So now that mine are not so small, staying connected to that stage of life brings me great joy.

BooginHead

What does your day-to-day look like – and what you love most about what you do?

One of the great things about my job is that each day looks different. I am fortunate that although my staff is small, we are mighty, and everyone is very good at what they do. I don’t have to do a lot of babysitting and fine details. I have the ability to stay creative with my Creative Director and bring ideas to life.

A lot of my job is to remove roadblocks for my team, so that they can do their jobs in the best way possible. One of the advantages of having a team that I trust so much is that it also leaves me time to go be a mom and have a flexible schedule when needed, so that part of my life is in balance too.

What was the best piece of career advice you ever received?

I  have had many amazing mentors along the way and still do today. But there is one that made an impression on me early on from my days at Microsoft. He would constantly tell his team – “We Innovate, or we Die.” I have never forgotten that, and it has been a part of the core values of my company from inception. Regardless of how many employees or resources we have, my team and I will continue to try and push the boundaries in my industry and bring something new and interesting to the market in a way that also benefits the world around us.

What does success mean to you?

At first, in the early days, I gauged success purely by sales. The longer I worked on the business and the more years that passed, I gauged success by sales AND net profit. But now, I put a lot of effort into making sure my employees are happy, compensated, and that our culture is intact. Sales and profit are obviously important, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much money you make if you don’t enjoy what you do all day.

With everything going on in the world right now, it’s never been a more challenging environment to operate a business in. What advice would you offer other business owners for how to navigate these next few months?

Right now every good CEO I know is doing a few key things.

  • Pivot, pivot, pivot. It’s hard to change course when something so dramatic happens, but if you can’t accept the change and know how to adapt you will be left behind. For us, that means bringing forth the digital marketing strategy that we had planned to roll out later this year, now – and at lightning speed. We want customers to know how to find us online and not just in stores so that is a big priority right now.
  • Be flexible and not only allow others to work from home but know that they are managing their families, children, emotions, and anxieties about the world right now. They have many more distractions during the day, so a normal workday may need to look a little less normal, at least until our children go back to school!
  • Trust your people and empower them to do their job. I have always said hire good people and get out of their way and let them do their job. This applies now more than ever.
  • Plan, plan, plan. Again, in addition to being able to pivot, every CEO should be planning for multiple situations and outcomes so that they know what to do when/if more major changes occur. It’s also important for their team to know that they can continue to do their job while we figure out the heavy lifting of managing the business through an unprecedented world crisis.

Do you have a specific person that’s inspired you or mentored you, that a particular person that’s really influenced you?

My mentor at Microsoft who told me to Innovate, or Die! It drives my company, drives my team, and has inspired great things from all of us together.

How do you practice self-care?

I am the type of person that doesn’t *have to* exercise but *gets to* exercise. Exercise is my stress release and spending time doing that most days of the week allows me to clear my head and get centered to tackle the day. My team doesn’t really like the person that shows up unless I hit the gym first. ?

If you could go back and give yourself three pieces of advice when you first started BooginHead – what would you tell yourself?

  • There are going to be really, really hard times. There are going to be times that you are not sure you can make it through. But you will, and keep facing forward because regardless of the wall that is in front of you, you always find a way.
  • You are a CEO, not just someone that is pretending to be a CEO because you gave yourself that title. Own it and embrace it, because other people do.
  • Trust your gut – it’s always right. Regardless of what others’ opinions are, always go with your gut and you won’t go wrong.

passion-is-a-powerful-force

What single word or saying do you identify most with?

It has to be, “passion.” There has been a very silly sign in every single office I have ever had. “Passion is a powerful force that cannot be stopped.”

It’s true, and instead of resisting passion, just embrace it and let it take you to where you are meant to go.

What’s next for you and BooginHead?

BooginHead has some very interesting and fun new items on the horizon that are a bit out of the box from what we have done before. Most of these items will be offered exclusively online first, and we look forward to engaging with that audience more, building that community and sharing our creativity with the world.

Follow Sari and BooginHead at:

Emily Sprinkle

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