Business Plan Challenge

This business creates both comfort for babies in need -- and profits

Lexi Ginsburg, 17, cuddles with the baby blankets she makes and sells online at LuvbyLex.com on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.
Lexi Ginsburg, 17, cuddles with the baby blankets she makes and sells online at LuvbyLex.com on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. adiaz@miamiherald.com

For Lexi Ginsburg, a junior at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, compassion for needy babies inspired the first stitch in a business plan. The company she subsequently founded, Luv by Lex, produces and sells hand-crafted baby blankets. Her passion and attention to detail scored her third place in the Teen Track of the 2019 Miami Herald Startup Pitch Competition.

For each blanket she sells, Ginsburg donates one blanket to a local organization that helps babies in need. So far, 60 blankets have been sold, and another 60 have been donated.

Ginsburg’s urge to give back to her community started at a young age.

“In fifth grade, I donated all my birthday presents to a local foster care center,” Ginsburg said. “When I visited the campus, they showed me the closet full of gifts and toys where my presents would be going, where kids would be able to pick out a gift for themselves. It was eye-opening.

“Because I have a family, having everything was something I’d taken for granted. Once I realized there were babies who don’t live with their parents, I took that home — I wanted to make something for them so they could have more comfort in their lives.”

In Ginsburg’s solo pitch to the judges, she noted how there are more than 3,000 children in foster care systems in Palm Beach and Broward counties, many of them babies.

“These infants have no security or comfort,” she wrote. “They aren’t all fortunate enough to have basic baby needs met, like a comforting blanket to cuddle up in.” Ginsburg also noted how the accessories market is oversaturated with low-quality baby blankets that retail for more than $60.

Enter Luv by Lex.

Ginsburg started her company producing handmade blankets on her own. Each measures one square yard and is 100 percent cotton. One side is soft flannel, the other is a checkerboard sewn with complimentary fabrics. As demand has grown, she has been working with a local seamstress.

“I needed help so that I could sell more on a weekly basis,” she said.

The materials for two blankets runs $14.59 and labor costs are $4 per pair. A blanket retails for $45 each, leaving a 58l6 percent profit even after she donates a companion blanket.

Ginsburg has been donating that second blanket to the Jewish Adoption and Family Care Organization (JAFCO), a nonprofit that provides services for abused and neglected children and those with disabilities in South Florida. Ginsburg recently expanded her mission to donate blankets to Quantum House, a hospitality facility for children receiving treatment in Palm Beach County for serious medical conditions.

“I want to reach out to more organizations in South Florida,” Ginsburg said. “Eventually I think it would be really cool to create an ambassadors program where other kids my age could bring Luv by Lex to their community.”

On the commercial side, Ginsburg uses social media to promote her company and distributes flyers at local Blooming Babies and Mommy and Me classes. Over the next five years Ginsburg plans to expand into bibs, baby hats, onesies and other accessories for children, utilizing the same one-for-one donation concept. Her plans following graduation are less certain. She’s just a junior, after all.

Meanwhile, Ginsburg is focused on her business, and looking at investing in marketing strategies beyond social media.

“I know that I’m making a difference and it’s fun when you make a sale,” Ginsburg said.

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