Tara Mediate didn’t believe in the Internet. She wasn’t exactly web savvy and more than that, she doubted that the online world had much, if anything, to offer in terms of business value. But when it came time to launch her own company in 2004, she decided to give the Internet a chance.
Together with her husband Joe and another associate, Tara launched KooKoo Bear Kids, a popular retail company that promises one-stop shopping for parents looking to buy high-end clothes, toys, furniture and more. In the beginning, however, there was no shop to speak of, no store window to peer into, just a website and a catalogue that they mailed out to customers. And if Tara had it her way, there would have just been the catalogue.
“It was my husband’s idea to launch the site. He believed that a lot of people were too busy to talk on the phone,” she said in an interview with MainStreet. “Personally, my background is retail, not the web, but my husband was a web person so he was really driving the web site.”
By 2006, the site had helped attract a strong cult following for the business. In fact, customers would turn up outside their warehouse in Roswell, Georgia in hopes of getting a glimpse of their products off the computer screen. “We had so many local customers saying they wanted to come and see and feel and pick up the product,” Mediate said. This, combined with the fact that the only other designer children’s store in their town had recently shut down, led them to finally take the plunge and open up a retail store.