The Rise And Fall Of The Kyte Baby Brand

Many mothers are particular about the clothes their babies wear, which has resulted in a cult-like following of some brands, including Kyte Baby. 

But no brand is infallible, as evidenced by the fallout over the past week due to a serious personnel gaffe by Kyte Baby -- and two TikTok apologies from founder Ying Liu that have fallen flat. 

The bamboo clothing company has been in the crosshairs of consumers for mishandling an employee request to exercise a work-from-home option after adopting a 22-week-old premature baby.

“When word of the denial of the request hit, backlash quickly ensued,” according toForbes.



“Customers were outraged that a baby company, founded to solve a problem with a baby having a health issue (eczema), would not support a new mom with a newborn baby that needed support due to some health issues.”

The popular baby clothing company is facing a consumer boycott. The employee, Marissa Hughes, took to social media to thank supporters, according to CBS News.

The company says it will revise its parental leave policy to expand benefits. It appears to be too little too late, at least for the employee in question. Hughes' response, posted on Facebook: "We don't think it would be appropriate for me to go back.”

Apologizing for a company blunder on TikTok might seem odd, but the company deemed it the best way to reach its consumer base.

“In her first apology, Liu is on message — clearly reading from a prepared statement — succinct and stiff,” according to CNN Business. “It is the kind of button-down speech that might not have raised eyebrows if delivered in a board room. But on TikTok, outrage over the employee’s situation was already boiling over, and Liu’s canned delivery struck the exact wrong note, as she later acknowledged.”

The second TikTok message attempted to explain the first. 

“I really want to apologize to her and the community, and I really want to take this opportunity to say that I’m sorry,” Liu said in a second apology video Thursday, per the New York Post

Apologies aside, the incident may not burn out quickly, which could have serious financial repercussions for the company. 

“Data shows that 71% of consumers want to know the brands they buy from are aligned with their values,” according to Forbes. “And increasingly, real-life examples continue to pop up that showcase consumers exercising their credit card activism by refusing to support brands that they feel are either not aligned with their values, or don’t live their stated values in their day-to-day.”

“Momfluencers” who frequent the company tend to be affluent. 

“Brands selling bamboo fiber baby clothes have gone viral in recent years, prompting a staunch community of ‘Bamboo Moms’ — parents and caregivers who exclusively dress their children in the fabric,” according to CNN Business. “(One consumer) says she owns 120 pieces of bamboo fiber baby pajamas, which can run from $32 to $38 for brands such as Bums & Roses, Posh Peanut and Kyte Baby. (In contrast, onesies from Carter’s typically retail for $12 to $15.).”

The company’s founder says the employee has a job if she ever chooses to return. 

Liu “admitted that comments regarding ‘saving face’ and ‘saving the company’ following the backlash are true after some have chosen to boycott the brand,” according to Fox Business.

"I will never give Kyte Baby another dime of my money and I would encourage you to do the same," Maura Powers said in a TikTok video that has gotten nearly 2 million views since she posted it Wednesday, according toUSA Today. "As someone who is adopted and a mom, literally this makes me sick."

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