Featured Founder Profiles: Milena Perrine, Little Dundi

15 Oct

Buyerly Babble will regularly feature company founders and their experiences achieving retail success.  Interested in contributing your story?  Contact us!

Milena Perrine, Little Dundi Founder

Name: Milena Perrine

Company: Little Dundi

URL: http://www.littledundi.com

Industry: Baby products

Current retailers: Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Wayfair.com, Walmart.com, MacroBaby

Career prior to staring company:  Controller at Lakeside Capital Group, LLC and prior to that Loan Officer at US Bank.

How can they connect with you: http://www.facebook.com/littledundi or https://twitter.com/littledundi

A brand you admire: Britax

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Q: What was the inspiration behind starting your company?

Answer: Neuroscience! I learned about the various safety and motor skills impediment issues related to traditional baby walkers while reading a book by pediatric neuroscientist Lise Elliot (What is Going On In There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life). This book and related medical studies explaining the neuroscience behind learning to walk reveal that traditional walkers not only do not help infants walk, but also pose significant safety risks. This is why they are recommended against by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

I decided that my son should learn to walk on his own, the old fashioned way. During his earliest attempts to walk my husband or I held his hands to help him balance, assuming an unnaturally bent position. My son wanted to practice walking all the time and the back pains resulting from the prolonged bending were significant, making the activity one we really disliked. In addition, the pulling on my son’s arms prevented him from using them for balance.

I came up with a prototype for a harness that could both support my son’s top heavy torso and allow us to remain upright while assisting him to take steps. My son loved it and a lot of local parents expressed interest in it and encouraged me to pursue developing it further. 

Q: What do you consider your biggest success to date?

Answer: Happy customers…Every time a parent or a grandparent shares a joyful story about using My Early Steps (Little Dundi’s soft structured baby walker) with their little one, or any of our other products, the gratitude I feel is enormous.

Q: What advice do you have for budding product entrepreneurs?

Answer:  Set clear goals and be persistent. Goal setting may appear somewhat challenging at first, especially for someone without any background in the baby product industry (such as me). I think that the best way to go about it is to connect with others who have been successful in developing and bringing products to market and consider their advice. Once goals are set, it is all about achieving them. In my opinion persistence is the single most important quality an entrepreneur can cultivate.

Q: What do you think about Buyerly?

Answer: I used the retail buyer panel product evaluation service offered by Buyerly (Product Feedback). The concept of connecting product developers to retailers via an easy to use platform is impressive, but even more impressive is its execution via Buyerly. Going back to the importance of goal setting – the targeted information I received from the panelists allowed me to set even clearer goals for the future of My Early Steps and by extension, a few other products Little Dundi is developing at this time.

The part I loved the most was that the platform offers an array of questions to ask the retailers that are extremely pertinent to how to get on their shelves, but are not the kind of questions everyone would think of asking (or at least I hadn’t thought of asking them).

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