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Meet Beth Schutte of The Little Monkey Company in Cave Creek

Today we’d like to introduce you to Beth Schutte.

Beth, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Being pregnant at 37 years old with my first child was very exciting! I had dreamt of this day but never thought it would happen. When my fiancé Levi and our Little Monkey Penelope was about four months old, we slowly started introducing her to baby food. Every time she would sit in her high chair to eat we would put a bib on her (multiple kinds/types) and without a doubt, she would get food all over her neck and ruin the neckline of her clothes. Her skin would even break out in a rash.  We were frustrated!

March 13, 2017 is the day the idea popped into my head and The Little Monkey Company was born. Why couldn’t I design a bib with a high neck made out of eco-friendly, soft swimsuit type material? My idea took off, research began, samples were made in my house using pieces of my Little Monkey’s swimsuit and a few safety pins…there was no stopping my vision now.

During the research and development stage, I was horrified to learn how much was going into the landfills. So, creating a bib that would be sustainable, eco-friendly and wash easily would help keep those long lasting bibs out of the landfill and benefit the environment which was extremely important to me.

I wanted to create a chemical-free/eco-friendly bib for other parents, grandparents and sitters to use for their little ones. It will help eliminate the mess and make their lives a little easier while the kiddos eat wearing a safe, comfortable and functional bib. I combed the bib market to find something that could protect my daughter’s neck and her clothes but found nothing, so I developed my own line of eco-friendly bibs.

My design features a high neck made of ultra-premium material that’s easy to wash and the entire bib folds up into its own silicone cup, making it easy to use for moms and parents on the go. After tweaking my bib designs and testing them on my daughter and friends for more than a year, The Little Monkey Company was born. The past two and a half years has been an incredible ride but my journey is only beginning!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting my own business has not always been a smooth road but if had been smooth, there wouldn’t have been much to learn, right? I can’t speak for everyone but being a mom (especially a first-time mom and a bonus mom – thank you Bella) is hard, really hard.  No one tells you how hard it truly is.  However, we figure out it and do the best we can which is exactly how I went about starting my business too.  I struggled getting my prototype made, which after about ten tries and eleven months, we nailed it! Then, I had to find a manufacturer which had its own difficulties including pricing, shipping and deadlines.  I was given some great advice to start taking pre-sale orders before the actual launch date (when I got my product in hand). This helped me and my new customers navigate through my website to make sure everything was working correctly (for example; making sure the sales taxes and shipping rates were set up correctly). Another hard hurdle to overcome before officially launching my business was getting approved to be an Amazon Seller. Whoever told me it was a beast was right! One piece of advice, whatever the struggle, don’t ever give up and believe in yourself. When you master one struggle, it will give you the strength and confidence to handle any other bumps in the road as well as to continue to be a better YOU.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Little Monkey Company – what should we know?
The Little Monkey Company is the first company to sell a patent-pending, high neck, eco-friendly baby bib. We are known for having ultra-premium materials with all the extra features to make life easy while feeding your kiddo. As the founder and owner of The Little Monkey Company (Beth Schutte), I am proud of myself for having an idea and making it come to fruition in only two and a half years. As I was sitting there feeding our daughter Penelope solids for the first time her neck would continue to break out in a rash from the food dribbling down her neck, I thought, “why isn’t there a bib with a high neck?” (as she was wearing a bib). As a first time mom, I had no idea this could even happen so I created a solution and to help others who were experiencing the same problem I was having with feeding.

My bibs set themselves apart from the competition by not only the soft high neck protection, but cap sleeves for extra coverage, three lead free snaps which enable you to detach the nylon top from the 100% food-grade silicone cup and throw the nylon top into the wash and tumble dry on low and the silicone cup into the dishwasher. The detachable feature also allows you to mix and match the nylon top with any of the other color silicone cups. Compared to the competition, our food catcher is the widest you can find. Which means less mess, less cleaning and more fun. The entire bib rolls up into the silicone cup making being on the go worry free! Let’s not forget our silicone baby bib is lovingly made, non-toxic and contains absolutely no latex, PVC or BPA.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Believing in yourself and having the ambition and perseverance to never give up.  Determine what your WHY is and let it drive you to success.  Of course, it may take a few “no’s” before you get to any “yes’s” but look at it as an opportunity and a reason to achieve your goal even more!   My WHY is my family, my fiancé Levi and two girls Bella and Penelope.  My company wouldn’t exist without them and not only have I created a product I believe in, I am hoping to instill the characteristics of my success to my girls with a lot of hard work, dedication, sacrifice and perseverance. You CAN be unstoppable!


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Image Credit:
Claudia Johnstone @dasfotohaus
Jean Pierre Photography
Tiffany Eckroth @tiffanyeckrothphotography

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