FEATURED STORY

CHELSEA HIRSCHHORN

“Re-Founder” & CEO

“When I joined frida as CEO and began the management buyout journey, I was employee number five.

It was 2014 when my neighbor (and then-owner of frida) hinted that she wanted someone to take over her business, a small distributorship marketing the “SnotSucker” product to parents with young kids. At the time, I was enjoying an exciting career working for a major sports team in Miami, managing their revenue department and I didn’t yet have kids (I now have 3 lovely young boys). Needless to say, it took some time to understand the practical side of parenting and the lack of innovation in the category. You can imagine my initial reaction to the opportunity when I first heard about the product—developed in Sweden and a staple for parents to suck the snot out of young infants’ noses.

Luckily, I did my due diligence and quickly realized the opportunity in front of the business...and me!

After just a few years, we quickly built frida to [30] team members. We also developed a category-leading new product development engine focused on innovating and launching truly functional products to make parents’ lives easier. At the same time, we had ambitions of becoming a global brand and scaling at a rapid pace. To accomplish these goals would require both capital and additional strategic help.

Around this time, I was introduced to Seidler.

Coincidentally, the introduction was made by a friend who was the founder/CEO of another Seidler partner company. This was in 2016, and it turned out that I needed another 18 months before I ultimately decided the time was right to jump into a partnership with them. But this extended courtship was a great opportunity for me to test how they could help us accomplish our long-term goals.

My partnership with Seidler has been a remarkable ride for me and the entire frida team.

I partnered with Seidler in late 2017. Within the first two years, we executed the game changing acquisition of the Swedish-based licensor of our core historical products. This opened up a great opportunity for global expansion. It also helped build the infrastructure for accelerating frida’s organic growth. Our product set has evolved from just a few core products to over a dozen product families, including outside of the “baby” category. Our team is now approaching 100 employees, and we are selling several million units each year across 30,000+ doors in the US and 15 international markets.

Our partnership style has always been collaborative. Seidler is a valuable data and analytics resource and brings an experienced perspective to critical discussions. But they allow me to make final decisions and execute my vision for the brand.

After all our growth and international success, the frida culture remains as strong as ever.

We are still essentially parents on a mission to prepare other parents—and give them the tools—for dealing with those everyday unfilterable realities of parenthood. We aren’t afraid to push the envelope and talk about the less than Instagram-worthy challenges we all face–usually at 3AM! And, we do it with a shared humor and levity that is deeply rooted in our own personal experiences.

It’s clear the Seidler firm is focused on the long game and genuinely cares about the people behind the companies they partner with.”