Here at Slumberkins, we love coming across people, brands, and products that inspire us. As parents ourselves, we know the importance of sharing these awesome finds. So, we’re excited to continue our Slumberkins Spotlight monthly feature! In these posts we will bring attention to – and “shine a spotlight on” – special people who share the Slumberkins mission to help parents, caregivers, and children everywhere. We will feature a new Q&A session each month that we hope will uplift, inspire, and maybe lend a sense of solidarity. Because this parenting thing isn’t easy – and sometimes it’s nice to know that we’re all in this together.
As you can probably tell, we love intentional products and mission-based brands around here. We can’t think of a better fit for this spotlight than our friend, Lili Yeo, the founder of goumikids! We met Lili when she was speaking at an entrepreneurial event in Portland, OR. After hearing her story and getting to know her, we think her adorable and functional line of baby gear is a must-have for new parents and babies (especially those in the NICU – more to come on that).
Lili is a mama to two little ones who recognized a need to develop a new kind of baby mitten that would not only be comfortable and cute, but that would effectively stay put and be scratch-proof! With many more products now available, the company remains true to its philanthropic roots, always giving 10% of all profits (and 100% of all goumigiving print profits) to non-profit partners around the world.
Hi Lili! Could you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Sure! I was born in the Philippines, and moved to Portland when I was nine, in the 80s. I feel ALIVE when I’m exploring new places – and meeting people from all over the world! I’m married to the love of my life, Alan, and am mommy to two precocious mini-me’s: Iliana and Ariana. I’m also slightly obsessed with coffee and finding the best bowl of Tonkotsu ramen!
Some of our readers may not be familiar with your brand. What should we know about goumi?
Goumi started because we needed better baby essentials for our babies that work, are beautiful AND good to our planet and a company that allowed us to be moms + entrepreneurs AND philanthropists.
We call ourselves “goumi” because, like a goumi berry, we’re small AND mighty and we believe great things can come from small (or, overlooked) places – whether that’s baby mittens, premature babies, or rescued human trafficking victims that we come alongside to help.
So we found ourselves on a journey to make small, MIGHTY!
If someone is new to your brand, what's a product of yours they should try – or an aspect of your brand that they should explore – as a first-timer?
Our mitts! Every little one is born with sharp nails and poor hand motor control. (This is why baby mittens are on every baby registry checklist!) And our mitts absolutely embody everything that we stand for.
They are thoughtfully designed to be the world’s first smart, stay-on baby mitten [for newborns of all sizes – including precious preemies] because they actually stay on and protect the babies from scratching themselves, have a developmental element, engaging baby’s senses, are sustainably created and gentle on the earth, and are beautifully adorable.
Small AND mighty.
How has having children strengthened or changed you?
Do I only get to share one? :)
My girls were the reason why I started goumi! Pre-kiddo, I honestly thought I’d be working with a nanny for my daughter but when I met her and lived out those first months, lights turned on: ‘Why would I have someone else care for you and have the precious time with you that I cannot ever get back?”
And we’ve been writing our adventures day-by-day ever since! Dynamic and never the same two days – we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We are big on the importance of having a routine in place with our little ones (like cuddling and reading a Sleepytime Rhyme together each night before bed). What kind of routine has been helpful for you – either personally or professionally?
Routines are so good!
We have a nighttime reading and snuggle time with my girls and I found that to be such a grounding and bond-building time for us. Even with the rigorous schedule of trade show seasons, this is something that we try to religiously stick to and it has helped make the distance not so hard to bear and keeps us connected.
Can you tell us a little more about the giveback mission at goumi?
Would LOVE to.
Stewardship took on a whole new meaning when we became moms for our babies, for our planet. The mom instinct kicked in and somehow, we felt compelled to care not only for our babies but for our world – even if only a small way.
We’re from Portland and the Philippines and a shared pain is human trafficking.
We found an average 8 out of 10 rescued human trafficking victims willingly go back because of the lack of options.
So we committed 10% of our profits to fund NGO partners that actively help rescued human victims stay rescued through empowerment. To date, we’ve been able to help 60 women start new lives!
Is there anything new and exciting coming up for goumi that we should be on the lookout for?
YES! We have some exciting things coming this year with some great collaborations with new brands and partners that will let us play in new dimensions for goumi. Stay tuned for our Capsule Collection coming in June that will show a new side to goumi. Get your giftable list ready now because you’ll want to snag one of these limited edition sets for the new little ones coming!
What is your (or your child's) favorite Slumberkins creature, and why?
The Slumber Sloth! Of course! She does not sleep without hers (nor travel anywhere without it, for that matter!) It was love at first sight!
Thank you so much, Lili, for sharing more about goumikids and the mission behind your brand! We are so thankful for thoughtful, women-owned businesses that support a greater good in the global community and in developing necessary baby wear.
We love learning more about other brands with intention, and are so happy to be partnering with goumikids for an amazing giveaway!