A new online destination for current and expecting moms, Cricket’s Circle, wants to offer more than a selection of goods for sale – it also wants to help you decide what to buy and why. The website, launching today, was created by Rachel Blumenthal, a parent herself, wife and advisor to Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal, and an entrepreneur, who previously founded and ran her own fashion jewelry brand, Rachel Leigh, for nearly eight years, before licensing it to Glamhouse in 2012.
Shortly after exiting Rachel Leigh, she started working on the concept for what later became Cricket’s Circle, while also informally advising and consulting for Warby Parker.
“As I started to think about what was next, I was fascinated by the idea that technology solves problems,” explains Rachel.
She says she was vetting several ideas around that broader concept, but one kept resonating with her because of her own experiences. Rachel explains she had once asked her friends for advice on baby products, and later ended up with an overwhelming number of documents and Excel spreadsheets shared with her via email.
Hoping to offer others a simpler solution, she decided to create Cricket’s Circle, a site which promises to provide women with short answers about what you need for baby. “There are about 150 buying decisions that have to happen within that first year,” Rachel explains. “These are brands that [most women have] never heard of. And these are not only confusing decisions, they’re emotional decisions. We wanted to take the guesswork out of it,” she says.
At launch, Cricket’s Circle offers 600 products on its site, which you can browse by category. Within each category, three product recommendations are provided, all of which have been tested and rated by members of the site’s “mom community,” a group of some 200 women. Alongside each product is also a brief description offering an overview, ratings, as well as the various pros and cons.
For example, Dr. Brown’s glass bottles are described as being known to help with colic and gas on the “pro” side, but as a “con, it’s noted they’re difficult to clean due to their half-dozen pieces.
It’s hard to argue with the selection on Cricket’s Circle, which also offers an online registry checklist for expecting mothers. But that’s because the site tends to favor premium products where price and practicality is a secondary (if even) a concern.
For example, while a majority of moms use Johnson’s baby products, Cricket’s Circle shampoo selection ignores the company’s famous baby shampoo brand in favor of better products from Jessica Alba-backed The Honest Company, California Baby, and Mustela. The site points to companies like J. Crew, Restoration Hardware, Land of Nod, babyGap, and Ralph Lauren, for clothing and towels, to mid to high-end strollers that cost as much as $730.00, and only recommends organic formulas from Earth’s Best and Baby’s Only.
In other words, there’s a certain segment of the new mom’s market which Cricket’s Circle is designed for, and, attention Walmart shoppers, it’s not you.
But while Cricket’s Circle’s products may be largely aspirational for a majority of real-world parents who have fixed budgets, it leaves the site open to working with a number of top-of-the-line baby brands, who could potentially become advertising partners. (Rachel says Cricket’s Circle’s business model is still “TBD,” as the focus now is on building community).
The site currently points to some 200 different brands’ products, but is not using affiliate income as a way to monetize. The three-person New York-based company is currently bootstrapping, and is open to sign-ups here.
Correction: Rachel’s jewelry brand was Rachel Leigh, not Lee, as first reported. The article has been updated with the correct spelling.