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  • Her colleagues said she was "losing her mind", but looks who's smiling now.

    [ Click to view articles ]   Her colleagues said she was "losing her mind",but looks who's smiling now. The product has caused frenzy at "Mom Cafes", she launched this product after quitting her government job.She walked away from a government job she wasn't cut out for three years ago and started out her own business.Developed anti-reflux cushions based on her personal experiences and difficulties in raising children.CEO Kim Sohee, ROTOTO BEBE, has led the company to reach 4 billion KRW in annual sales.As a mom, I worried about my baby vomiting everytime I put him down. I felt nervous about burping the baby after breastfeeding. I wouldn't leave by the child because I feared he'd suffocate by accident, not even for a minute. There were no products on the market that could ease my worries. So I came up with the anti-reflux cushion and made one with my own sewing machine. This product has become a hit  selling 80,000 to 90,000 products a year in just three years. Kim So Hee (36), who quit a government job and transformed into an entrepreneur in child goods.CEO Kim So Hee (36)Provided by ROTOTO BEBE◇In search of something where she could pour out her passion, she decided to leave behind the government job at age 30. - Briefly introduce yourself“I graduated from college and started my government job in 2011. I was an administrative official working in a ward office in Ulsan. I moved to Iksan, Jeollabuk-do to get married, then transferred to Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs and then left in 2014. Today, I'm in charge of a ROTOTO BEBE, a company that specializes in child products. Rototo means burp in French, and bebe means newborn.-Why did you quit the government job?“I felt as if my efforts didn't match the returns. For government officials you are supposed to dedicate many years to the job and I couldn't see myself there in the long run. I couldn't find a role model around me. I needed a place where I could  pour more passion. I quit because I had a feeling that  there would be something that I'd be more inclined  to do and do well.”- I just started my business after leaving.“I was unable to do things at first. I started with blogging, registered my company officially and I made my own bed linen. Since I was a student, I had a sewing machine and did blogging as a hobby. If I put up a post related to home decor, I was contacted by people asking me to sell their products. I started because it was more fun than money. I thought, of course, there wouldn't be a possibility to do business this way.In February 2015, we acquired a futon store that was was on sale, because it was closing down from bad business.  I was going into the bed linen business, and I couldn't just keep making the goods from my apartment. You know how it is, when you first open a business, the decor and all,  it costs a lot of money. It was a store where the rights were cheap, but nobody wanted it. My mother-in-law took out her savings and lend me the capital for the deposit.  My husband also quit the company and ran the store with me. Later, the Rototobebe business took off, and walked away from the store in March, 2018. I received more for the store's rights, and paid off my debts" The first cushion made while raising my first child.Provided by ROTOTO BEBE◇A big hit with the anti-reflux cushion made for her first child -How the anti-reflux cushion was born.“I made it while raising my first child. For babies, their digestive system is not fully developed so you have to keep them in your arms and burp them after breastfeeding.  If you don't burp them, they might vomit while you're busy doing something else. There is risk of suffocation if they vomit while laying down. That's why moms get anxious to keep them laying down on the floor. There was a bumper bed while browing for products, a fluffy bed with no inclination. The product's called Bounce and has a large slope that made it difficult to keep the baby there for a long time. When I searched on the portal, I saw a high number of views for the keyword “Newborn reflux”. There were tons of worries regarding the reflux or regurgitation in babies but no product to solve them.  So we made our own anti-reflux cushions. At first, the filling of the pillow were removed and molded whereas I used a sewing machine for the cover.  I laid down the baby on it, and he didn't complain at all. since he wasn't pucking as much, I was relieved.”-How did you take over the market?“I made a prototype in January 2017 and first posted an article on my blog. Then, people who struggled with the same problem left a comment asking me to make a product. I had a store at that time, and it was only 50 days after my baby was born, so as the orders came in, I'd make them and shipped them out.  But every time I received a second and third order, the order doubled. After receiving a 4-5 orders, I rented a 10 square meter warehouse near my house and started selling it full time. At first, I made it myself, but I couldn't afford to handle all the orders, so I found a company and entrusted it to produce it. As cushions sales grew more than the quilts sold in the store, we have focused on the anti-reflux cushion business since 2018.”- How much are you selling?“In 2019, sales were around KRW 4 billion. Sold 80,000 to 90,000  units.  Started out with my hubby and myself and now I have 12 employees.”- I heard that you are exporting?“Exported to Vietnam, China, and Japan. We are also preparing to enter Amazon. Among the foreign markets, Vietnam is the most responsive. Vietnam has a large population of 20s and 30s, and child care products are hot. The image of Korea is also good. There are also suppliers of parental care products that only sell Korean products. Even though it's relatively expensive, sales are good. Other Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand and the Philippines, have language issues, and export is not very popular. We will also increase exports, but I would like to go on Amazon and make a homepage in English and Japanese to promote it myself.”CEO Kim sold cushions at futon store, but get rid of the store and focused on her online business.Provided by ROTOTO BEBE◇My former colleagues are green of envy, because it's almost as if I had hit the jackpot. - Wasn't it difficult to transition from a government employee into a business woman? “I had no one to talk to regarding business. A sewing machine was a hobby, but I wasn't an expert who could make products from start to finish. We had to deal with packaging, inspection and packing. It was also harder to have a business while raising a child. Before I got married, I used to split my time, and when I had a child, I could never yield much time. So I thought about putting those two things together,  parenting and work. We looked into the details that were needed for the business, such as how the company describes the product, how you sell it, what materials are used in manufacturing those clothes, and how the advertising banner works. The whole process change how my brain was wired.  But it was very difficult to take care of the baby and even offer customer service over the phone”- If it was that hard, where does your thriving passion come from?“It's powerful to see reviews from customers who have used the product. Comments such as, "I'm dying over here with child care and parenting but this product saved my life." It's really a motivation booster. I think I can help someone with business, so I feel good when sales increase even though I've never been obsessed financially. I just realized, "I can do this much."  When I was a government official, no matter how much I worked, how better I was than my colleagues, I was limited in progress and the scope of my work was limited. Right now, I get what I worked for and the sense of accomplishment is enormous.” - I bet those who tried to stop you from leaving your job, might have a different view of things? “When I said I was quitting, everyone tried to stop me but my husband. They didn't just try to stop me, they called me crazy. I mean, it wasn't about starting my own business but the issue was that I was leaving the job. So many had said I was going to fail, and one supervisor said to give it a second thought, that I'd think differently later and tried to stop me. Today, they are saying, 'she made it' or 'she hit the jackpot.' I poured my efforts into this , and I think I got a pinch of luck too.-Future plans?“Apart from the anti-reflux cushion, I'm looking into creating products that can help parenting, and childcare for both moms and dads. Many of the cushions used during feeding were bulky around the waist. That's why we came up with the breastfeeding arm cushions. There were so many one piece baby pajamas with snap buttons, and it was a hassle to snap them one by one at night when you are wiped out. So I came up with a zippered one piece baby PJ's.I don't just create products, but I want to develop them into a company that can deliver value to my customers. As I've been selling my products, I learned that there are so many brands that copy others. I mean even the instructions. My mindset is based on the fact that you might get your product stolen but never the quality. Our goal is to grow into an honest child care products company."By Yeongjo Song for jobsN

    ROTOTO bebe 2020-06-22
  • ROTOTO anti-regurgitation cushion introduced by Hom So-won

    Click the settings button on the right side of the YouTube video to translate the subtitles into English.  

    ROTOTO bebe 2020-06-17
  • ROTOTO anti-regurgitation cushion introduced by Ahn So-mi

    Click the settings button on the right side of the YouTube video to translate the subtitles into English.  

    ROTOTO bebe 2020-06-17
  • ROTOTO cushion introduced by Jung Joo-ri, Jung Gyeong-mi

    Click the settings button on the right side of the YouTube video to translate the subtitles into English.  

    ROTOTO bebe 2020-06-17
  • ROTOTO Cushion (+toddlers) introduced by Jung Ga-eun and Ahn So-mi.

    Click the settings button on the right side of the YouTube video to translate the subtitles into English.  

    ROTOTO bebe 2020-06-17
  • ROTOTO Cushion and breastfeeding arm cushion introduced by Ahn So-mi and Park Ji-hun.

    Click the settings button on the right side of the YouTube video to translate the subtitles into English.  

    ROTOTO bebe 2020-06-17
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