share facebook icon stumble share twitter share pinterest share
my account   |   login   |  cart
room gallery    furniture    bedding    decor    lighting    rugs    layette    registry    financing    sale

  Bratt Owner, Mary Bauer, on Cover of Child Style

What inspired you to design cribs?
The inspiration was the creation of our first nursery. Stephen is a trained artist and furniture designer, and when we couldn't find any furnishings that spoke to our tastes, he designed one for our baby. We worked together and put things into that crib that spoke to each of us personally. For me, it was the medium of French wrought iron, which I love. For him, it was the ostrich plumes from his beloved home of South Africa. The blending was sublime, and unlike anything that had ever existed.

How has your company grown over the years?
Our company has grown and morphed with our growing family, and the changing needs and tastes of our clients. Design is a fluid movement.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing their dreams?
I would say, absolutely, go for it! If you've been awakened, deep within your spirit, with a desire to bring something forth, you must pursue that. Every single one of us is unique, with one of kind talents, vision, and experiences, and what we have to offer is ours alone. The world would be less if people ignored their dreams.

What was a pivotal moment for you?
I think a real pivotal moment for us was Christmastime 1996. Stephen and I were in NYC walking along 5th Avenue, and we saw our Zanzibar cradle in the window of a beautiful boutique. It was a dreamy, winter white wonderland, and our design was the centerpiece. We had no idea it would be there, and seeing our work in the biggest city in the world, on one of the most noted streets of the world, thrilled us to our core. We felt we had a real business at that point.

What was your make it or break it point?
It came early in our business. When we designed that first crib, we had it made here in Maryland. We commissioned the skills of a local iron foundry that produced the crib for us. The cost was around $900 for the iron work alone. Once we incorporated all the other costs, we realized we'd have to wholesale that crib for at least $2500, which would price us completely out of the market. We knew that we'd have to find other manufacturing if we were going to have any business at all. This was back in the mid 90's, and obtaining foreign manufacturing for a company that did not yet exist, was a great challenge to say the least. We knew that if we were unsuccessful we'd have no company. But, we did find a source, and that set us on the road for success.

What do you think about trade shows?
I think they are exhausting, exhilarating, expensive and for now, necessary.

What are your thoughts about on line marketing?
I love all the new social marketing media, and think it gives smaller companies like us a wonderful opportunity that we couldn't afford otherwise. It allows for honest, consistent conversation between us and our customers.

What has made the biggest difference in the success of your company?
My faith.

What had been your branding strategy?
From the start, I knew that our designs could and would be emulated, but no one could copy our name, originality, or personal voice. With that in mind I always made sure the Bratt Decor logo was credited everywhere our designs were displayed. We have a consistent level of extraordinary quality (primarily because my husband is an uncompromising perfectionist when it comes to design and quality), and what we create is wholly personal. I wanted to link that to the Bratt Decor brand. I also choose to market our brand more directly to the consumer rather than the trade, because they are the ones that ultimately drive a brand.

What do you love about this niche?
I love the innovation, purity and excitement of the industry. Many of us didn't get into this industry to get rich; we got into it because of a love for our own children, and good old entrepreneurial spirit. So many products are born from parents who found a hole and filled it.

What’s next for your company?
World domination! No, seriously, it's to continue to grow, and create and be true to ourselves. We have a very cool new design in development for the Fall, and we are formulating new ways to speak our design to the world, cool new photo shoots, a blog, a new catalogue.

How do you balance work and home?
That was a struggle for me for a very long time, but after 15 years, I've figured it out, mostly. For me, it's done by setting my priorities and sticking to them. I commit to leave work every day at 2:30 to pick my kids up from school and to being available to them every single day. I cook dinner, I'm around if they need me. Being available for my kids was the motivation for the company, and my primary desire. I am at work everyday by 8:30 and I work very hard while I'm there. After I come home, I still am working until 5 or 6, because our entire company is run virtually. But, I still struggle with the guilt I feel for leaving work somedays. And, there have been consequences for me putting family first. Bratt Decor did not grow as fast as other companies. I sat by and watched companies come on the scene and gain more market share in a year then I had gotten in 10. That's tough to swallow. But, then I look at my boys and my husband, and I know I've made the right choices for me.

Any life balance tips?
Know your priorities and stick to them. Do your best and be okay with that, even if you fall short sometimes. Take advantage of all the amazing technology that allows us to do more with less time. Have a spiritual life. Take time out for yourself, and above all, learn to laugh at yourself and the absurdity that life can be sometimes.

What has been the biggest reward?
It is working with my husband and creating what I believe to be the absolute best baby furniture company in the world.

Written by: Gemma Booker




design services

Putting together your baby’s room
can be a daunting task, but it needn’t
be. Bratt Decor is here to help.

To begin, simply fill out this
give us a great starting point
for creating your dream nursery.
the bratt
love story

love story
finance your
dream nursery

visit our luxury

Are you in the Baltimore / Washington
Metropolitan Area? If so, stop by our
Baltimore Showroom to see the latest
designs for yourself.

Too far from Baltimore?
Find a retailer in your area.
show room

customer support
returns & exchanges
terms & conditions
report a damage
hardware/stop kits
sales & press
international sales
trade sales information
press inquiries
press page
facebook icon twitter share youtube pinterest share
product information
register a product
gc/cp certification
assembly instructions
crib safety
our company
about us
contact us
baltimore showroom
store locator

© 2015 Bratt Decor, Inc. All rights reserved. Call 1-888-242-7288 or e-mail for a baby crib.

When designing your nursery start with the crib then add the other accessories like changing tables, armoires, crib bedding, sheets, rugs, lighting, and accessories to complete the look you want in your baby’s room. Luxury, style, and timeless elegance are the hallmarks of Bratt Decor design and will transform your baby’s room into something spectacular. Baby rooms, nurseries, and baby spaces are sacred spaces and deserve your best. Our designer infant furnishings and decor offer a variety of luxury designer cribs including wrought iron cribs, oval cribs, convertible cribs, four poster cribs, canopy cribs, sleigh cribs, lifetime cribs, and gorgeous carved wood cribs. Our newest crib, the Parisian is an iron crib design which converts from a traditional iron baby bed, to a four poster version, and a canopy. All of our cribs convert, some to toddler beds or daybeds and the lifetime to a full size bed. Additionally our oval/round sleep systems, start as a cradle and then convert to a standard crib and toddler bed and exude contemporary elegance. Chelsea collection includes a sleigh crib which coverts to a toddler bed, a lifetime crib that converts from a crib to a full bed, in both iron and wood, a gorgeous oval crib, the Darling, which starts as a cradle goes to a crib and then a toddler bed. Other accessories in the Chelsea collection by Bratt Decor include armoire, night stand, 7 drawer dresser/changer and darling oval dresser/changer and bookcase. We also offer a variety of finishes to fit your look. This collection has everything you need to complete your baby room with style and sophisticated design. J’adore, our newest crib, is a round crib, wrought iron design, that grows with your baby. The Casablanca premiere is a gorgeous wrought iron crib with timeless appeal, and also converts to a toddler bed. This site offers you a dreamy journey into the world of elegance, style, and quality for your baby’s room. We offer beautiful baby bedding, custom crib bedding, lighting, nursing/rocking gliders and chairs and rugs to complete your nursery. We also have an exclusive line of crib mattresses designed for our cribs that fit like a glove. Bratt Decor has been making furnishings for baby since 1995 and are the gold standard in terms of safety, quality, and designer excellence in the nursery.