Raizy Stern, the young mother of five children under the age of 11, would have her hands full even without running her own business! As the CEO and designer of Classy Paci, a unique line of pacifier clips, Raizy is truly in a league of her own. Raizy, a former teacher, became a business owner by accident. As she explains: “It all started when my first daughter was born 11 years ago, and I received a traditional, beaded pacifier clip for a gift. It tore within a week or two, scattering beads everywhere. I was left without a clip and searched for a safe and fashionable alternative. The only clips I found were lots of the beaded version, or the cheap clips you bought in the grocery. I wanted something cute and trendy, and most of all, safe. “One day it hit me. I enjoyed crafting, and pacifier clips didn’t look too complicated to produce. Why not create my own pacifier clip? After looking around my house I found a stray mitten clip. I took some ribbon matching her outfit, attached snaps at both ends, and presto—my daughter had a made-by-mommy adorable paci clip! “Once my first ‘product’ was complete, I began to play around with the ribbons, creating a new pacifier clip to match every outfit she wore. These clips started attracting attention, and people were shocked that I made them myself. One of my neighbors offered to pay me to sew her baby a personalized pacifier clip. It was then that I realized this could be an excellent business. “I started by approaching local stores in my area, asking if they were interested in this product. Whichever store I approached loved the idea of a trendy clip which is also practical, washable and interchangeable. The sleek design is very comfortable for babies to sleep or play with. “I began selling the items as a tandem create your own clip and ribbon, but soon realized that it was too messy and would get lost in the stores. I inquired about packaging and invested in several different options, until I found the perfect box. Now I was able to expand my customer base, and sell my product to stores across the Tri-State area. “Within the next year, my business really took off, as the orders began pouring in. Soon I was selling in stores, online, and internationally, across the world. My products are now available on my website, London, Australia, and Eretz Yisroel. I offer numerous options, including a matching pacifier, hat or bib custom designs, and personalized clips with your child’s name.
“Though I have a staff of three, juggling business and family has proven to be quite a challenge. My first priority, of course, is my children. I take my business seriously, yet with a ‘day at a time’ attitude. I enjoy a great relationship with my steady customers, who know I am always available for last-minute purchases and personalization. “My advice to women who want to go into business is simple: follow your creativity, and don’t listen to naysayers who keep knocking your ideas, asking if there really is a market for more. There always is room for another excellent product, provided you find your niche.”