Woman of the Month

Krista Karo, CEO Instyle Belly, Ladybrille Woman of the Month

In this tough economy, it has become almost common place to see consignment shops/boutiques popping everywhere. While many consignment store owners opt for a physical store location, not New Jersey based Krista Karo, founder and CEO of InStyleBelly. Karo is a stay at home mom who juggles three important tasks, all at once: mommy, running Bandies Inc. [sellers of “Bandies Bib”] and now InStyle Belly, a maternity consignment online store for stylish moms. Such juggling act which confidently embraces motherhood, entrepreneurship and provides common sense solution for pregnant moms has her wearing our brilliant crown as our Ladybrille Woman of the Month. Read on to learn more about Krista and InStyle Belly.

LADYBRILLE.com: When did you get your “A ha” moment as in this is what I want to do?
My inspiration for InStyleBelly came during the time of my pregnancy in 2007. I kept having to purchase more and more maternity clothing to keep up with my changing shape and found it to be getting very expensive over time. The items I bought were really only worn a handful of times, if at all; and once my baby was born, I had all of these clothes just sitting in my closet taking up space. So, I thought, what better way to make some money back on all the maternity wear I bought, than to sell them. Sure, I could have sold my items on websites such as eBay or Craigslist, but the very thought of selling on these sites exhausted me because I would have had to be the one to first, prepare the clothing for the photos, then, take, edit and upload the photos, post the ad, deal with the buyers and payments, then, the packing and shipping and possible returns. With my new baby, my time was extremely limited for my own personal endeavors. Selling my own maternity wear was not an option. That is when I had my “A ha” moment. So, that’s when I decided to create a unique Consignment boutique that would make selling maternity wear as simple and easy as possible.

LADYBRILLE.com: Why did you choose a consignment store for maternity clothes?
Maternity wear is typically only worn for a very short amount of time, if at all. Therefore, when mothers buy from InStyleBelly, they can be sure that the items they purchase are in no less than “pristine” condition. It is much less expensive than retail prices. It also gives new and existing moms a way to put some money back in their pockets. Like myself, many [moms] find themselves “stuck” with their maternity wardrobe once the baby arrives. InStyleBelly’s mission is to help both expecting and new moms.

LADYBRILLE.com: Do you only sell brand names on your site?
InStyleBelly offers a large selection of affordable maternity clothing for casual, business/professional and special occasions from specialty retailers including GAP and Ann Taylor; as well as designer brands such as Cynthia Rowley, Michael Stars and True Religion. [We] offer maternity clothes for price-conscious women and for those customers willing to pay a little extra for brand names. One of the most difficult tasks in the maternity clothing industry is to provide clothing that is trendy, tasteful, and appealing.

LADYBRILLE.com: Yes indeed! But now we have you, so help our Ladybrille women who are pregnant navigate your site. Where would you recommend they start?
Upon entering our site, there are a few options to choose from when searching for the available maternity wear. On the left hand column of the Home Page, shoppers can either click on “Shop by Designer”, “Shop by Size”, or, they may choose from a list of Categories on the site (i.e. Denim, Tops and Blouses, Activewear). There is also a link for “Celebrity Maternity Wear” that includes maternity wear donated by Celebrity moms with proceeds from the sales of their items going to their designated charities.

LADYBRILLE.com: For some of our brilliant designers who carry the stylish maternity designs you provide to your customers, how can they be a part of your online store?
Currently, there are a few exciting projects that I am working on to incorporate these great designers into the site…stay tuned!

LADYBRILLE.com: Sounds good. We will. How would you describe your style sense and philosophy?
My style and philosophy are really one in the same. I like to wear whatever is comfortable. I prefer not to wear clothing that is rough on the skin or itchy. I like good-quality soft fabrics . . . I like to wear all sorts of colors and try to keep up with current seasons and trends. I always keep an eye out for good “classic” pieces that will last for years no matter how trends change. I find there are so many ways to mix and match classic pieces with current fashions trends. By doing this, you can save a lot of money by not having to buy a whole lot of pieces, just a few new ones, and then accessorize. . .

LADYBRILLE.com: Since you are our Ladybrille {brilliant lady} Woman of the Month, what to you makes a woman “brilliant?”
A “brilliant” woman is one who possesses a high level of self-confidence. She’s not afraid to go after something that she truly believes in and she does it well. A “brilliant” woman doesn’t need to have a “career” outside the home to be considered such. Stay-at-home moms have truly earned this equal right.

Ladybrille Woman

A running feature for 12 years on Ladybrille.com, The ‘Ladybrille Woman of the Month’ celebrates women in business and leadership, who empower themselves and others through their contributions and actions in their local and international communities. In 2014, the feature expanded to include a podcast show. If you would like to nominate a woman to be celebrated, please email editor@ladybrille.com.

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