bellybutton – this name lends itself to a unique success story: founded as an innovative cosmetics label for expecting mothers, bellybutton has developed into the leading German company in the area of fashion and lifestyle products for pregnant women, mothers and children. Its assortment encompasses everything that makes pregnancy and life with children more beautiful. The product spectrum includes trendy fashion for expecting mothers, babies and children - mainly in organic cotton - near-natural skin care products and a wide-ranging selection of gifts and equipment. The range of products is also complemented by high-quality licensed items such as jewellery, strollers, car seats, diaper bags, children’s sleeping bags, bottles, children’s shoes and wooden toys.
Five dedicated women and mothers are the owners of this exceptional company and stand – alongside their names and their personal energy – for bellybutton’s success: the Managing Director Astrid Schulte and the founders Dana Schweiger, Katja Emcke, Annette Bode and Ursula Karven. Together, these women have a total of 16 children – a rich foundation of experience for the development of bellybutton’s products and your guarantee that everything that comes from bellybutton is really “mother-approved”.
Exactly this is the secret to the success of bellybutton’s products: the company’s own high demands also characterise its standard for quality. “We’ve always developed exactly those products that we’ve desired ourselves as mothers and expecting mothers,” said Dana Schweiger about bellybutton’s origins. And the company’s motto follows the same principle: “we believe in children” does not just reflect a philosophy but is at the same time a promise to customers that bellybutton will only offer products that one can rely on. “bellybutton isn’t an industrial concept, but rather a brand that’s out and out lively. And you can feel that,” said Managing Director Astrid Schulte.
Another important part of bellybutton’s philosophy is continual improvement. Products undergo strict quality control and are continually optimised. Twice a year, a new maternity wear collection featuring the newest fashion trends is released. Since the spring of 2012, bellybutton has also brought out two Flash Collections per year. With its Flash Collection, bellybutton reacts to the needs of customers who place value on the newest trends. In April as well as September, bellybutton lovers will find ten new high-fashion articles in select retailers.
The driving force behind these innovations is not only the bellybutton partners, but first and foremost those for whom the products are developed. “We maintain an intensive dialog with our customers,” said Astrid Schulte. “Using e-mail, facebook and attentive customer service, we stay close to the desires and questions of our target group. We don’t let our customers speak with a computer, but instead, we’re there for them in person and listen closely to what they have to tell us.” Of course, the comprehensive feedback from the large bellybutton community also flows into all new product developments.
The special business culture at bellybutton is not, however, only on the outside. As an employer, bellybutton is also a modern company with a unique, family-friendly atmosphere. “Every employee receives just the working conditions that she needs in order to combine family and career with ease,” said Managing Director Astrid Schulte. “Our experience has shown that this has a very positive effect on motivation and performance.”
This innovative business model has also been officially recognised and honoured: in 2007, bellybutton received the Federal Prize “Land of Ideas” (“Land der Ideen”) and in May 2011, the company won the “Environmental Hero” (“Umwelthelden”) prize from the BILD newspaper for its environmentally friendly, ecological care products. The company’s successful multi-channel sales strategy encompasses not just its own internet shop but also a broad presence in specialty retailers. Looking into the future, Managing Director Astrid Schulte said, “traditionally, we don’t rest on our accomplishments – success is far too much fun for that. We still have a lot planned for bellybutton.” In order to enable this growth and to optimally exploit the brand’s potential, bellybutton has sought out a strong partner. Since the end of 2013, the group of investors from the Kids Fashion Group (KFG) has been the new majority shareholder of bellybutton International GmbH. “We can see a great development potential and ideal synergies with the new investor,” said Schulte. The circle of partners surrounding the Managing Director Astrid Schulte will remain intact so that bellybutton’s visions can continue to be implemented in cooperation with the founders.
The complete assortment is available online at www.bellybutton.de as well as in specialty retailers.