Clothing

Mama Maker: Whitney from SproutFit

As new mamas know all too well, babies basically live in onesies and leggings for the first 6 months of their life. Whitney of SproutFit wants to extend the life of this starter set of nostalgia-inducing clothes through the first year (and beyond). She’s producing organic American made baby clothes that your little ones won’t outgrow until they’re celebrating another birthday.

SproutFit’s adjustable baby clothes come in 0-12 months and 12-24 months so you don’t need to change out your baby’s wardrobe every few weeks. With their flexible sizes and colors, you can build a baby “capsule” wardrobe for any body type (something I appreciate as the mom of a tall and lean toddler).

sproutfit adjustable american made baby clothing
Image courtesy of SproutFit
This isn’t Whitney’s first rodeo. She started her first company at 13 years old in the natural foods space and sold the company 9 years later. She went straight into a corporate role, where she’s been for nearly a decade.

So what would inspire a mama with an already full plate to embark on building another company from scratch? The “entrepreneurial itch” as she describes:

“It came so organically,” says Whitney. “Here I am, sitting in my son’s closet banging my head against the wall, thinking there has to be a better way to clothe a baby that grows so quickly.”

She also felt a calling to create responsible working conditions out of concern for what happens to millions of women and children overseas. So, SproutFit clothing is produced ethically and sustainably in Los Angeles.

Whitney hops on a flight from Boise regularly to “meet the people, shake hands, feel out the vibe and make sure the people who are making our clothes are treated fairly and have good working conditions.”

The company is also rolling out a “green guarantee” to extend the life of their clothes, even through multiple children, by offering mending and repairs in exchange for a small fee to cover the cost of shipping.

Women Helping Women Succeed

Whitney credits SproutFit’s growth spurt to Factory 45, an online accelerator program which helps entrepreneurs create sustainable American made clothing brands by removing obstacles that founder Shannon Whitehead had experienced herself.

While “coming home from work, on the plane, traveling like I do for my job,” Whitney completed the 6-month accelerator, “motivated by the fact that there’s a program out there created by a woman who had tried to do the exact same thing as me but ran into 6 years’ worth of obstacles.”

“She’s probably the only reason why I was able to launch from idea to actual Kickstarter campaign in 9 months,” says Whitney.

People are taking notice. SproutFit has been featured on NPR’s “How I Built This” podcast (one of my favorite ways to hear founder stories) and recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign funded by Axe Capital (the Showtime series featuring “Brady,” as I’ll always think of Damien Lewis, as a slick hedge fund manager).

SproutFit’s Kickstarter from Whitney Sokol on Vimeo.

How this Mompreneur Makes it Work

“It’s not always easy,” says Whitney. “It’s a lot of prioritizing and a lot of asking for forgiveness from friends and family members.”

working mom makes organic american made baby clothes
Image courtesy of SproutFit
Whitney and her husband both travel for work, so it requires a lot of communication, calendaring and “keeping everything in check.” She uses her business trips to catch up on sleep and make the most of every extra minute by herself.

With her busy schedule, Whitney has gained a healthy perspective on a skill that many of us mamas still struggle with.

“I’m pretty good at saying ‘no’ now because it’s to protect my sanity, my family and our future,” she says.

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