Lisa and Glenn Cratty were looking for a better quality of life when they relocated their young family to Louisville from Los Angeles in 2009. But while looking for another job in her field of corporate management, Lisa realized that the dream could still elude her.
“My heart wasn’t in it,” she says. “Going back to the same thing didn’t feel like why we moved. I’ve always had this creative side, designed jewelry, did sewing and all kinds of craftsy things. It was while I was making some baby pants for my daughter, Teagan, that I thought, ‘Why can’t I do something like this for a living?’” Her business sense kicked in, and she consulted with a friend who was already running a successful baby gear business online, as well as with her husband, who has his own photography business.
The encouragement Cratty received convinced her to pursue the nuts and bolts of creating a line of organic baby duds, burp cloths and blankets from her own designs. Then reality hit.
“I had all these dreams to do everything local,” she says. “Locally sourced organic materials, local manufacture. It turned out to be way more expensive than I imagined. My prices would have had to be more expensive than I wanted just to cover the costs.”
So Cratty went to Plan B. “I believe in the ‘triple-bottom line,’ the one that stresses people, planet and profit,” she says. “I hired a couple of consultants to help me find what I wanted abroad.”
Ten months after her career-changing decision, Cratty connected with a factory in the port city of Tuticorin, India, which has pledged to employ only workers age 18 and up, particularly women. Good working conditions and a decent wage were guaranteed.
“I wound up with people who take care of everything, bringing cotton to a factory where it can be woven, cut, dyed, sewed and shipped out, all in the same place,” she says.
“Teagan and Mack,” named for her daughters (2-year-old Teagan and 8-year-old Mackenzie), was launched in July of this year. Cratty is running the business at home, her garage is packed with supplies, and she has no wholesale business, so she can “grow the business online the first year.”
Besides the business of growing a profit, Cratty says she’s dedicated to a business that makes a difference to the planet.
According to OrganicAuthority.
com, “cotton covers 2.5 percent of the world’s cultivated land, yet it accounts for 24 percent of the world’s insecticide market and 11 percent of the sale of global pesticides; or $2.6 billion worth of pesticides, making it the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet.”
Which, as Cratty says, is why cotton “is known as the dirtiest crop on the planet. We found one of the largest organic-cotton-growing communities in India to produce our source.”
Teagan and Mack also offers free recycling for used baby clothing, and is a sponsor in the Women for Women International program that provides job training for women in war-torn countries.
For more information, visit www.teaganandmack.com or call 303-630- 9693.