New Baby-Care Brand Bubbsi Is So Cute Kids Can’t Resist It (And Neither Can Parents)

Have you cuddled your body cream?

If the answer is no, perhaps you haven’t tried Bubbsi. The baby-care brand founded by Sweta Doshi, a mother of two who previously launched multimillion-dollar fragrance and body-care franchises as group manager for brand development at Bath & Body Works, houses coconut oil-centered formulas in adorable animal shapes that its target demographic – one- to four-year-olds requiring occasional cleaning and moisturizing, and parents tending to them – can’t help but become attached to.

“It transforms that time of day that was a chore for families into something fun because kids are asking for more Bubbsi. It’s about creating a moment in your day that’s more emotional, and it’s about self-care and instilling healthy skincare habits into kids that wouldn’t generally be interested,” says Doshi, adding, “If the kids are asking for it, the parents hopefully will buy it. I imagine people are going to come for the bottles, but stay for the formulas.”

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Bubbsi is kicking off with three uber-cute 8-oz. products priced from $20 to $24: Coconut Oil Balm, Creamy Coconut Oil Shampoo + Wash and Whipped Coconut Oil Body Cream. The coconut oil in the formulas containing over 95% natural ingredients is combined with shea butter and sunflower seed oil. The products have a coconut vanilla scent, and Bubbsi reveals fragrance ingredients on its website although there’s no law that obligates it to do so.

Inspired by modern nurseries memorialized in jealousy-inducing Pinterest posts, Bubbsi’s pastel outer packaging is constructed from food-grade silicone that children can chew, squeeze and snuggle. Refills are available for the body cream and shampoo-body wash products at $50 to $55 for 32-oz. sizes. Refills are roughly a dollar per ounce less than new Bubbsi products.

“It transforms that time of day that was a chore for families into something fun because kids are asking for more Bubbsi.”

“It’s something parents are going to be purchasing every few months, so I wanted to offer them value. I’m not out to sell people a high-priced bottle of lotion that they can’t ever afford to buy again,” says Doshi. “I also believe there’s a groundswell now against plastic and a push to be eco-friendly. The consumer mindset is shifting, and people are starting to realize the effects of plastic crowding landfills, where it’s not going anywhere for thousands of years.”

Bubbsi covers the baby-care basics with Creamy Coconut Oil Shampoo + Wash and Whipped Coconut Oil Body Cream, but Doshi decided to push the product envelope a bit by including Coconut Oil Balm in the brand’s opening lineup. Her two-year-old daughter Juhi struggled with eczema, and the only solution that seemed to calm it was coconut oil. However, coconut oil can be messy and difficult to slather on small children. The Coconut Oil Balm, which is designed to soothe dry patches and doubles as a diaper rash remedy, has a flip cap that can be maneuvered with one hand as moms and dads simultaneously corral their progeny with the other.

Bubbsi founder Sweta and Doshi with her son Alekh
Bubbsi founder Sweta Doshi with her son Alekh

“One of our taglines is easy peasy non-greasy bottle squeezy,” says Doshi. “This Oil Balm is very unique because there aren’t a lot of deep concentrated oils that come out of a bottle. They’re mostly in jars because they have to be hot-poured. It’s really about making it as easy as possible for parents, even from a product evacuation perspective.”

In a baby and a children’s personal care segment that’s brimming with products resembling adult merchandise, Bubbsi is a rare brand that’s fashioning items with youthful sensibilities at their core. The brand’s name is meant to mimic terms of affection parents call their kids, and its social media feed is stuffed with little people relishing their Bubbsi companions. Eventually, Doshi envisions extending Bubbsi’s product reach to slightly older children, but she’s not in a rush to flood the market with releases.

“From a gifting perspective, what do you gift that feels special and fun in this space? I don’t think it has to be Mustela or Honest. This could be a great alternative.”

“It’s about cultivating a loyal base of parents that love the product that I have a constant feedback loop with so that I can get the products as close to perfection as possible,” she says. “I don’t want to be doing new formulas every single year. Formulation is a really time-consuming investment and, if you have really great formulas, you shouldn’t have to be recreating the wheel all the time.”

Doshi invested around $135,000 to bring Bubbsi to life. In December, the brand began taking pre-orders for products and sold out of 300 of them by February. Products are again available for pre-order and scheduled to be ready for delivery by April 1. Doshi has ordered a 10,000-product run, and her goal is to sell at least 3,000 units in Bubbsi’s first year.

Bubbsi
Bubbsi is starting with three uber-cute 8-oz. products priced from $20 to $24: Coconut Oil Balm, Creamy Coconut Oil Shampoo + Wash and Whipped Coconut Oil Body Cream.

At the outset, Bubbsi is sticking to a direct-to-consumer model. Doshi suggests Amazon is in its future, and she’s figuring out the best fit for Bubbsi at traditional retail, too. Neighborhood boutiques that parents patronize to pick up gifts for baby showers and kid birthdays are possibilities. High-end baby and children’s goods e-tailers like Maisonette are under consideration as well. Target is on Doshi’s long-term retail wish list.

“As I mom, I understand that, when you as a mom love a product, you want to tell every other mom friend about it. I want to tap into that mom network,” says Doshi, continuing, “From a gifting perspective, what do you gift that feels special and fun in this space? I don’t think it has to be Mustela or Honest. This could be a great alternative.”