This month’s Hall of Fame is special. We want to highlight a family business that has stood out over time for its commitment to child safety, always looking for innovative and unique solutions for the parents of Chile and the care of their children during the first years of their lives. We are talking about Crece Seguro, one of the brands with which we have come a long way and this month celebrates 10 years of hard work and success, so we would love to dedicate this space to them today and show a little of the great work we do together.
Crece Seguro: a bet for the safety of your children
This company was born in 2011, in Puerto Varas, and it all started from the need to get children’s products in the south of Chile, where at that time there was not a market as wide as it was in Santiago, the capital of the country. Today, thanks to technology and online sales, this is not a problem, but 10 years ago for the family that started it all, it was one big issue that they would take in their hands and transform into something wonderful.
H3: This need soon became a much more relevant one: the need to go further and provide security for babies and children in their growth through quality products that parents can trust.
A family is a beautiful project full of expectations. The philosophy of Crece Seguro today is to watch over each stage of the development of children since they are newborns, this through an exclusive selection of certified, recognized and endorsed products of the world; thus, giving the family the complete confidence of giving the best to the little ones of the house.
We are very happy to have worked with them as they transition from their first official name, Mummy’s and Bamby’s to their present as Crece Seguro, with a logo and color palette that represents the energy of children in their early years. We are currently working together on their social networks, turning great ideas into messages for those parents who seek safety for their children.
Get to know them!
It has been a beautiful experience to be able to be beside them in these 10 years. We talked with the Crece Seguro team and investigated a little more about its history, anecdotes, dreams and goals. Join us and get to know the behind the scenes with Waleska, Claudia, Romyna and Raúl, who gave us this interview in the middle of some very busy Cyber days, but still with all the energy and good vibes that characterize them.
Y: How was Crece Seguro born?
W: It was born out of a very familiar need. My sister was pregnant and lived in Puerto Varas. The soon-to-be born was the first granddaughter, the first niece, and when my sister wanted to buy things for her baby, she found there was basically nothing.
This is how we decided to start selling products for babies and pregnant moms. We opened a store in Puerto Varas and started working with KidCo.
KidCo is also a family business with more than 20 years in the field of child safety. This is, now, one of the biggest brands parents trust when looking for safety alternatives for their little ones.
Waleska with the CEO of KidCo at the Kind + Jugend fair. Köhl, Germany. 2016.
W: For family reasons, my sister had to come to Santiago and at that moment we had to close the store. In a short time, we started working again, but now online. We started looking for innovative brands to work with, as we had done with KidCo, and that is how we incorporated brands from the United States and Europe. It was there when we began to distribute the brands in other channels, not only through direct sales but also through an online store.
This was 10 years ago, in 2011.
What encouraged Crece Seguro – at that time Mummy’s and Bamby’s, to promote an online store rather than a direct sales store in Santiago was the large number of distributors in the capital. Unlike Puerto Varas, where children’s products were not easily found, Santiago was a fairly populated niche in terms of competition.
Another detail that convinced the team to continue on this path was that the future was pointing towards online sales, it was a trend that was beginning to grow very quick, so they bet on it and it was a great decision.
Y: How did you get the name “Crece Seguro”?
W: At the beginning, back when we were in Puerto Varas, our brand was Mummy’s and Bamby’s, and this continued even when we started with the online store. The problem was that this name is not very easy to remember, nor easy to write, less easy to search in Google. We had trouble with continuing with this name.
We always had this concern to find a new name, this until we started working with YOPPEN. We did an assessment with another person at the beginning, but with YOPPEN we took the final steps. As our products focus on the safety of children and is transversal from birth until they are between 8 and 10 years old, we choose Crece Seguro, to accompany parents with quality products for their children in their first years of life.
Y: Who are the people that make up this team today?
W: In the commercial area we have Clau and Pía; in the office and warehouse management there are Roma [Romyna] and Uncle Raul. In management and customer service, Roma and Clau work together, who at the same time are from other areas, and finally I [Waleska] am the one in charge of imports and finances.
As we anticipated it at the beginning, Crece Seguro is a 100% family-owned enterprise. Raul is Romyna’s father and Waleska’s uncle, Romyna and Waleska are cousins and Clau Waleska’s children’s godmother, so she is part of the family.
Waleska tells us that Pía, who works remotely due to her location, is the only one on the team who is not related to the others, but has been included as one of the family.
Y: What is the experience of working as a family?
Romyna: It is fun! There is much more contention; as the work environment is known and we are a little team, it’s very entertaining. It helps us get to know each other in other functions, not just as cousins, parents, daughters or uncles. This is another area to get to know each other.
We are confident and everything flows well.
Y: How have they managed to expand over the years?
W: We are very restless in the search for products that can inspire parents every day. We are always looking at things that we think are innovative; We have gone to international trade fairs in Germany (as Kind + Jügend) where all the big children’s brands of all kinds come together and there we have found very innovative and high-quality brands that we have managed to bring to Chile.
So, it has been a constant search for products that we find entertaining and innovative.
Y: Did you initially think that you would have the scope that you have now?
W: The truth is that we did not plan it. As a good family business, we start by executing rather than planning and, year after year, thanks to the working format that has gone well for us, we are well organized and restless – in the sense of looking for new things, so we have been growing very fast. The good thing is that we have been able to adjust the structure and how we do things to be able to carry this growth and not collapse with it.
Y: So, this was a process of growing up and learning over the years.
W: Absolutely. In fact, most of the things that everyone does today, they have never done before, so there is always learning in everything that comes next.
We asked them if this work of constant learning was a challenge for the team. Waleska tells us:
Yes, but that also makes our job entertaining. The good news is that we all know how to do the job in general. For example, now in Cyber we are all in the warehouse and we all handle most of the processes and movements.
Y: What has been your experience in these 10 years in the market and abroad?
W: I think things are very changeable and you have to be very proactive as well. In the pandemic, we were able to realize this. For example, with the issue of availability of supplies, products, delay times or how long it takes to deliver their product to the customer.
There are always challenges, but the good thing is that this is a very small industry so it is entertaining because you meet people who were first in one place and then in another. Also, another positive thing is going to trade fairs, talking with moms and dads, which also inspires us a lot because it is there where we get to know the things that they’ll need as parents, what they like, what they don’t, and listening is very important for us.
Looking for innovative brands, Kind + Jugend fair. Köhl, Germany.
For now, these world trade fairs are halted by the pandemic context that we are going through. Waleska tells us that they still use the communication networks, social media, and the visits of the clients to the warehouse to be able to talk a little with them and continue to maintain that close contact, listening to them even despite the communication difficulties that came with the pandemic, quarantine and its effects on direct communication.
W: This is something constant and the experience is that one can learn a lot through talking with parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, caregivers, and that inspires us a lot. Right now, you suddenly have to do a job “behind the screen”, but you know that what relieves a family is to be fast, to be always available to clarify doubts and to deliver super good quality products so that the children are safe and the family happy.
H3: The Crece Seguro team is well aware that communication is the key to find adequate solutions for child safety.
Y: Now we would like you to share with us a story, an anecdote, something that the team always remembers with joy.
W: Um, that’s difficult. It’s just that we have so many! The most recent, like this week… well, yesterday something very funny happened, because here we have some neighbors who are a courier company and we work with them. So, some venezuelan girls work in this company and they are really funny, bright and happy; they listen to loud music and here, in our warehouse, you can also hear what they are listening to; So yesterday it was early in the morning and they had music by Paulina Rubio and they were singing to it.
And finally, we caught up with that joy and started looking for a song or a playlist to do the same!
Romyna: We made our own playlist and had an entire karaoke morning, but the warehouse manager on his side…
Roma leaves the sentence in suspense while looking at her dad, Raúl, while shaking his head and he laughs. Waleska adds:
W: Some customers had just come to pick up their products and they were laughing with us, having a good time. Suddenly, we turned up the music volume and we started doing the choreography. At that moment, the warehouse manager almost hands over the keys and leaves.
Everyone laughs at the anecdote. You can see the trust and complicity of a family team that knows how to have fun and work together at the same time.
Romyna: No, but a memorable time I remember is the first time we received a container, which was when we were in the Las Condes and we had a storage room, not a warehouse – at Waleska’s department – and we had other departments storage rooms only to store things. It turns out that a large container arrived that time and we had to open it, but we had no idea how to do it, we did not have the key to the padlock, the “Napoleon”… We didn’t even know what a “Napoleon” was!
We had to cross the street to another building to ask for tools and well, it was a joke because in the end we opened the container, but we spent the whole day with grocery carts taking things from the truck to the carts, putting them in the elevator, then into the storage rooms.
Waleska explains to us that the container’s steel seal is something that is opened only with a Napoleon, which is a specific tool. So, at first, they tried with a saw, a handsaw, they tried everything to be able to open it, even between 4 people and, in the end, when they were able to open it, they had to stay all day going back and forth with grocery carts.
C: That was memorable because at that time we were working at Waleska’s department, and there we used all the neighbors storage rooms. We had our little “warehouse”, our offices and everything there.
W: Yes, we even rented storage rooms from other people and the janitors of the building worked with us, they helped us a lot.
They spent several years working in this modality from Waleska’s department, until they moved to a proper warehouse where they are now. But those were their beginnings, as Claudia says, “at home.”
W: Now we can do anything!
Y: What inspires you to continue in this field?
W: Feeling that we are being a contribution for the parents and children’s life; that with the products we bring, the kids are safer and parents are happier. I think it is super important when clients recognize what we try to do too, that inspires us every day.
Currently, these are the brands that they have brought to deliver quality and innovation to Chilean families:
Y: What are the features that you would like to highlight of Crece Seguro?
W: That we are a good 360° team, that we are well prepared to face any challenge, that we have managed to grow hand in hand with all this effort and that, deep down, there is no ceiling for our dreams and goals. We are always looking for new horizons.
Y: What distinguishes you from others?
W: The quality of both the products and our services. The closeness, the speed. In fact, yesterday there were clients uploading to Instagram that they had bought the same day at our online store and had already received their product.
It is just that: we give our customers good service and we bring functional and innovative products for them.
Y: And in which channels do you currently distribute your products?
W: Falabella, Paris, Ripley, Baby Tuto, traditional retail channels and stores that are in the children’s sector. In the end, our brands are everywhere.
Y: What are your medium-long-term goals as Crece Seguro?
W: For now, consolidate what we have in brands and be able to incorporate, for example, more car seats that today are one of our star products and, in the medium term, open more stores to be able to reach more places and regions.
Y: Are there new things coming for Crece Seguro?
W: Yes! New things are coming, like our first physical store, which we are going to open now, at the end of the year, and next year I would say we will have new Diono car seats. We are working to expand that option.
The opening of a first physical store for direct sales in Santiago will be a great milestone for the team, and it just coincided with the year in which they celebrate 10 years of experience.
Y: How has it been working with YOPPEN?
W: It has been really good because there is also a close relationship, we are all family in the end. There was a time when the pandemic started in which we stopped working together, but then we resumed and everything has gone pretty well, because there is trust and closeness. There is also professionalism, which we also consider important.
Y: As a company, Have you faced great difficulty or low moments?
W: I believe that we went through the reality of all SMEs when the social outbreak was combined with the beginning of the pandemic. There was a gigantic uncertainty and we were just growing and making important decisions. At that time, we trusted that things would turn out well and, in the end, 2020 and 2021 ended up being very good years for Crece Seguro.
Crece Seguro’s advice for startups
Y: Finally, what advice would you give to SMEs that are just starting out?
W: Persevere, because the results take time to be positive and, in that moment, you have to be patient. Do not lower your arms and look to the future; The other thing is to be well organized, even if you’re a small SME, always be organized.
Likewise, we are always trying to support people who contact us and tell us that they love our products and that they would like to sell them on Instagram. We have a large number of cases of this type and we understand it, we also start in the same way, so the support is there for people who have been interested in buying our products and starting to sell them.
H3: The entrepreneur has a good side. For example, the flexibility of time is wonderful, especially when one has a family and one can organize the time, and it is perfect, but it also has no limits so they can exceed work and that would be negative.
It is much better to be in that position than in the uncertainty of a job that can change at any minute. It is also important to leave a mark, we here have been leaving a mark and that gives meaning to getting up and working every day.
Crece Seguro as Mummy’s & Bamby’s started selling on Facebook since 2011 when there was no Instagram yet as a sales platform.
W: We sold our products on Facebook initially, then we set up the website and everything kept going from there, but we started selling through social networks.
C: I think a piece of advice would be to work as a team. Teamwork and communication are super important, in fact vital to be able to come together and grow.
W: and we are all contributing, so there are always ideas, suddenly there are more ideas than what we can do, but we are trying to implement everything that comes to mind.
A: I adhere to the words of Wale and Claudia.
Raúl: Wale expressed our opinions in a good way.