Friday, October 17, 2014

10 YEARS! Timeline of Jaq Jaq Bird

Grace (founder of Jaq Jaq Bird) meets Seung (her husband) at a coffee shop in Evanston, Illinois. They fall madly in love and elope. From the time they met to marriage: 6 weeks.

Colorado, 2001:
Grace begged her husband for a sewing machine shortly after her first son was
born, but he refused to buy one, until one weekend when he was on a business trip, she
held a garage sale and sold all his “old” gears: golf clubs, fishing poles, jackets, etc..
The $900 she made from selling his gears she bought herself a used Pfaff machine in Denver (He has forgiven her since then).

Washington DC, October 2004:
Three kids later, Grace & Seung moved into a tiny fixer-upper Bungalow in Alexandria, VA.
They hired a contractor to renovate and expand the entire house. Literally when Grace gave 
birth to her third son, Micah, the FBI informs them that they are the latest victims of a fraud at the hands of the contractor. Left with a gutted HVAC system, no kitchen and no life savings, the Paik’s slowly undertake the renovation themselves.

Because the kitchen took nine months to complete, Grace started to sew bibs and place mats for her little ones to dine out in, and invented the chalk mat due to necessity of entertaining kids during meals. She started to go door to door in DC to sell her latest invention: chalk mat and bibs. The company name: Sam & Bellie was formed (named after her first two kids’ names)

2005 Sam & Bellie  was in15 local stores in the DC Metro area, selling chalk mats, bibs, diaper clutches, kimonos, and onesies.

2006-2009: The Washington Post discovered Sam & Bellie at a local boutique which featured in the Sunday section of the Post. This landed the company in The Daily Candy,
HGTV, New York Times, etc..  As a result, she sold enough chalk mats and bibs to pay for 
the renovation project and eventually sold the house for a profit. 

Grace hired Kwame, a local Ghana man who worked at a fabric store cutting fabric. He would produce all of Grace’s products the first 4 years of her business.

2010 Sam & Bellie was featured in HGTV. As a result, Target invited Sam & Bellie to launch at 600 stores under another label. She sold at Target for 2 years. She was able to scale up and move her production from Kwame to overseas. 

2010-2012 Land of Nod & Sam & Bellie co-branded splat mats & aprons.

2011 Sam & Bellie changed their name to Jaq Jaq Bird®, a trademark registered name which enabled them to sell at Nordstrom.

2012 While in Japan, Jaq Jaq Bird relaunched the eco-friendly line to an exclusive coating called PoetiCoat™ which is a polyester coated that makes it machine washable, stain & waterproof. Benefit from previous material? No more plastics & machine washable.

2014- Celebrating 10 years! Jaq Jaq Bird is sold at over 600 independent stores all over US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, and Korea. 2015 they will be launching in France, and Sweden.