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Carly Dorogi

Carly is a mom of one and the CEO of Sticky Bellies, LLC.

How many children do you have? One 2-year-old daughter

How did you come up with the idea for your company?  As a child, my mom owned a company that created custom appliqued sweatshirts. There was never a special occasion that my sister and I were not outfitted head-to-toe in an appliqued sweatsuit that matched the celebration. Every milestone, holiday, or party had a matching shirt to go with it!

When my own daughter was born, I knew I wanted to document & celebrate her growth by taking a monthly photograph and wanted to keep with the family tradition of having a special shirt for her to wear. It would allow me to know how old she was in the pictures and make for adorable images to share with family & friends near and far in online photo albums. Unfortunately (or fortunately!), I had neither the time nor the skill required to create custom shirts and knew there had to be an easier way. The pre-made custom onesies I found were expensive, especially when they would only be used for a one-time, quick picture. Sitting in our living room one night, I said to my husband, “Someone needs to come up with a removable sticker that would look like it was part of the shirt but could be removed after the photoshoot.”  His response? “Why don’t you?” At that moment, Sticky Bellies was born.  For the first year of my company’s existence, I raised my daughter (who was under 1 year old), worked full time as an elementary school teacher and created our first  product, the “Oh Sew Cute” gender-neutral removable monthly milestone stickers. We’ve since expanded our line to six sticker sets and have Sticky Bellies available in over 600 stores worldwide.

What’s your favorite parenting tip? When I was a teacher, the first principal I worked for would always advise parents, “Be firm. Teach them the lessons now, while the risk and potential consequences are low, so they can make good decisions as a teenager when the consequences could be more significant.” That has always stuck in my mind. The foundation you lay early will create a responsible, caring, and respectful young adult later.  It’s easy to be a pushover when they’re so irresistibly cute, but you have to stay focused on what’s best for your child in the long run.

How do you get your family to eat healthy food and/or exercise? I find peace with the idea that I can control what we eat in our own home, but need to be more flexible when outside of our home.  I buy only the very healthiest foods and make sure my daughter eats balanced meals and healthy snacks. But, when we’re at a friend’s house or traveling, I don’t freak out if she has something less healthy.  It’s all about being balanced. As for exercise, anyone who has a 2-year-old will know that it’s constant exercise ALL DAY LONG! We are fortunate to live in a neighborhood with a park, pool, bike paths and lake, so we definitely stay active and busy!

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