Natalie: BabyList is an online baby registry and we make it fun and easy for expectant moms to figure out what they need to get their baby, put it all on one registry, send it out to friends and family, and have them buy gifts off of it. I’m a total hacker. Two years ago I was pregnant and I was printing my baby registry and I was just like, “This cannot be the state of the world.” So I spent about two months building the project with a designer who I met online. I launched the project through a post that was on Hacker News. That was two weeks before giving birth. So it really was just a side project. I was thinking that maybe it would bring in a little bit of passive income and it would be nice to have something else in my portfolio, but right away users really responded to it. Since then it’s slowly grown and grown. This past summer our family moved to San Francisco and I was accepted into the 500 Startups accelerator.
TechFaster: How many users do you have?
Natalie: 11,000 women have signed up in total. We’ve seen a lot of growth in the last couple of months.
TechFaster: So you build this on your own while you were pregnant?
Natalie: Yeah I did everything myself, except for the design. I met this great designer on Forrst and she did all the design. But I coded everything else myself.
TechFaster: Is this still a one-woman show or have you brought in additional people to help?
Natalie: When I went full-time into the project this summer, so did my designer who’s been with me since the very beginning. In October I brought on someone to do content marketing so she’s managing our blog and social media. That’s been really successful for us. Tiffany started in October and in December I brought in Patty and she’s doing business development.
TechFaster: Ryan and I were wondering what some of the most unique or random things that people have registered on their lists.
Natalie: There was a woman who was a doctor in her residency and I don’t really understand the situation, but maybe they have to have certain hours and so she really just wanted her friends from her residency program to take over shifts for her. She said it was the perfect gift for her. A lesbian couple asked for cash so they could pay for adoption fees. There’s some really cute stuff, but I don’t know if your audience would appreciate how cute a lot of this stuff is that I look at all day.
TechFaster: What’s the revenue model for BabyList? How do you make money?
Natalie: Right now its straight affiliate programs. When we direct a sale to a lot of third party stores like Walmart or Amazon or Target, we get a cut of that. That’s been growing as our user base grows. We obviously let our users add whatever they want to their registries, but we get a cut of a lot of those items.
TechFaster: Can you talk about your 500 Startups experience?
Natalie: It’s been very intense. It’s pushed me as an individual really far and it’s pushed our company really far and it’s been really great. It’s been very intense. Now that it’s ending it’s really easy to look back on it and say how much we’re going to miss it, but a lot of times I thought I was really hard. I was entering the program as a solo founder because my designer is remote and there were some teams that were 5 or 6 people and I was wondering how I would get the stuff done that I needed to get done to measure growth and goals.
TechFaster: I know that you are in the process on fundraising. Have you met those goals?
Natalie: It’s in process. I’ve done a lot of different things in my career and this is a different thing that I’ve never done before that I think takes a lot of skills that I just learning and a lot of understanding. It’s going well and we’re going to be fine regardless of the outcome.
TechFaster: It seems like you’ve built a company that can be scaled very easily and you have a lot of control over that.
Natalie: We want to have deeper relationships with the women who are using us as their registry. Right now you come to BabyList and you can add anything to your registry and I think we’re going to bring a lot of that experience into what we can offer users.
TechFaster: I would image your user base could help out quite a bit with content marketing as far as the stories that they have and with you and with your audience.
Natalie: We’re so deep into pregnancy that some of content that we have are maternity photos that our users have submitted. I think one of the things that our content marketer does really well is create really great images for Pinterest and our users love Pinterest. She actually creates original content that links back to BabyList.
TechFaster: That’s just about it. Do you have any closing comments or anything you want to leave us with?
Natalie: I guess if anyone listening knows anyone who is expecting a child and creating their baby registry, send them to BabyList. The URL for that is a hack; it’s babyli.st.
TechFaster: Thank you very much. It’s Natalie Gordon, the CEO of BabyList.