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Check Out Markie Burns’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Markie Burns. 

Hi Markie, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
My background is actually in social work! I am a licensed clinical social worker specializing in psych. Pre-pandemic and during I worked in the locked psychiatric unit at Northridge Hospital. During this time, my husband and I became pregnant with our first baby. After being on maternity leave for a while, I realized that having an infant and working in the mental health field for me, would not be doable. I know myself and my work ethic, and I knew I would be mentally/emotionally exhausted after work coming home to my daughter. I wanted to be able to give my daughter my energy and experience her firsts with her, so I ended up resigning from the hospital. I have a very entrepreneurial spirit, and I’m always thinking of new ideas and concepts, my husband laughs because of how many random hobbies I have. I sold cakes for a while; I do photography for fun… I just enjoy being creative. When I was looking for clothes for my daughter it was so hard to find any with a blue-collar theme. My husband is a lineman and works so hard, and we’re very proud of what he does, and I wanted her to be able to show that off! I started dressing my daughter in bamboo pajamas when she was little because she was a chunkier baby, and they stretch really nice to accommodate. I started researching how to design your own and after months of drawing my designs, talking to manufacturers, etc… Grunt Baby Apparel was born! I’m the only “staff.” I do all of the drawings, emails, I built our website, I do the social media, packing orders, etc. It is exhausting, but I am so grateful to have had this start and be able to spend more time at home with my daughter 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has not! I feel like when customers shop small, the intentions are definitely good; however, it can be difficult for them to understand the behind-the-scenes. I get many messages daily about the amount of stock I have on product, coming out with new designs, types of products I should offer, etc… but the thing a lot of people don’t realize is we’re completely self-funded. Every shipment I order, we pay out of pocket for, so I have to start small. It’s tough when you order a shipment of a new design, and they don’t sell as fast as you hope. You pour your heart into your designs, and when you sit on that much excess product, if a design doesn’t sell as well, it can be discouraging, and it also slows down the process of ordering new items. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
As I previously mentioned, professionally, I am an LCSW. I’ve been in the mental health field for many years, and it is something I love. Working on the psychiatric unit was one of my favorite jobs, and I am so grateful for all I learned working on the unit. I think many people I have worked with would agree I love to teach and lead, so I feel like owning my own company was going to happen at some point. Grunt Baby Apparel has been a huge blessing. We specialize in infant and toddler pajamas that are a bamboo material. The material is very stretchy and breathable, and naturally hypoallergenic. It’s great for bigger babies, those with sensitive skin, and those in warmer climates (like Los Angeles) because it is so light weight. I think what we are known for is our blue-collar theme. There are so many families out there who are proud to have a blue-collar background but aren’t able to show that off. Blue-collar workers are the backbone of America, and many have a variety of trades and skills. We started with lineman prints because my husband is a lineman, and we’re slowly expanding. We do have police, fire, and Ems prints available; however, we have a handful of blue-collar launches coming up. By the end of the year, we will have welding prints, oil rig prints, and crane operator prints. We also have future designs for mechanics, military, and construction. It makes me so incredibly happy to get photos and videos of little ones that are so excited to wear the pajamas because it’s what their family member does 

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you.
I think good luck (and a lot of prayers) has definitely played a role. I have gotten approached by a couple of influencers to promote; however, my best promotions have been a handful of customers who have posted purely out of loving the product on TikTok and gone viral. Because of this, my last restock of our power pole print sold out in 2 minutes. I could not have done that without our amazing IBEW family and my customers, and I am so grateful for them 

Pricing:

  • Most pajamas are $32
  • Blankets will be available soon for $30
  • Free shipping over $50

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Desiree Keoshian Photography

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