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No Kidding Around

With Small Ones in Mind, Three Local Businesses Are Making a Big Impact

Article by Bill Furbee

Photography by Matt Capps of Loveland Premium Portraits

Originally published in Loveland Lifestyle

Katie Kruithof
Yeah Baby Goods

“I loved the IKEA high chair we used for our kids,” Katie says. “But the cushion it came with was not at all my style. For years, I told my sewing friends they should start a business making home-décor-friendly covers.” When she wasn’t able to convince any of those friends to take the lead, she decided to just do it herself.

Things took off quickly—Katie’s business, Yeah Baby Goods, began selling cushion covers and coordinating silicone tray placemats in 2016. Just last year, she reports, this Loveland local’s biz sold products to about 50,000 customers. 

“When we first started Yeah Baby Goods, our goal was twofold—make the IKEA high chair cuter and cleanup easier,” Katie says. “As we dove into the world of high chairs, our intentions expanded. High chair makeovers are fun, but safety is most important. We worked with feeding experts and occupational therapists to design products that also assisted in proper eating positioning.”

Katie offers common-sense advice for anyone else starting a business. “Instead of stressing about growing your reach, focus on growing your relationships. People want to hear your story, see your face, support a real person. When you take the time to connect with your customers, they’ll want to help build your business.”

YeahBabyGoods.com 

Holly Young
Puzzle Pieces – A Sensory Sensation

At Puzzle Pieces, an on-site sensory room provides a calming atmosphere, one stocked with products customers can touch and feel before purchasing—all created to provide a guilt-free shopping experience, in an environment that welcomes all explorers.

“I was driven to create Puzzle Pieces from a desire to see and hold things that my son needed—without having to purchase them first to try them with him,” Holly says. It was important for her nonverbal son to have a place where he could explore on his own, and then show her what he liked. “When I couldn't find that, I decided to create it.”

Puzzle Pieces opened its doors on Montgomery Road in 2018, and helps about 1,500 families annually—some with kids on the autism spectrum or with special needs, others just looking for great gift ideas. “We see an average of five new families per day ... it adds up."

“I never dreamed it would be me that would fill this void,” Holly says, today. “I’m more than happy to say that it is—and I haven't looked back. Meeting and helping families just like mine is my whole ‘why.’”

The store also offers monthly informational get-togethers with special guests. But there’s more—Holly is also currently creating a nonprofit to employ those with disabilities and operate alongside Puzzle Pieces.

PuzzlePiecesOhio.com 

Aubrey Wallen & Christine Trimmer
CASA Design Consulting

This Montessori-trained duo helps parents create simple, sustainable spaces where their children can thrive. “We place value on what’s going to help the whole family function at its best,” Aubrey and Christine say.

Since 2018, CASA Design Consulting has helped families realize the benefits of mindful surroundings. Backed by masters of education, Aubrey and Christine’s child development expertise allows them to make choices for a child’s environment that supports his or her needs, as well as maximize their ability to be independent and self-sufficient—child-specific add-ons include Book Rotation, Craft Organization, and setup for a homeschooling learning environment.

The team is already launching consulting relationships with clients in other states, and recently kicked off an online workshop series. “We’re hoping to use that platform to further help and support parents through all the highs and lows of parenting,” Aubrey and Christine say.

But their greatest joy? The connections they’ve built with families—especially those who become returning clients. “We love learning how children play differently and are more independent,” they share.

“Knowing that we leave our clients prepared with strategies to maintain the feeling they gain from our work is even more rewarding than seeing how beautiful our space transformations are.”

CasaDesignConsulting.com 

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