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‘Cheeky and Swank’ baby clothes make a booming business for Logan mom

November 3rd, 2009 Posted in Business
By Catherine Meidell
LOGAN–Stay-at-home moms all over Cache Valley are engaging their creative minds by building their own businesses from the ground up, like Logan resident Jennifer Johnson, founder and creative director of an  apparel company called Cheeky and Swank.
Johnson concocted the idea for a company that would sell baby products like bibs, blankets, burp cloths and onesies, because she and other women she associated with found the current styles to be “cheesy.” She said so many baby products were printed with cartoon characters and they didn’t fit the style she wanted for her own two children. Johnson envisioned clean cut products with a modern vibe, and said she hoped her style would be something that other mothers could be excited about.
Cheeky and Swank products are now being sold in Canada, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho and Utah. Some of her baby apparel and blankets sell at the Women’s Center Hospital Gift Shop in Logan, but most of her products are sold outside of Utah, Johnson said.
“It’s a lifestyle brand, all the different products have a similar feel, the same aesthetic,” Johnson said.
The business was called into action when Johnson teamed up with her brother, Adam Smith, a graphic designer for Advent Creative. The brother-sister duo worked together to design the graphics and labels for the clothing. They also created a Web site for more publicity. Johnson said there are so many sites devoted to entrepreneurs it’s harder now to make one stand out from the rest.
As Advent Creative become more and more busy, Smith had less time to work with Johnson’s company. Now Johnson is essentially running her business alone, aside from her sales representatives, she said.
She said the “afterthoughts” of her company were her lines of men and women’s apparel which include hats, bags, t-shirts and jackets.
Johnson said she considers her experience as an entrepreneur to be her own master’s program because has learned so much about every role need in a working business. She has learned how to play every part in a business because she runs most of it without help. Even a degree in business cannot prepare an aspiring entrepreneur for every position necessary in a thriving business.
“You have to wear every hat in the company and you learn as you go, it’s defnitely a huge learning curve in a way,” Johnson said.
One boutique, Express Yourself, of Basalt, Colo., holds Cheeky and Swank. Express Yourself’s founder, Amy Forsey, said she found Johnson’s line through a sales representative and found it fit with her taste.
“It does do really well. It’s bright and it’s fun and a little bit different,” Forsey said.
Johnson said as a mother it has been beneficial to work at home because she can be actively involved in her family’s life, a No. 1  priority. While she is working, she can still take care of her son who is coloring in the next room or playing with a friend. She said though she loves being a mother, her “brain felt like mush” and she wanted to be able to do something for herself.
“It’s taken it’s toll on my family a little bit but I think it’s partially because I’m doing it by myself,” she said, “If you have an idea why would you not try? I think people are so afraid of failing they never make that step to try. Doing this all by myself is the big problem now. It’s growing, I’m getting more stores and it’s not fast enough.”
Through all the stresses of having a business, Johnson said it has been rewarding. She said her sister saw some people in Salt Lake City wearing the garments she designed and it is fun to see other women and men share her taste.
She will be selling her products between Thanksgiving to Christmas at the craft fair Club New York will host. She will sell some items from discontinued lines as well as extra fabric.

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  1. One Response to “‘Cheeky and Swank’ baby clothes make a booming business for Logan mom”

  2. By Baby Clothes Patterns on Dec 17, 2009

    Nice post. This is the first time I’ve heard of “Cheeky and Swank”. Do they have a website? If they do I would love to check it out.

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