We’re excited to interview Traci Costa, founder of Peekaboo Beans in this edition of our Mompreneur series. The company is celebrating their 10th anniversary this fall with a special collection. Peekaboo Beans began in 2006 when founder and Mompreneur Traci Costa, unable to find quality, cute playwear that would allow her young daughter to explore, grow and play in comfort and safety, decided to make her own. Since that day the brand has produced top quality, play friendly designs with no toxic dyes, sharp zippers or loose ties and has survived 10 years up against fast fashion retail giants.
What was the inspiration for Peekaboo Beans?
The inspiration for Peekaboo Beans came from my oldest daughter Cailin. From infancy I watched her develop and grow more curious, playful and independent, exploring and learning every day. Throughout this process I was continually on the hunt to find clothing to dress her in that matched and facilitated her playful spirit. Always a fan of fashion but with a strong desire for function, I couldn’t find good quality, yet cute clothing that supported play and empowered children with the independence to dress themselves fuss-free. While meeting and chatting with other parents I realised I wasn’t the only one looking for such products. I became a Mom on a mission to design and create quality playwear fostering freedom, comfort and play.
How many children did you have and what were their ages when you started Peekaboo Beans?
I have two girls Cailin, 13 and Colbie, 7. I began Peekaboo Beans when Cailin was 2 and a half.
Where did the company name come from?
The company name comes from a game I played with Cailin and edamame beans. Hiding the beans in their shells and then ‘Peekaboo!’ before eating them up.
What was the biggest challenge you had becoming a mompreneur?
The biggest challenge for Peekaboo Beans came in 2008 when the recession hit. At that time, I operated the business under a retail model selling to local boutiques and children’s stores. Many of these locally owned businesses began to collapse under the pressure to compete with the big box retails stores. With fewer boutiques to sell playwear and an increasing demand for our products, I turned to the support of my small staff and network of passionate ‘Bean-a-holics’ I transitioned the business to a direct sales model, partnering with the greatest advocates for children, Moms. I shared with them the opportunity to develop their own businesses, earn income sharing a product they trust and love with their communities, all on a schedule that worked for them and their families. Giving parents the opportunity to create their ideal lifestyle by setting their own hours, running their business at their own pace from home with their children and for their children, worked! It was the perfect way to connect directly with the most important Peekaboo Beans customers, Moms, and to strengthen the message of play through those who understood it best. Today we have over 900 stylists across Canada.
What advice would you give to other mother’s looking to start their own business?
I would advise other mothers looking to start a business to initially build a support network. Find family, friends and community members who believe in you and your dream and will be there to pull you up when you feel like you won’t meet your goals. Next I would say ask for help when you need it. Although we want to be Super Moms that isn’t always realistic. Rely on that support network, ask your friends, family, spouse for help when you need it. Don’t run yourself into the ground. Lastly, don’t give up. There will be times you want to but remember your vision, your passion and the reason you began this journey. Set mini-milestones to prove to yourself you’re making progress and living out your success.
Thank you to Traci for her remarkable story. Not only did she begin a strong, thriving business that has lasted for 10 years, she adapted to her environment and built a business that could overcome any challenges by maximizing the strong brand following she developed. You are inspiration Traci, thank you!