DecarloMatano is a handmade online small business that specializes in crocheted baby bottle covers and baby bandana bibs. Natalie Matano is both a mother and grandmother and is the crafter and owner of DecarloMatano. We interviewed her to find out more about her story behind the business:
Please tell us about yourself!
Salam, I’m Natalie Matano, born and raised in London, England of Caribbean heritage and I live in Burlington, Ontario.
What is your business name and when did you get started?
My business name is named after me. My middle and last name rhyme so I put them together. I recently rebranded my business last year.
What inspired & motivated you to start your own business?
In 2018, I became a grandmother. I started making knitted and crocheted items for my granddaughter which included sweaters, blankets and bottle covers. My daughter found the bottle covers to be very useful and she asked me to make more of them. Her friends started ordering them from me and when I made them available on Etsy, they became popular. I realized that new moms needed them for various reasons. Such as, keeping the milk a little warmer for a longer time, for grip and to hide the bottle’s contents from the public view so I rebranded and I created more designs to offer choices.
What are your business goals?
I hope to have them in local stores. Mainly in stores where Muslim mums and their families shop as well as in hospitals.
Star Baby Bottle Covers
What were the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Baby bottles come in all shapes and sizes and I needed to be able to fit the covers properly on the bottles. As a result, I have many bottle brands so I can custom fit the bottle. I use acrylic yarn that can add warmth to a bottle. I also needed them to be machine washable as mothers are busy and I also added covers made from cotton yarn which is lighter in the warmer months. My real challenge was to crochet the letter beads into the cover rather than sew them on so they would be safe when using the cover and I was able to do that.
Star Baby Bandana Bib and Personalized Covers
The best business advice you ever received is…
A business must have quality products, excellent customer service and lots of sabr.
Tell us about the products you offer?
Baby bottle covers that are custom-made for the bottle brand. The most common brands are Avent, Tommee Tippee and Dr. Brown but if I can find the brand I make it. One size doesn’t fit all.
How do you advertise your business?
On Instagram and Facebook.
How does your business help the community?
My business help mums who want to keep their baby bottles warmer longer when they go on short trips such as doctor’s appointments. Also, the baby drool bibs keep the baby’s outfits dry. The business participates in community masjid bazaars and at the end of the events, some of the proceeds are donated to the masjid.
How do you unwind?
I knit, crochet, and I take frequent walks around the neighbourhood for exercise.
What does a day in your life look like? Is your family involved in your business?
In the mornings, I check my business social media pages, respond to emails and fill orders. Some days I attend online and offline business related workshops if available. In the evenings, I spend time with my family and friends.
My family are involved in my business in many ways. Such as, taking pictures and videos for my social media and they provide feedback on my products.
What advice would you give to others who want to start their own business?
My advice to others starting a new business would be to thoroughly do your research, make sure that there’s a demand for that business and make a start. Read books that can guide you, network with other businesses and participate in workshops. In other words, learn from others. Lastly, don’t be afraid to make changes for the better. Stay positive and put Allah (SWT) first.
How can we find you online- social media platforms sites & personal site & email?
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