There were plenty of new lessons to be learned after Allison Childs gave birth to her oldest daughter.
“And she was small and wasn’t able to keep anything on her feet,” said Childs. “Then when she was about three months old, is when they start developing their fine motor skills, and she would pull off her socks and her booties out of pure delight and hand them to me [like] ‘look at what I’ve done.’ And that was when I realized I needed something that would go past the ankle and would stay on.”
So when she couldn’t find better shoe options, Childs created her own called Vivi G’z – booties for babies that stay on, protect from the elements, and of course, are a touch fashionable.
After development began in 2016 and the product went through 17 design iterations, the company came to be just last winter. But it wasn’t without some local help.
“I’ve been a part of NaperLaunch, which is a group through the Naperville library system,” she said. “Kent Palmer who runs that group is phenomenal and the people who I’ve met over the course of two years that I’ve been a part of that group have [had a] wealth of knowledge and support and [helped] make networks and connections for me outside of that.”
Vivi G’z are on sale online and in several children boutiques throughout the country. Besides filling a need, they’re also making an impact on those in need.
“And we also have a partnership with Soles4Souls,” Childs added. “So they are a nonprofit organization that is based in Tennessee and they provide shoes and clothing to kids in need, not only domestically but also internationally. So ever dollar donated is a pair of shoes or an item to someone in need. So a portion of our profits goes to Soles4Souls.”
Childs’ mom acts as creative director and her father as CFO. And with the business is named after her youngest daughter Vivian, this baby bootie company is truly a family affair.
Vivi G’z sell bootie sizes from infant to 24 months and are looking to add both larger sizes and more apparel in the future.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.