Monica Royer grew to become an entrepreneur when she could not discover high-quality garments for her new child.
Develop Your Enterprise,
Not Your Inbox
Keep knowledgeable and be part of our each day e-newsletter now!
5 min learn
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their very own.
Monica Royer is the founder and CEO of Monica + Andy, a youngsters and household model that gives merchandise, sources and help to lift a household. Royer’s entrepreneurial journey started a bit otherwise, because it began in a supply room as a substitute of a boardroom. After realizing the garments supplied for her new child daughter have been irritating her delicate pores and skin, Royer set out in the hunt for high-quality clothes and necessities freed from the cruel chemical compounds and irritants generally used on child and child clothes. When she couldn’t discover simply accessible choices that met her excessive requirements, she determined to make them herself — and the concept for Monica + Andy was born.
“Monica + Andy was actually began out of a necessity, out of issues I want I had and located. It was a want for fogeys to have a greater path than I felt like I had, however it was by no means as a result of I assumed I needed to start out an organization,” Royer says.
Royer’s shut relationship along with her brother, Andy Dunn, gave her a entrance row seat to his expertise founding and rising Bonobos, one of many first direct-to-consumer males’s attire manufacturers (he later offered the model to Walmart in 2017 in a deal valued over $300 million.) Seeing the enterprise take off impressed Royer, who on the time was working at a steady pharmaceutical job. Royer witnessed her brother construct his in style ecommerce model and took notes whereas unofficially consulting and advising him as he navigated the early days of working a high-growth enterprise. A couple of years later, after the start of her first little one spotlighted a transparent want for high-quality child necessities, Royer approached Dunn with the concept of making a model designed particularly round assembly the wants of fogeys and little ones alike. With the buy-in and help of her brother, Royer began constructing the Monica + Andy model.
Royer’s main imaginative and prescient was to create a model that served because the “parenthood guide” she all the time desired and by no means had. Since launching the model in 2014, she has continued to do exactly that — the model at present has 4 Guideshops in Chicago and New York Metropolis, all of which function a spot for fogeys to search out help and neighborhood. Royer needed to create an in-person setting the place dad and mom didn’t really feel embarrassed or nervous about their child’s pure habits.
“I needed to have a retailer with screaming children and cookie crumbs in every single place. Let’s simply make it chaos, so that you stroll into chaos and also you’re not nervous about creating it your self,” she says.
Immediately, the retailers function a central hub for the Monica + Andy neighborhood, providing ongoing programming centered round schooling, steerage, leisure and neighborhood.
When the pandemic hit, Monica + Andy was one of many first to close its shops down.
“As a staff, we’re a staff of fogeys, we’re household first about issues and never understanding what was occurring we have been one of many first to say we don’t know what’s going to occur, however we’re shutting down our shops till we really feel higher about issues,” Royer says.
Throughout this attempting time, the model diminished its costs completely in effort to be extra accessible to extra folks and transitioned its in-person lessons to a digital format. Upon realizing what number of households have been going to hit milestones through the pandemic — from turning into pregnant to delivering to elevating littles ones with out exterior help — Royer determined to evolve the model’s programming to concentrate on the matters, info and desires of pandemic parenting. In a single day, Monica + Andy went from lessons of 30-40 attendees to getting 1000’s of RSVPs for decent subject occasions. Over the previous yr, the model has held over 500 digital occasions, with upcoming plans to create a hybrid occasion mannequin as retail opens again up. Royer famous that whereas the model’s bodily retail areas at the moment are open and are bouncing again shortly, the digital world is right here to remain.
Royer stresses how exhausting beginning your individual enterprise actually is, having skilled it herself firsthand in addition to from watching each her brother and her husband (founding father of DTC furnishings model Inside Outline) on their entrepreneurial journeys. Royer says her buyers and different mentors have been very influential, particularly in terms of “seeing across the corners” for her. This invaluable help and mentorship is strictly what she hopes to pay ahead to different ladies in enterprise as they create their very own visions to life.