Field Interview: Marcia Tuthill, Olive Branch Baby
This week's interview is with Marcia Tuthill of Olive Branch Baby. Marcia lights up any room (or Field) with a radiant smile and positive energy. Her genuine personality and strong background (she's a licensed marriage and family therapist) bring peace of mind to any new parent looking for the right products for their baby. Marcia started selling with Field of Artisans this past summer. She's such a valuable asset to our community!
Find Olive Branch Baby in the Field at Whalers Brewing Company on:
SUNDAY, 12/3 11:30-4:30
1. Your daughter Olive, inspired the creation and name for your business. Has the Olive Branch Baby concept grown or changed as Olive gets older and with the arrival of your second baby?
Olive Branch Baby is a young company, however, I am always thinking about new product ideas, colors and designs! With the arrival of my second baby, Charlie, I have started thinking about how I can reach a bigger age range with healthy and responsibly sourced toy and baby goods options!! Hint hint....we have something in the works that WILL be available on 12/3!!!
2. What sets the Olive Branch Baby products apart from other baby goods that are in the market today?
Olive Branch Baby products hope to offer peace of mind to parents who want quality products that are SAFE for baby, minimalistic but beautiful in design. OBB is different because of the product research and care that goes into each piece! I spend many hours looking for the absolute best quality materials for the goods we create! I would want ONLY the best and highest quality for my own babes, so that is the product I like to put out!
3. How do you approach creating a product that attracts and answers the concerns of two very different markets, babies and parents? ;)
I keep a few things in mind; The design, colors and responsibly sourced materials are for the parents, but “the proof is in the pudding”....When a parent purchases a rattle or pacifier Clip Teether or any of our products and that drooly little babe puts the item right in his/her mouth there is instant relief...I hear songbirds!! OBBs products are truly appealing to the eye, but they also work like magic!
4. Your line is created with materials that are toxin free and responsibly sourced (amazing!), Does this limit your creativity when it comes to color combinations, shapes etc?
We are lucky enough to work with a few vendors that have the ability to try and make new colors and shapes if we need/want them. The research and time creating a partnership was long and discouraging at times, but so worth it. In the end, OBB is able to provide a safe, healthy and beautiful product we can be proud of!!
5. This past summer in the Field, I bought an Olive Branch teether to give as a gift at a 1 year old's birthday party. You packaged it so nicely in a muslin bag, with the Olive Branch logo and included reading material on the piece. I didn't even need to wrap it! Do you think branded (and beautiful) packaging helps to present the Olive Branch Baby line as a gift giving opportunity and not just products that fulfill a need?
Absolutely! The packaging is so important! It goes back to a past questions, when we parents/consumers buy something it feels extra special when we receive it in a beautifully designed package!
6. You use some really unique patterns in your pieces. I love the marble and pearl beads! I would wear some of the teethers as jewelry! What is your favorite color/pattern combo?
This is IMPOSSIBLE to answer!! I love so many of them! They are all beautiful in their own way!! We have some seasonal colors and shapes that will be featured in the 12/3 Field of Artisans and I am IN LOVE! I can’t wait to show them off! Marble, pearl and Robins Egg are our best sellers!
7. What are the first steps in designing a mold for a new baby good? Do you sketch first?
I DREAM of color combinations...ha. Some nights when I am nursing my youngest, I just sit and think about combos and products that may be useful to parents who are experiencing similar developmental stages with their littles! As far as the safety and creating, I have taught myself special knots and safety systems that are utilized in all of our current designs. For our newest product I sketched and then scoured the internet and made phone calls to find quality materials to fulfill the design in my head.
Dream, draw, create....in three short words!
8. You're a mother to two young ones and you own and operate a small business! Goals! How do you approach achieving a work/life balance?
Hm. Always trying to figure this one out! The best thing for me and my family is if we all are able to go after the things that make us happy. I am lucky to be able to do this with support from my husband, other family members and friends! I am a marriage and family therapist by education/trade so I try and practice what I preach! With families I use the airplane analogy, put your oxygen mask on first and then take care of others....same in life.
9. What is your advice to a fellow entrepreneur who has a great idea for a business but feels that they lack the skills to make their idea come to fruition?
If you think you can, you will. Make it work, you will be happy you did!! We all have an artist inside of us, let.it.loose!!!
10. Dream collaboration? Can be a specific person, general person, company, etc. What would you create together?!
Oh this is TOUGH! There are so many amazing companies out there!
I am happy/proud to say that we are now in Bellani Maternity in Warwick! That was a big goal for me!
As far as other artists; I LOVE Whistle&Flute (online unisex clothing company) and would love to collaborate to create one of their children’s T-shirts, perhaps an Olive or a Dove!