An interview with Kristina S. Garcia, owner of Cradles & All Baby and Child
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
Address: 205 W. State Street (Downtown Geneva)
Phone: (630) 232-9780
Owner: Kristina S. Garcia
Business started: 2005
Web address: www.cradlesandall.com
A: We cater to the needs of pregnant women and grandmas all over the Chicagoland area. "We wanted a shop that allows people to shop in one place for all their baby needs. We have a great selection of products for everything you may need and the personal attention that newly expectant moms want."
Q: What types of products do you offer?
A: We offer cribs, bedding, bassinets, car seats, strollers, toys, christening gifts, art work, lighting, custom design services, diaper bags, books, rocker/gliders, clothing and great gifts.
Q: What made you start your business?
A: My husband and I decided to start our business when we were pregnant with our first child and couldn't find the quality nursery furniture we wanted at a price we could afford. We wanted to offer quality baby items so that everyone is able to have their dream nursery within any budget. We have had people call us to thank us for our honest opinions as to what would work for them rather than trying to sell them the most expensive item.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: I love knowing that we helped first-time parents on their journey from their furniture purchase to their "home from the hospital" outfit. Cradles & All has become part of their family's history; we've gotten to know them and the grandparents and will always be part of their experience. Also being part of downtown Geneva is great -- we are part of the fabric that makes Geneva so wonderful.
Q: What is your philosophy in running the business?
A: We don't sell the most expensive, instead we sell budget friendly items. We also really try our best to listen to the customers needs and sell them what works for them. We are a small family run business and we thrive on loyal customers and word-of-mouth referrals.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: The changes in the marketplace; with all things going digital and eCommerce, it's increasingly difficult for small businesses to complete with Internet sales.
Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I've always wanted to be a mom. Now I am a wife, a mom to five awesome kids and a small-business owner.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: Don't try to be all things to all people -- discover your niche and set yourself apart. We focus on building relationships with our customers. We have seen over the past seven years our first customer's children growing up and they are now on their second or third babies and it's fun to see their families growing and how they've changed now that they are a seasoned mommy. If you create the right formula of choice, value, experience and service to appeal to today's mom -- then grandma is sure to follow. This is a special time and a new experience for mother and daughter to share.
Q: Is there a secret to your success?
A: People always comment to our staff that they appreciate that we don't sell them the most expensive stroller (or any other item) but we take the time to listen to them and sell them the one that fits their needs the best. I really believe that by selling your customers an item that fits their lifestyle that they will appreciate that much more than the fact that you sold them a $900 designer stroller.
• Every Monday we feature a small suburban business. We want to hear about yours. For information, email email@example.com.