#GathreGood with babyletto founder Teddy Fong

#GathreGood with babyletto founder Teddy Fong


In celebration of our first ever babyletto x Gathre collaboration, we want to introduce you to our dear friend and long-time mentor, Teddy Fong, father of three, all-around wonderful human, successful entrepreneur and a true inspiration to us here at Gathre.

 

For those who don’t know him yet, Teddy is the CEO of Million Dollar Baby, the parent company of some of our absolute favorite baby brands out there. Founded by Teddy’s parents in 1990, MBD is now headed up by the second generation of Fongs including Teddy and his sister Tracy. Together, their focus on sleek, stylish nursery furniture that is non-toxic and sustainably made has shaken up the industry in recent years as it continues growing a loyal following of parents around the world, including quite a few celebrities.

 

Teddy was instrumental in the design and launch of the babyletto x Gathre Capsule Bassinet, a natural partnership born of our brands’ complementary aesthetics and shared mission of creating pieces designed to be loved by the whole family.

 

Q: Teddy, will you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? How did you end up in the baby furniture business?

 

A: My parents started the business over 34 years ago in Los Angeles, and when I graduated college in 2006, I felt the calling to join the business and to help build on the company’s foundation of creating high quality products. babyletto’s parent company, Million Dollar Baby Co., is proudly a family business and I try to represent family businesses in the best way possible.  

 

Q: How do you balance your customers’ desire for high-end aesthetics with your focus on sustainability and functionality that works for baby, too?

 

A: At babyletto, we always talk about our responsibility as a brand and company to do more and do better for our customers. There are so many brands that claim to have a sustainability impact but their products are expensive and out of reach for the everyday parent. We believe we are in a position to lead the baby industry in sustainability and think about our impact not just in our products but how we operate as a company.  

 

Q: You and your family are in many ways flipping the baby furniture industry on its head—for the better. Tell us what drives your mission with babyletto and your other luxury brands.

 

A: At babyletto, we hope to inspire all parents to create amazing spaces for their children — not just the ones that can afford it. It’s the main reason why our products continue to be value driven and our competitors are nearly double our prices. babyletto has one main supplier for the brand and this is how we are able to keep costs low and of the highest quality. We believe inspired nurseries don’t need to come at a fortune, it just takes a little more creativity and we hope to help you along the way!

 

Q: What do you think has been the biggest driving factor in babyletto’s success?

 

A: I think many companies (and many CEO’s) give themselves too much credit. The truth is that your business only thrives and achieves long-term success because of the people that make up the company — the people that are making decisions every single day and represent the company. No one person is the reason for our success and for our growth. I am truly grateful for our team all around the world that helps us make our vision possible!

 

Q: Ok, a little about your family life: you have three kids. Do they help out at all with new product design or testing? Do you see them taking over the family business one day? What life lessons from your childhood do you try to impart most in them?

 

A: Oh boy, I was single and 23 years old when I started in this business, and now I’m 41, a husband, and a father of three! I am very involved with our design teams and constantly inspired by their designs that constantly push our industry forward. Needless to say, our design process has completely changed over the past 18 years. As babyletto looks to expand and extend our product line, I’ve asked my seven and four-and-a-half year old what they think about products that they would be interacting with themselves. Their design aesthetic can be described in one word: PINK!

 

Q: How do you balance family and work life?

 

A: For me, it takes intention and planning. Coming out of Covid, we moved to a hybrid work schedule where we are in the physical office two days a week. Being able to work from home the other days, I’ve been able to take the kids to school, after-school ballet and soccer classes, and read Ronald Dahl's books before bedtime — Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is their favorite!. I can’t believe that all of this wasn’t possible before Covid because of arbitrary work/life rules and requirements. We’re a better company because we are a family company and embrace all of what working families go through.

 

Q: And lastly, what are your favorite things to do when you’re not busy running a multi-million-dollar global business?

 

A: I love cooking! You know you love something when after a long day, you still want to chop some onions and garlic. Our entire family is very into food — not only eating great food, but cooking great food as well. We make all sorts of dishes from all over the world, but since we are Chinese, we make a lot of Cantonese and Taiwanese food at home for our family to chow down on! Come over next time you’re in LA!

 

Thanks Teddy, for taking the time to introduce yourself to our Gathre family and for partnering with us on this exciting collaboration—we’re over the moon for the new bassinet launch and grateful for the opportunity to partner our two family businesses together.  

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Category : #GathreGood

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