In our brand spotlight, we feature Abound brands who are ready for retail. This week we sat down with Crystal Lakes, the founder of Newcastle Classics. Newcastle Classics sells swaddles, blankets, bibs, towels, and bamboo bedding, is based in Newcastle, California, and has been in business for two years. Shop baby bedding here.
Abound: Why did you decide to start this business?
Crystal: As a mother of two young boys, I wanted to create a product that I would love and use with them everyday.
Abound: How do you make your product? What’s your process like?
Crystal: All of our products are designed in Newcastle, California. We then carefully select small batch manufacturers who align with our same environmental, social and safety values.
Abound: What’s your day to day like? Do you have any favorite and least favorite parts?
Crystal: Every day is different. From working on new designs, overseeing current production, checking in on our flagship store, and working with our wholesale accounts. I love it all! What I love best is collaborating with my team and seeing our vision come to life.
Abound: Where was the first place you started selling your product? Where do you sell your product now?
Crystal: Holly and I went door to door sharing our new boutique line, focusing on our local market. Now our products are sold in over 800 boutiques worldwide.
Abound: Where would you love to sell your products in the future?
Crystal: We’ve become boutique-aholics and want to continue expanding our offerings in boutiques worldwide.
Abound: Do you have a favorite product? If so, which one?
Crystal: My favorite product is our bamboo Newcastle Blanket. Parents loved our blankets so much they wanted one in their own size, so we now offer it in adult sizes, twin through king.
Abound: What’s your marketing like? Is social media an important part of your business?
Crystal: We put a strong focus on customer service, word of mouth and social media marketing to engage with our customers.
Abound: What are some of the most frustrating challenges and/or moments you’ve had with your business?
Crystal: Work life balance, being a mother of 2 small boys, any entrepreneur with family can relate, I’m sure.
Abound: What are some of your greatest achievements and victories you’ve had with your business?
Crystal: We have expanded from 0 to 800 stores in just under 2 years, all while maintaining our mission to support small boutiques and provide a product that is unique to them. My greatest personal achievement was when my husband called and said he saw a baby swaddled in one of our products across the country at an airport.
Abound: What advice do you have for people who want to sell a product?
Crystal: Create something you are passionate about and don’t sacrifice on quality.
Abound: Is there any business advice or quotes you’ve heard that you think about often?
Crystal: “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”
Abound: What’s your favorite thing about being a business owner?
Crystal: Creating a product that serves many people, providing jobs that help my local community, and all the relationships I gain along the way.