For entrepreneur Assie Khoussa, the boundaries between work and personal life are almost nonexistent. Some of this industriousness comes from necessity – running a baby brand as a single mother is no easy feat, requiring Assie to be in work mode 24/7. But, the success of her small business also stems from Assie’s ability to show up as herself 100 percent of the time. In fact, Eizzy Baby originated because of the entrepreneur’s relatability.
“Eizzy Baby really started from me sharing things that I was using every day with my son and thinking nothing of it,” Assie said. “I was going on my personal page on Instagram, sharing ‘I just got this snack cup,’ And then all my parent friends were like, ‘Wow, where did you get it from?’”
In 2020, amid a pandemic, Assie officially launched Eizzy Baby and started selling silicone bibs, snack cups, and suction plates, among other items. A core tenet for the brand is to provide durable and nontoxic products that make parents’ lives easier and simpler. And while Eizzy Baby has seen a lot of success, it hasn’t always been an easy road for Assie, the small business’s one and only employee. Still, two years in, Eizzy Baby has already won over tons of loyal customers.
If you ask Assie what her game plan has been, she’ll tell you that there is no grand strategy she follows. And that’s what’s most refreshing about Eizzy Baby – its growth can mostly be credited to Assie’s authenticity. She’s easily connected with her customers through Instagram by sharing her own experiences as a mother, using very few paid advertising and marketing efforts.
This realness seeps into everything Assie does and is a big reason why she resonates with so many, including Tracy Jabbal, one of Eizzy Baby’s longtime customers.
“To support a real person — you get such a different sense of [Assie] and how she’s taking care of [her son] Noah and wants to do good for herself and have a productive, successful business,” Tracy said.
And while Assie’s reality as a single mom and small-business owner may not always be picture perfect, the entrepreneur has no intention of filtering herself.
“Instagram tends to be so perfect,” she said. “I live more of a TikTok life where it’s raw, uncut, unedited.”
Finding her footing
At first, Assie wanted to sell diaper bags. She ordered a ton of inventory and thought customers would buy up her products like hotcakes…until they didn’t. This initial miscalculation didn’t stop her, however.
“I always had a lot of grit,” Assie said. “I don’t really take no for an answer, especially when it’s something I want in life. So I just picked back up and tried something different.”
She remembered specific items that she had casually shared on her Instagram Stories – including baby plates – that seemed to resonate most with her followers. This catapulted what would become Eizzy Baby, but there were still some hurdles Assie had to overcome. Specifically, the entrepreneur wished that she trusted herself more when Eizzy Baby was in its infancy.
As she got her brand up and running, she encountered marketing and PR agencies who tried to convince Assie they had Eizzy Baby’s best interest at heart.
“When I first started, I was believing in everybody that came to me, and was like, ‘hey, I can do this for your business. And I could do that.’ That was hard for me,” Assie said. “I lost a lot of money that way.”
Quickly, however, Assie learned to rely on herself, and to this day, she manages every aspect of Eizzy Baby – from marketing to buying to customer service – on her own. As an entrepreneur, she’s also resourceful and takes advantage of free training whenever possible, like when she recently participated in a live website audit that Shopify offered to small businesses.
Eventually, Assie was able to hire her first employee, who helped with Eizzy Baby’s social media and blog. However, in the spring of 2022, the business slowed down, and Assie had to cut back and let her first employee go. This also coincided with Assie’s birthday and a time when the mom and business owner was feeling extremely burned out. While this moment was frustrating, the entrepreneur picked herself back up.
“I just gave myself grace… I allowed myself to fall,” Assie said. “And then go back to figuring out how I can be more creative and give myself the okay to continue to show up as myself.”
Creating community online
With nearly 5,000 followers, Eizzy Baby’s Instagram account is where Assie connects with her customers the most – usually on Instagram Stories or through her many Reels. For Tracy, Assie’s depiction of certain parenting situations – like the struggle of hiding snacks from your kids – was just one of the reasons she became a fan of the brand.
“[Assie] does a lot of really funny, super relatable Reels and polls,” Tracy said. “And as a mother, I can really connect to that. You get this feeling she’s such a genuine person.”
But the entrepreneur also uses social media to collect customer feedback and opinions on new colors and designs for her snack cups and bibs. She’s even joked that she owes all her Instagram followers a certain percentage of the profits since they’ve helped shape so many Eizzy Baby products. In this way, Assie has been building in public and including her community in on her small business’s journey.
And Instagram is not the only platform where Assie has cultivated this kind of relationship with her customers. She’s also used Facebook Groups, specifically parenting ones, to connect with like-minded individuals. By joining these online spaces, Assie has been able to network with parents and introduce her brand as a solution to some of the challenges they face. This aligns with her goal to create products that will ultimately help moms and dads spend more time with their kids.
“The theme for all of my products is simple and easy,” Assie said. “Like, just cut off as much stress as possible. So [Eizzy Baby products] make your life as a mom and as a parent just a little bit easier.”
Not only do customers enjoy Assie’s social media presence, but they also genuinely like Eizzy Baby’s products. As a mom of children ages two and five years old, Tracy has tested dozens of baby brands from the U.S. and Europe and has yet to find one that’s stood up to Eizzy Baby. In particular, she especially appreciates the Snack Cup’s collapsible design and spill proof functionality.
“Of all the things that we’ve tried, from Target, Amazon, stores in Europe, [Eizzy Baby’s] stuff has easily been favorites in terms of durability and longevity. It’s outlasted everything else,” Tracy said.
By being vulnerable and sharing both the ups and downs of parenthood, Assie has been able to successfully sell her brand, but more importantly, she’s also built a community with her followers.
“I noticed that whenever I show up — it’s just me. No eyebrows on, nothing. I get more engagement, I get more love, I get more support, I get more buyers,” she said. “The best part is I get to have this business and still be a mom, still be myself, and still show the hot mess that happens in the background.”
Making an impact
While running a small business is already hectic enough, it was still important for Assie to include a charitable component to her brand. On Eizzy Baby’s homepage is a tab for an organization called Angel House International, which provides resources for young women in Uganda.
Assie first worked with Angel House International years earlier when she was a part of a local foundation that provided meals on wheels and other services to her community. There, she watched a presentation on the organization and learned about the difficulties facing many Ugandan girls and young women, including growing up in poverty, dealing with gender discrimination and sexual violence, and having to drop out of school at a young age.
“Growing up in Senegal, I felt so free as a child. I had no worries,” Assie said. “And I couldn’t imagine having someone go through some of those things.”
Once Eizzy Baby was up and running, Assie knew she wanted to support this cause in any way she could. After learning the group was building a facility and dormitory for the girls, Assie started advertising Angel House International’s Beads of Hope – bracelets made by the girls themselves – on Eizzy Baby’s site and social media. 100 percent of the contributions from the beads go directly to helping and empowering girls in Uganda. Along with spreading the word about Angel House International, Assie has donated proceeds from certain Eizzy Baby sales to the organization.
Incorporating this social impact into her brand was a natural move for the small-business owner.
“It was seamless. I’ve worked with [Angel House International] in the past and fell in love with the organization,” Assie said. “It was just something I could do to create impact every single day with our sales.”
Though Eizzy Baby provides parents with non-toxic and ethically sourced products, it’s clear that for Assie, her brand is about so much more than that. It’s a way for her to connect with other moms, raise awareness for deserving causes, and most importantly, a space for the entrepreneur to be her true self.