Fairfax Station Women Start 'Charming' Business
Jen Koberg and Kim Lewis launched Wolligogs earlier this month.
Two Fairfax Station women are charming area swimmers with their Wolligogs.
Wolligogs are charms for children that can be put on swimming goggles, backpacks, flip flops, and anywhere else. The idea for the business started a year ago when friends Kim Lewis and Jen Koberg were poolside with their children and noticed how difficult it is for children to hold on to their goggles when so many of them look alike.
“We said wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for kids to hold on to their goggles,” Lewis said.
The pair started the process for setting up their business last summer, and their website went live just about a month ago. The largest challenge was going through the motions of setting up a home-based business. Lewis works in software sales and Koberg is a stay-at-home mom who was formerly a speech pathologist.
“Jen focused more on marketing and the website, I focused more on the business side,” Lewis said.
They chose the name Wolligogs after pitching around a few ideas. They wanted something water-related and that sounded like goggles, they said. At the start, the charms were created specifically for goggles but they quickly found there could be other uses, too.
To choose the designs for the charms, they set up several focus groups, with their children giving plenty of input. Lewis has two children ages 9 and 6, and Koberg has three children ages 6, 9, and 11.
“They played a big role,” Koberg said.
“What we liked was sometimes different then what they liked,” Lewis added.
They now sell more than 150 types of charms, including flowers, animals, monsters, and cars. The charms, which the pair order from a manufacturer, can be affixed to goggles and other materials using a rubber band-like fastening device on the back of the charm.
The charms are now being sold at Burke Sporting Goods, and the company also reports healthy sales at area swim meets and their website. Penguins, four-leaf clovers and monkeys seem to be the most popular at the moment, they said. Charms sell for $4 each.
"It's been really gratifying to see them in the pool and at lacrosse games,” Koberg said.
To find out more about Wolligogs, visit their website.