Hydraulics engineer Geneuviève Thibault, co-founder of Cariboo Distribution, bought her first accessory for her baby boy in 2007. She would never imagine that one day, she would sell thousands of them to retailers across Canada! By the time Geneuviève’s second son was born, she had discovered a passion for the baby industry and made the decision to quit the stability of her full-time job and launched herself into her own business. She then created a small online baby product store operating from her basement.
One day, in looking to find the Canadian distributor of the Lovenest, a product she had used with both of her baby boys and absolutely adored, she was informed by Babymoov that they didn’t have a distributor in Canada. Geneuviève and her husband jumped on the opportunity: they teamed up with a friend and experienced distributor and put forth a proposition to distribute the Babymoov brand in Canada. In March 2010, an exclusive 3 year distribution contract was granted and Cariboo Distribution was born. “It was a roll of the dice”, confides Geneuviève, “We didn’t have any real experience in the industry, other than being parents and being passionate about the baby industry. The learning curve was steep! The name Cariboo was inspired by an animal known well in our parts, that travels a lot so it worked well in the image of the products we distribute, smart accessories for the baby on the go.”
Four years later, the home-based online store is long gone and Cariboo Distribution now serves hundreds of retailers across Canada and distributes 8 major brands: bblüv (Canada), Baby K’tan (USA), Kaboost (Belgium), The Shrunks (Canada), Love to Dream (Australia), Zazu (Netherlands), Little Green Pouch (USA) and Senseez (Canada). The company is growing at lightning speed. ‘’4 years ago, nobody knew who we were. Now, most Canadian retailers carry products from at least one of our brands’’, says Thibault. Cariboo Distribution is quickly becoming a well-known and respected supplier in Canada.
And it doesn’t stop there. “We attend major trade shows every year in the US, Germany and Asia, in search of innovative baby products to add to our selection. Our main goal is to bring quality, innovative baby products to the Canadian retail market. We have become very picky about the products we choose. We make sure that all the products we distribute are quality products that meet or exceed all Canadian safety standards and regulations. We love products that solve real day to day problems faced by parents of babies and toddlers.
The products we evaluate are put through first hand testing. I like to test the products on my own kids whenever possible. Being a mom to 3 kids helps!” shares Geneuviève. “Close relationships with our clients, experience as a parent and having quality products is the recipe for our success.” The future looks bright for Cariboo Distribution. “Who knows where we will be in 5 years, but we’re planning on becoming one of the big players in the Canadian market! ”.