A children’s clothing and accessories startup is stitching together its headquarters in a vacant East Broad Street storefront.
Rockin Baby plans to move downtown to 1 E. Broad St. in January. CEO Kathryn Wiley said the company is leasing the 4,000-square-foot space, which was formerly used as studio space for artists.
Rockin Baby manufactures and sells baby-carrying slings, as well as children’s apparel.
Wiley, a Church Hill resident for 15 years, said the move downtown will put all of Rockin Baby’s stateside operations under one roof. The company’s co-founder, Mark Jeynes, is based in London.
“I wanted somewhere close to my house, to be honest, in addition to participating in what’s going on in Richmond,” Wiley said. “I wanted to be in the Shockoe Bottom area or the arts district. I strongly believe both of those areas are coming alive.”
Rockin Baby has been operating out of three spaces in Richmond, as well as a temporary store in Short Pump Town Center that’s open until January. The company has 25 employees, and about 18 of them will work in the downtown space. It will be used as an office, as well as a retail store.
Wiley said it will cost between $100,000 and $125,000 to move into the downtown space. The move is being financed by the company and incentives from the landlord.
Wiley bought Rockin Baby in 2011 and has since attracted the attention of Richmond’s business community.
Jim Ukrop and Bob Mooney are both investors, and earlier this month New Richmond Ventures announced its plans to mentor the startup.
The company also says it donates an item for every item it sells. For example, if someone buys a $100 Hippy Hippy Shake reversible pouch, Rockin Baby donates another one to a parent in Haiti or Kenya.
“Every time they buy something, we donate the exact same product,” Wiley said.
Wiley said Rockin Baby expects to give away 250,000 pieces of clothing in 2016.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Rockin Baby’s Short Pump store was open last January. It is a temporary store that is currently open through January 2016.