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“Seeing kids wearing our products when I’m out and about is one of my favorite parts of owning Rey to Z.Just the other day we were shopping and I saw a kid in a stroller wearing our Royal Blue hat. I felt such a sense of pride as I told his dad I loved his son’s hat!"
Jennifer Bennett got the idea for Rey to Z while working for another children’s apparel line. Her work experience with children’s clothing and her eye for design and creative mind led her to start the brand. Little did she know what an impact the company would have on families across the nation. Rey to Z’s customized hats have offered a sense of individuality for thousands of kids across the country.
Although Rey to Z’s hats can be spotted nationwide, the brand is still very much a product of Jennifer’s love for her own family.
“My daughter,Reagan, inspired the brand name. Her nickname is Rey, so we formed the name Rey to Z. A play on words representing the A-Z options for customizing our hats,” Jennifer’s kiddos absolutely love representing the brand that their mama started.
“My son loves wearing our hats. He wears one almost every day.My kids forever inspire what I should do next. If I want something for them and can't find it in the marketplace, I create it! Hence the striped socks that we offer.”
It hasn’t always been an easy road to getting the brand going. There have definitely been some growing pains.
“Prior to opening the warehouse, I operated the business out of my attic. It was a doozy walking up and down two flights of stairs with inventory, and orders every day to give to our mailman,” Jennifer said with a smile, as she recalled the start of the brand taking off.
“The business eventually grew enough that we needed to use our living room to store inventory in, and my spouse was very happy when I moved out to our warehouse and we got the space back.”
Jennifer and the fam live just a few minutes from the warehouse and they enjoy taking walks to the warehouse, as Jennifer fulfills most of the orders herself!
“Ourwarehouse is just ten minutes from where I live in Chicago. I love love love being able to walk to the warehouse and be a part of our neighborhood and community.”
Another challenge Jennifer faced was the learning curve that came with advertising a brand.
“Learning how to do things I have no experience in was difficult. I remember struggling hard in the first few months with taking photos. I wanted everything to look professional and I couldn't get the photos to look right on the website. Thank goodness, I finally realized - just hire someone. Hired an amazing photographer that I have worked with ever since,” she recalled.
As for the things Jennifer feels grateful for, they are truly endless. One of her most treasured things about owning Rey to Z is the time it has allowed her to spend being a mama.
“Scaling the brand at the right speed was something important to me,” Jennifer said, “I believe Rey to Z has grown at the right pace, right alongside growing my family for the past 6 years. I've never wanted work to overtake my life in a way that I couldn't be the mom and wife that I wanted to be. At least once a week I am filled with gratitude as I think to myself - you created this life for yourself - as I'm driving to the gym or picking up my kids from school. I'm very grateful to be able to be a business owner and a mom.”
Jennifer aims to keep the focus of her products on what her customers want.
“It’s important to offer products that people actually want. Do I wish I could offer a product that said REY TO Z all over it? Sure. But what my customers want is personalized products for their families, not products that have a brand name all over them. I want to continue offering more customization at good prices and with quick timelines.”
Jennifer’s customers certainly have her heart.
“I love reading the reviews and seeing the pictures that mamas send in with their kiddos in our hats. It truly warms my heart.”
We see you and we know you are doing your best. That’s why we do our best to provide every style you can imagine and make it customizable for you and your unique family. We also always offer 15% off your first order when you sign up for texts and free shipping on orders $60 or more. Also, if you love us as much as we love you, we offer aRefer a Friend Program…you and your bestie get $5 off your orders.