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Notable Minnesota Moms: Cassie Wallace


By Julie Burton

When Cassie Wallace's son Liam, who is now 4 1/2, was 3 weeks old, he went on a massive nursing binge. After noticing the crazy amounts of nursing that was going on, Cassie's husband John commented, "Wow, he is quite the boob man." Cassie agreed and decided that Liam needed a t-shirt saying just that, so she made him one. Liam's "boob man" t-shirt was a big hit. Cassie explains that Liam was happy to nurse, and his t-shirt was a coy way of telling people: "This is what our life is about right now." At first, when Cassie would notice people reading the t-shirt, she felt the urgent need to explain: "It's because he nurses." "But we got great responses, and lots of giggles," Cassie recalls. Cassie started getting orders from other moms who saw Liam's shirt and were going through the same thing with their babies. "It was a way that moms could relate to each other, and bring some humor into what they were going through," she says.

Cassie's first mission for her company (that she named roundbottombaby because "what mom cannot relate to that term?") was to find the best t-shirt made. American Apparel stood out for Cassie because not only do they make a great t-shirt, but they are ethical in their manufacturing practices. She explains, "They buy American cotton, and the t-shirts and are cut and sewn in L.A., not in sweatshops overseas. They are more expensive, but worth it in so many ways." The next step was finding a printer, then figuring out packaging, labels, logo design, and finally designing a website and brochures. Cassie handles all of this herself, in addition to creating all the graphics for the t-shirts, which is her favorite part. The only thing she farms out is the printing.

roundbottomspic.jpg Cassie works from home, and other than Liam going to pre-school a few days a week, has no child care. She had her second baby, Sadie, a year and a half ago. "My ultimate goal is to be mom," Cassie explains. "Roundbottombaby is secondary, but some days it's a battle to get my work done. I'm always looking for another hour." Cassie gets pretty creative with her balancing act of mothering and working from home. She often works during nap time and is known to set up craft tables in her office, so she and her kids are all "working."

Cassie also enlists the support of her husband. "John is a commercial photographer," Cassie explains. "He is creative and it's fun to bounce ideas off him. He is very supportive, and will help with the kids when he is home from work and I need to get work done."

Cassie has had most of her success by actually taking her shirts to stores herself, but she also sends snail mail and follows up with phone calls. You can find "boob man" t-shirts (which are still Cassie's best-sellers and have been ordered for babies as far away as Sydney, Australia and Reykjavic, Iceland), as well as other roundbottombaby t-shirts like "little peanut," "little princess," and for toddlers: "tuff guy," "i dig dirt," "perfect," and "bossy" at Spirit Kids, Edina; Peapods, St. Paul; Woodwinds Gift Shop, Woodbury; Dabble, NE Minneapolis; coolplanet goods, downtown Minneapolis; Linden Hills Natural Home Store, Linden Hills; Moppets, Hudson, WI; Red Rover, Stillwater; Moppets on Main, Hudson,WI; (pk)Flynn, Lincoln, NE; Doodle Doos, New York, and LuvUPumkin.com, web store; or on-line at RoundBottomBaby.com.

Challenges for Cassie: "The market is pretty saturated," she explains. "I didn't realize that there are so many other moms who have similar ideas. A lot of stay-at-home moms are looking to do something, just like I was. I wanted to use my creativity, and have something to call my own." And Cassie has done that. She explains that she is meeting her goals, selling some shirts, and having fun with it. "I would like to build the business over time, taking baby steps," she says. "In the next 5-10 years, I would like to be working on this full time from an office outside my home, with a staff, and continue to create more designs that are seen in baby boutiques around the country."

Cassie lives in the Midway area of St. Paul, MN, with her husband John, her son Liam, and her daughter Sadie. (Note: John took the photos of their children on the website.)

Categories: Advice, Ideas & Stories, Feature Stories, MomShare,

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New FeatureRelated Articles: Notable Minnesota Moms:Kristi Anderson and Stephanie Nelson, Notable Minnesota Moms: Elisa Knudson,

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